Flyers, badges and “Ma’am/sir, aapko college mein koi problem aa rahi hai?”; yes it’s officially the election season in PU! The elections are usually bound to happen in the month of September but the process begins way, way before that. Electoral candidates begin approaching you right from the time you step foot in the college to seek admission. Ever since the fresher sets his foot inside the campus, he/she is made to feel no less than a VIP by loads of people, apparently possessing a lot of power, who approach him to cater to his needs. Canteen, classes, hostels, corridors; no nook of the college campus is left spared to gather a vote bank via campaigning. Subject clashes, queries for admission, problems in adjustment- you name it and the solution to your problem just lays a promise to vote away. With strong personalities and equally impressive speaking skills, these harbingers can even be seen roaming around in the markets, adorning party stickers and campaigning till late at night! And how could we forget, the warm welcome and “please vote and support” that every student of the college gets in the morning.
The trend of college politics originally began as a part of the Panjab University in campus and the idea soon spread across other colleges affiliated with the university. The procedure begins with the coming up of various parties that decide to contest the elections. They can exist as independent ones or as a union of several parties. They campaign which also includes hosting events like the unofficial freshers. Then comes the nomination part where the parties elect candidates to contest for various positions such as the President, the Vice President, the Joint Secretary and the Chairperson. The final stage is voting which is akin to voting like in real election where you choose codes or symbols and your votes remain confidential. The result is usually announced on the same day and such is its grandeur that even the colleges declare a holiday on the next day of its announcement. It all feels so real with students having the power in their hands.
Various parties adopt varied schemes to establish their name and come up with manifestos that include pointers like cleanliness, better sitting facilities, improvisation of hostel/canteen and others. The two weeks before the final Election Day are the most crucial ones where the entire college gets flooded with tons and tons of party members, lifting each other on their shoulders and yelling their party’s names. Students even witness situations when things get out of control and the police has to step in.
While some believe in staying away from politics, others believe in claiming the power and playing an active role in doing the same.
“Our party’s president told us that you are not working under me or for me. You are here working for yourself and people like you. Each one of you is the President of this party, and that is what makes me stick to this party”, as quoted by one of the members of a very renowned party.
No matter what, only the best wins who justifies his position not just by the title but by his action and setting an example. College politics and elections is truly the most happening time of the year having a different vibe and hype to it that everyone looks forward to.
CONTRIBUTED BY JAPLEEN KAUR