As many students finish their first semester in Delhi University (DU), the country is faced with a major political crisis which has divided India. At this time, should you join a student political party?
DU is an extremely political campus, with all colleges having some or the other form of student representation, with a wider Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) which represents students from most of the DU colleges. Some of the major student political parties present in DU are the Right wing, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), which is affiliated to the Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), which is affiliated to Congress, All India Students Association (AISA) which is associated with Communist Party of India ( Marxist-Leninist) ( CPI-ML), and Students’ Federation of India which is associated with Communist Party of India (Marxist) ( CPI-M).
Many first years would have been told when they joined DU to stay away from politics by their parents, fearing the incidents of violence which come to play in DU politics. The political crisis in the country started by the passing of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), which many opposed due to its openly islamophobic and communal nature and came out on the streets to protest against it. On the other side, groups have come out in support of this act.
Before joining a political party in a spur of the moment decision, one must try to consider what the party stands for. Joining a party just because you want to express dissent or because those around you are joining is not the right option, while these parties might give you the space to dissent and information about protests, it is important to know the ideologies that the party that you want to join, stands for. This can easily be done by reading the manifesto of the party.
Most parties can be easily joined by filling out a form on their website or by looking for their representatives on campus. If you do decide to join one, remember that you get to choose your level of participation. Being in parties will also open you up to learning more about the idealogies and the people behind them. Do not be discouraged by those telling you not to join, if you believe it is the the way to express yourself politically, then these organizations are the best way to go for it.
Feature Image credits: Noihirit Gogoi for DU Beat
Prabhanu Kumar Das