It is a well-known fact that students contest in elections to possess the ability to drive change. It provides the students with a sense of satisfaction and power. But now, student elections in Delhi have become violent and ugly.
Student politics in Delhi has generally been caste-based. Mostly the Jat, Gurjar or Yadav candidates have been a part of these elections.
For political purposes, castes have been divided into the main categories like forwarding castes, other backward classes, scheduled castes, and scheduled tribes.
How are the student elections scary?
The student bodies in Delhi have managed to portray a negative image of student elections.
For starters, the incident in Ramjas not only involved beating people or pelting stones but also harassing women with rape threats. Even female students were brutally beaten up and humiliated.
Students in DU, especially female students, who took part in the campaign against these political parties were bullied and trolled on various social media platforms.
The students had a protest march against these student bodies due to the increasing rate of violence during elections.
During the 2018 elections, college property was damaged by the students of political bodies at one of the colleges in Delhi University.
The college principal claimed, “I don’t know how it started, but I was shocked to hear the commotion. They vandalized college property, broke chairs and threw flower pots. It was the political activists who beat up students; they even hit girls and staff.”
Out of 22 women colleges in DU, only five colleges participated in the elections. It basically means that almost 80% of DU’s women students didn’t cast their vote. The reasons why students don’t want to participate include violence, rape threats, and harassment.
“Arre madam, le lo parcha,” this is often the sentence one tends to hear whenever women enter their respective colleges. What evokes the feeling of fear among women outside their colleges is the tone in which these sentences are spoken.
At this time the safety of women tends to be the biggest agenda for these student bodies. But this clearly is not evident while such bodies are conducting their election campaigning.
During the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) elections this year, students broke the window panes of the counting center. They also injured a few students who tried to resist the attempt.
“On Sunday afternoon, the election results were announced. Unfortunately, some miscreants with the intent of creating unrest in the campus mobilized some student groups and started physical violence on innocent students. Many students, including some physically challenged ones, were beaten up”, said the administration of the university.
The Gol Gumbad near Nizamuddin, signboards at North Campus, walls of the Moolchand flyover, and the markets in South Delhi were vandalized due to the election campaigns this year.
Even the residents of South Delhi have witnessed a dirty clash between supporters of political parties this year. They were trying to put up posters near the walls of South Campus.
The authorities have clearly not been able to control the violence
In 2012, the Delhi University’s election commission reduced the size of a contestant’s retinue to only four members. The student bodies saw this as an attempt to weaken the student’s movement.
During the 2018 elections, the High Court had warned the student bodies that they might have to go to jail if they were found defacing public property.
The authorities have not taken any action for the safety of women and other women issues. Women prefer staying indoors during these elections.
The Internal Complaint Committee (ICC) has been formed to prevent sexual violence against women studying in colleges. It is said that this committee is just on paper as they don’t really solve any problems.
It’s sad that these student elections are no longer about the drive to bring a change but to incite violence and scare people without power.
Image Credits: Google Images