ALMOST all students have gone to their homes in this summer vacation but those who are still in PU can feel the hot torrent of student politics. This politics appears hotter than the June-July heat waves. All parties’ workers are very hard working and busy in serving students who are coming for entrance tests and counseling.
We ESYA would like to make students aware about campus political scenario that they would be missing in their homes. Many things have been changing in student politics for last one year. New issues with new strategies have been placed among party-workers and students. New divisions of leadership have emerged in different student organizations. Whatever changes took place, but the spirit to serve the fresher students and their parents is still alive in all student parties. No doubt, restricting the provision of help-desk created the troubles among fresher and aspirants but the student’s associations/organizations compensated everything with more responsibility.
ESYA has tried to observe deeply all changing dynamics of work style and organizational structure of every student group. Now we will present step by step review of major student parties which will help leadership as well as voter to act upon.
NSUI (student wing of Indian national congress party)–Everybody knows that NSUI has been winning presidential post in student council for last two years. In 2013, this organization/union had won by huge margin but in the last year the charisma of big leaders Dalvir Goldy and Barinder Dhillon etc hardly escaped NSUI to get insulted, by winning presidential post with merely 60-70 votes. This shows the declining image of NSUI. It is bitter truth that two year continuous power orientation raised the ego level of NSUI leaders which led to emerge many power-centers within in party.
No doubt NSUI performed various welfare tasks like removing restriction on celebration of Holi in campus touching the issue of gender equality, celebration of International Women Day, organizing VIMARSH and many entertainment occasions.
But out of sudden, NSUI’s president Mr. Himanshu Budhiraja came as avtar of Mr. Kejriwal by addressing the issue of corruption against Management especially DSW. But he did the same that ex-PM Manmohan Singh have done by inventing RTI Act (2005) which meaningfully exposed the corruption cases in congress regime. This became the major reason for defeat of congress party in Lok-Sabha election (2014). Budhiraja sat on “Dharna” accusing the DSW for corruption in hostel funds etc and fought for transparency in use of funds. But it is very unfortunate that when all students got convinced with his struggle and issue, he had taken the whole struggle back without giving any justification to students. It has created a wide gap between party and student masses. His ‘transparency struggle’ finally maligned the image of NSUI and created doubt in the students on the character of NSUI leadership. Also this struggle was the moment when the contradictions within lower and upper NSUI leadership and formation of various power-centers came on surface. It is also very obvious that one of the major reasons of NSUI fragmentation is regional contradictions (Punjab vs Himachal). Everyone can clearly observe NSUI is suffering like Punjab Congress party.
Because of this episode, NSUI has disappeared among freshers and has become absent in PU politics till date. It reveals that NSUI has failed to serve students giving up the basic spirit of student politics. Also it is very unfortunate that PU- NSUI is too immature to address many issues like Lalit-Gate, Viyapam scam, atrocities against Dalits, Communal violence in BJP regime etc to express the Congress party-line whereas NSUI- Delhi leadership is very active and mature in comparison to NSUI-PU.
Inspite of all these flaws and drawbacks, NSUI has vast experience and strong history to overcome these problems and take challenge in this tough situation. Now it is matter of much excitement how NSUI leadership would overcome the crisis in party!
SOI (Student wing, Akali-Dal Badal)–SOI was the main opponent to NSUI for presidential post in last year campus election. Often, Badal politics has been accused of indulging Punjab youth in alcoholism and synthetic drugs to assist the business Drug-mafia. Hence to clean Party image, CM Badal has been making strategy to woo youth of Punjab and want to stop the march of very enthusiastic, honest, charismatic and brave youth leader M.P. Mr. Bhagwant Mann who has boldly exposed the cheap Badal’s mafia politics expressing the real essence of Sikhism. SOI’s strong effort in PU is one of the reflection this very strategy of Badal politics.
Whatever national political scenario may be, despite that SOI’s main leadership Mr. Vicky Middukhera seems much focused since last session has ended. He did not attempt to address the demands of students or campus but applied “Move to masses” strategy. He has been among workers during all duties and functions which has inspired many young students and party workers. Navi, Meet Jattana and many other are new young faces who are giving service to students in these hot days. And it is worth to mention that SOI leadership is more humble and polite than NSUI leadership.
It is believed that the old SOI leadership was suffering from group-ism. And it is very common notion in student leaders that SOI is not exposing its panel posts fearing the break down within party. It seems that SOI is worried about the same problem that BJP/NDA is facing in coming Bihar Assembly election.
Last time, SOI did unprincipled alliance with INSO leaving its natural ally ABVP alone. Perhaps, it is expected that SOI cannot make alliance with INSO because INSO is being weak in PU. The shameful assembly election (2014) defeat of INLD party (Chauttala politics) made INSO (student wing, Indian National Lok Dal, INLD) very fragile and poor. Note that, this INLD party was one who reduced Janta Parivar & Smajwadi line to JAAT Politics raising the atrocities against Dalits and women in Haryana.
Now, it is to observe how SOI party overcomes the dissent in Punjabi youth against hollow AKALI DAL BADAL politics to clean the Mafia like image of Badal politics. We wish that SOI leadership would question the very line of Akali Dal Badal. We wish that SOI leadership will pressurize the Akali party to think upon the serious issue of development of Punjab, to leave the cheap right wing politics based of identity and community on the name of sacred Sikhism, if SOI win the campus election and go to higher leadership in Akali politics.
YOI is a Punjabi group which begins with its campaign on the serious Drug issue in Punjab through a play on Student center doing a political satire on ruling Badal party. But YOI has lost its enthusiasm very soon and reduced to just propaganda while distributing Helpline leaflets. And no activist of YOI has been seen physically on ground.
PUSU (No political party line)-It is an open fact that PUSU is the first party which establish the Student Politics in campus since 1977 and create a very space of campus democracy. Every conscious and aware student knows the services and dedication of PUSU party workers and leaders. This party is very active in almost every struggle for campus development and student demands. This party has done abundant work in the issue of hostel WiFi, common room needs, girls hostel timings, library, campus infrastructure, fee hike etc. In continuation to its work, PUSU is very active in these days of counseling and entrance. But PUSU lacks in organized propaganda in comparison to its organized working. PUSU leadership and workers do well in field but get failed in reaching to students for the credit of their work.
It is well known fact that PUSU is much popular in Girl students. And this party is only single strong party having female leadership. Also PUSU is much revered in Sciences deptts. Irrespective of its neutral image it is also prevailing fact that PUSU is not a multi-cultural group but a Punjab oriented group. In last election this party did alliance with HSA to maintain the image of neutral and multi-cultural harmony.
Now days, Mr. Naval Deep is main incharge in PUSU. No doubt he is only single dominating face who is ever seen in forefront but it is believed that party is strategically working under cover. Also it is preached that PUSU is using this strategy to avoid drainage of leaders to SOI party. Hence it is clear that the party has not announced presidential candidate. This shows that it is very difficult to survive as neutral group when mainstream political national parties’ student organ embraced the whole campus.
HSA (No political party line)-HSA is one of the dedicated group in the service to students. This association has always struggled for student welfare, whether be it the issue of fee hikes, library timings, outsider and eve-teasing or any injustice. HSA is one who has taken initiative to form a collective platform against fee hike. HSA is fully devotee to MAY I HELP YOU campaign. Like PUSU, HSA also lacks in propagating their works and achievements to students. All student associations blamed HSA as Haryana based group. But HSA seems very self-critical and flexible association which rapidly has been trying to change perceptions about it. Last year leadership especially Mr. Vishal Sharma consciously changed the work style and attitude of party cleaning the image of overall party. Present leadership came into hands of Krishan Sheoran and Neeraj Kharab who are very dearly working in the service to students. They are very good organizers as they successfully gather the scattered old leadership under the flag of HSA.
It is an open secret that Dr. Jaideep is an epicenter of campus politics. He is one of the most experienced personalities in whole political environment of campus. In any occasion of PU where joint activity is projected he is appointed main decisive leader of that event whether be it seminar, Joint Student Action Committee or PURSA. No doubt he is known for his generous advice to all parties leaders but now he is formal member in advisory committee of HSA. This is a big shot for new leadership of HSA.
All HSA leader and cadre are very humble, hardworking and sharp learners. Recently HSA held protest and dharna at Student Center to address various demands related to outsiders, girl security etc. HSA had a constructive map for above issue and finally HSA won the struggle. We ESYA observe that this is single association which has a unique constructive road-map for the advancement of campus issues like gender equality, parking, library, academics, infrastructure and SC/ST or EWS scholarship.
It is our strange experience about HSA that this is only association which is somewhat vocal on national issues like communalism, NET neutrality, International Women Day without having any mainstream political party line. Recently HSA tried to criticize communalism with its own arguments while condemning SFS and RSS –which are thoroughly anti-democratic, extreme/anti-national, caste-ist and feudal forces.
Also it is supposed that the declining of INSO will favour the HSA group. Moreover, this party does not have many power centers which make it stronger. It is expected that this party will be decisive in victory of student panel. It seems that any other party that will make alliance with HSA or to whom HSA gives its support will win, if this party carries its present enthusiasm till September.
ASA (Student wing, BSP)-ASA is a group of SC students. Obviously, ASA is out of scene in campaign MAY I HELP YOU till now. But ASA will definitely come out for serving SC student during counseling. ASA is known as ‘non-political group’ according to their members. It is well intentioned approach of ASA to work for scholarship issues. They have served very genuinely to poor SC students for scholarship issues. Hence ASA has certain fix vote base, though ASA do not participate directly in student election.
It is a common opinion in political student groups that ASA settled this SC vote base in favour of SFS during last campus election. ASA’s leadership was mainly in hands the Punjab dominated people. Hence they asked their SC voters to give votes to SFS (a leftist party). Moreover, present ASA leadership is Haryana based which seems to assure that unlike old leadership this time ASA will not vote to typical Punjabi group SFS.
No doubt previous ASA leadership (ex-President Gurdeep Singh) had claimed to be Ambedkarites but they had never read Ambedkar’s thought on Leftism/Marxism. But now ASA leadership is under Mr. Vijay Kumar (president ASA) who would perhaps know the ideological difference between Ambedkar’s Buddhism and violence. Therefore, PU dalit students can expect from ASA’s present leadership that they will be represented by direct/open support to any democratic and progressive party.
ASA always takes good initiative on the eve of Ambedkar’s birth or death anniversary as a custom of seminar. But recently the SFS’s own separate seminar ‘Annihilation of Caste’ has made ASA clear that SFS’s class annihilation line wants to hijack the ASA’s Annihilation of Caste. Hence ASA will try to understand this ideological gap between both. [Note that, it does not mean that anyone cannot celebrate Ambedkar’s anniversaries with different manner].
SFS (A petty left party with extreme tendencies): – SFS has entered in student election from last year clarifying its own dilemma on Lyngdhoh issue. SFS got considerable amount of votes on the name of female presidential candidate. Now, SFS has also initially started to partake in MAY I HELP YOU campaign.
It is popular view among student parties/unions and common students that SFS had always taken very violent and extreme position on social media, during public debates, protests and discussions especially on Naxals/terrorists/internal security issues. SFS’s this attitude has exposed its mask of neutral organization whereas last year SFS was successful to hide its extremist/leftist face.
SFS may be as much as adamant or extremist, but today SFS will easily accept the truth that whole year SFS was not found on Big Dharna or protest against management. The major reason of not doing Dharna seems that SFS fears to create same situation that it did previously- by abusing and hitting constables, SFS leaders had provoked police to do lathicharge on them. And also Police registered many cases against them including molestation of female constable.
But now days, it seems that SFS’s ‘revolutionary soul’ has been escaping from the Black-magic of Chandigarh police for one year. On the contrary, many views are claiming that SFS do not worry about student welfare rather it wants to use electoral sorcery to have special privilege in student council. In this light, SFS is just targeting specific areas like girls, research scholars and engineering students for vote base. SFS has tried to impress the PURSA’s scholars so that it can use the influence of Ph.D. scholars for vote bank. It has also exploited the assistance of PAF (people artist forum, cultural wing of SFS) to attract students by projecting themselves as pro-people and follower of Shaheed Bhagat Singh.
In the absence of AAP student wing in PU, SFS wants to take advantage of democratic AAP politics by showing themselves in poor dresses and strange dress codes but everybody knows that their reality lives in big houses, many acres land or money -lending private shops. SFS has to hide its violent ideology, party-line and extreme leftist attitude, if it wants a respectful defeat or victory.
ABVP (student wing BJP)- ABVP could not find any space in advanced PU campus because some very backward and conservative attitude in their ideological line. Communal and anti-women statements of RSS leaders and Sadhvis or M.Ps have made BJP face most hatred among civil society. Hence it is very difficult for ABVP to raise its stature in advanced campus of PU. Moreover BJP’s nationalism has been exposed among Indian people on the issue of Lalit-Gate, Viyapam scam, Pankaja Munde corruption case.
Identity politics in PU campus:- Like national political scenario, our PU campus is also full of identity politics whether its reflection may be in the form of regional, religious or on the basis of caste. Very interestingly in PU campus, the regional contradiction is main line along which whole political scenario can be divided. PUSU, SOI, NSUI and small group SFS are mainly Punjab dominated group whereas INSO, HSA and ASA is tagged as Haryana dominated group.
NSUI has very clear mindset to express itself as main sympathizer to Himachali students and use “Himachli topi” to woo their regional sentiments, though NSUI and HIMSU are suffering with internal contradiction. It is surprising fact that HIMSU and HPSU are two Himachal Pradesh’s student unions, both having orientation towards Indian National Congress.
Similarly the Punjabi Group like NSUI, SOI and PUSU are very expert to use “TURBAN” as identity to woo Sikh and Punjabi population. One month before the election their leaders are working without TURBAN and suddenly during campaign they would be seen with shining turban. And SFS is also a master of drama of catching ‘separatist sentiments’ of Sikhs and Punjabis by raising issue that Punjabi language is in danger. SFS seems to be anti-nation when they unnecessarily argue for support of separatist on the Kashmir issue. Actually it seems that SFS members do not have any philosophical problem but surely psychological problem since neither they know what to do with their so called ideology nor what to do in life.
YUWA is Bihar based “Modi” influenced group which came into existence with the rise of Modi era in 2014. But they seems very immature when YUWA does not have stand on MODI’s BJP which is main ally of SHIV SENA in Maharashtra who are accused of killing Bihar students in Maharashtra.
Campus TV- Campus TV is main estate of Campus Democracy which raises the voice of voiceless students and good platform for spreading information in campus. Campus TV is team of 5-6 students. Taran Dhillon and Vikas Kinha are two most daring and hardworking members of Campus TV who cover all events in PU. ESYA thanks to these brave and selfless persons for their services.
ESYA appeals all students to give their vote for strength of campus democracy. And also request PU authorities to assure fair election and security.
By – Vikramjeet Vick (President ESYA)