Skip to main content
xYOU DESERVE INDEPENDENT, CRITICAL MEDIA. We want readers like you. Support independent critical media.

JNU Student Organisations Demand JNUSU Elections

Ravi Kaushal |
The prestigious university saw its last union elections in 2019. The elections in 2020 and 2021 could not be held due to COVID pandemic.
JNU Sanitation Workers Protest

Representational image. | Image courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Hitting out at the Jawaharlal Nehru University administration for allegedly delaying the student body elections, the student associations maintain that students' wait for a new union must end after four years. 

The prestigious university saw its last union elections in 2019. The elections in 2020 and 2021 could not be held due to COVID pandemic.

JNU Vice-Chancellor Shantashri Pandit reportedly said that the union elections will be held after the completion of the admission process. 

Talking to NewsClick, Aishe Ghosh, President of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union, said an all-organisation meeting was called to restore student body elections.

"We were very clear that the Dean of Students (DoS) should conduct the JNUSU Elections within 6-8 weeks of the commencement of the new academic session 2023-24, which, according to the academic calendar released by the JNU Administration, started on August 16, 2023.

She demanded that the election be conducted in line with the JNUSU Constitution, past practices, and guidelines provided by the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India. 

Ghosh said that the JNU Administration has deprived the students of their right to conduct JNUSU elections for the past three years. 

She added, "It is a deliberate strategy of the JNU Administration to curb the growth of the students' social and political consciousness, which leads to the growth of the students as critical citizens capable of asking tough questions to those in power. The RSS-controlled administration, hell-bent on turning the campus into the breeding ground of saffronisation of education, is perennially afraid of students who are aware of and capable of seeing through their agenda."

Ghosh noted that after the ascension of BJP-RSS to power in the Union government, the BJP-RSS combine consistently deployed every sort of pernicious tactic to scuttle the institution of JNUSU. 

"The Dean of Students office has been used to wrestle control of the election process to capture JNUSU through manipulative and corrupt practices. Not allowing the election process to be held, first on the pretext of the COVID-19 pandemic and then, by running multiple academic sessions parallelly, is a concerted attempt on their part to throttle the democratic practices of the campus."

Student organisations also questioned the move of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarathi Parishad, the student wing of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, to distance itself from the meeting.

A statement by the organisations, including SFI, AISA, DSF and BASO, said, "The decision of ABVP to not participate in the all-organisation meeting could be understood in the light of their historical role as the bootlickers of the administration and the foot soldiers of their Sangh in the administration. The poster of the all-organisation meeting was released two days before the meeting, and the JNUSU gave the office-bearers of ABVP prior information. President of ABVP, Umesh Chandra Ajmeera, conveyed to the JNUSU President that ABVP would boycott the all-organisation meeting. The politics of ABVP is a mere appendage to the regressive politics of privatisation, communalism, casteism and misogyny."

Saket Moon, Vice-President of the JNU Students Union, told NewsClick that the union made the university richer by maintaining consistent pressure to adopt inclusive policies like low fees for research programmes, reservations and deprivation points for marginalised communities. 

"Our union fought a historic struggle against fee hike in 2019. The entire country stood with us to make affordable education accessible to all. Without a union, where will students go for their problems? Mind you, the Supreme Court, in our case in 2011, said that choosing a student union is an extension of freedom of expression. Then why are we being stopped from exercising our freedom of expression?"

Madhurima, Vice-President of the All India Students Association JNU unit, told NewsClick that it is disappointing that the Academic Council did not discuss student union elections today nor come up with a new academic calendar. 

"JNU VC is questioning the validity of our union because left students organisations hold it. Will she have any problem with ABVP holding a student union at Delhi University without elections? Why did not the administration hold elections last year when there was no health emergency?"

Get the latest reports & analysis with people's perspective on Protests, movements & deep analytical videos, discussions of the current affairs in your Telegram app. Subscribe to NewsClick's Telegram channel & get Real-Time updates on stories, as they get published on our website.

Subscribe Newsclick On Telegram