By: Bishaldeep Kakati
It is often said that, “Democracy and India are the two sides of the same coin.” India’s unique feature lies on the very fact that from the houses to the offices, almost each and everyone is found practicing the principles of democracy. Democracy demands an equal share of power and that is the reason, whenever an important decision is to be taken, opinions are taken from each and everyone who forms an essential component of that particular decision. In fact, it falls under the ambit of democracy to ensure that the majority’s opinion gets the upper hand while formulating out the ultimate conclusion. And that process of voicing out is often done by the way of voting in elections.
The well established fact is that the process of elections has also made its impact felt upon the ambience of educational institutions as well. And in a way it is good, because whenever we speak of democracy, it must be present in every sphere of life, including the educational institutions as well, especially when we are talking of electing the best Students Union Body to lead the students of that particular institution. But the thing to be pondered here is: Has the elections of educational institutions remained the same as the students wanted it to be? The answer to this question can be understood by not going way too far, but simply by considering the Students’ Election in Assam, which generally takes place in the month of September in various educational institutions of Assam. The motive of elections in educational institutions is to form a strong and unified body that stands as the sole voice, wish, desire of every student studying in that institution, and also to create some future leaders.
In fact, when a student comes out to vote for the leader of his choice, he silently keeps a wish in his mind that in times of adversity, that particular leader would come forward and help him to find ways to solve his issue. No to forget the fact that whenever a students’ union body is formed, its primary objective is to try and improve the ambience of that institution, help out the students in getting the best environment and infrastructure possible and most importantly to secure the identity of the students enrolled in that institution. And all these can be done by simply amalgamating with the authorities in a synchronized manner, in terms of using the development fees paid by the students as well as in coming out with the best plans possible for improving the quality of the institution.
However, the sad news is that currently the things are not as healthy as it seems. The matter of the fact is that the elections in most of the educational institutions of Assam of late, has turned out to be a complete mess. And that mess is somewhere down the line created by the parties and pressure groups that indirectly enter into the institutions, nominate the individuals of their choice, and then try to play the game of ‘dirty politics’, in order to make their candidates win the elections and in the process stamp their authority.
Thus when there is the upcoming of ‘dirty politics’, at that very juncture, democracy dies and dictatorship takes birth. These parties and pressure groups only to make their candidates win, not only promote them in an over-decorated way, but also try to destroy the image of their opponents, by coming up with some false allegations most of the time. In fact, the scenario gets so bad at times, that even an individual’s dignity is not spared just for the sake of elections. And when we confabulate about campus democracy, people would never say no to elections, but most of the people would definitely question the need and necessity of parties and pressure groups in educational institutions.
Moreover, elections in educational institutions also means monetary show off by parties and pressure groups, where free coupons of lunch and dinner are provided to the students, thus motivating the common students to vote for a particular candidate in order to make him win the elections, in the process, completely forgetting about the concept of ‘deserving candidates’. And when there are elections happening in institutions, we more often than not face a scenario of quarrels, fights, wrangles etc, thus completely destroying the peace and tranquility. Added to this is the fact that an educational institution means unity of students. But because of the entry of these groups even the unity among students is disturbed, and it seems that the students of the institution are divided for every reason and cause. Moreover the sense of hatred and constant cold wars against one another, further degrade the scenario to a greater extent. In fact, because of the divisions created by these pressure groups and political parties, the institution does not witness tremendous development, as most of the students are more oriented towards showing their supremacy over the other.
Furthermore, after the elections gets over, even the winning party more often than not behaves like a dictator and the problems of the common students are often ignored or shown a blind eye. In fact, when in a single students’ union body, there are members from different parties or pressure groups, a lack of coordination is often seen and that directly affects proper running of the Union body and the institution as a whole. And the known fact is that even the ideological clashes between the students of an institution are also directly or indirectly brought by these parties and pressure groups. So the point is that the learned members of the political parties as well as pressure groups should once again reconsider their decision of entering into the frame of educational institutions. Students are often regarded as the backbone of an educational institution, and if we can make the students free from any orientation or alienation, then much development with peace and prosperity might be witnessed in the educational institutions.
Therefore, it has become really essential for the authorities of the institutions to take a bold step by laying down certain limitations or restrictions for the parties and pressure groups at the earliest, or if opposite is the scenario, then the time is not far when things would turn out to be more violent and completely uncontrollable.