The Times They Are a-Changin’

Another election comes and goes. The dynamics of the student population changes drastically.
An election is the perfect way, I guess, to gain insights into the minds of the junta.
What follows is my experience and assessment of the elections.

  • Campaigning – There seemed to be less campaigning this time around. There was a larger focus on peer networks, polt (?), hostel senti etc. Not a good sign.
  • Voting for me was a smooth procedure. I could peacefully go to the polling booth, wait in the line for five minutes and cast my vote. I hear it wasn’t simply as convenient for the others, with server crashes, long lines etc.
  • Ugly polt – Will return to it later.
  • Catching blacklisted candidates from specific places out of campus – This is simply unacceptable. It is a complete violation of privacy as the jurisdiction of the election officers is the institute itself, and not Cafe Coffee Day, Mocha etc. (However, it is highly amusing.
  • SAC jail was not fun enough. It became downright boring after the 2 hour extension of the voting time. My entry was peaceful, my exit simply chaotic. People had begun to grow restless by 12 AM and the distribution of mobile phones and I Cards stopped just short of being an expletive- raining and violent affair.
  • – A blog solely meant for time pass, but went too personal in one post. Unfortunately for the blog authors. However, the removal of all the posts was a tad too harsh; simply removing the post could have sufficed.

I and my friends got to experience some interesting events/discussions.

  • A funny one to begin with.

An IR1 (!!!) calls up a friend and tells him to vote for a candidate X for GS Sports Affairs.
IR1: Please vote for X. He’s campaigned in 80 wings and is the best candidate for the post.
Friend: Have you ever played a sport? No. Have I ever played a sport? No. Then why are we having this discussion?

  • A bitter one, made worse because this incident woke me up (at unearthly hours for me).

A ‘Victory March’ happens outside the rooms of current council members. The new secretary’s supporters come and clap and shout outside the current secretary’s room in the morning, just after the results are declared.
Undignified and outright lame.

  • One which made me <facepalm> –

A friend has seen the campaigning of one candidate; Y. Y has campaigned in his wing and not been very impressive. His opponent Z does not even campaign in that wing. This friend assumes that Z would be the better of the two candidates and votes for him. Sad.
Also, the fact that a guy making such a decision might go for a POR is not comforting.

  • The one which made my head ache – Male chauvinism.

A strong undercurrent, the fact that a female should not be at the helm of affairs in the institute has driven many voters to the opposing candidate’s side. Not the best of reasons, and certainly the most disturbing one. I have acquaintances who have actually considered this, and I weep for them.

  • Other forms of ugly polt

– People forcing impressionable freshies to vote for candidates.
A particular person goes to a freshie wing, shouts at them for (apparently)supporting a candidate (say A) and lectures them for 1.5 hours on why not to vote for A, but to vote for B.
The freshies complain to the mentor and the matter reaches higher authorities.
I do not know if further action was taken.

– Persons Of Responsibility calling people, trying to sway their vote.

My view of the institute is simply two years old, so the picture is incomplete. However, I can see for myself the institute (the student body) evolving in the last two years. I can also paint a small, rough picture of the institute a year down the line (I may be horribly wrong), through manifestos, visions. I would like to believe that democracy is good in the long run. But is it?

Lastly, I hope to have a Subway outlet inside the insti. Please, Mr. GSHA. It must happen.

Abhishek Padmanabhan