JNU students’ body polls energised by colourful posters, ‘dafli’ beats, and catchy slogans

- March 19, 2024
| By : Patriot Bureau |

As the countdown to polling day ticks away, excitement mounts among students, particularly those participating in the elections for the first time

The administrative block of the Jawaharlal Nehru University

As campaigning for the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students’ body polls gains momentum, the campus is alive with vibrant posters and the rhythmic beats of traditional ‘daflis’, punctuated by catchy slogans.

After a hiatus of more than four years, the JNU students’ union polls are scheduled for March 22, with results expected on March 24.

As the countdown to polling day ticks away, excitement mounts among students, particularly those participating in the elections for the first time.

“This is my inaugural experience in the JNUSU elections, and I am thoroughly thrilled. Seniors have likened the atmosphere to that of wedding festivities,” remarked Shorya Sood, a PhD scholar living with cerebral palsy.

“I intend to support the party prioritizing the welfare of all students, regardless of ideological differences, and particularly advocating for persons with disabilities in their manifesto,” he added.

Student outfits are intensifying their efforts, conducting door-to-door campaigns to garner votes.

With election fervor gripping the university, numerous eateries on campus are bustling with activity, with students, candidates, and their supporters congregating for refreshments after a day of campaigning.

At the renowned Sabarmati Dhaba, animated discussions over tea have become customary, reminiscent of the 2020 JNU violence.

Dhruv Kumar, the dhaba’s proprietor, noted, “This election is unlike any other. There’s a palpable surge of energy and enthusiasm, given that it’s been four years since the last polls. Business is booming as students gather here daily post-campaigning.”

The United Left alliance, comprising the All India Students’ Association (AISA), Democratic Students’ Federation (DSF), Students’ Federation of India (SFI), and the All India Students’ Federation (AISF), aims to replicate its success from the 2019 polls.

“Left ideology has a rich history in JNU, advocating for student rights since its inception. Whether it’s women’s safety, fee hikes, scholarship cuts, or infrastructural issues, the Left has consistently championed student concerns,” affirmed Dhananjay, the United Left’s presidential candidate from AISA.

In contrast, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-affiliated Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) seeks to challenge the Left’s dominance, aspiring to establish a right-wing-led students’ union in the Left stronghold.

“The Left’s authoritarian rule has persisted in JNU for too long. They’ve neglected development and prioritized politics, tarnishing the institute’s reputation. We aim to dismantle this dictatorial regime and work for the students’ welfare,” declared ABVP’s presidential candidate, Umesh Chandra Ajmeera.

The JNUSU elections witness a diverse array of student outfits vying for prominence, including the Congress-affiliated National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students’ Association (BAPSA), and Samajwadi Chatra Sangathan (SCS), each striving to position itself as a viable alternative.

Notably, SCS stands out by fielding a female candidate, Aradhna Yadav, for the presidency, emphasizing women’s security and representation.

BAPSA’s presidential nominee, Biswajit Minji, hails from a marginalized Adivasi community, advocating for genuine representation of underprivileged groups.

Junaid Raza, NSUI’s presidential aspirant, aims to foster inclusivity and tranquility on campus, transcending the divisive politics of ABVP and the Left.

The JNUSU elections, postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, have finally resumed, heralding an exciting chapter in the university’s democratic tradition.

(With PTI inputs)