By Aishwarya Puri
Edited by Sanchita Malhotra, Associate Editor, The Indian Economist
Belonging to a nation which indulges in Bollywood frenzy and cinematic hullabaloo we are bound to become cognizant of those exclusively “filmy” clichéd scenes and dialogues which are overdone onscreen. I would like to pick a fish from this pond and project an image of a filthy rich villain guy whooshing a bundle of playing cards into the air and making it rain over the poor hero’s head. Students of the Delhi University happen to behold a similar scenario during the election times; DUSU volunteers flashing pamphlet cards into the air like they were trying to draw an analogy between those clichéd movie scenes and this act of style, assumably.
It is an irony that student political parties, who are meant to exercise campaigning activities on disciplined protocols, resolve to attain attention by creating a pool of waste paper for several weeks! This not only reflects a careless and irresponsible behavior towards keeping the vicinity clean but also puts into question their perception of tree conservation. Right from commencement of the new session to mid September, the Delhi university campus area seems all packed in a thick layer of white paper painted with candidate’s name and party association in red, green and blue. Walls of colleges, inside or on the outside, are decorated with a collage of campaigning posters as if meant to cover them forever. Freshers are the easy target on the orientation days of respective colleges for distributing pamphlets and name cards in enormous number. Virtually, every student comes back with a stock of 6-10 papers each day which, in fact, he never bothers to run a glance at it. This implies that student political bodies are either unaware of the fact that this mode of promotion is getting them no real votes or they have pledged to misapply a handsome currency digit on literally creating sludge on roads.
Last few weeks of the campaigning period are marked with campus roads, footpaths, sewage hole plates and road corners either piled up with waste paper in the shape of hill or covered in a blanket of paper that appears to look like snow-bed. With waste, I not only mean waste to the municipal committee but waste also to those who believe that such a flood of name inscribed pamphlets makes their vote bank any stronger. And if that is the case , then I feel apologetic for those voters who stand in long queues in scorching heat to vote for such leaders who bear no sense of responsibility to this city and the environment. What these bodies need to understand is a myriad of papers painted with names do not help in convincing the voters to vote.
Neither does it create a subconscious memory of the candidates in voter’s minds. What can be done is political bodies can get their manifestos printed on these papers, in place of mere candidate’s name, which would at least be worth reading. Delhi University can come with effective measures to restrict paper usage to the minimal. A limit on count of posters on walls, pamphlets and et cetera should be imposed so as to ensure no wastage of paper. Enormous sums of small sized posters can be replaced by a huge single poster or a banner, made of cloth preferably, to catch hold of more swiveling eyeballs and pin more attention. “The Face” can himself come on public platforms to make a deeper impression in voter’s conscious rather than sending in a flood of name cards.
In these times of social networking when real world and virtual world go hand in hand, online platforms can be brought to best use by resorting to virtual promotional agenda. A wave of Facebook pages, Instagram followings, persuasive tweets and Whatsapp broadcast messages can be generated and circulated in epic volumes to sneak into voter’s aware. This will serve the dual purpose of getting in touch with the voter clan effectively and saving on hefty stock of paper. In fact many students claim that they would like to see a generation of online campaigning happening for DUSU elections so that it is more convenient and saves paper-and-money effectively. With our future political leaders are associated aspirations of a responsible citizen and an accountable stakeholder of mother nature. In the deprive of these fundamental idiosyncrasies, student elections hold no meaning in its very essence of vision, leadership and prudence.
Aishwarya is a student of English Literature at Hindu College, Delhi University. An aggressive enthusiast of Politics and an avid reader of articles on public policy and national politics. A leader, orator, anti patriarchal and loud on expression of words and public speaking. She believes in her dynamic administrative qualities and swears by candid human resource management. Her analysis of any life experience is majorly scientific and pragmatic, yet never misses a touch of spiritualism and philosophy.