Dehradun: Twenty-one- year-old Shubham Thakur, a BA final year student of DAV (PG) College, has plans to contest students’ union elections in 2014-2015.
With the LS polls coming up in May 7, now is the best time he can learn about electioneering by volunteering for any political party. But, the university examinations have robbed him of that opportunity. And Shubham’s is not the only case. Several other college students are facing the same problem.
Election season is a good platform for aspiring politicians to learn from their senior leaders. However, due to the ongoing university exams, college students are unable to visit party and learn the ABC of politics.
“An election comes perhaps twice in two years and that is when there is a real chance for us to learn something about politics. I remember in 2012, during assembly polls, students used to participate in party events and help candidates in campaigning,” Shubham said. “But now, everyone is busy with exams,” he added.
HNB university exams started on March 25 and will conclude on May 19.
However, keeping in view of the LS polls, exams falling between May 3 and May 8 have been postponed.
For political parties too, students are important. A large number of the electorate is students, and it is through student leaders that the parties reach out to the young voters. And many of the student leaders have made it big in mainstream politics as well.
Some of the known senior political leaders of the hill state such as Suryakant Dhasmana and Heera Singh Bisht of the Congress and Ravindra Jugran and Harbans Kapoor of the BJP have risen through student politics.
Bhagwati Prasad, an LLB-fourth-semester-student from Chamoli who has plans to contest the panchayat elections, said, “Election and examinations have fallen on the same period and because of that we are going to miss out on a lot of learning opportunities.”
“I think the election commission could have considered the examination schedule of colleges before finalising the LS poll date for the state,” he said.
DK Bhasin, principal DAV (PG) College, said, “I know elections give a practical opportunity to students interested in politics to learn about it, but now I think their priority should be on writing exams.”
Suryakant Dhasmana, state Congress vice-president, said, the exams had dampened the “poll spirits”.
Today we had a programme at Congress party office, but only a few students’ union members were present. The responses to pre-election activities on campuses were also lukewarm.”