The results of the recently held Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) elections are being widely discussed. To understand these results, realistic — and not convenient — analysis is the need of the hour. One cannot carry out a realistic analysis without actually understanding the nature and working of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). The ABVP is not merely an organisation of an election season. It represents a continuous stream which is associated with the aspirations of the students and youth of this country. Of course, victory or defeat in students’ union elections is important, but the politics of students’ unions are flexible and experimental, which is its salient feature and a source of strength. One should be neither over-excited nor too disappointed with the electoral aspect. Yes, analysis of results and introspection is crucial and that will be done for these polls too.
Development, prosperity, no compromise on the unity and integrity of the country and national security, as well as strengthening the nation and democratic values, constitute the aspirations of the youth today. The ABVP actively stands with the students on every front but is always open to analysis whenever the student community feels there is a gap on these counts.
If the National Student’s Union of India‘s (NSUI) victory had the political meaning being portrayed by a section of the intelligentsia, or if the speeches of their “young leader” had such impact, then that should have been visible in universities in Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and even in JNU. By portraying the ABVP’s commendable act of opposing anti-India slogans by communists in Ramjas College as “violence”, some people are trying to build a positive narrative for anti-national, violent Maoism. If the common students of Delhi University did not support the ABVP’s struggle against these Maoist apologists, one of the leaders of that struggle, Mahamedha Nagar, would not have received the highest votes among all the candidates. Sometimes, students may be aggressive while agitating as they are young but any analysis of their aggression should consider its reason, circumstances in which it is expressed and their urge for truth and justice.
While the ABVP’s strategy for DUSU is formulated by its Delhi unit, the top brass of the Congress gets directly involved. Despite this, ABVP candidates have performed well. Of course, the ABVP takes the responsibility for the losses, our Delhi Unit will introspect and will study criticism from all corners. I feel Congress leaders should not make DU or other universities an unethical battleground by using dummy candidates and other cheap tactics just to please their “young leader”. Instead, they should consider improving their policies and practices if they actually wish to improve the standing of their leader and party.
Today’s students are active, want to see a change in the country and wish to become a part of this change. They believe in an independent analysis of the political scenario and issues of national importance. Keeping all their prejudices aside, they wish to do a realistic estimation of issues. So, they wish transparency in all aspects of public life, something that constitutes the larger, future goal of the ABVP.
In the world of social media, students wish to engage in debate and discussions. DU should ensure that a system of intellectual interaction between student leaders and the voters is maintained so that the importance of issues is enhanced in these elections. The Congress is celebrating the NSUI’s marginal win in DUSU this year like a drowning man clutching at straws. After losing nearly every election in the country in the last three years, the level of anxiety and desperation to win DUSU elections is evident as a former minister himself appeared for a NSUI candidate in court when his nomination was cancelled by the election committee.
The defeat of the ABVP’s presidential candidate was the result of an electoral miscalculation. We accept it and take it as a message for us to work even harder. To view it as the ABVP’s ideological defeat or the Congress’s ideological victory is an exaggeration. The Congress should wake up from its slumber and stop dreaming too much. It is immature to take this victory as an approval of its culture of dynasty politics, corruption, nepotism and ideological opportunism, all of which are strongly opposed by the student community.