Students welcome campus polls but fear what comes with it

Mumbai: A wave carries along several things with it and washes them away at the seashore. This wave of Campus Elections in colleges and universities will bring in future leaders, orators, a platform to raise student’s grievances but along with it will also flush out political propaganda, drama, turmoil, interference and political influence.

The recent decision of state education ministry to restart campus polls in all colleges and universities of state from next academic year has led to mixed opinions among students. On one hand, students feel it will help them contest elections and become future leaders where they can fight for basic problems faced by them. While on the other, students fear elections on campus will lead to politics, differences, competitions and untoward incidents despite several rules and provisions.

What if candidates use political influence after they are elected
Though the state has initiated rules like candidates will not be allowed to advertise any political party, students claimed the influence is strong. Rasika Mehta, a student said, “Large number of students belong to youth wings of different political parties like ABVP, Yuva Sena, NSUI, SFI, MNS, RPI and others. Even if candidates do not use this political influence at the time of contesting they will ultimately use political influence after they are elected and there is in provision for it.”

What happens at ground level is different from what is written in rules
Students questioned how is there going to be transparency at ground level in a college election when there is cheating and discrepancy at state level, BMC and Lok Sabha elections. Gaurav D’Souza, a student said, “We always find cheating in ballot and misuse of power at all state level elections so we can imagine what can happen at a college level election.

Candidates often try to influence students outside college campus to gain votes and there the state has no provision over this. Some also use power and connections to change minds of students even to the extent of compelling them to cast a vote in their favour, how does the state plan to tap these discrepancies?”

Will provide platform to raise student’s issues and problems
Students claimed they will get an opportunity to highlight problems which they face like unhygienic washrooms, uncertain examination schedule, result delay, fee hike, harassment, complaints with teachers, eve-teasing or any other student related issue. Raza Ahmed, a student said, “At the moment we do not know where to go or whom to complaint when we face any issue. But now we will have a student leader who can voice out our grievances before the management council at university and higher level.”

Will pave way for  future leaders
If not politics students revealed they are keen towards becoming orators, team leaders or public speakers ahead in their career. Sahil Khanna, a student said, “We are always inspired when we see the campus turmoil in JNU or any university outside Mumbai. It is good thing to see all students coming together to fight for a cause and demand their rights.

We want to be able to lead others irrespective of our career choice and campus polls will help enhance this skill among us. It might also change the whole perception of politics and encourage the youth to join the public service sector.”

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