After having spent the past one-week on the Panjab University campus, HT City witnessed a changing trend. Election fever, which once soared high, seems somewhat deflated. Blame the restrictions levied by the Lyngdoh Committee or simply the negativity attached with student politics.
Dalvir Singh Goldie, former president, PUSC, differentiating between the past and the present, says, "Elections have lost their charm. University has become more like a school now. Earlier, during elections, students used to look forward to the Open House Debate, where leaders used to declare their agendas and each party had to prove whether or not it could live up to its proposed agenda. In such activities, even voters could judge which leader is worth his salt. This time around, flags and flex boards are also missing, thanks to Lyngdoh Committee's restriction on printed material, which obviously results in a colour-less campus."
Unhappy with the committee's requirement of at least 75% class attendance of all student leaders, he adds, "A leader has many responsibilities, which keep him on his toes throughout the year. How do they expect them to complete their attendance? Moreover, banning former leaders from campaigning for student parties also doesn't make much sense."
Commenting on the restriction on campaigning inside classes, Aditi Sheoran, 20, a third year UILS student, says, "The authorities are making a mockery of student elections. With undue restrictions, a number of students have lost interest. Not all teachers are allowing campaigning inside classrooms. Student parties work hard throughout the year, so why don't they have right to campaign properly during elections?"
Adding to it, Ravi Rangbulla, 24, a pass-out from the Department of Hindi, says, "When means such as car rallies and open house debates have been banned, how can the election environment be the same? But even the hands of authorities are tied, since party members have been creating ruckus and indulging in violence for so many years. Violence too is to blame for the dull turnout. This year, the ratio of girls at party tents was also comparatively less."