Saturday, November 11, 2006

JNUSU Elections

The biggest festival of JNU-the Students' Union elections-formally concluded today in the morning. The one week that passed saw the entire campus having only one breath, that being the polls. The election saw the return of the SFI-AISF alliance to the Presidential post, something which proved elusive in the last two years. Comrade Dhananjay 's victory as the JNUSU President, along with Comrade Jyotsna being elected the Joint Secretary is another strong message that the SFI-AISF combine is definitely the force which has won the mass verdict of the student community. But the victory of the Ultra-Left AISA in the post of Vice-President and General Secretary-Tyler and Sandeep-also needs to be taken with a pinch of salt due to the sheer fact that this organization has always targetted the mainline Left, more than the Right-wing forces. In the posts for the Councillors for the different schools, though the SFI-AISF has maintained the convenorship in the three major schools namely the School of International Studies (where yours Truly has been re-elected as a Councillor), School of Social Sciences and the School of Language, Literature and Cultural Studies, there has been a drop in the number of seats won by the alliance, where the AISA has gained from the last year. While in SIS and SSS, the SFI-AISF won three posts and two posts being tied with the AISA, SLL&CS, saw a completely split mandate with the alliance winning two posts and rest being divided equally between the AISA, ABVP and NSUI.

However, these elections were fought majorly on the plank of 27% OBC Reservation, with the anti-reservation forces under the banner of the Youth For (In)Equality holding one end up. The Science schools in the campus where there was a record 90% polling, even when the overall polling in the university was 65%, the YFE emerged clearly with a lead of more than 250 votes in all the 4 posts of the central panel. This meant that, the SIS, SSS and SLL&CS were critical in pegging back the trail and ensuring leads for the pro-reservation forces. The rise of the YFE needs to be viewed with concern too, due to the fact that even in the major schools there were some 'disturbing trends'. The casteist forces who wanted to make the socially progressive campus of JNU like AIIMS where the students coming from the deprieved sections are ghettoized and treated like inferior mortals have been handed down a clear defeat by the democratic and progressive sections of the campus. This message emnating from JNU is a clear and strong signal to the casteist forces that their politics-of casteism-has been given a befitting reply by the JNU students. The YFE which is a elite formation, that has no concern for the students coming from the depreived backgrounds, had always tried to wear a mask of being pro-poor. But they have been utterly unmasked by the students with a clear clarion call that these forces need to now pack up their bags and leave the campus or else they would be thrown out by the progressive students.

This election also sends a clear message to the elitist bourgeois media, which had always fanned vast support for these forces combined with the corporate world. The Shiv Kheras and the Navjot Singh Sidhus also need to watch their steps while dealing with JNU where the students do not tolerate such unhealthy forces. The national media, particularly the electronic section had given great credence to these forces, even equating them , with the movie Rang De Basanti. The media which till date has not concentrated on any of the student movements in all over the country in general and in JNU in particular, has suddenly found the issue of reservation as something dangerous and against the peoples' interests. The JNU students movement, especially under the banner of the SFI-AISF for the construction of new hostels, institutionalizing GSCASH and Equal Opportunity Office, ensuring students' representation in the Academic Council and the Board of Studies and the latest struggle for ensuring financial assistance to all needy students have always been left out of the pages and visuals of the mainline media. The students' movement here ,which has also seen the SFI-AISF led JNUSUs waging relentless struggles against fee hikes, saffronization, commercialization and privatization; this is infact lined to the broader struggles waged outside this campus by the Left forces as well as other like-minded democratic and progresive sections. This mandate reaffirms that commitment to link the struggles in the campus with the struggles outside.

At the end of the day, when all the dust and din settles, the elections in JNU (which is conducted by the students themselves)-with JNU being the only university in Asia to do so-are a clear reflection of the fact that rather than the glamour and poshness of people, the issues of the students get a voice. The Election Committee of JNU needs to be congratulated for ensuring a peaceful, incident-free election. This JNU model reflects upon the committees like the one under Lyngdoh, which are out to place curbs on the democratization of the campuses across the country. It is only appropriate to say that "students' unity long live"!!

1 comment:

Srini said...

Lage Raho, Anand Bhai!. Congratulations on your victory..and keep up the progress.