Making a ‘clean’ sweep
When American actress-singer Marlene Dietrich said, “I dress for the image. Not for myself, nor for public, not for fashion, nor for men,” she underlined the importance of making a positive image for oneself. This, however, seems to have been the last thing on Panjab University’s student leaders’ minds, if one were to go by their penchant for being implicated in criminal cases.brunch Updated: Aug 31, 2013 09:46 IST
When American actress-singer Marlene Dietrich said, “I dress for the image. Not for myself, nor for public, not for fashion, nor for men,” she underlined the importance of making a positive image for oneself. This, however, seems to have been the last thing on Panjab University’s student leaders’ minds, if one were to go by their penchant for being implicated in criminal cases. In such a scenario, coming across student politicians who have so far managed to break free from the norm comes as a breather. Ask these youngsters about it and they insist things on campus are changing.
“I came to the university with the ideology of studying seriously,” claims Raman Dhakka, 25, general secretary of INSO (Indian National Student Organisation). “My father is a politician, so I knew from the beginning that I would be joining INSO in the university. But, I was also sure that politics would not be the only agenda on my mind,” says the Sirsa boy, a student of LLB, first year. Raman claims there is almost nobody in his party who ever had any cases lodged against them.
The reason for a huge number of student politicians having FIRs (First Information Report) lodged against them, feels Raman, is because conflicts take place over petty issues. “I have seen fights taking place on matters as trivial as putting up of posters on campus. Earlier, students were very sensitive about party issues. But, over time, they have started to see reason and view others as fellow students instead of rivals,” he adds.
Slotting non-serious students in the offenders’ list is Bhupinder Singh Batth, chairman of NSUI (National Students’ Union of India). “Many times, those from agricultural or business backgrounds who don’t believe that educational degrees are of any use are found to be indulging in violent activities. In fact, having a criminal case registered is a matter of pride for them,” he says.
Associated with NSUI only recently, Batth, 26, a student of master’s in philosophy, claims to be on cordial terms with all parties’ members. He also believes that having a clean image is important if one sees a future in politics. “I believe that two persons can differ on ideology, but there shouldn’t be any personal enmity. The ultimate goal is student welfare,” he adds.
To those who claim that the cases registered against them are fake, Vishal Sharma, 20, a student at University Institute of Legal Studies, PU, and campus president of HAS (Hindustan Student Association) offers, “Almost 99 per cent of the criminal cases registered are genuine. Multiple cases against one individual can’t be fake.
Such ‘leaders’ are only interested in showing off their SUVs. Appallingly, such candidates claim in their speeches that even girls prefer action films.
I think hard working student candidates rarely win,” he says.