With the Delhi University Students' Union (DUSU) election scheduled for September 14, the frontline contenders – the National Student's Union Of India (NSUI) and the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) – are making promises of revamping the system among other things.
Students in DU, however, have a simple request – to do away with disruptive strikes and protests.
"Each time there is a strike, everything gets disrupted. With the semester system in place, we can't afford to lose out on a single day's study. We have classes to attend and society practices that suffer. Since we don't have too much time now, each day is very important," said Ishan Misra, a student of Ramjas College.
"Each year, the candidates make tall promises, none of which are really kept once they come into power. If they can't fulfil these promises, the least that they can do is to discontinue the dharnas and strikes because they're only disruptive. There are several other ways to get one's point across instead of resorting to protests and strikes on campus," said Akhil Aggarwal, a student of Khalsa College.
Yet, current members of DUSU claimed that it was the only democratic tool left for them.
"We don't know why students are of the opinion that strikes must be done away with, because this is the only democratic tool we have. All over the country, people resort to the method of anshan (fasting) to get their point across. If no violence is perpetrated through the process, then there shouldn't be a problem," said Ajay Chhikara, president, DUSU.
While NSUI and ABVP have pledged everything from reduction in application fees to a bus service for students going to off-campus colleges, students say that the focus of the Union should instead lie on opting for alternative routes of getting their demands and points across to the administration.