DUSU elections


The Ministry of Human Resource Development had recently issued a direction to nearly 40,000 higher education institutions to tune into Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech, to be delivered on 11 September, in commemoration of the 125th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s famous address at the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago.

The National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), which is the student wing of the Indian National Congress, has specifically condemned these actions taken by the University Grants Commission (UGC) to promote and telecast the speech in every Delhi University college just a day before the DUSU elections are scheduled.

In a press release today, the NSUI Media In-Charge, Neeraj Mishra, said, “Forcing this in Delhi University will be a flagrant violation of the moral code on conduct since the elections for the DUSU are scheduled on September 12, day after PM’s address. ABVP, one of the organisations contesting the DUSU elections is closely linked to the ruling party, the BJP.” (sic). Midrash Mathew, Media Department, NSUI, said, “It is well known that the UGC and the government are linked since the UGC works under the government directives. By telecasting the speech of our Prime Minister in all colleges of DU, it will only help further ABVP’s agenda since the speech is on Swami Vivekananda and it will actively reflect and propagate the ideologies followed by ABVP. This will be a clear violation of the moral code of conduct set by the Lyngdoh Committee, and ABVP will greatly benefit from it. Hence, the speech should not be streamed in Delhi University as it is unfair.”

NSUI issued another press release today in which they requested the Chief Election Officer (CEO) of DUSU to extend the campaigning time and election day by four days, while restricting other candidates to campaign during this time. The presidential candidate of NSUI, Rocky Tuseed, received his ballot number yesterday evening after the High Court directed the CEO. The Officer had prohibited Tuseed from campaigning for two days while the other candidates were actively campaigning. Neeraj Mishra pointed out that since the University is closed over the weekend, and the campaigning officially has to stop at 8:30 a.m. on Monday morning, Tuseed will get no time to campaign.

The CEO rejected the request put forth by the NSUI by stating that the office was constrained by the Lyngdoh Committee guidelines which directed the University to conduct the elections within 56 days. On this matter, Midrash Mathew said, “A bigger mandate of the Lyngdoh Committee is to conduct free and fair elections. If the elections are not postponed, our presidential candidate will get no time to go to students and make them aware about his views and campaign. Because of the accusations put on us, we were left in the dark when the ballot number was taken away. However, the High Court’s decision came in our favour. Hence the CEO should take our request into account.”

Rocky Tuseed after being cleared to contest for DUSU elections. Image Credits: The Hindu


DU Beat reached out to multiple official representatives of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), but none were available for comment.


Feature Image Credits: The Indian Express

Bhavya Banerjee
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With the country’s top-notch universities going to polls, JNUSU on 8th September and DUSU on 12th September, we celebrate the International Day for Democracy on 15th September amidst intolerance for dissent and curbed free spaces in universities.

Lord Acton said, “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Since centuries, the disciplines of politics, philosophy, law, sociology etc. have revolved around the notions of power and rights – be it of the state or of the people. Questions of sovereignty, national interest, natural rights, freedom, legitimacy, coercion, rule of law etc. have been raised to, for, and against state power.  Many theorists and intellectuals of the liberal tradition  maintain that where the roots of democracy are not ingrained deeply and people’s civil liberties face threats constantly, societies soon fall into the trap of authoritarianism. They are then susceptible to radical change through social movements and rebellion. This happened once in India during the late 60s and early 70s, when people faced a serious crisis of inflation and drought in 1966-67, already draining resources, and a fragile economy due to the three wars fought in 1962, 1965 and 1971. With a corrupt government ready to stifle dissent and reward the supporters  of despotism, we saw the ascent of the Naxalbari Movement in Bengal and the JP movement in Gujarat. The government’s immediate response to such uprisings was the brutal suppression of the dissenters, finally giving way to the imposition of an internal Emergency in 1975, which is still commemorated as the darkest phase for democracy in India. Maybe, as the liberals put it, ‘our democracy had still not matured and we fell into trap of absolutism’, and thus Lord Acton’s remark for Indira’s India proved right.

In 2014, we saw the rise of another  party which won with a sweeping majority with the help of a charismatic demagogue. Issues of tolerance, or rather intolerance, jobless growth, majoritarianism, what to eat, or better, what not to eat, censorship of artistic freedom or the of teaching Indian values (#SANSKAAR), moral policing in the form Anti-Romeo squads etc. have resurfaced in the political scene. Cows are safer in this country than women.  Draconian, archaic sedition laws which were a part of British Raj are being used to infiltrate university spaces, army tanks are placed to instil nationalism when there  are already problems regarding hostels, a journalist who spoke her mind has been killed and a girl who raises her opinion is bombarded with rape threats. In this atmosphere, the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) and Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) polls will happen. Whereas in one, debate and ideology play a crucial role for the winning party, in the other, caste and muscle-money power rule the results. Even after 70 years, we believe that holding an election is the crux of any democracy, both in the national scenario as well as at the university level. Though we may not be facing the dark times of Emergency again, with the judiciary being our knight-in-shining-armour (as the Triple Talaq case, right to privacy and other cases demonstrate), Modi’s “New India” is still treading upon the same path as Indira’s India. On this International Day for Democracy, let’s question whether our civil-political liberties and economic, social, and cultural rights are intact or not – whether our 70 year old democracy has matured or not.


Feature Image Credits: The Hindu

Oorja Tapan
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The Delhi State Committee of Students’ Federation of India (SFI) has decided to join hands with All India Democratic Students’ Organisation (AIDSO), with an aim to fight against Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party for this year’s DUSU election.
In a press release, AIDSO said, “We believe in forging a broader unity of the left and democratic forces.” The radical transformation of university space in DU cannot be accomplished without building the broadest possible unity of all the progressive forces in the campus based on students’ rights, which are being attacked by the ruling ABVP led DUSU in collaboration with the Central government”.
Furthermore, their statement also stated, “SFI believes Left politics wholly depends on mobilising the masses, and this can happen only by forging broad alliances of progressive political forces in the University. In pursuance of the need for a greater unity, SFI-AIDSO has come together in Delhi University Students’ Union Elections to forge an alliance of struggles.”
The student panel standing for the election from this alliance is as follows:
1. Rafat Alam: DUSU President (SFI), M.A, from Department of Social Work
2. Jitendra Kumar: DUSU Vice-President (SFI), LLB from Campus Law Centre
3. Kolisetty Lakshmi: DUSU Secretary (SFI), from Shri Ram College of Commerce
4. Roshan: DUSU joint Secretary (AIDSO), from Satyawati College.
All India Students’ Association (AISA) is the only other Left aligned party contesting the election. Earlier this week, ABVP, NSUI and AISA also released their student panels for this year’polls.

Image credits: Asian Age

Joyee Bhattacharya
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The student wing of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation, a prominent leftist party on the campus of Delhi University and a staunch opponent of the party politics of DUSU’s ruling party’s muscle-power and money, All India Students’ Association (AISA) recently released a press release prior to upcoming DUSU elections.
The press release acts as an announcement by its candidates their unambiguous stand on ABVP’s alleged violence during the Ramjas College protests earlier this year in the month of February. 

The Ramjas College protests transpired on a fateful Wednesday afternoon when ABVP members arrived within the college premises to disrupt a literary event which invited speakers like Umar Khaled and Shehla Rashid.
Parties like AISA and SFI (The Students’ Federation of India) were in the forefront protesting against ABVP’s alleged hooliganism-turned-violent activities.

Since then, AISA has been campaigning for a freer and safer, non-violent campus which provides a space for uninterrupted discourse of ideas, however controversial it be.

The party claims, if in power it will address issues of
-Affordable accommodation
-Affordable transportation
-Violence free campus

Parul Chauhan, a third year student from Satyawati College (Evening) contesting for the post of president said that “This DUSU election is being fought in the backdrop of Ramjas Incident in which the goons of ABVP assaulted both students and teachers. Instead of working for the benefit of students the ABVP has only perpetuated violence in the campus. They have repeatedly failed in their promises of building hostel and in fact have ended up promoting PG’s.

If AISA is elected to union, we will ensure that the DUSU election post 2017 will be free from all malpractices and even common students like me will have a fair chance of contesting DUSU elections against the money muscle power of ABVP”.

Akash Gupta a student of Law Faculty and former student of Deshbandhu College contesting for the post of Joint Secretary said that “the biggest issue Delhi University is facing right now is that of campus violence which is single handedly perpetuated by ABVP across Delhi University. He recounted how ABVP tried to disrupt seminar on Ambedkar in Deshbandhu college, beat up activists in Shaheed Bhagat Singh and PGDAV college. He also said that the incidences of Violence by ABVP is not only limited to North Campus, but also in almost all colleges of Delhi University, because of which common students live in perpetual terror of ABVP goons.  

“We have seen how for the last 40 years the DUSU has been made a launch pad for the ABVP/NSUI goons who invest huge sum of money just to win DUSU elections and launch their political career. Our objective is to reclaim the DUSU from the hands of castiest, feudal, communalist ABVP and give it back to the common students. We aim to make DUSU a platform of struggle instead of a platform for enjoyment where last DUSU office bearers ate tea and snacks of 21 lakhs ” said Kawalpreet Kaur President of DU AISA.

Ankita Dhar Karmakar

[email protected]

Following a historical decision, you can now expect student political parties to hand out pens and notebooks for your vote.


In a latest press conference, the University of Delhi’s Vice Chancellor has sent out an order to political parties which states that they can distribute freebies legally, however, only one day preceding the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) elections. This decision comes right before the polls that are set to be conducted on 12th September this year. When the VC, Satish Saraf, was approached to reason this historical decision, he said, “The DUSU elections happen in an arbitrary manner as no political party follows the Lyngdoh Committee’s guidelines anyway. Through this reform, we plan to introduce transparency in the system.” This report, however, is incomplete without the numerous terms and conditions it clearly states; which need to be followed as protocol to distribute freebies legally. A few of these conditions are:


  1. Political parties can only distribute freebies on only one day, that day being at least one week prior to elections.
  2. Political parties can distribute only education related freebies like pens, registers, books and other similar items that add to the welfare of students.
  3. If the political party is found  distributing alcohol or weed, its candidate would be prosecuted and disqualified to contest the elections with immediate effect.
  4. No printed posters can be put up. This is in accordance with orders given by the National Green Tribunal(NGT) to encourage a poster-less and digital campaign.
  5. A maximum cap of 5000 INR would be set so that parties with lesser funds have no complaints.
  6. To help students make an informed decision, all those parties that partake inthe distribution of freebies are expected to arrange for seminars and workshops, wherein they explain in detail the functioning of DUSU and delineate the actions they will take to achieve all points in their manifestos.


Two schools of thoughts have emerged from this landmark decision- one which strongly opposes this decision, and one which stands in staunch support for it.

A second year student of Shaheed Bhagat Singh College under condition of anonymity, said, “I think the DU VC has gone berserk. His decision places small, genuine parties to a major disadvantage and ensures that parties with large funding get abundant visibility.”

However, not everybody harbours the same viewpoint. Avni Bansal, President of Sangharsh Yuva Parishad is of the view that this decision will transform elections for the better. In conversation with DU Beat, she said,  “Everybody knows that use of muscle power cannot be removed from elections. But, this can definitely be put to good use for the welfare of students. Students belonging to lower economic backgrounds can benefit immensely from this opportunity”


While we already have protests from opposition parties against this decision, the executive council has been tabled to discuss reforms in DUSU budget as well. Whether the decision will face a roll back or actual implementation, only time will tell.

Feature Image Credits: Cloudapp

Disclaimer: Bazinga is our weekly column of almost believable fake news. It is a humorous, light hearted column that should only be appreciated and not accepted.

Vijeata Balani

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In the light of the recent events pertaining to the upcoming elections of the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU), contrary to the anticipated scenario, Aryabhatta College has given out a notice seeking a referendum regarding its affiliation to the DUSU that will be held on the 1st of September, within the college premises.

While the college was affiliated to the DUSU in the past, the excessive political inclination of the latter and the consequent amalgamation of campus violence and suppression in the recent years have garnered a lot of attention, questioning affiliation of other member colleges as well. Since both the Principal as well as the administration remained unavailable for any comments, we had a word with Yashank Bhutani who is also one of the presidential candidates this year. He informed us that a joint protest is going to be held on Monday, that is, on the 28

Yashak Bhutani, one of the presidential candidate for this year informed that a joint protest is going to be held on Monday, that is, on the 28th of August regarding whether or not the institution should be affiliated. Amidst all of this, a pro-DUSU affiliation signature campaign was doing the rounds on Thursday. The referendum, as explained by Yashank, proposed against the centralization of power that otherwise is the case with party-affiliated student politics, wherein, the six-post system including the President, the Vice-President, the Joint Secretary, the General Secretary and two Central Councillors are vested with the sceptre of power, leaving out the other students in a subordinate position. He further goes on to add that the alternative way would include a two-post system with only the President and the General Secretary at the highest rung, with a division of power among the Class Representatives (CRs) and the respective department Presidents who will be responsible for keeping the powers of the two heads under check or “the parliamentary form of elections”, as he calls them.

Meanwhile, the principal and other college authorities were unavailable for comments.

While it has become quite clear from certain examples in the recent past that the triumph of party-affiliated politics nurtures nothing but only the mouthpiece of a particular ideology; it is, like Yashank states, “the leadership in a free environment is what we look for with every student having a say in the decision-making”.


Shrija Ganguly

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On 22nd August 2017, the All India Students Association (AISA) conducted a march called “DU Demands” in North Campus, University of Delhi. Kawalpreet Kaur, the organisation’s President at the DU level, said, “There are three central purposes behind the march – the problem of accommodation, violence, and the demand for the reestablishment of university special buses and metro passes to make travel easier for students of Delhi University”.

Kaur stressed upon the fact that there is a severe lack of hostels in Delhi University and reiterated that a no-tolerance policy must be implemented in DU against violence, referring to the Ramjas incident where numerous students were hurt due to violence from the involvement of several political parties in February 2017. She also laid emphasis on the immense cost incurred by DU students who travel from a large distance to their respective colleges and how the introduction of university special buses and special metro passes could contribute to solve this problem. Through this march, AISA wanted to make these demands known to the Vice Chancellor of Delhi University.

The march began at the Arts Faculty at 1 p.m., where over 100 students had gathered from both off-campus and on-campus colleges like Deshbandhu College, Kirori Mal College, Miranda House, etc. to show their support. The students carried AISA banners that had the three demands mentioned on them. Kawalpreet Kaur addressed the gathering where she reiterated the purpose of their meeting and motivated the students to raise slogans and march with them. The students then proceeded towards Ramjas College where they went inside the campus and raised several slogans like “DUSU ka itehaas badal do“,  “Dekho kaise garaj ke aaya AISA AISA, Bhagat Singh ka naya roop hai AISA”, “Vice Chancellor khabardar“, “Hostel ke liye kon ladega: AISA”, “Hostel ka adhikar maangte, nahi kissi se bheek maangte“.

During the march, the students also raised several slogans against the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) by chanting “Gundagardi nahi sahenge, pathar maaro nahi sahenge, inqalab zindabad, ABVP haye-haye“.

Rupal Anand, a student of Ramjas College said, “The march by AISA was a great disruption to our classes as they were shouting very loudly.” From Ramjas, the march continued towards Hindu College and ended at Kirori Mal College.


Image Credits: P.V. Purnima for DU Beat

Bhavya Banerjee
[email protected]

On the morning of 9th September, 2016, when the poster ridden walls and broken vodka bottles in Delhi University campus was speaking aloud the Triumph and Failure of the respective student political parties in DUSU’16 Elections, 77 DU Students came out of their rooms, leaving their beds to clean the campus and openly herald their aggression against the corruption, violation of DUSU elections rules, Lyngdoh Committee Recommendations 2012, National Green Tribunal Notice and also the deterioration and exploitation that happens on campus every year in the name of the so-called huge DUSU Elections. It started off as a Facebook group which later garnered support from the National Service Scheme (NSS) of Miranda House, University of Delhi.

That was the opportune moment when the “No Poster Party” as an endeavour, took shape, was created by four students of Miranda House, University of Delhi: Marya Hassan, Swastika Kharbanada, Simran Kapoor and Nancy Sharma. During the 2016 elections, NPP could carry out its cleanliness drive only a day after the election results were declared, starting from Visvavidyalaya Metro Station till Arts Faculty and the peripheral regions of the college.

The months of August and September take a miserable toll on the streets around campuses of the University of Delhi with paper posters littered on every stone and gravel. It becomes a shameful carpet of wastage. NPP’s intentions are to put a stop to this ridiculous manifestation of gross wastage in the name of election campaigning, by ridding the walls of any such posters. Instead, it aims to paint murals and other beautiful paintings reflecting the culture of the University of Delhi, on these walls. But it hasn’t been able to procure official permission from the Proctor and the Registrar of the University of Delhi. Simran Kapoor,a member of the group says, “the irony of how known right-wing political parties choose to vandalise campus walls without permission under the stealthy garb of midnight to evade persecution while none of the authorities bat an eyelash, and how it has proved to be difficult to gain permission for something which only serves the steps of democracy and the protest culture”. “We are not against any political party, we just want our campus to be clean”, remarked Nancy Sharma.
Election season usually witnesses political parties flouting ethics and bribing the students around the campus with lipsticks, pizzas, free movie tickets, cigarettes and a whole lot of other material objects. These practices blatantly violate the Lyngdoh Committee Recommendations 2012 for elections amongst the students in Universities in India and also due to the incessant paper wastage that happens due to campaigning via posters resulting in environmental degradation. NGT’s notice stands to no importance in front of the hooliganism of the political parties. Despite the petition filed by Law Student Nitin Chandran in 2017, there was no improvement in the state of DUSU Elections.

The team then mushroomed with innumerable volunteers and members who share the same cause. The name of the party might sound misleading since essentially NPP doesn’t pledge allegiance to any sort of political leaning. What they believe in is a paperless election campaign and a non-violation of the rules and regulations enshrined within the Lyngdoh Committee Recommendations 2012.

Hassan says, “What’s the point of education if your mess has to be cleaned by an uneducated worker? As a sensible DU student, it’s high time to tell the so called students’ representatives that we want them to be creative and not waste paper in campaigns. We want a fair election.”

NPP’s dedication to the cause of paperless election campaigning is steadfast. So far, in the current months of DUSU election campaigning, it has scraped walls of posters weighing around 20 to 25 kgs. A self-funded party, with financial constraints, it even took to removing the posters with the help of compasses and rulers.

NPP’s clear and staunch efforts are to urge the political parties contesting DUSU elections to turn to alternatives of posters, for campaigning. They could switch to carrying out rallies and engage in social media marketing or using least amount of paper and ensuring it’s recycled after its use. As a result, political parties such as ABVP, switched to using orange flags instead of posters in certain areas.
“Political parties can use other creative methods, to promote themselves. Rallies, conferences, college to college promotions, organising activities like marathons, etc. can be done as a replacement of promotions through thousands of posters”, commented Swastika Kharbanda, one of the founding members of the party.

The party plans to create a Human Chain around campus on the 22nd of August, to rally people in for their cause and raising awareness.


Image Credits: No Poster Party Facebook Page

Ankita Dhar Karmakar
[email protected]

In another case of assault by ABVP members, Kawalpreet Kaur, the president of Delhi University All India Students Association (AISA) has alleged harassment by ABVP members as she visited Satyawati College. She alleges that the ABVP members harassed her, tried to physically restrain her and verbally abused her.

She has lodged a FIR against members of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of RSS. The FIR has been registered under Section 154 of CrPC (Code of Criminal Procedure) along with Sections 354, 354(A), 509, 341 within the IPC 1860 Act against the ABVP activists.  The police complaint has been filed against Vikram Singh Tomar, ABVP convenor of Satyawati College, Dharamprakash, Adw-ait Sharma, Mantu Sharma and few unknown activists.

[quote]I had gone to Satyawati College in order to meet a professor there for my own academic work as well as to meet some of my friends and AISA activists. As soon I entered the college ABVP members gathered around me and started harassing me[/quote]

-Kawalpreet Kaur, AISA President, Delhi University

She alleged that the ABVP activists tried to bully her by saying  ‘tum kya kar rahi ho’, ‘show us your ID card’, ‘we shall not tolerate any anti-national activities here’, ‘Satyawati ko Ramjas nahi ban ne denge’. She resisted by saying that it was her right to visit any college. After this, the ABVP members started shooting her videos on their phones. As she resisted their action, she was abused by Dharam Prakash, whom she alleges as an outsider. “They questioned my nationality, called me a slut”, says Kawalpreet.  Meanwhile, one of the students who asked ABVP members to steer clear of her way was also roughed up by them.

Later hearing the commotion, the Principal of the college reached the scene and dispersed the crowd. “He supported me and helped me file a complaint against them”, says Kawalpreet.  She expects the police to take strict action against those who advocate for goonda-gardi in the campus.

Image Credits: News Nation

Oorja Tapan

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The Delhi University Students Union election season just culminated and there’s clearly something wrong. Voter turnout for the DUSU elections have been slipping for a while but dropped to the abysmally low level of 36.9% this year, down nearly 7% from last year. If no one cared about the student union and hence the elections for it, the numbers would be worrisome but would still make sense. The fact that DUSU elections are one of the most talked-about periods in DU, even if just due to the inconvenience they cause with the layers of pamphlets and disruption of classes for campaigning, and that the Union is criticised and cribbed about, makes me believe there’s a bigger question to tackle – are we alienating students from participating in a process to elect their own student union?

The sanctity of a democracy comes from its election process but we must remember that while all modern democracies hold elections, not all elections are democratic. If the majority that is going to be affected by a governing body is not participating in the process of electing it, in a system that means ‘rule of the people’, we should have serious qualms in calling the process democratic. As soon as we question the voting process, the democratic system also loses its legitimacy.

Apathy is not a good enough explanation, especially when I see multitudes of people discussing the relevance of a student union and giving valid reasons why they think the existing union is problematic. Clearly, they don’t consider the entire exercise irrelevant and know what they don’t want. The question then is, are the candidates available to them to vote for giving them what they want? Has the so-called ‘political class’ of DU lost touch with the very people it’s supposed to stand for? The possibility is valid enough, given that the general student gets to experience the pamphlets, the noise and, this year, people wearing inflatable suits, and hear rumours about freebies being distributed, more than they get to know what the parties actually stand for and plan to do if elected. The political groups who stay away from the money and the muscle either talk just about the others using unfair means or are simply drowned in the general cacophony of a typical election season. I also find the assumption that freebies and the noise is a better way to get an average DU student to pay attention than addressing the actual issues insulting to their intellect. Surely, we’re capable of more. We definitely deserve more.

Another line of thought that makes sense emerges from an argument that socio-linguist Deborah Tannen makes in her book ‘The Argument Culture’. Maybe the elections have become more about winning and losing than the reasons why someone wins or loses. The stances of various political groups on important issues are also usually so polarised, often just for the heck of it and to show that they’re distinct from the others, that there remains no middle ground for people who don’t agree with either to access, and they end up opting out of the entire process.

I wish the newly elected student union my best, but at the same time, the entire process has left me with no illusions about what a general DU student can expect from them, mostly because we’ve resigned ourselves to opting out (although, hey, I did vote.)

Image credits: telegraph.co.uk

Shubham Kaushik

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