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French girl joins poll team

india Updated: Apr 27, 2009 17:02 IST
Namya Sinha
Namya Sinha
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Siwan in Bihar saw some unusual campaigning when All India Students Association (AISA) members from JNU went there recently. Speaking to the crowds was a Frenchwoman, her words translated by her fellow campaigner.

Naike Desquesnes, who finished her course in JNU in 2007, was motivated to undertake this trip by the death of a student she knew. That student, Chandrashekhar, was an AISA member who was killed while campaigning in Bihar. His comrades visited Siwan to finish his task - helping the landless.

Naike explains her interest, “I am doing research on radical students in JNU, particularly girls in AISA and DSU (Democratic Students Union).” She went to Bihar for a feel of the elections. “Since I was there, I said a few lines in two villages to express my solidarity with the Dalits, the women and the landless labourers. I spoke in English, but I could understand people talking to me in Hindi, since I’m learning it.”

Naike belongs to a Leftist body in Paris under which she has opposed privatisation. Interestingly, she is also a big fan of Rang De Basanti. JNU’s cub politicians have been very active in these polls, a change from the university’s usual insular outlook.

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