Pondicherry University Students Talk Lynching, Dalits & LS Polls
Students of Pondicherry University talk about the Modi government, 2019 polls, what they want from the next leader.
Video Editor: Vikram Venkateswaran
Cameraperson: Romani Agarwal, Swamy
Producer: Smitha TK
Puducherry will go to polls on 18 April in the second phase of 2019 Lok Sabha election.
R Radhakrishnan of the All India NR Congress (AINRC) is the sitting member of Parliament from the Puducherry Lok Sabha constituency, and the DMK-Congress alliance will be locking horns with AINRC-AIADMK alliance
The Quint went to Puducherry to find out how they would rate the past tenure of the Narendra Modi-led government, and what is it they want from the next leader.
Development VS Harassment?
A few students pointed out that the past five years has seen many welfare schemes to uplift the poor but when it comes to ensuring communal harmony, all has not been well.
“I am a Muslim. I am from Bihar. We live with fear in our hearts. I have a beard also. I can be killed just because of the suspicion that I have eaten cow,” said Zeeshan, a student of Pondicherry University, referring to the number of mob-lynching incidents that have happened in the last two years in the country.
Another issue the students brought to the fore was the rise of an aggressive Hindutva, and not having enough Dalits and other minorities in positions of power, resulting in atrocities against minorities.
Some others believed that vikaas has taken a setback and symbolism has taken precedence.
“Be it on issues about minorities, about lynching on the streets, be it about killing people on the mere suspicion of eating beef... rather than investing in capital and making sure machines are brought into clean our infrastructure, you have built toilets and you invest every little amount in toilets. We know as common citizens that that's not the solution,” said another student Ashok.
“Be it about the avatar of chaiwala, the avatar of chowkidar, avatar of ‘Selfie with Daughter’, avatar of Swacchh Bharat. It is Mann Ki Baat and it’s his own baat.”Ashok, Student, Pondicherry University
However, Manish was quick to cut in and talk about how far the NDA government has brought the country which was mired in a lot of scams because of the earlier rule of the UPA.
“When they (BJP) came, they introduced a lot of welfare schemes for example, many schemes for the poor like Mudra, Jan Dhan Yojana and lots of such schemes. Now it has completed its first tenure. We need to give it another term so that implementation work should also be finished,” he said.
Charan had an advice for the parties contesting this elections - “We are voting for parties. Let the regional parties flourish. Let the citizens choose the local level leaders. That's their representation. Let there be multiple combinations, multiple pull and push factors, that will make the democracy more vibrant. Let it not be two party politics.”
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