Published: 29th November 2017
ABVP did not lose Gujarat University elections. Other 'nominees' won for a change
The University has a Student Council, where the leaders are nominated by teachers and elected by students but they hold no powers on campus
Everyone thinks the ABVP lost in the Gujarat University elections. In fact, the Congress has been using this sliver of good news to trumpet — almost as if it is a harbinger to the Gujarat Polls that have now begun. That's not entirely true. You see, the Left swept the polls in JNU, Delhi University, University of Hyderabad, Allahabad University and most recently, Gujarat University. But the Gujarat victory cannot be compared to the other Universities, simply because the students didn't get to vote for people they wanted, and so they were forced to elect people who had been "chosen" for them.
Confused? We'll break it down for you.
Gujarat University does not have a Student Union, it has a Student Council. The difference is that a Student Union has "power" — it has the power to participate in administrative and academic decisions, it has the right to protest for student rights and is vibrantly political. A Student Council is none of those, especially in Gujarat. In Gujarat, the department staff chooses two students from their department to stand for the elections, one student becomes a representative of the department and the other stands for the post of a convenor.
You may wonder, why even have an election? Get this, if the students have to elect five people to the Student Council, the administration gives them six options.
"The elected students are always people who are in the good books of the professors and administrators and they are simply toys in their hands. They don't represent student interests, they'll always take the side of the administration," said a student pursuing Masters at the University.
There are political parties on campus but the parties don't get to select a person to represent them. The staff does that, making it a satirical version of a Student Union. "The elected students are always people who are in the good books of the professors and administrators and they are simply toys in their hands. They don't represent student interests, even if we have some issues with basic facilities we cannot take it up with the Council. They'll always take the side of the administration," said a student pursuing Masters at the University.
The reason why ABVP students have been elected over the last few years is because the administrators are allegedly all RSS-leaning and choose students from the ABVP to stand for elections. This has furthered the divide between the students and the teachers on campus, students say.
Some of the major parties on campus like BAPSA and others, also boycotted the elections this year to demand a Student Union,"We supported a few candidates but they stood independently. The contempt for the ABVP is so much this time that despite the departments choosing the candidates, several independent candidates still managed to win. But we can assume that they are not going to raise any student issues with the administration," said a student. For the new academic year, the campus has to make do with the Student Council but the students are hopeful things will change by the time the next elections come around.