dusu elections 2019


With the culmination of Delhi University Students’ Elections (DUSU) elections, let’s look back and answer the age-old question : Is election manifesto more important than political ideology while voting? Or is it the opposite?

On 12th September, students from all over the University of Delhi (DU) gathered in their colleges to cast their votes for the annual DUSU elections. For the freshers, this was another step on their path towards being a part of a democracy. For the seniors, it was a chance to re-evaluate their choices and right the wrongs.

However, as the election season swings around, we find ourselves questioning whom to vote for. There is a rise in environmental issues related rallies, women development meetings, fee reduction movements – anything and everything that could help in gathering votes. Young men and women are seen standing outside the Vishwavidyalaya metro station distributing pamphlets expressing promises the parties make every year, and the Faculty of Arts keeps bustling with movements and speeches. It is here that we find ourselves questioning whom to vote for – do we vote for the party which we have believed in since we learned how to spell politics, or is it the party which promises to get us subsidised metro rides?

Ideologies become a part of our identity as we enter the politically active space that is DU. Students can be seen aligning themselves with the Saffron or associating with the Left in friendly conversations and college debates all over the campus. After all, political alignment helps in giving a sense of what a person believes in. Political ideologies, thus, serve as a compass that gives direction to both the candidates and the voters- not only politically, but also socially and economically. “To me, ideology matters. If a party is elected, their manifesto completion may be subjected to them, but their ideology will never change,” says Chhavi Bahmba, a student at Sri Venkateswara College.
“When I go out to vote, I look for whom I, as a person and as a part of my state, my country, my community identity, and my gender, can relate to the most. At the end of the day, every political party campaigns for the same thing but it’s their take on controversial issues that set them apart,” adds Faaria Hilaly, a first-year student from Miranda House.

In contrast, manifestos have been one of the most important bases to make a choice. While the issues and agenda of politics during the election are set much before the publishing of the manifesto, a manifesto serves as an official statement which lets us know what we might be getting, by getting them the iron throne. Similarly, the history of the developments by the party plays an equally important role in swaying the votes. While an attractive manifesto with a similar track of work could do wonders in moving the heaviest rocks, nothing is more unappealing than a poor track record. “I feel that their manifesto matters more, as does their history of work. It’s important to consider whether they work or just paint pretty pictures,” says Nighat, a student at Aryabhatta College.

“I had asked my parents to not vote for the party in power despite identifying with them, seeing how its economic measures have caused our business trouble. But they identify themselves too strongly with it,” adds an Economics student who did not wish to be named. “I think both are complementary to each other,” says Anshula Basil, a first- year student at Miranda House. Since an ideological stance can often be a privilege that arises out of socio-economic conditions, the manifesto we choose ends up becoming a better representation of what we want. Often, a manifesto is the result of an ideology pushed far. Which is why, on a closer look, the two are not mutually exclusive.

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat Archives

Satviki Sanjay

[email protected]

The campaigning for Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) runs throughout August and September every year. However, these campaigns are not eco-friendly in the least, let us see how.


The student politics at the University of Delhi (DU) is a microcosm of our country’s political scenario. With examples like Arun Jaitley, former Union Finance Minister who was the DUSU President in 1973, student politicians at DU believe that they can be the ‘leaders of tomorrow’. Unfortunately, these ‘leaders of tomorrow’ are unaware of the amount of waste produced by them during political campaigning.
While walking through the streets of North Campus during campaigning months, one will come face-to-face with pamphlets, flyers, posters, brochures, and press invites littered on the roads. Students with political affiliations throw these posters out of their cars to ‘promote’ their leaders. Colleges like College of Vocational Studies, Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, and Sri Venkateswara College in the South Campus, which are affiliated to the DUSU, also bear the brunt of such hooliganism.

During the 2015 DUSU elections, as reported by The Hindu, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) issued a notice to the Centre, the Ministry of Environment and Forests, and the University Grants Commission (UGC) on the huge amount of paper being wasted in campaigning. Similarly in 2017, as reported by Firstpost, in an article titled “In North Campus, Student Bodies kick Swachh Bharat Abhiyan out of the Window”, Delhi High Court and the NGT expressed their shock over the massive misuse of pamphlets, flyers, and posters during the DUSU elections.
Since then, certain walls in the Campus were designated as the ‘Walls of Democracy’ where one was allowed to paste as many election-related posters as they wanted. But, even the 2018 elections saw the brunt of major exploitation of paper to an extent that the then sitting President, Rocky Tuseed, carried out a cleaning drive and removed the posters from near the Vishwavidyalaya metro station.

Despite being condemned over the years for their excessive use of paper in printing pamphlets, brochures, cards, and invites, the DUSU elections continue to be a hub of ecological hazard, producing extensive amounts of paper waste and littering the whole of North Campus by sticking posters on walls and littering flyers on the roads. Chhatra Marg still remains the most affected where a week before elections, we can see posters and pamphlets in every corner and niche.

As decoded by ScoopWhoop Unscripted in their video titled “How to Win a DUSU Election”, “the posters are simple and cheap; you can see it stuck on walls all over Delhi, that’s when you know that the Delhi University Elections are here.” One would believe that posters become a cheap method of promoting a campaign, inviting the masses to events organised by a particular party, and facilitate mobilisation. But, the aforementioned video revealed that INR five to six lakhs are spent in the printing process.
On the other hand, the Lyngdoh Committee, set up in 2006, only allows a small budget of INR 5,000 for campaigning and election-related activities. It also states that only handmade posters are to be used for canvassing and campaigning.

Hence, the huge waste of paper in DUSU elections is not only ethically and morally wrong, but it is also illegal.
Jaishree, a third-year student from Ramjas College pursuing B.A. (Honours) History, stated, “Nothing has changed here in the last three years, the walls are still decorated with multiple posters of the same candidate, underneath it lie decaying posters of yesteryear candidates. The heaps of garbage that the karamchaaris are made to clean every day is alarming. With climate change upon us, you’d really think that candidates would give a damn about the environment, but no.”

Feature Image Credits: Prabhanu Kumar Das

Sakshi Arora

[email protected] 

This year’s voter turnout for the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) polls saw a considerable dip. The voting process in a few centres and colleges saw hiccups pertaining to a clash between the students and the Electric Voting Machines (EVMs).

The past month in the University of Delhi (DU) campuses and colleges saw a flurry of activities characterised by loud sloganeering, flashy SUVs and a lot of campaigning for the recently concluded DUSU polls.

The voting percentage in this year’s polls saw a considerable dip of four percentage points, this year. The overall voter turnout was recorded at 39.9%. The 43 morning colleges and departments which had conducted polling for independent posts as well, registered a voting percentage just below 40%, at 39.89%, which is over three percentage points less than last year’s 43.8%.

This year’s percentage turnout dipped below 2012’s 42.5% and came close to 2016’s lowest percentage of 36.9%.

Polling at nine centres, where voting went on till 7:30 p.m., as well as in the 43 colleges where voting concluded at 1:00 p.m., saw a footfall of close to 52,000 voters in all. Over 1.3 lakh students were eligible to vote in this year’s polls. This excludes the number of eligible voters in colleges of the varsity that are not associated with the DUSU such as Lady Shri Ram College, St. Stephen’s College, Daulat Ram College, etc.

Colleges also voted for their particular college union posts and even as the counting was underway, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) stated that it had won at least one post out of all, in each of the 35 colleges. “We have swept the entire panel in Bhaskaracharya College, Ramanujan College, Rajdhani College, and Shri Ram College of Commerce. We are finding out the numbers by and by,” claimed the ABVP’s media in-charge Ashutosh Singh, in conversation with the Indian Express. Meanwhile, the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) claimed that it was leading the Union and was in the majority in 22 colleges. The ABVP has emerged victorious in the polls this year, yet again, with three of the main panel posts (those of President, Vice-President, and Joint Secretary) being bagged by them. Only one seat of the panel, that of the Secretary has gone to the candidate from the NSUI.

The day’s voting also saw a couple of hiccups along the way. The NSUI complained about police presence after their Joint Secretary candidate Abhishek Chaprana was detained by police from Dyal Singh College. He was later released after being questioned briefly, The NSUI also complained about EVM malfunctioning at Aryabhatta College. “…in Aryabhatta College, the EVM is malfunctioning against NSUI. When the ballot is pressed for NSUI candidate, the EVM does not light up to indicate the registration of vote… We say no to elections being hijacked by thugs and frauds,” said NSUI’s national in-charge Ruchi Gupta.

The University’s election office denied it to be a case of EVM malfunction, but replaced the machine nonetheless.

Feature Image Credits: Namrata Randhawa for DU Beat

Bhavya Pandey

[email protected]


A common point on the agenda of every political party is women’s safety. Candidates promise to make the campus a safer space for women with the use of surveillance and police presence everywhere. But the question that looms in the air is where consent is during the elections.

As the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) elections inch closer, the University of Delhi (DU) experiences hooliganism at its best. Keeping aside the forgeries, muscle power, and the waste of paper, the elections also turn into a breeding ground for harassment and violation of personal space. It starts with the handing out of pamphlets and flyers at the metro station. Party members, associates, and strangers get in the way to hand out pamphlets and cards while whispering the classic ‘please vote and support’ in the ear. This violation of personal boundaries continues in the e-rickshaw and till the college gates where a line of supporters stand to greet the students, ask to vote for certain candidates, and force students to memorise their ballot numbers.

“As I enter college, people in line ask me to vote for certain candidates and repeat their names and ballot numbers and promise that I’ll vote for them,” says Chhavi, a first-year student at Sri Venkateswara College. A student, who requested to stay anonymous, shared, “I was on my way to the metro station from college, and three men on a bike followed me till the gate while shouting the name of a candidate.” A second-year student from Ramjas College also added, “As I was entering college, men in white shirts were trying to hand pamphlets to students forcefully. I avoided their gaze and continued walking but a car from the parking lot came in front of me. Though the car was metres away, one of the men jumped in front of me, held both of my hands and said in a meeting tone, ‘Sambhal ke chalo yaar, gaadi ag jati’(Be careful while you walk, you could have hurt yourself).”

The harassment continues in so many more ways. From shaking one’s hand forcibly or sending unnecessary Facebook friend requests, to Instagram photos no one gave consent for or getting student’s numbers from the admission form to ask “if they need any help”. As a matter of fact, no one does. They just need you to respect their space.The understanding of consent, boundaries, and harassment lie unclear in the minds of election campaigners and candidates. Even if they do understand, they choose to ignore it.

Pooja Thakur, Professor at the Department of History, Ramjas College, says, “Instead of running a campaign on taking up issues most pertinent to the students and upholding democratic functioning and gender parity and treating the posts they stand for as positions of responsibility and not of power, they end up doing the very opposite. Within the colleges they end up disturbing classes with the beating of drums, loud sloganeering and bursting of crackers. Apart from this, they use tactics as is used in any mainstream political campaigns by distributing freebies to organising informal freshers parties. They also use tactics like confiscation of the students ID cards which is only given to them on the day of voting wherein they are pressurised into voting for their candidates.”

The University is meant to be a place where ideas and dissent run free, where students can finally have the safe space they deserve. Instead, seeds of hooliganism, fear, and censorship lie in its lap. As time passes, more allegations of harassment surface; it makes one wonder, is the University of Delhi turning into space where identities are punished for who they are? Amidst all election manifestos, we are yet to see any points about the queer community or the Dalit, Bahujan, and Adivasi community. Climate change is another issue the parties continue to sleep on. The still silence on issues of inclusivity and harassment serves as a reminder of our privileges.

Image Credits : Jaishree Kumar for Du Beat.

Jaishree Kumar

[email protected]

On Thursday, 5th September 2019, DU Beat conducted an interview with Ankit Bharti, the Vice-Presidential Candidate from National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) in context to the upcoming Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) elections.

(Translated from Hindi)

Satviki: To the common student, DUSU feels like an unapproachable political entity. What will you and your party do to ensure accountability to the students of Delhi University?

Ankit: NSUI has initiated various campaigns. The current Awaaz Uthao Seeti Bajao campaign is initiated for equality in the campus, where we have taken issues of university special buses and 24/7 library. We are also working on providing hostel facilities for outstation students. Our issues also include one course, one fee to ensure that the fees across all courses remain the same. The central library is closed before the elections and opens after it. So we would ensure that the library is open all the time.

We also want to increase the accessibility of Placement Cell in colleges for students who come to DU with their dreams and aspirations.

Satviki: You said NSUI will improve hostel facilities in DU and bring the fee changes through ‘One course, one fee’ program. How exactly are you planning to do that?

Ankit: NSUI has been working on this for a long time, to view everyone with the same eyes and not discriminate. Which is also why NSUI has initiated the program in the first place. The students who come from outstation have to face many difficulties. Not everyone can afford the fees, and the hostels also not open to everyone. So under this program, we want to provide equal opportunity to all students, be they from a rich family, a middle-class family, a poor family, or disabled.

Satviki: The incidents on Old Gupta Road and Hindu Rao Hospital highlight security concerns for those living in the north campus. What steps will you take to ensure safety and security on campus?

Ankit: DU has always been ruled through muscle and money power. The people who get elected in the union are usually from the upper castes, with a lot of money. People from backward castes are not able to contest usually, due to not being economically strong.

So these upper-caste politicians maintain a good relationship with the police. Moreover, the students from backward caste have to face many difficulties, such as Pramod Kumar Sanu, who was recently beaten up. Neither has the university has taken any steps for him nor have the police, because he was a Dalit student.

So casteism is extremely prevalent in the university. The first thing we would do is increase the security in and around the university so all students feel safe and end hooliganism in the university. For this, we would take to the police and convince them to work with us.

Satviki: How inclusive do you think NSUI is in terms of minority and LGBTQIA+ representation?

Ankit: NSUI has initiated the program of ‘One University, Equal Opportunity’ to give the same opportunity to everyone, regardless of their caste, race, religion, or gender. After such a long time, NSUI has allowed a woman as their presidential candidate. So, we work based on equality, unlike other parties where muscle power and money power are taken into consideration such that no one can raise their voices against them.

Satviki: Campaigning every year uses up a tremendous amount of paper for pamphlets, posters, etc which then leads to litter on campus. What is your say on the matter?

Ankit: We have tried to highlight the use of social media this time for our campaigns so that the paper isn’t wasted. This time we will make full efforts to not litter the roads with campaign paper and will try not to allow opposition parties to say anything against us.

Satviki: Delhi University was recently declared an Institute of Eminence by the Union Government which entitles DU to payment of a 1000 crores over 5 years, however, the trend in 2019 in DU has been of increasing fees and hostel rates. Why do you think this is so? And what will your party do to reduce fee hikes and hostel rates?

Ankit: This is all under the central government where they revise fees. We will initiate a campaign against this as we understand that in DU people come from all backgrounds and cannot afford expensive tuition. We will talk to the university administration.

Satviki: The overriding perception of University politics is that It involves dirty politics, strong-arming, and violence. What has your party done to prove this perception wrong during this campaigning period, and what does it plan to do to reduce these perceptions in the future?

Ankit:This time all the candidates come from a middle-class family. Chetna Tyagi, Aashish Lamba, and I all come from a middle-class family with no political backing. I come from a Dalit family. So, based on this, we can fairly say NSUI does not believe in money or muscle power.

Satviki: The Lyngdoh Committee lays down 5000 rupees as the maximum expenditure amount, how does your party maintain it?

Ankit: We are working on social media so that our paper is not wasted and it remains under 5000. We do not want to break any rules of the committee.

Satviki: Last year, there were allegations of EVM tampering against ABVP, also to be noted, the EVM’S were privately supplied and not by the Election Commission. How will you ensure that incidents like this don’t occur this year and how do you plan to make sure elections are held fairly?

Ankit: We will talk to the Cheif Election Officer and give them an application beforehand so there is no tampering. If there’s still some cases of tampering, we will try to find solutions for it.

Satviki: Which element differentiates you from the other contenders for the post of Vice President?

Ankit: Firstly, my candidates have power, both in terms of muscle power and money power. I, on the other hand, am a Dalit. They get people from outside for campaigning, whereas we believe in the strength of our group itself. We have the students’ support with us.

Satviki: What message would you like to give to the students of DU so that they choose you?

Ankit: I would first like to thank NSUI for rising above all discrimination and giving me this opportunity to run as a candidate. NSUI has ended the politics of discrimination and chosen me, a person from a Dalit family.

Feature Image Credits: NSUI

Satviki Sanjay

[email protected]

On Thursday, 5th September 2019, DU Beat conducted an interview with Chetna Tyagi, the Presidential Candidate from National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) in context to the upcoming Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) elections.

(Translated from Hindi)

Satviki: To the common student, DUSU feels like an unapproachable political entity. What will you and your party do to ensure accountability to the students of Delhi University?

Chetna: It gets difficult for the students to raise their voices on issues sometimes, so as DUSU elected members, it becomes our responsibility to raise our voice on behalf of the students. NSUI has also initiated a campaign ‘Awaaz Uthao Seeti Bajao’ where we want to promote equality amongst the Delhi University students. Under the campaign, we are covering issues of hostels, one fee for one course and university special buses.

If NSUI comes to power, it will force the authorities to take action so every student gets their rights and equality.

Satviki: The incidents on Old Gupta Road and Hindu Rao Hospital highlight security concerns for those living in the north campus. What steps will you take to ensure safety and security on campus?

Chetna: Every college should have a police van in front of it, every hour of the day. At least two policemen should be present so they can keep a check on the happenings in and around the campus so that they can control the situation.

Satviki: How inclusive do you think NSUI is in terms of minority and LGBTQIA+ representation?

Chetna: Our Vice-Presidential candidate is a Dalit who’s been given a high post, who will go on to further represent minorities of the Delhi University.

Satviki: Campaigning every year uses up a tremendous amount of paper for pamphlets, posters, etc which then leads to litter on campus. What is your say on the matter?

Chetna: Every candidate does their promotion through paper. I know it leads to a lot of paper waste and it is useless. We can have a plantation drive after the elections are over where we can grow plants in different parts of Delhi.

Satviki: Delhi University was recently declared an Institute of Eminence by the Union Government which entitles DU to payment of a 1000 crores over 5 years. What changes is this going to bring in DU?

Chetna: This extra money that we will be getting is the result of NSUI’s fight in the Delhi University. This extra money should be used to ensure equal opportunity should be given to all the students in Delhi University. Be it a student from a rural background, or someone belonging to the minority, everyone should be equal.

Satviki: The overriding perception of University politics is that it involves dirty politics, strong-arming, and violence. What has your party done to prove this perception wrong during this campaigning period, and what does it plan to do to reduce these perceptions in the future?

Chetna: I am a girl candidate, and NSUI has given the chance to a girl candidate after so many years. The students are the one who will judge and know which candidate is working for them, and which candidate is here because of his money power. Once the students start choosing wisely and not based on publicity stunts, it will all reduce automatically. So, NSUI will work for the students.

Satviki: Last year, there were allegations of EVM tampering against ABVP, also to be noted, the EVM’S were privately supplied and not by the Election Commission, how will you ensure that incidents like this don’t occur this year and how do you plan to make sure elections are held fairly?

Chetna: Last year, there was a nonexistent candidate who was used to get votes. The candidate was being voted for when in reality, the candidate did not even exist. So, there was something wrong. Moreover, the results were also delayed for a day or two. This year there should be tight security amongst the officers who handle the machines and the EVMs should not be misused. NSUI will keep a check on it.

Satviki: which element differentiates you from the other contenders for the post of President?

Chetna: Firstly, I am a girl candidate who is standing for the position of President. I don’t think ABVP has ever backed up a girl candidate for the post of president. NSUI has given the chance to a female candidate after so many years and I am going to give my best. I want to make my voice my identity and work for the students of Delhi University.

Satviki: What message would you like to give the students so that they see you as a deserving candidate?

Chetna: I am Chetna Tyagi, a student at Shaheed Bhagat Singh College. It is after 11 years that a girl candidate is chosen by NSUI to contest for the post of the president. I want everyone to come in heavy numbers to vote for DUSU elections.

Feature Image Credits: NSUI

Satviki sanjay

[email protected]



In July, 2019, the Allahabad University replaced the 96-year-old Student Union with a Student Council. Running on the same track, in October 2018, the Odisha Government notified that the Students’ Union polls will not be held in five major universities and 35 colleges due to violence . On June 7, 2017, the West Bengal government issued an order that replaced the term student union by student council . Although the Lyngdoh guidelines are mandatory for all colleges and universities and its first clause says that elections must be held in the institutes, but many universities like the Banaras Hindu University and Osmania University do not have a student body and elections have not been held since long. Out of the total 789 universities, only 50 or 60 universities are properly conducting student election . The mandatory elections norm continues to be violated by several
universities across the country.
However, student elections will take place this year in Maharashtra’s 11 state universities and affiliated colleges more than a quarter century after they were banned in 1993 by the then Congress government of M Sudhakar Rao Naik. The decks have been cleared for holding the student union
elections in Bihar universities after a gap of almost three decades in August ,2012.
The states and universities authorities take all the decision arbitrarily on the serious issue of students politics .The authority gives two grounds – first violence and second violation of Lyngdoh Committee. There are violence and hooliganism in the Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha Elections as well. If Election Commission can conduct free and fair election in Baster and Kashmir then why
authorities are failing to conduct it in campuses.
So on the ground of violence, administration can’t deny electoral right. Actually, student politics need to be systemized with the law and order . Even, Indian parliament has failed to address and readdress student election problem. In spite of the fact that most of the famous and established
leaders come from student politics.
Presently, student election is being regulated in India by the judicial order not by any executive or legislative order . After the Supreme Court in University of Kerala v. Council, Principal’s Colleges, Kerala & Ors., (2006) 8 SCC 304, (referred to as “University of Kerala 1”) case , Lyngdoh Committee
was formed in 2006 by the HRD ministry to suggest reforms in the student union elections at the college/university levels. It was argued that these were becoming places of political tensions escalating into violent encounters between students. Under the leadership of J.M. Lyngdoh, it submitted its report to the Supreme Court of India on May 26, 2006. The Supreme Court on
September 22nd of the same year issued an order directing the college/university to follow and implement the committee’s recommendations. Lyngdoh Committee aimed at making elections cleaner, non-violent, and curbing the use of money and muscle power in the elections. In the
committee ,there were . Mr. J.M.Lyngdoh, Retd. Chief Election Commissioner (Chairman), Dr. Zoya Hassan, Professor Pratap Bhanu Mehta and Dr.Daya Nand Dongaonkar (Secretary General of the
Association of Indian Universities). Justice Markandey Katju and Ashok Kumar Ganguly held the order of Lyngdoh committee report as legislative order.
Lyngdoh Committee aimed at making elections cleaner, non-violent, and curbing the use of money and muscle power in the elections but it has failed on all fronts. There is a long list of recommendations, which are flouted in every elections, like the Committee explains that (6.6.1) the maximum permitted expenditure per candidate shall be ?5000, clause 6.7.5: No candidate shall be
permitted to make use of printed posters, printed pamphlets and 6.7.9: clause says that during the election period the candidates may hold processions and/or public meetings, provided that they do not, in any manner, disturb classes and other academic and co-curricular activities of the
college/university. Lyngdoh prohibited political parties from contest election and said that only
independent candidates can contest. The Lyngdoh also confused student council and student union.
Sections 6.1.2 and 6.2.1 of the Lyngdoh committee reports that only universities with a small
campus and fewer students, like JNU and Hyderabad University, should be allowed to form their
student unions via direct elections. The Allahabad university administration’s scrapped the Union
into council on this basis. The model Student Union differ from student counselling on fundamental
structures. Various positions of this council including President and Treasurer will not be elected by
students but nominated by the head of that specific institute. The Class Representatives will vote
and choose it’s General Secretary instead of direct elections. Basically, this body would be stripped
of its political voice or ability to reconcile under a banner to raise demands of the students. It would
be limited to organize cultural events and other such activities.
In reality Lyngdoh has failed and students politics needs major intervention by the Parliament.
Students politics needs a valuable legislation to scrap the Lyngdoh like National Student Union Act.
Instead an idea of one nation one election should be implemented in all the university. Election Commission of India should conduct elections instead of the university authority.
In reality, students politics is not only important for students but it is in national interest. Without the strong students politics Indian democracy can not run energetically. The democracy needs aware citizens , movement , intuitional awareness and those who can resists for their right .The students politics has all these character.
The youth is largest stake holder in Indian politics .The largest identity has its own challenges .

Without the integration of youth, Indian democracy can’t survive .The Indian parliament is one of the oldest parliament(in terms average age of parliamentarians) in a young country like India. The present day politics has excludes youth from politics as they think it to be highly nepotistic and filled
with unnecessary money-muscle power. This can be corrected through student politics . It is one of the easiest way through which a marginalised can become a leader. The philosopher likes of Plato as well as contemporary thinkers including American philosopher Martha Nussbaum have emphasised the need for political consciousness among the youth, which student politics create. Nussbaum has
written in her work, Cultivating Humanity: A Classical Defense of Reform in Liberal Education, “It would be catastrophic to become a nation of technically competent people who have lost the ability
to think critically, to examine themselves, and to respect the humanity and diversity of others .”
The Indian youth have the capacities to take democracy in their hands .He has capacity to
revolutionise the people like international students movement . The Vietnam War Protests – 1966-1969 , Anti-Apartheid – 1976 and Tiananmen Square Protest – 1989 ,these three student protests that changed history of the world. Even, Indian student movements have had some successful movements like, indian freedom struggle ,1977 Sampoorn kranti JP movement and 2011 Anti
corruption movement .
In the first week and second week of September,2019 ,Asia’s biggest Students Union election would be happening in the Jawahar Lal Nehru University and University of Delhi. Let’s celebrate youth democracy and demand to regulate the law of National students union election and open the door
of youth into politics .
Raja Choudhary
(Former DUSU Presidential candidate and student of Faculty of Law , University Of Delhi . He is also the author of a book titled ‘Ayodhya’)

Dr. Shashi Tharoor addressed the students of the University of Delhi (DU) in an event organised by the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) and Kerala Students’ Union. He had a candid conversation with the students from topics ranging from communication blockade in Kashmir to the political rights of youth in India. He urged students to support NSUI in the upcoming elections in light of their campaign motto #AwaazUthaoSeetiBajao

The NSUI along with Kerala Students Union organised a student interaction session with Dr. Shashi Tharoor on 4th September. Being hosted at the Amitabh guest house in North Campus, the session saw huge participation from DU students. The Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) elections are scheduled for 12th September. Candidates filed their nomination on Wednesday and the final list of names was released on Thursday. Talking about Indian National Congress (INC) affiliated NSUI’s campaign ‘Awaaz Uthao, Seeti Bajao (Blow the whistle against injustice),’ Tharoor said, “The campaign is relevant since this is a government that suppresses whistleblowers. Somebody needs to raise their voice against inequality.”

During this interaction, Dr. Tharoor laid emphasis particularly on the youth political rights and spoke about bringing the age of candidacy to run elections down to 18 years. He said, “I believe that even 18-year-olds should be allowed to contest for different offices. In fact, I would even recommend a reservation for elected officials under 30. This is a young country and more young people should be in power,” He went on to say, “This government only specializes in sloganeering. There are no jobs and students who will soon be graduating from their colleges and looking for the jobs will be impacted most by it.”

Several questions were asked to Dr. Tharoor and he dealt with every question patiently. On being asked upon the communication blockade in Kashmir, he said, “What is happening in Kashmir is a travesty of democracy by completely subverting spirits of the constitution,” adding that he was “curious to see how the Supreme Court reacts to the petitions being filed on the matter.”

He further commented on the National Registrar of Citizens (NRC) Bill saying, “People who have been living here since 1971 have been called foreigners. They talk about Vivekananda and forget that it was Vivekananda who said that India was a place which offered place to persecuted people.” Tharoor also added that the Congress party is “doing everything it can” on the matter but “they have divided opinions on northeast.”

On being questioned about the current state of the Indian economy, Tharoor said that we should all be worried about it and that he couldn’t sugarcoat the truth. He said that the government has built its reputation on image making and that in reality; it is lying to the Indian public by manipulating the calculation of the GDP. He talked about how the agricultural sector is suffering; farmers are committing suicides, and the industrial sector’s output going down. He also talked about how demonetization was the worst thing that could have happened to our economy and how the government is campaigning their tax terrorism, making the common man suffer.

He then talked about how today mainstream media cannot be trusted because the businessmen that own them also have interests in other businesses that the government can influence. He told the students about the reality behind media suppression and said that journalists and editors are too scared today to pursue actual journalism since their job and life are on the line. He ended the discussion on media suppression in today’s political scenario, by talking about how today independent media with an online presence like The Wire, Scroll, and The Quint are more truthful and trustworthy than mainstream media.

Dr.Shashi Tharoor concluded the session by giving some advice to the students. He told them to not compete with others but with themselves; and that failure was a part of life, that without it there was no success.

Feature Image Credits: Rishabh Gogoi for DU Beat


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Juhi Bhargava

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The University of Delhi (DU) saw controversy unfold over Savarkar, from demands to rename the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) Office after V.D. Savarkar, to the installation of a pillar with his bust, along with those of Subhas Chandra Bose and Bhagat Singh in the campus. The ideological warfare about his thoughts continues to be controversial.

As the DUSU elections approach, the University is grappling with the Savarkar Statue Controversy. The illegal installation of the bust, followed by its removal, reveals the ideological tussle between the different schools of thought.

An extremist in his thoughts, Savarkar was an Indian Independence activist who rebelled against the British rule through revolutionary means, and was imprisoned due to his anti-coloniser activities. Following a failed attempt to escape while being transported from Marseilles in France, he was sentenced to two life terms of imprisonment, and eventually landed in the cellular jail or Kala Pani. Savarkar has been always been at the eye of the storm, for being viewed as a “coward” since he wrote letters to the British, pleading to be released from the torture of the cellular jail.

Being an atheist, he believed that Hinduism was a political identity having a powerful moral force. While in prison, Savarkar wrote the work describing Hindutva in which he defined that all people descended from Hindu culture as being a part of Hindutva, including Buddhists, Jains, and Sikhs. The noted journalist, Manu Joseph, recently opined, “The erasure of Savarkar by intellectuals 1.0 was so complete that at the end of it all, he was not even a villain. He was not mentioned in textbooks even as one of the accused in the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. Savarkar’s insight was that Hinduism was a powerful political identity that does not require gods, or even the cow actually, whom he did not love very much, and that Hinduism is a fundamental genetic force in all Indians. In this way, he invented Hindutva.”

The very fact that the revolutionary ideas of Savarkar remain to be missing from our mainstream reading and textbooks, does not allow the discussion on his extreme views in the freedom struggle movement through Hindutva. Vaibhav Purandare, in his book The True Story of the Father of Hindutva reveals Savarkar’s professed hatred for Muslims. In his early years as a revolutionary, Savarkar asked Hindus and Muslims to get along, but eventually, he wished to subdue Muslims.

Earlier this month, on 12th August, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) demanded the DUSU Office be named after Veer Savarkar. Following this, the ABVP and DUSU installed the busts of
V.D. Savarkar, Subhas Chandra Bose, and Bhagat Singh outside the Faculty of Arts in the North Campus and faced criticism, followed by the attack on the statue and smearing black colour on the bust by the National Students’ Union of India.

Shakti Singh, the outgoing President of DUSU, said, “Since the beginning of my term, I was requesting the DU administration for establishing the statues but never got a reply from them. The left-wing forces and the Congress party have always defamed Veer Savarkar. So, I wanted that this issue should be debated so that the youth can know about his contribution to the freedom struggle of the country.”

Madhu Prasad, former Professor of Philosophy, Zakir Hussain College said, “Bhagat Singh believed that the country won’t get freedom unless there is equality. However, the current scenario in this country does not allow debate, discussion, and dissent, and idolising Savarkar is against the essence of freedom.”
While he worked upon reforming and revolting the colonial rule, his extreme positions on Gandhi, Hindu Rashtra, and Muslims bestows him with political exclusion.

Feature Image Credits: Prateek Pankaj for DU Beat

Sriya Rane

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For the upcoming Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) elections, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) reveals that building new hostels is going to be the main agenda in their manifesto.

As reported by The Hindu, Sidharth Yadav, the State Secretary of ABVP said, “Building hostels will be the key agenda in our manifesto. With the commercialization of private hostels, rents have gone up.”

On 25th August 2019, the candidates from ABVP visited the University students living in hostels and paying guest accommodations and raised the issue of insufficient accommodation facilities provided by the University of Delhi (DU) for outstation students. Monika Chaudhary, the National Media Convener of ABVP said, “We had sent an application to the administration a while back with respect to building new hostels but they have not reverted to us, so we are going to campaign for it now. We are also hoping to get strong support from the government of Uttar Pradesh to build hostels for students from there. With regard to this, our President, Shakti Singh had a meeting with the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath a while back.”

ABVP talked to the students about their campaign for the construction of new hostels in the University as a step against students having to pay a lot for their residence while completing their education. They asked for support concerning this in the upcoming DUSU elections.

Many students across the campus have shown support for this campaign. Sana Sharma, a student of DU and a resident of paying guest accommodation in North Campus said, “The University has very few hostels which are not able to accommodate even half of the student population. Only very few people get a place in these hostels and the rest of us have to have to pay very high prices for accommodations in Delhi. It is very inconvenient and costly. I support ABVP’s campaign to build new hostels and hope that the administration will hear us.”

Feature Image Credits: IndiaTV

Juhi Bhargava
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