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Analyzing the Youth's Mind

Sagarneel Sinha

The student elections held in some states last month are viewed as students verdict on the current establishment of the country. However, the mostly discussed are of the two universities of Delhi- Jawaharlal Nehru University(JNU) and Delhi University(DU). This time the result of DU sprang surprise by giving a smile on NSUI's face, the student body of the Congress. NSUI was able to defeat ABVP by 3-1. This victory came as a relief to the already beleaguered grand old party. Also the elections of JNU once again proved the dominance of the Left ideology in the campus. RSS & BJP backed ABVP's defeat at the DU and JNU gave smile to the opposition who described the verdicts as the students anger against the ruling saffron ideology. Are really the students angry against the RSS & BJP? Or are the students impressed with Rahul Gandhi as described by NSUI after DU's victory?

Today's youths want their issues to be solved. They are influenced by trending news specially in social media. If one analyses the DU result one would find out the students disenchantment for ABVP which won for last three terms. The reduced growth rate and demonetisation may have their own effects. However it is the debate of nationalism and anti-nationalism this year in the university which may have mostly affected the election. This is a big setback to the ABVP which is aspiring to rule over the country's universities and colleges. However this is not an endorsement of ideas expressed by Rahul Gandhi and the Congress party. If this should be the endorsement then why the NSUI couldn't win the Gauhati University election or the students’ elections held across Rajasthan where ABVP was well ahead ? Also in Tripura students’ union elections NSUI failed to even open its account. The only other satisfaction for NSUI apart from DU was the Panjab University students’ union election. Also the election of University of Hyderabad shows the victory of so-called secular Left-Dalit-Muslim alliance over ABVP.

As evident in the Gauhati University election, students voted for AASU, the powerful students’ union of Assam. Though, the students were also having the options of ABVP and specially the NSUI which had earlier won the polls many times. Currently, the BJP coalition is in power in Assam but still the students chose the AASU, which shows the students’ inclination against the establishment if their wishes are not fulfilled. It is a warning message for the ABVP and BJP government of Assam. Though JNU has been a left stronghold but the ABVP performed well. The saffron students’ union came second in all the four posts improving their earlier position. The university which had witnessed contests between the Left and ultra Left, first time witnessed contests between United Left and  ABVP. The three left student bodies- AISA of ultra left CPI(ML), SFI of CPI(M) and DSF, a breakaway faction of SFI, had to ally to defeat the ABVP. However, much famed former JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar's AISF of CPI contested alone and fared poorly than NOTA votes. The same happened in the case of  NSUI too. Message is clear- wind of change is slowly becoming stronger in JNU and Left has to read the writing in the wall. The students’ elections of Tripura also showed the rise of ABVP winning 27 seats for the first time, though far behind the Left students’ union alliance of SFI and TSU which registered a huge victory.

The main important point that can be derived from these elections is that youth cannot be treated as a permanent vote bank of any particular ideology. If they are not satisfied they are ready to vote for the other. Concluding that the RSS & BJP backed ABVP is losing its popularity among the youth is not right. Yes,there is a growing dissatisfaction with the current establishment yet they still want to give a chance. ABVP which wants to win the students’ minds have to look into their strategy so that results like DU shouldn't be repeated. There is a long route for ABVP to cover as there are many institutions where it is weak like in the University of Hyderabad. The so-called communal image is still a hindrance for the saffron students’ union to control the nation’s all institutions . Congress backed NSUI has to work a lot to gain the trust of youth which once dominated the student politics. Except DU and PU nowhere the performance of NSUI was good. Current situation is offering space but the Congress students’ union is not able to capture it. Same goes for the Left students’ unions. The concept of secularism vs communalism is not working. They have to modify their campaigns as they are losing their space to ABVP which is evident from JNU elections. 


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