JNU poised to get back its poll fervour
The handmade posters, the impassioned ideological speeches and the nightlong vigil for poll results amid drum-beating and sloganeering may be back again.delhi Updated: Dec 09, 2011 00:07 IST
The handmade posters, the impassioned ideological speeches and the nightlong vigil for poll results amid drum-beating and sloganeering may be back again.
After four years, JNU’s elections, which students on the campus loved to see as time for festivity as well as cerebral debate, may kick off again once a students’ meet discusses the Supreme Court’s (SC) relaxation of some of the Lyngdoh Committee recommendations for JNU.
A campus known for ideologically oriented politics free of money or muscle had, ironically, borne the brunt of the Lyngdoh recommendations, which, too, were aimed at clean and peaceful campus politics.
“The stated purpose of the Lyngdoh Committee was to stop money and muscle in polls, and we never had that problem,” says Roshan Kishor, president of Delhi SFI, the CPM’s student wing. Former ABVP unit president Shiv Shakti Nath Bakshi says, “It’s a welcome step for student activism we had.”
In some respects — like an expenditure limit per candidate or the use of handmade rather than printed posters — JNU had been practising for decades what Lyngdoh recommended. Candidates would campaign on foot — spending just on food — and organisational activists would paint posters with ideological messages on patriarchy, Marxism or Hindutva and paste them across the campus.
The students wanted the Lyngdoh age bar of 28 years for contestants raised, and the court has relaxed it to 30 years. The SC has, however, refused to relax another condition: that one can stand only once for an office bearer’s post.
Research scholar Vibha Iyer questions the Lyngdoh recommendation that political parties be dissociated from the election process: “This amounts to informed opinion getting scuttled. We call political leaders as representatives of a thought, exposure to which helps the student become a critical citizen.”