Fraught With Ideological War During Polls, a DU Student Speaks Out

A first year student at DU shares her struggle of identifying with a left or right wing ideology during poll season.

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 Polling for the JNU student union election underway at the university campus in New Delhi on 8 September, 2017.
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Fraught With Ideological War During Polls, a DU Student Speaks Out
Be the change you want to see in the world.
Mahatma Gandhi

Ideologies are the dead end of an idea. An idea is a small seed giving birth to a tree but ideology is a well-carved throne of wood. An idea is a free thought roaming beyond the borders of limitations, while ideology is a celebrated prison of self-glory.

An idea never encroaches upon freedom of anyone but an ideology forces you to think and act in a particular way. Ideology crushes your independent identity and hangs around your neck like an identity card.

‘What is my identity?’

While taking the metro from the Red Corridor of DU to the Kingdom of Saffron, ‘colourless’ students like me are caught in the crossfire of ideology, almost each day.

From the antique walls of Delhi, chanting the names of right wing DUSU candidates to the social media hype of the Left Wing-led strong opposition, and not to forget the confused centrists, all are competitively engaged to make a mark on each student. The city walls bear the beauty of their faces. The PG lanes get footprints of Swachh Bharat on piles of publicity materials. And violence becomes an official course of study.

Envious of my friends proudly flaunting membership cards of ideologies (I have a mere lacklustre college identity card), I question myself - What is my identity? Why don't I have that chain around my neck? What is my ideology, or precisely, why have I not been assigned one?

They impose a false identity crisis on me.

Hollow Ideologies

I thought these were the demons of my mind until I began discovering the angels on the other side. My friends from the Left Wing were keen on having trust in their ‘wings’. A self-proclaimed Leftist friend in college who failed to recall if Karl Marx ever penned something called Das Kapital, preaches what her party manifesto says. Undoubtedly, she has mugged up the speeches well to vomit tirelessly about her party and ideology. May be, the party manifesto is the revised version of an old book I once read, called the Communist Manifesto.

Frustration over my quest for understanding the ideologies led me to board the metro run by the Right Wingers. The train stopped and I thought I had reached my destination. Walking across the Right border I was obstructed by a guard of the Saffron Republic. I was asked to produce my identity card to get the license before entering this territory.

The only I-card I knew so far were the Aadhar and voter ID cards. But here they displayed a saffron-cum-patriotic card, closely associated with the right-wing student organisation.

My degree of patriotism lies in the volume of my voice to echo "Bharat Mata ki Jai" and my power to mute all questions in my mind. My patriotism lies in hitting others to safeguard my ideology.

I am sure both the hardliner Bhagat Singh as well as softliner Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi will miserably fail in the strict patriotism test of today.

Where is ‘National Interest’?

The Delhi University is known for producing some of the most prominent political figures – from Aung San Suu Kyi, Arun Jaitley, Meera Kumar, Sheila Dikshit, Ajay Maken, Kapil Sibal, Sachin Pilot, Shashi Tharoor, Kiran Bedi, Maneka Gandhi, Naveen Patnaik, Arun Shourie, Subramanian Swamy and Sitaram Yechury.

Being a first year student of such a politicised campus, I find life of the independent students like me turning into hell in the election season of pseudo ideological wars.

No Gyan (knowledge), no Charitra (character) as per their ideology, but yes, they have their full strength, Ekta (unity), to divide and rule. And their opponents, with different ideologies, do not mind sacrificing the country itself in the midst of high-pitched passionate sloganeering.

Out of Box Ideas

Lost in the melee of branding and identification, race of SUVs, private armies, free-for-all food and drink, I sit in a corner of a nowhere land. I dare to fly in a sky with my tiny free-flying wings of ideas that do not succumb to the ballot box of ideologies.

Because, the ballot box in the capital of future India – the kingdom of the new generation citizen – the Delhi University – is not a sky of vision. It’s an enticing trap to catch young birds and clip their wings.

Ahh..if we could vote for an idea, instead of ideologies! If we could vote for independence, instead of identity cards. If we could ensure victory of free thought, instead of the caged parrots – the wingless wingers!

Can we, the students of DU, vote for the future of the nation? For the India of our dreams?

(The writer is a first year student of Sociology (H) at Delhi University. She can be reached @SpeakNaimisha.‏ This is a personal blog and the opinions expressed above are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for the same.)

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