Student Council Elections Campaigning: Four Issues That Go Beyond the Line

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With less than a month left for the much-awaited exhilarating Panjab University student council elections, it won’t be long before groups of highly motivated youngsters are seen charging through the corridors of the campus, sweating with passion, sloganeering, and delivering influential sermons. Yes, the most imperative and charismatic element of the elections, campaigning, is just days away from intensifying but what has always been overlooked is the weak definition of its boundaries. Over the years, little attention has been paid towards limiting the extent of campaigning, which has henceforth led to a situation of unrest and disorder in the campus during elections. Here is a list of things which have been deemed justified due to the continuous negligence towards this matter:

1. Disruption of Classes 
One of the foremost impediment to election campaigning is the interruption of ongoing classes. Often misunderstood for being the best way to communicate with the students, it is actually a major hindrance for the students, wasting valuable lecture time. With successive classes being suspended due to campaigning, a lot of overtime becomes due for the students, creating a hectic schedule. Parties should take the initiative of communicating with the students during their break time instead of barging into the classes.

2. Excessive Littering 
A substantial amount of funds is spent on printing stickers, pamphlets and posters for promotional purposes during the election period. Another case of negligence is the poor execution of disposing off the paper litter piled up during this period. Although every year, initiatives are taken up by several political parties to maintain cleanliness inside the campus but somehow, they seem to be invalid for the election period. Considering the Swacch Bhaarat Abhiyaan initiated by the country’s Honorable Prime Minister, this is a mandatory area to be worked upon.

3. Campaigning near the Library 
Every year, political parties take to the heart of Panjab University, the Student Centre, to attract an enormous crowd in order to increase their campaigning level up a notch. What goes unnoticed during this obstreperous mode of campaigning is the fact that the main library is right next to the student centre. To avoid distorting the silent environment of the library, any place near the library should be out of bounds for campaigning purposes.

4. Unethical Modes of Campaigning 
A common tack used by the political parties in any election, be it student or state, is the use of unethical practices to increase their vote bank. According to a last year’s Indian Express report, members from ABVP arranged two buses in which around 150 students from various departments of the university were taken to a multiplex to watch the first day first show of movies Rustom and Mohenjo-Daro. Several parties have other tactics like helping with attendance exemption, hostel accommodation, etc. Although, this has been prevalent in every election for decades now, but if corruption cannot be eliminated even at the grassroot level, the bigger picture of a clean election will always remain unattainable.

Therefore, numerous strict guidelines are required to define a line for the extent of campaigning in order to maintain a sound environment during elections in colleges.


About the Author:

Manhar Manchanda (Dept. of Economics, PU Campus)

Manhar Manchanda
(Dept. of Economics, PU Campus)

17 Years Old. Currently pursuing BA Honours in the Economics Department, PU. A Movie buff, a Beatles/Nirvana fan, love to play the guitar and write songs.

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