Published: 07th December 2020
Meet the 21-year-old students who are contesting the local body polls in Kerala
Amal Raj is a BA Political Science student at the Mahatma Gandhi University while Krishna Santhosh is an MA History student at Pondicherry University
The year 2019 was quite an eventful one for Amal Raj. A II year BA Political Science student at the time, he was elected as the Students' Union Chairman of Kerala's Mahatma Gandhi University. SFI, the student political outfit that he belonged to, had swept the polls, winning all the seats that year. Little did he know that that would actually mark his entry into mainstream politics.
At 21, Amal is one of the youngest candidates fighting for a local body seat in the upcoming elections in Kerala. Now a final year BA student, he is contesting the polls from Kottayam's Chempu. "The candidature was quite unexpected. I consider this an appreciation for all the work that I have been doing," says Amal. He expects the Students' Union elections for the current academic year will be held soon, as that will allow him some time in hand to work for his panchayat ward. "The university isn't quite far from home and I plan to do a PG Diploma from there after my graduation. This way, I can manage my studies and work for the people at the same time," he says. The Students' Union, under Amal's chairmanship, made it to the news for organising the country's first cultural fest for transgender students.
For the polls that are scheduled to be held in the second week of December, the CPM and Congress have both fielded a lot of young people, particularly students. Krishna Santhosh, the former Students' Union Chairperson of CMS College, Kottayam is one of them. This 21-year-old has now enrolled in Pondicherry University to pursue a master's degree in History. "Since the semesters are held online, I get to be home and manage my duties and my education together," she says.
Krishna too did not expect a candidature at this young age. "Who knows what the tide could bring?" she quotes Cast Away's Chuck Noland. She notes that people have been quite happy in her ward to see a young person fighting the polls. "People say that they want more young people to come forward. This is definitely a change that our country needs," she says, adding that she would want to focus on the development issues of her ward. At the same time, Amal says that all's been well in his ward and he just has to make sure that it is carried forward well.