Published: 18th November 2019
How Mimosa Ghorai became Presidency University's first SFI student prez after 9 years
We spoke to Presidency University's new student union president Mimosa Ghorai to learn about her future plans. This is what she had to tell us about that
Kolkata's Presidency University witnessed a completely different atmosphere on campus on November 14 when the Students' Federation of India (SFI), affiliated to the Communist Party of India-Marxist garnered a landslide victory at the student elections after nine long years. Soon after the celebrations had subsided, we got a chance to interact with the new Student Union President Mimosa Ghorai. The 22-year-old leader tells us about the victory, her future plans and more.
Excerpts from a politically enriching conversation:
SFI has won here after nine long years, how does that make you feel?
This a victory for the university and its students. It is a victory for those ordinary students who gave it their all and worked day and night in the past year and especially in the months before the elections to make this happen. I would also say that this was bound to happen as we have always been true towards what we believe in and are ready to work for the betterment of the students and the varsity. We have a lot of people to thank for this victory, it is not humanly possible for me to name all of them.
What are your plans now as a leader of the new Student Union?
We had put forward a few demands that we wish to take to the university administration and work towards fulfilling all the promises that we made during the campaign. For example there are a few infrastructural problems when it comes to the MPhill, PhD courses that are offered here, we would like to address that. We have to initiate dialogue with the authorities regarding the promises we made in our manifesto that was presented at the presidential debate before the election. We have decided to set up sanitary napkin vending machines inside the campus. Being a woman myself, I feel this move is a necessary one on any campus across our country. We would like to set up a canteen with subsidised rates for students and also keep a regular check on the water filters in order to provide clean drinking water on campus.
After winning the elections
When were you introduced to politics?
I am originally from Kanthi, West Midnapore and my schooling was there till Class XII. My parents are both teachers, who have always been supporters of left-wing politics. I was mostly inspired by them since childhood, then after coming to Kolkata for my graduation at Presidency, I met and interacted with more people of the same mindset on campus. All of this inspired me and made me to believe in the ideology that I preach today.
Where do you see yourself after five years?
Currently, I am pursuing my Masters in Life Science. I did my graduation at Presidency too. After this I would like to pursue PhD in the same subject and then take up research. I would also like to become a teacher like my parents or a college professor. I still have some time to decide on that and I will continue being a part of politics on campus alongside my studies.
Mimosa with vice president Ankita
India and some other countries around the world are eventually leaning towards right-wingers, being on the opposite side of the table how do you feel?
We left-wingers have to fight against the undemocratic, authoritative atmosphere that is gradually being created in our country and elsewhere. As a student of the university which has seen the left win after almost a decade, I want other colleges in the city and elsewhere in the country to first and foremost have free and fair student elections. Students and youngsters should first be given the right to vote and then they can decide who to choose and what to believe in.
Do you have a message for your state government or to the centre?
We can't compare the situation in West Bengal and in the country as a whole, there are various concerns everywhere. But what I can say is a lot of things are heading towards the worst than getting better in general. All I want to convey to our respected chief minister is that being a woman herself she should put more emphasis on women safety in her state. I feel a lot more needs to be done in that area. I hope she feels the same.