If we turn the pages of our history, we will realise that our freedom struggle was an essential chapter in the history of the University of Delhi. It has been about 80 years since Mahatma Gandhi gave us the slogan “Do or Die”, and within weeks of the pronouncement of the slogan at the Bombay Session of 1942, protests started to take shape across the colleges of DU. From burning down an electric sub-station (by the students of Ramjas College) to marching in protest on 10 August 1942, against the authorities who jailed the Congress leaders the previous day (students of Hindu College, Indraprastha College, and St, Stephen’s College), DU was the political hub during the time. So, this culture of protest so firmly entrenched among DU students even today can be traced back all the way to our country’s struggle for independence.

Established in 1922, a time when India was engulfed by its struggle for freedom, both students and teachers were active participants in the anti-British movement. However, soon, the students realised a need for a union. It was in 1947, under the founder of the Delhi School of Economics, Vijayendra Kasturi Ranga Varadaraja Rao (V. K. R. V. Rao), when a provisional committee consisting of presidents of all the colleges was bestowed with the responsibility to draft the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) Constitution and take necessary steps for the creation of this institution. On 9 April 1949, DUSU came to life and was inaugurated by our first Prime Minister, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru. Since its inception, DUSU has become the first step toward the political scenario of the larger part of the country. Students belonging to various groups, having a range of ideologies, contest to be part of its panel. Some of the most notable student organisations that it represents are the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), Students’ Federation of India (SFI), Chhatra Yuva Sangharsh Samiti (CYSS), All India Students’ Association (AISA), and many more.

Delhi University is as well known for its politics as well as for its historical significance and educational culture. Its political atmosphere is so important that at times, even mainstream political parties take keen interest in it. Nevertheless, it is worth noticing how the culture of protest and dissent was born in the sensitive pre-independence independence and how it has transformed since then to take its present form. Are the organisations doing their jobs correctly or are they just practicing dissent in the name of vote-bank politics? This is one of the most crucial questions we must seek the answer to.

The ABVP, a right-wing student organisation affiliated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), has had the most successful run in DUSU history in recent years. The root cause of this success can be traced back to the period of the Emergency in 1975, when DUSU once again became a centre of political resistance. Arun Jaitley, a former member of ABVP and Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), was elected as the president of DUSU in 1974. He is known to have played the most instrumental role in bringing reform to DUSU. Until 1973, colleges used to elect 10 DUSU councilors, who further used to elect the panel of DUSU. However, from 1973 this policy was transformed into ‘one-student, one-vote’, turning the system from an indirect to a direct democracy. Also, Jaitley is famously known for being the first satyagrahi against the imposition of an internal emergency. In 1977, Vijay Goel, who was affiliated with ABVP, became the President of DUSU. His focus during the campaign was the excesses that occurred during the emergency.

More recently, Nupur Sharma, a former BJP national spokesperson, was elected DUSU president as the ABVP candidate in 2008. This broke the ABVP’s eight-year wait for power in the DUSU, which had been dominated by NSUI. That year, the other three posts (Vice President, Secretary, and Joint Secretary) went to the NSUI.

If we look at the last 10 years, the NSUI has only held the President’s seat only twice. This does beg the inevitable question of why the ABVP has found so much success. During the internal emergency, it can be credited to the country’s political atmosphere, which helped in garnering support. In its initial days, it is safe to say that people were more focused on work than their political inclinations and other interests. But what about today? Is it functioning the way the students desire or is it enjoying an undue dominance? Is it standing for the students and working for their demands, or are they too invested in getting memorandums signed in the name of vote banks? On the other hand, the left-wing parties, which emerged as a force to content with in DU politics quite recently, have centred their existence around fighting for or against various issues through protests and rallies. In this respect, their innovation and resourcefulness is beyond compare.

But the larger question remains: are any of the organisations working for the students, or has their functioning been overcome by their self-interest and blinded by lofty goals of perhaps being a part of the ‘real deal’?

But what is the real deal now, apart from the “glorious” past that DUSU holds? Since 2019, DUSU elections have not been held and even for this year as I type this out, there is no clarity or instruction about them. For a Student’s Union that has not seen elections in the past three years, to term this period as worthy of congratulations to the DU fraternity is a disaster in itself that reflects what sort of bizarreness surrounds DU politics today. At nearly every step the recommendations of the Lyngdoh committee (set up by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) in 2006 as per the direction of the Supreme Court to reform students’ union elections and to get rid of money and muscle power in student politics), are sidelined. Even a short conversation with those batches who have witnessed the famous DU elections is enough to know the huge amounts spent to buy students’ votes with freebies.

Every party in this arena carries its burden of faults. With major players being invisible throughout the year, some parties have engaged themselves in constant show politics. earning a name for themselves as “far protestors”. Be it any event or protest, you are most likely to see the same faces appearing everywhere, carrying faulty lies around.

But what’s the real issue here? Are parties facing problems in mobilising the students of DU? Or has its flame died down? Maybe it has just become a mere shell of what it used to be with constant clamping down on dissent at the college level. Though efforts by left parties in the form of reading circles can’t be ignored, ABVP too has attempted to mobilise students. But the fault of parties lies majorly in being unable to maintain a connection with the students. Even with these events and attempts to get closer to the students’ community, student parties cling to rigid ideologies rather than adapting to the circumstances, often barring those without political influence from engaging in what remains of student politics at the university. Indiscriminate fights and beatings do the rest of the work of turning students away from politics, with only 39% voting recorded in the last elections.

One of the biggest shortcomings of the DUSU is the exclusion of various colleges, especially ‘women’s colleges’, whose students have been visibly political in their stance. The absence of political presence on these campuses is clear exclusion by the administration and the silence of student parties over this issue makes clear their lack of concern over diverse representation in their parties, which is often stressed upon by them to win brownie points.

With fringe protests occurring only for some matters chosen specifically to grab as much attention as possible, the majority of student issues largely remain ignored. So, it is the right time to question what is being done of the legacy DUSU had in the name of power and politics and, more importantly, to start a conscious and organised movement to politicise (or rather, repoliticise) DUites.


Image Credits: Times of India

Ankita Baidya

[email protected]

Kashish Shivani

[email protected]


In such times of political turmoil, its easy to feel that everyone is divided into two opposite camps.With friends having opposite and clashing political ideologies, How are many students dealing with this?

The second term of the BJP Government has brought with it many divisive decisions , which have been open to debate and dissent. The country erupted in widespread dissent against the CAA-NRC-NPR, with many feeling that the act was unconstitutional and blatantly islamophobic with many common citizens taking to the streets to express their dissent on a daily basis, a lot of which is brutally repressed by state controlled machinery. On the other side of the spectrum, many supporters of the BJP and their ideology believe that the act is for the betterment of the country, and those protesting are simply disrupting law and order.

While It is easy to see this in a simple black and white spectrum, it is definitely not so. With many choosing to remain apolitical or without a firm stance. Faizan Salik, a second year student from Jamia Millia Islamia, a University that turned into a warzone by the Delhi Police in December, believes that being apolitical is rooted in privilege and debate is the way forward. He says “ Political Apathy is a really considerate commitment, in modern geopolitical warfare where politics has deep roots in shaping major decisions of life, remaining apolitical Or inconsiderate can just be a staunch pedestal to showcase your privilege. It’s entirely subjective on individual, but when opinions differ, I would personally like to engage in a debate & discussion to let others understand each other’s scope and if I am wrong it would help me to clear my stance. Clouded ideologies are only a way to commotion and stupidity.”

The idea of trying to be open to other ideologies is also not lost among some who identify with the political right. Samaksh Sharma, a second year student from  DU says “ There is a stereotype within the left that those from the right wing are blind supporters of Modi and all his policies and are not open for debate. While this might be true for some, I personally try to keep myself open and don’t see the sense in losing close friends over politics. One of my closest friends is actively protesting against CAA and police violence and I still speak to him everyday and we debate sometimes. While I am very neutral when it comes to the CAA, I believe that the Supreme Court should strike it down, as its introduction has only harmed the country.”

It is evident that some people are receptive and open to debate however that might not be the case always. When one is staunch and adamant in their thinking and ideology and is not receptive to facts or theoretical reasoning, the author feels that it is best in this case to minimise contact in such cases. One’s mental health should be prioritized in such times of turmoil, and sometimes it is best to avoid those who disregard, admonish, and demonize our point of view.

Prabhanu Kumar Das

[email protected]

 Feature Image Credits: Aditi Gutgutia for DU Beat

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’)

This article talks about the political environment and our stake in it.

The 2019 elections are one of the most anticipated and crucial elections for our country. The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power by making use of the failures of Indian National Congress (INC), and by using the ‘Modi wave’ to raise hopes of growth in a developing country like India. But in its term, the BJP has also hit several lows. As students, the important question to ask remains- what is the position of the youth in such a political scenario?

This will be the first-time some students presently in college will get to vote. With the current political environment and the youth comprising a huge part of our population, of which college students form an important part, it becomes essential for us to become aware of the power we hold. We must make efforts to learn what have been the promises made and the promises kept, to be able to critique the wrong-doings, and to learn from our decisions. The tag of ‘millennials’ stands for several values but it also includes the idea of being liberal, taking one’s own decisions, standing for justice and rights, and challenging the prevalent archaic thinking.  But if we do not act upon these values, they simply remain tokenistic.

Indian polity works more on leaders and the image they create; this election Modi becomes our most obvious contender. With this, the focus should not just be on the achievements of this government but also on the big blunders such as Demonetization and the questionable Rafale deal. The latter is seen to be becoming a rallying point for the INC, but scams on both sides, as it tries to suggest, should not be a metric for Congress to win the elections rather than re-analyse the party’s own policies.  While it has recaptured important states like Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh, a pattern of elections we should break is winning on the blunders of the most popular party. Mistakes by others does not guarantee no mistakes of our own.

Furthermore, unfortunately, what also wins elections is the culture of cult figures. It is for us to decide to not get swayed by charismatic and powerful speeches by any party leader, to try to remove these biases, and to look beyond these to see where “achhe din” truly lie.

In these elections, the regional parties play a major role as well, and can prove to be tough competition to these national parties. It therefore becomes pertinent to not lose sight of Mayawati’s Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP), Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party (SP), Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress (TNC), CPI, CPM, Aam Aadmi Party, PDP, JDU, DMK, Asom Gana Parishad among several others.

These past few months, several important judgements have been passed, with regards to the Section 377, Adultery and Aadhar, which have been in sync with the public sentiment and speak volumes about how the Indian society is ready to move forward. We need to no longer restrict our influence on the sidelines but take the center stage. With this, hopefully, at the end of the next term, the scenario will no longer remain in a turmoil.

Image Credits: DU Beat

Shivani Dadhwal

[email protected]

Those in power and those fighting for it have made headlines this year, some for very controversial reasons. With the whole world eagerly anticipating the American Presidential election in 2016, it has been an eventful year for the electorate that’s watching the potential candidates. The elections that have taken place in 2015, both in India as well as abroad, will have long lasting impacts on politics in the years to come.

International Politics

  1. US Presidential Election candidates

As the world watches with bated breath, the potential party candidates for American President have been battling it out, trying to swing public support in their favour. Business tycoon and probable Republican party candidate, Donald Trump, leads with the highest support base, according to public opinion polls. His support base has risen from 27 percent of the Republican voters in October, to a whopping 41 percent in December. In the wake of shootings at San Bernadino in December, Trump courted controversy when he proposed a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States till better security measures are implemented. This suggestion only served to enhance his growing support-Republican voters were seen to be in favour of his idea, though it garnered flak from all quarters globally. A petition on the British Government’s website, seeking to ban Trump from the UK, has gathered over 500,000 signatures.

Political 4
Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders | Source: theodysseyonline.com

Meanwhile, former Vermont Senator, Bernie Sanders, and former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton are vying for the Democratic party nomination. According to polls, Sanders lags Clinton by close to 25 points. Bernie Sanders and Trump have been on a collision course over their disparate views on economic policies, and other issues of national and international issues, with Sanders holding a more liberal, progressive viewpoint.

  1. UK General Election, May 7

For the first time since 1992, a Conservative Party majority government, with a working majority of 12, was elected in 2015, with David Cameron securing a second term as Prime Minister. The Labour party with Ed Miliband at the helm came a close second in terms of votes. The Liberal Democrats, who had governed in coalition with the Conservatives since 2010, suffered their worst defeat since the 1970 elections.

political 5
David Cameron | Source : www.telegraph.co.uk
  1. Referendum in Greece, July 5

The European Commission, International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank jointly proposed certain bailout conditions on Greece, according to which, certain fiscal reforms would have to be implemented by the debt-ridden country, in consultation with the IMF, EC and ECB. A referendum, the first since 1974, was held to decide if these conditions were to be accepted. The public (over 61 percent) voted a clear no.

  1. Myanmar elections, November 8

The National League for Democracy, led by Aung San Suu Kyi, secured an absolute majority in the national parliament. The 2015 general elections were the first openly contested elections since 1990. The Union Solidarity and Development Party which has a strong military backing, with Thein Stein as President, had been ruling since 2010. The NLD’s victory marked a complete overthrow of the vestiges of the military rule that Myanmar had previously experienced till 2010.

Political 6
Suu Kyi | Source: www.storypick.com

Though the NLD won the elections, its leader, Suu Kyi is barred from holding the position of President according to the constitution since both her children are British citizens. The President will be chosen indirectly by the NLD dominated Legislature by March 2016.

National Politics

  1. Delhi Assembly Elections, February 7

The underdog, the Aam Aadmi Party, made history when it secured an absolute majority, winning 67 out of 70 seats, trumping the political heavyweights-the Congress and BJP. Arvind Kejriwal assumed office for the second time as Delhi’s CM, having resigned  after 49 days in office in 2014, due to issues over the Jan Lokpal Bill. Kejriwal is currently engaged in a spat with the BJP over allegations that Arun Jaitley was involved in certain irregularities, during his term as DDCA chief.

Political 1
Arvind Kejriwal | Source: www.zeenews.india.com
  1. Bihar Legislative Assembly Elections, October 12-November 5

The Bihar elections were a face off between the ‘Mahagatabandhan’ (an alliance between the JDU, led by Nitish Kumar in Bihar, and RJD, led by Lalu Prasad Yadav, supported by the Indian National Congress) and the BJP led NDA. The RJD won the highest number of seats (80) with the JDU coming a close second with 71. Nitish Kumar secured his third term as CM with the 2015 elections. The elections were a landslide victory for the alliance, as it trumped the NDA and BJP’s victory in the 2014 general elections, indicating that public opinion might have swung against Modi.

Political 2
Nitish Kumar | Source: www.indianexpress.com
  1. Narendra Modi’s foreign visits

During his tenure in office, PM Narendra Modi has made several international trips and met with leaders of various countries, in the interest of foreign policy and bilateral relations. Modi’s visit to the UAE in August was the first by an Indian PM in 34 years. He also became the first Indian PM to visit Mongolia in May. During his international visits, Modi sought the support of the leaders of several countries for India’s permanent membership in the UNSC.

Political 3
Modi with Nawaz Sharif | Source: www.bbc.com

On December 25, Modi made a sudden, impromptu visit to Lahore and met his Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz Sharif. His ‘surprise,’ unannounced visit was seen globally as a sign of good will and improving relations between the two nations which have historically been at loggerheads.