While speaking about Italian neorealism and the Indian Parallel Cinema motion, Panjab University, Chandigarh’s solely lady presidential candidate immediately factors, “Don’t you find it strange that in an institution which boasts of 70 per cent women students, I am the only (woman) one standing for the top post in the student body elections scheduled for September 6? Does this not say a lot about the mindsets of different parties?”
For Manika, a Master’s pupil within the college’s Sociology Department, who can be representing PSU (Lalkar) within the upcoming elections, being the one lady candidate within the fray for the President’s put up is one thing that displays on the organisation she has been working with for years. “For us, every member, gender notwithstanding is given an equal opportunity in every sphere — be it management or leadership. We are democratic in the true sense.”
Even as her group members are busy visiting completely different hostels and departments as a part of campaigning, she factors on the large variety of jeeps plying the campus throughout this election season. “We are not using any vehicles as a matter of policy. It is high time that the voters here realise that it is paramount to throw out money and muscle power. Most of us come from simple middle-class families and understand the problems faced by ordinary students, ” she says.
No planning to enter politics as soon as she leaves the campus, Manika, who has her eyes set on teachers as a profession, stresses: “For many candidates here, this is the first step to a career in politics. They hardly seem to be interested in voicing for much-needed changes in the university.”
Pointing out that for the previous 13 years, no everlasting place in teachers departments has been crammed, and plenty of departments are making do with analysis students taking lessons, in addition to the absence of ramps for college kids with particular wants, mismanagement in hostel allotment, and the problem of rising charge, Manika says: “We do not have any superficial demands, but are asking for facilities like wheelchairs in all departments, scholarships, hygienic food in hostels, and a safer campus, besides other things.”
Talking about PSU (Lalkar), which isn’t related to any political social gathering however works for college kids throughout Punjab and Chandigarh, she says what actually attracted her to the organisation was the actual fact it labored on the bottom. “We do not show our faces only during election time but are constantly involved with students and raise our voices for them. There are no orders to be taken from political masters, no one to be pleased.”
She feels that at campuses, it is very important finish the domination of mainstream political events as their agenda could not essentially be pupil welfare. “In universities across the country, student bodies of these political parties are more interested in increasing their vote shares and members than taking concrete steps to solve problems at the campuses.”