University of Hyderabad 2016-2017 Students’ Union Election Contestation

A few details pertaining to the previous academic year 2016-17 Students’ Union election at the University of Hyderabad is as follows;

ABVP OBCA Whole Panel

ABVP OBCA President and VP

ABVP - OBCA

ABVP OBCA GS and JS

ABVP OBCA Cultural and Sports Secretaries

GS CASH

UFSJ for 2016-2017

Ultimately, this election witnessed the fruitful and victorious emergence of the United Front for Social Justice (UFSJ). UFSJ comprised various student organisations like Students’ Federation of India (SFI), Dalit Students’ Union (DSU), Tribal Students’ Forum (TSF), Bahujan Students’ Front (BSF), Telangana Vidyarthi Vedika (TVV) as electoral alliance partners. Ambedkar Students’ Association (ASA) contested as a separate panel entity; though there were high range expectations that ASA will become part of UFSJ. The ASA’s contestation as an independent electoral group of a body made many disappointed, and some even accused ASA by attributing evil motives in various forms.

This election took place after the Univerity of Hyderabad witnessed an unprecedented global attention in the wake of the unfortunate suicide of one of the Ph.D., Research Scholars, i.e., Mr Rohit Vemula. The death of Rohit Vemula attracted global attention towards projected and alleged caste discrimination on the University of Hyderabad campus in particular and on other academic institutions across India, in general.

This 2016-17 election also witnessed an unprecedented focus. One of the focal centres of concern was; why a united student body, which led a glorious revolutionary democratic battle against the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Vice Chancellor Prof Podile Appa Rao, etc. got disunited and contested elections? A large chunk of the University student body, comprised almost all the student organisations, expect ABVP, came under two platforms: ‘Justice for Rohit Vemula & Joint Action Committee For Social Justice’ and led a massive revolutionary democratic battle against the groups mentioned above and Vice Chancellor. This large-scale student organisations activism was expected to retain and sustain during this electoral contestation in the form of electoral alliance. But, such expectations, in reality, saw disunity in electoral collaboration.

By the time of the 2016-17 election, these two platforms; ‘Justice for Rohit Vemula & Joint Action Committee for Social Justice’ activities got declined. Critics observed that the reduction of these two platforms activities had to do something with the ensuring and forthcoming elections for that academic year. All this indicates: politics, though openly not acknowledged, is well mastered and practised by various student organisations and sections. And, it took some time for others to realise realities, especially for those whose expectations were very high after witnessing high-level student activism in the form of Justice for Rohit Vemula, etc.

Allegations and counter allegations also went-on high during this electoral process and immediately after completion of the electoral process also this tempo continued. It was highly alleged that ASA was the prime responsible student organisation for betraying the spirit of possible electoral collusion of all the participated teams in the Justice for Rohit Vemula movement. But, ASA justified and propagated that it fought as an independent electoral body since it got betrayed by other co-students organisations (ASA allegations over disappointment should be ascertained and seen separately)!! But, such charge and propagation of ASA got negated by other co-student organisations, which colluded under UFSJ for electoral gain. Among all the colluded partners under UFSJ; BSF took the lead and criticised ASA, as ASA possessed evil motive, for failing to join UFSJ and making unjustified allegations against UFSJ partners. BSF accused ASA has had hand-in-glove with the Indian National Congress (INC) and National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) for not joining the alliance under UFSJ. While BSF expressed such opinion publicly, some others too expressed such opinion in informal ways.

All this indicates that the University range elections, at the University of Hyderabad level, are getting entwined with the mainstream political atmosphere, which was not the case until a few years ago. In fact, in the past, almost all the Student organisations desired to have wider exposure to their political activism in the mainstream media with public attention and concern. Such wish of them started to fruity slowly over the past few years in various respects. The University of Hyderabad’s, unseen alumni role is also prominent, in getting this University into the public limelight over the past few years.

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University of Hyderabad 2017 Students’ Union Election Result

The University of Hyderabad’s 2017 Students’ Union election witnessed an interesting trend when compared to previous occasions. Two electoral panels fought elections, namely Alliance for Social Justice (ASJ) and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (AVBP) & Other Backward Classes Federation (OBCF), i.e., ASJ vs ABVP-OBCF panels. There were many collobrating partners within ASJ, like; 

01. Students’ Federation of India (SFI)

02. Ambedkar Students’ Association (ASA)

03. Dalit Students’ Union (DSU)

04. Tribal Students’ Forum (TSF)

05. Muslim Students‘ Federation (MSF), and

06. Telangana Vidyarthi Vedika (TVV)

And, on the other side Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and Other Backward Classes Federation (OBCF) have contested in the election as a separate panel.

At another level, the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) contested to only the Presidential position.

Thus, all this indicates that except for the position of President, for other positions there was dual contestation between ASJ and ABVP-OBCF panels. For Presidential position there was triangular contest. 

The final result of this election as declared by the University Students’ Union Election Commission is as follows;

Final Result Page One, 2017

Final Result Page Two, 2017

Final Result Page Three, 2017

Note: These details were obtained from the University of Hyderabad’s official facebook.com page – https://www.facebook.com/uohyd/

For deciding on the Vice Presidential candidates election result declaration a Grievance Committee was constituted. The details of this Committee is as follows;

Grievance Committee Constitution, 2017

The final decison of the Grievance Committee is as follows;

Re-election to VP Position

Thus, as per the Order of the Grievance Committee, re-election is required to be conducted by the University Election Commission. Thus, another level of renewed political activism may hopefully unfold in the coming days to come. How political dynamics will work-out again on the University campus is a matter of subject to watch. 

For another detail look into the University of Hyderabad’s Student Union 2017 Election process, please have a look at;

Students’ Union Election Process 2017-18 at University of Hyderabad

NSUI Contests 2017 Students’ Union Election at University of Hyderabad

National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) an affiliated student wing of the Indian National Congress (INC), a mainstream political party in India started its political path at the Univesity of Hyderabad since 2007 onwards. Though the University of Hyderabad got established in the year 1974 and even-though NSUI is one of the oldest and a prominent student wing of the INC, it took about 32 years to NSUI to venture at this University as an aspiring player. By the time NSUI started to set and make a path at the University of Hyderabad, the Campus political situation was much politicised, and it became a difficult task to carve a niche for itself by finding a space amidst of well-established student organisations. As a result, NUSI even after a decade’s presence at the University of Hyderabad; failed and failing to make an imprint on the Campus politics. NSUI is facing a lot of problems, over the past few years, in many respects at the University of Hyderabad, like; lacking proper leadership, cadre, and vote bank. This student organisation at times had successfully forged and became part of a few electoral alliances to test its luck and success. But, almost every such attempt failed to fructify.

Against this backdrop, it would be interesting to have a look at NSUI’s participation at the University of Hyderabad’s 2017 Students’ Union election process.

To have a look at a few documentary evidence in detail about the 2017 Students’ Union Election Process at the University of Hyderabad, please have a look at one of the previous blog posts on this blog;

Students’ Union Election Process 2017-18 at University of Hyderabad

And, to have a particular and sustained visual outlook into the NSUI campaign process as part of 2017 Students’ Union Election at the University of Hyderabad, please observe below images carefully; 

NSUI Manifesto Page One

NSUI Manifesto Page Two

NSUI Manifesto Page Three

NSUI Manifesto Page Four

These four-page images captured the manifested agenda of the NSUI for its 2017 Election Campaign and aspired strategical hold to have among the student community through electoral success at the University of Hyderabad. Among all these aspects included in the manifesto, the Presidential candidate openly embraced, inclined and highlighted women related issues as a feminist!! Thus, this is a new dimension brought-out and projected by the NSUI and its Presidential candidate during this academic year’s election process. This dimension should also be seen in a few respects, like:

a) whether previous NSUI contestants either at the University of Hyderabad or at any other educational institutions while contesting had inclined to this kind of prominent embrace towards women’s issues?

b) whether NSUI candidates in future at the University of Hyderabad or at other educational institutions while contesting in elections will adopt and sustain this present temped inclination towards women’s issues? 

c) what kind of strategical electoral implications was expected by the current NSUI Presidential contestant, while heavily inclining towards this move in favour of women’s rights? Can this move benefit her in gaining success? Or just she wishes to build her larger life’s political image through such an open embrace of women’s rights?

d) Is the present heavy inclination towards women’s rights and issues by the NUSI contestant is a single agenda or endorsed by all the NSUI University of Hyderabad’s unit as a whole, well in advance?

 

Anju Rao Campaign Poster FiveAnju Rao Campaign Poster TwoAnju Rao Campaign PosterAnju Rao Poster Campaign FourAnju Rao Poster Campaign ThreeHindi Poster by NSUI and Anju Rao, 2017NSUI Presidential Contestant, 2017Reginal Appeal by Anju Rao and NSUI, 2017

 

These eight images testified the range of significance projected and campaigned in favour of NSUI’s Presidential contestant Anju Rao K. NUSI dared to contest only to the Students’ Union Presidential position. In fact, there were only a few instances on which NSUI dared to fight to all the posts at the University of Hyderabad, either independently or in alliance with other co-student organisations on the campus. A few reasons behind inability or/and strategical decision to contest only a few positions/one position is based on acknowledged and unacknowledged reasons. Such reasons include, like; failing to find suitable candidates to field as contestants, having a strategic electoral secret understanding with other electoral competitors, financial viability to maintain, lack of sufficient cadre to catch for the campaign and assist contestants, etc. But, openly offered justification, each time would be entirely different by the NSUI team when questioned; why contesting to only a few positions!!?? 

 

ST Second Tweet in favour of Anju Rao, 2017ST Tweet in favour of Anju Rao, 2017

These two, another set of images depicts the enthusiastic tweets posted by one of the INC prominent leaders at the national level, Shashi Tharoor. These two tweets, and the standard of excited positiveness attributed by the University of Hyderabad’s NSUI cadre, by highlighting these tweets, shows how carefully the INC and NSUI are observing and working for success at the University of Hyderabad’s 2017 Students’ Union election process. But, they knew pretty well that achieving victory at the University of Hyderabad’s Students’ Union Election is not an easy task and may not be achievable also; since they have a lot of understanding on electoral dynamics across India!!  

Rajeev Gowda Tweet, 2017

This another tweet, which was also released and highlighted prominently by the University of Hyderabad’s NSUI team; shows the acknowledged leadership abilities of NSUI’s Presidential contestant Anju Rao K, as posted on Twitter by Rajeev Gowda. In fact, the present NSUI presidential candidate has worked under Rajeev Gowda for a while, as an intern, which had a prime objective role of looking after a Parliamentary affair of a Member of Parliament (MP), i.e., Rajeev Gowda.

The prominent tweets released in favour of the NSUI Presidential contestant is also a peculiar dimension seen during this academic year’s Students’ Union election at the Universiy of Hyderabad. Because the electoral process at the University of Hyderabad never saw this kind of reliance on prominent outside persons. And, it should also be noted, that though the individuals who released tweets could be famous either politically / in INC / MP’s, etc.; their prominence never matters to the larger voting section, expect to NSUI!! But, NSUI itself is a very microscopic entity at the University of Hyderabad over the past one decade!!   

And, most importantly NSUI, when seen through tweets culture, as part of this academic year’s election process sounds to be depending on ‘top-down approach’!! But, this ‘top-down approach’ is not prevalent and never worked much visibly so far at the University of Hyderabad electoral process!! 

The level of tweets bagged by Anju Rao, as a NSUI Presidential candidate, as part of 2017 Students’ Union Election process at the University of Hyderabad is a unique dimension. Previously, during last one decade, though many a time NUSI contested to various positions, never any prominent INC / NUSI, etc. persons posted a tweet, and they were also not highlighted by the Campus NSUI cadre. The present tweet culture is a peculiar dimension emerging this year and that too in particular during election time.

At a certain level of observation, it would be interesting to note, as a matter and source of concluding remark; that the present academic year’s contestant Anju Rao got exposed much individually during the campaign process than her political platform NSUI. Thus, this also indicates that NSUI has failed to portray itself prominently and project its candidate. But, the situation was vice-versa!!

And, on a comparative note, it would also be interesting to make it clear; that two other Presidential contested candidates got highlighted primarily on behalf of their political outfits, like ABVP and SFI (electoral alliance panels led by these organisations). And, other political outfits like ABVP and SFI (their electoral alliance groups), also took immense care that their candidates get projected on behalf of their platforms, but not individually!!

Thus, this present situation of NSUI’s candidate getting personally exposed, may pose a set of hypothetical questions to ponder-over and observe further, if possible and required, by having a sustained observation into a few aspects, like;

a) why and how Anju Rao K started to get more projection within NSUI at the University of Hyderabad??

b) Why previous NSUI contestants never achieved independent stature than their organisation? Is this dynamic best in student politics?

c) Will this kind of an individual’s over projection help any political outfit in any student election, especially in relation to NSUI, and in particular during University of Hyderabad’s Students’ Union elections??

These kinds of innovative hypothetical questions capture the minds of the keen observers of the University of Hyderabad’s annual Students’ Union elections!! And, answers can also found to such hypothetical questions on the dynamic process, which may vary based on wide range of dimensions!! But then, having a look at each aspect concerning its dynamics is necessary for better understanding of political discourse!! 

Note: The inserted images were ascertained from the University of Hyderabad’s NSUI public facebook page. This page can be found on the URL: https://www.facebook.com/hcu.nsui.in/

Students’ Union Election Process 2017-18 at University of Hyderabad

The University of Hyderabad is among a few Universities in India continuing the spirit of successfully organising Elections to the University Students’ Union. Very few Universities in India have retained and sustained this vision over the years. Elections to the student Bodies in India were discontinued in many States / Universities / Educational institutions due to various factors; one of the prime factors cited for this discontinued tradition was; over politicisation of Campuses and ensured violence in the election process. 

But, elections to the Students’ Union at the University of Hyderabad has a successful history, not having a much negative image. For the most part of University of Hyderabad’s history, over politicisation and violence in elections is not seen so far. And, the politicisation of elections or presence of mainstream political parties student wing affiliations on this Campus started a bit late. Since the strength of this University was also very less; politicisation of this Campus atmosphere also took a long time to achieve. In addition to this, there are many peculiar dynamics involved at this University, when compared with other mainstream politically vibrant Universities in India. 

In this scenario, it would be pertinent to have a look at the University of Hyderabad’s Students’ Union Election 2017-2018 academic year process through a few documentary evidence. Please see the following documentary sources related to the careful and systematic conduct of the 2017-2018 academic year’s Students’ Union election process. 

Election Commission, 2017

Student Bodies Registration, 2017

Election Notification, Schedule and Code of Conduct, 2017

Addendum Students Union Election, 2017

Extension of Time for Withdrawal of Nominations, 2017

List of Contesting Candidates 2017

List of School Board Members

Open Dais Notice, 2017

DSW Guidelines for Open Dias

Electoral Roll, 2017

School Wise Polling Booths List One

School Wise Polling Booths List Two

Classes Suspension on Polling Day

University of Hyderabad’s Students’ Union election process has undergone an evolutionary process over the years in many respects. This evolutionary process at times was based on its own framed principles and guidelines and on other occasions based on the required mandatorily adopted measures as part of the Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD), Government of India / University Grants’ Commission, etc. requirements. 

For instance, up to 2005-2006 Students’ Union elections at the University of Hyderabad were held based on its own ‘University Students’ Constitution’. But, since the academic year, 2006-2007 onwards the University Students’ Union elections are undergoing based on the Supreme Court of India’s set forth guidelines – namely J M Lyngdoh Committee Recommendations. 

And, in the same way, there is an increase in the number of positions going for elections. Previously elections at University range were held for only six positions, namely; President, Vice-President, General Secretary, Joint Secretary, Cultural Secretary and Sports Secretary. But, over the years, a new set of positions also included, like the election to the positions of; School Board Members, Gender Sensitisation Committee Against Sexual Harassment (GSCASH), etc.

Thus, all this indicates, at a few Universities, like the University of Hyderabad deepening of democracy is taking place, successfully, by having regular and sustained democratic process through annual elections. But, on the other side, in most other educational institutions across India, this phenomenon is unimaginable, and efforts to revive this tradition is also not going on!!

Moral University Convocation

A few years back, a predominant Scheduled Caste (SC) group and organisation at the University of Hyderabad Campus begun to perceive me as a threat to their ‘Caste and Organisation’. As a result, they started to brand me as an ‘Anti-Dalit’ and propagated in such a manner to a few Non-Telugu Dalits, who begun to believe the same.

I came to know about this process and incident a bit late.

On one day, a Non-Telugu SC Doctoral Research Scholar from Political Science started to behave with me in an unusual manner, due to this believed (mis)belief as an ‘anti-Dalit’, without expressing the same in full-fledged form.

Surprisingly, on another midnight, we both encountered each other while walking on the University Campus. This gentleman was thoroughly drunken. As a result, he was able to open his feeling against me as ‘anti-Dalit’, albeit in a little polite manner. But, I was able to guess the sense.

The result was – at length discussion, deliberation, debate, explanation followed. Even then, there was no change in his mindset.

After returning to my hostel room – I pondered over about this guy’s perception towards me and more. At last, I felt pity for his inability to understand ‘what constitutes Political Discourse – why and how’, even after having highest qualification in the academic discipline and exposure to a particular Political Society and System for more than a decade!!??

As a final moral resort, I conducted ‘Moral Reserve University Convocation’ in my heart as Chancellor of the University and repealed his awarded academic qualification in the Political Science discipline for his inability to sustain scientific temper in the pursuit of the Subject!!

Prof Appa Rao Podile Order Banning Posters and Banners

The University of Hyderabad Vice Chancellor Prof Appa Rao Podile has banned through Order ‘display of improper material’ on the University Campus. The Order in this respect was issued through the University Register’s Office. Please see the below picture for the same.

Prof Appa Rao's Circular

The increased activism of the students and other groups of the University after the death of Mr Rohit Vemula led Prof Appa Rao to issue this Order. We can observe the comments / response written with a pen on the Poster. This comment also speaks a lot against Prof Appa Rao. Though the comment was highly derogatory, such comments became a routine on the Campus after the death of Mr Rohit. After issue of this Order the University was successful enough in removing the tents at the University Shopping Complex after the death of Rohit. There was a little dissent voice from the students when the tents were removed.

After the death of Rohit many University building walls were painted with activism inclined towards justice towards Rohit and at the same time defaming Prof Appa Rao, who was accused as one of the prime responsible person behind the death of Rohit. Below is a sample picture of a wall on the University Campus;

On School of Social Science Wall

SSS Building Covered with White Paint

Please compare these two pictures. After observing these two pictures one can observe that the defacing of the walls / activism in favor of justice for Rohit symbols were erased by the University by re-painting the walls.

II

Anyhow, there were dissent voices against this Order of Prof Appa Rao Podile. For instance the University SC / ST Teachers Forum released a strong response against this Order of Prof Appa Rao, accusing of maintaining double standards. Please see the below response of the SC / ST Teachers Forum;

SC and ST Teachers Forum Response

We can clearly observe how the response of the SC / ST Teachers Forum is released. It’s placed just above the Order of the Register’s Office, which was released based on the Orders of the Vice Chancellor Prof Appa Rao Podile.

Similarly, the University Students’ Union too released another Poster which was submitted to the University Register, objecting ban on the entry of ‘Outsiders’. Please see the below Poster for the same;

SU RepresentationSU Representation 2

This two page Poster clears continuing dissent against the Vice Chancellor Prof Appa Rao Podile. And, interestingly this representation is forwarded to the Registrar, but not to the Vice Chancellor Prof Appa Rao Podile!!

 

Claim for Ambedkar’s Legacy by Student Organisations

In the Indian Political discourse, many ‘Politicians’ had their unique path-hold. Usually, such politicians were able to establish their path during their lifetime, for successful electoral discourse on behalf of a political party. After passing away of any such politician his/her legacy may erase or may be projected by the political party to which he/she represented for further perpetual political memory and gains.

Contrary to the above dimension – Ambedkar’s legacy is claimed by various political parties after his death in an increasing manner. This trend basically started since 1990’s and has been successfully continuing. Another interesting dimension is also note-worthy here; though Ambedkar himself launched a few political parties, they were/are not able to represent prolonged positive electoral impact. But, Ambedkar’s ideological contribution has given a beacon torch to many sections, especially to the disadvantaged groups. Mainstream political parties were not able to fully co-opt the ideological and assertive dimensions of the disadvantaged sections, which are represented based on Ambedkar’s ideological legacy. But, mainstream political parties are able to ‘represent’ Ambedkar’s ideological legacy in various shades. One such predominant strategy is the projection of ‘pictorial’ identity on occasional occasions, like on the eve of birth and death anniversaries, etc.

II

At the University of Hyderabad the ‘independent dalit movement’ in the shade of various dalit / dalit-bahujan student organisations is seen as an increasing political threat by the mainstream politically affiliated student organisations like, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), Students’ Federation of India (SFI), etc, which are affiliated to the mainstream political parties – Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Indian National Congress (INC), and Communist Party of India – Marxist (CPI – M), respectively. The vote share of the dalits / dalit-bahujan sections at the University of Hyderabad is crucial for these politically affiliated student organisations to win the annual students’ union elections. As a result, Ambedkar and Ambedkar’s legacy is increasingly claimed and exalted by these student organisations.

Recently, during May 31, 2016 to June 05, 2016 the Entrance Examinations to various courses like Post Graduation, M.Phil/M.Tech, Ph.D., etc were held across various designated centres in India by the University of Hyderabad. One such Centre was also located at the University of Hyderabad. In fact, every year at the University of Hyderabad one Centre will be opened for the benefit of Hyderabad opted aspirants. During this time, every year various student organisations display their welcome banners to the visiting entrance aspirants. During this 2016 also such banners were displayed. One of the interesting features of this year’s banners display is the projection of ‘Ambedkar’ by the mainstream student organisations like the ABVP, NSUI, SFI. Please see the below banners carefully in this respect, which were caught at the University main gate, during the above said duration.

ABVPNSUISFI

Please observe carefully the banners displayed by ABVP, NSUI and SFI with Ambedkar’s image carefully along with their respective other icons like Swami Vivekananda, Jawaharlal Nehru, Baghat Singh!! In certain sense, these political outfits are bringing new discourse to their respective political ideologies by co-opting or by attempting to co-opt in a symbolical manner the other ideological figures like the Ambedkar in addition to their existing icons, for their basic electoral gains!!