By Anzala Riyaz:
It was a devastating loss for Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) when the Students Union Election, which was initially intended to be held on September 26, had been cancelled.
Amidst an intense atmosphere and trickling warm sweat, the candidates went through with a ‘dharna’ in light of the illegal cessation, though a conclusion over the Vice Chancellor’s verdict and the protest by students had by then not yet been taken up.
As campus floored and rose with campaigning colors, the cessation silenced the roads swathed with dense waft.
Blogs, clubs and meetings crowded around amidst this dramatic halt to the future of AMU’s session.
The reason though appeared to be vague to various students, Lt Gen Zameer Uddin Shah, VC, and AMU Spokesperson Rahat Abrar spoke otherwise. In a diplomatic dialogue, both had then appeared to have given their consent to the cancellation.
There was a mixture of high-flying opinions, the days that followed.
The same dhabas, the ‘jaan‘ (life) of collaborative discussions, had become ‘addas‘ (hubs) for protests.
Amidst the news and current statements of the administration, no one questioned the black air that students battled. I took a close look at those whacked papers on which “Vote for me” was printed and written in most of the ink and color that one could think of.
I took a moment to reflect. Neither did I consider the students being right on their part, nor did I consider that of the VC’s. Rather, I conceived the incumbent situation how every candidate who must have worked all night to prepare that 300-500 word speech, that portfolio, those post-election programmes and even those, who would have spent their nights after studying, to put in the vibrant colors in campaigning-sheets, must have felt like. Needless to say, I felt appalled.
It wasn’t just me who felt appalled. In this survey that I conducted around the campus, every 8 out of 10 students waited for re-schedule and that, they felt some lack of enthusiasm now after the cancellation of elections. The other 2, were either not interested in ‘politics’ as they mentioned or they simply had ‘fun’ to see the candidates being grounded to their very political identities. Though I could, in the lucid air, find the same people who do not vote excusing their ‘dislike’ towards ‘politics’.
The whole campus revolved around conclusion for some election date, until finally, to the relief of many, the date for voting, was scheduled for October 8 this year.
Though the students rekindled all their fervour, there could be felt some sense of ‘political diplomacy’ in the candidates themselves. Either on the state and centre level, or on this university level, there is a clear ideological diversification, where we have this ‘no vote’ ideology, ‘yes vote’ ideology, ‘yes change’ ideology and the ‘diplomatic’ ideology.
After all that has occurred this year, I hope that, for this year, the ‘yes vote’ and ‘yes change’ ideologies win.
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