The Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) elections are going to be held on September 9. Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), student wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has dominated the elections for the past two years, winning all four posts in the central panel. National Students Union of India (NSUI), the student wing of the Congress is hoping to make a comeback and the All India Students Association (AISA), a reckoning force in the politics of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) is trying to gain an entry in DUSU as well.
I spoke to Nikhil Yadav, National Students Union of India’s presidential candidate. He was with the ABVP before he left to join his current party towards the end of last year. He is a first year LLB student from the Faculty of Law, North Campus, Delhi University.
Why should people vote for your party and you as an individual?
People in the university get an average of 90% marks. The representative of such students should at least come close to scoring around that much. I got admission in Kirori Mal college in 2012 in B A(Hons) Geography. I’m currently a student of Campus Law Centre, Faculty of Law, University of Delhi. I got 97% in class XII.
For the past three years our party has not been in power. When we were in power there used to be 20 special buses for University students and now we are left with only two. Number of students have also increased.We have released a separate manifesto for the North- East where we are demanding the construction of new hostels for the North Eastern students and a cultural centre dedicated to them.We have also released a separate manifesto for girls called Priyadarshini. We plan to install separate CCTV cameras outside every college for girl’s safety and a helpline number for girl students from Delhi University. We will also provide sanitary napkins at subsidised rates. For this, we will ask the Vice- Chancellor and the university to provide wending machines throughout colleges. We will also ask for a lady constable to be deployed at every college.
There has been a 55% budget cut in higher education. We can link this with ABVP being the student wing of the BJP.
But if NSUI does come to power in the DUSU elections, how will they increase the upcoming budget in the education? Only Central government has the power to do that.
We can force them, we can push them. We have the authority. We’ll be sitting in the DUSU council. So, obviously they will have to hear us.
Why did you initially choose to be a part of were you in ABVP till last year? What was the reason behind you leaving the party?
Everyone is new, influenced by friends and has no idea what the politics of DUSU is all about. After 3-4 years one understands exactly what each party is doing.
They don’t practice the principles that they preach. In their workshops they talk about how casteism shouldn’t exist, no discrimination should take place on the basis of religion or the region one comes from. But you know how all of this happens in the organisation.
They keep on chanting slogans of nationalism. They’re fighting university elections on the agenda of nationalism. This is an election for the university. There are university, college and campus issues. Will nationalism matter more for a first year student or problems related to functioning of auditoriums, water supply and proper working of fans in his college? As far as nationalism is concerned, anyone born in India is an Indian. Who has made them the gatekeepers of nationalism?
When you were in ABVP last year you had defended the organisation’s protest against the screening of the film Muzaffarnagar Baaki Hai in Kirori Mal College, which was eventually not shown. Do you regret doing that? Would you have any issues if someone wants to screen Muzaffarnagar Baaki Hai in Delhi University now?
Yes. I do regret it, there was peer pressure and not much maturity in me. No. I won’t have any problem. I hadn’t even seen it last time and didn’t know what it was all about.