While elections for Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU), scheduled for September 13, are still more than a month away, the campus is already abuzz with various student organisations campaigning for votes — holding demonstrations and membership drives.
The issues on which the DUSU elections will be contested, however, will see a slight change this year, with women’s safety and gender sensitivity being brought to the forefront.
“There was a lot of public anger following the December 16 gangrape and we had held a series of protests, several of them on campus. Now, we want to raise the issue of gender equality and sexual harassment in DUSU elections,” Sunny Kumar, Delhi State Secretary, All Indian Students’ Association (AISA), said.
Not just AISA, but leading student organisations such as National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) are also planning to raise the issue of women’s safety. “We have been working on the issue, trying to make the campus safer the last one year,” NSUI spokesperson Amrishranjan Pandey said.
Speaking of the growing demand for reservation of seats in DU colleges, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) State Secretary Rohit Chahal said, “We feel that DU is a central university and people from different parts of the country come here to study. While the Delhi government-run universities might may look at reservation for Delhi students, anyone with the requisite marks from any part of the country should be eligible for a seat in DU.”
The left-leaning organisations are planning to flag off issues regarding the four-year undergraduate programme, which was implemented by the university this year.
“When we meet students during campaigning, we will ask them to vote for or against the four-year programme,” Sunny Kumar said.
Meanwhile, mud-slinging between the two leading students organisations, NSUI and ABVP, has already begun. While NSUI-led DUSU held an inaugural event for rolling out University Special buses, ABVP has come down heavily on its rival party. Slamming NSUI and demanding “firm action against the NSUI-led DUSU for violating election norms” from the Election Commission, ABVP State Secretary Rohit Chahal said, “Why didn’t NSUI start U-special buses in the entire year when it was in power in DU? Today, as soon as elections were announced, NSUI has started misusing government machinery.”