By Azra Qaisar:
Posters across the walls, slogans of campaigns all around, and political parties doing rounds – that’s when you know it is that time of the year. The Delhi University Student Union elections are less than a week away. Apart from the usual parties – ABVP, AISA, NSUI, this year the debutante CYSS of Aam Admi Party would also be joining in.
For most students, DUSU elections don’t make much of a difference. Each college has its own union with its own set of representatives. DUSU elections are nothing but a time of the year when there’s pollution all around – noise, land and of course, of ideas. However, in spite of all the problems that elections bring with them, it remains important (for those who can) to participate in the electoral process.
Why should I vote? What is it to me? Why should I concern myself? All this is heavily politicised.
Indeed, the University of Delhi elections are political – not just by virtue of being a process of choosing representatives but also by the involvement of national level parties in it. If you vote for a candidate, you are not just voting for them but also for an ideology that they stand for. In this case, the ideology is also of a national level political party. You may not agree with a certain view and may see it as extremely regressive, so in order for that perspective to not be the one that gets to rule, you need to cast your vote.
It is important to get your voice heard. The same philosophy that applies to legislative elections applies here – your vote counts. The other important fact is that as a student in a university, you are a part of the larger community of students. There are decisions to be taken and dissent to be shown. A student union, ideally, can do that. It is a body elected by the students to address their issues. In 2014, in the FYUP row, DUSU played an important role in the removal of the system. This year CBCS remains an important matter and if DUSU picks it up, the issue would get more mileage than it is currently getting. You may not agree with their methods (or even the outcome), but the fact of the matter is that their actions will affect you directly or indirectly. So better go out and vote, and do your bit to ensure that a certain way of thinking doesn’t run the university.
DUSU as a political body can impart considerable influence. This year most candidates are targeting women’s safety as an important issue. What could also be helpful here, would be if they took up discriminatory hostel norms for men and women. Also, if regulation of rent and paying guest accommodation is taken more seriously, it will be in the interest of the students. In order for DUSU to take these issues up, it is important to vote for an ideology that is open to such changes and allows room to break away from the current norms.
Ideology is an important background to keep in mind while voting. You may think you are not involved in politics because these seem to be murky waters. Well, here’s the thing- choosing note to vote is also a political stand. Being apolitical is political too.