“Elections are finally over, man. Think I can enter college happily now.” A friend of mine, Ramjasite, heaved a sigh of relief. Right at that moment, we heard sounds of crackers bursting in the college, and we realized the torture isn’t over yet.
Dear NSUI (Dear being the operative word, with no hint of camaraderie attached)
A hearty, perhaps not that hearty, congratulations to you, for winning the presidential and the vice-presidential posts, this DUSU election, possibly you might win the post of joint secretary too, I just hope ABVP does not, and then you might actually be able to fulfill all the promises, half of which were a lie, if, at all you want to fulfill them, that is. Somewhere, in your hearts of hearts, you do realize that power was the objective and not welfare. Students, especially freshers, did fall for the facade of free food and trips and picnics and whatnot, and perhaps this is the only point where I would agree, with the ABVP candidate Mahamedha Nagar, self-acclaimed existentialist, and feminist, which a lot of people like me, have not been able to figure out the possibility of. But regardless of that, and as much as I hate to say this, congratulations Mahamedha, on your win. I hope you start taking feminism for what it stands for, not what you have made it out to be.
Anyway, back to NSUI! Now since you have come to power, and believe you, me, and a majority of genuine voters, who ironically themselves are a minority, who voted for you, and I am sure thought about it a million times in their heads, voted for you out of a simple lack of choice, and the purpose to remove ABVP from power.
So Mr. Tuseed here has confused this lack of choice for unflinching support and a realization, that change needs to come. Power needs to be given to someone else. The realization was always there, only never actualized, because we all know for a fact how elections work out in DU. Students did want to change the structure, the fact that it landed in your lap, is just a mere translation of this lack of choice, a thought that ABVP needs to be removed, AISA never wins, so you are the only option ‘left’. Just clearing the air.
Ahead of the fact that whether the removal of contention regarding the seat of Joint Secretary would be in your favor or not, I really do hope that you keep the following things in your mind as topmost priorities, and let’s get serious now. Consider this, the voice of that every student in DU, who you have silenced with your money, muscle power and your assertion of masculinity, in hindsight, of being born with a penis.
- Gender equality, in no interpretation of it, means that men can be beaten by both women and men and women would be beaten by women only. The thing is, that you have absolutely no right to beat me and assert your masculinity, or your nationalism for that matter. Absolutely, no right. And let’s just face it, the difference between you and ABVP, with regards to this typical spirit of ‘I am going to beat the shit out of you if you don’t listen to me’, is only marginal. I know Mr. Tuseed, that you are a man, born with a privilege, not shouting and acting civilized will not take that privilege away from you. Please try to understand, that gender is a social construct, and it is not in your underwear, but in your head.
- Figuring out practical and again, lesser assertive ways to celebrate your victory is no rocket science. Disturbing classes, dancing like madmen in the premises, holding traffic, and bursting crackers, which by the way only validate the fact that power is all you wanted, do not impact students at all. A nicer and a more decent option would be to hold a general meeting, invite general students and ask them about the problems they face and then do something about it.
- Nationalism and patriotism are two very distinct concepts and carry distinct connotations. While nationalism suggests a blind love for one’s country, patriotism suggests the same, but with a critical eye and heart. That is, that patriotism allows you the freedom to criticize what you find wrong with your country, while nationalism does not. Please, for the sake of whosoever you find dear to you, understand this difference. Being one of the first-hand victims of the February incident of Ramjas, I know the chain of events as exactly how it unfolded. You were the first one to come, shouting that one slogan that every first-hand-aimed lover of the country shouts, and disrupting the seminar. The criticism of ABVP, who was no better of course, when comes from your side regarding how much violence it caused, is blatant hypocrisy.
- A lot of your placards, every year, carry the slogan of ‘Go clean, Go green’, or some another version of it. Stop treating this like some god damn primary school competition, because it is not. Had you really believed in it, you would not have entered my college, throwing paper chits in the air, shouting ballot numbers and getting out the same way. Next time, either minimize the use of paper, or if that is too difficult, due to lack of avenues for asserting your presence, or simply don’t hold placards that claim that you care for your environment.
- Lastly, if you really do care about the students because of which you are in power, then start from the grass-root level. Make the campus more physically accessible for differently-abled students. Learn from colleges, where students have actually made it possible for their differently abled mates to access the campus physically, in a way easier than before. Make the grievance redressal system more effective and efficient, where the perpetrators of violence actually do get punished. Focus on campaigning for sexual harassment workshops in colleges, both for men and women, for it is not just the latter who is the victim. Let debate and discussion proliferate freely within the campus, so that practical and justifiable and viable solutions to long-standing problems can be figured out.
Lastly for the voters, open your eyes. Burgers, Treats, and Trips to the Jurassic Park won’t matter in the longer run. The campus, the university is as much ours as it is theirs. Let us assert our ownership and our authority over our campus, in a much more sensible way, that is neither hyper-masculine, nor hypocritical and neither an invasion fo someone else’s Privacy and self-hood, i.e. by voting the genuine.
#Staytuned for more from Aman Sinha!