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JNU Students' Union: Politics is a Way of Life

The Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union or JNUSU is Students' union under Office of Dean of Students at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

It is primarily responsible for building and preserving a healthy political culture and an atmosphere of open debates on the campus. Students are kept informed about the public meetings, discussions and other issues through pamphlets and notices.

Public Action, an objective forum, invited a variety of journalists, politicians, and academics, to debate and discuss various topics. There is a long tradition in JNU of holding serious post-dinner meetings in the hostels to which the students often invite well-known public figures, writers and intellectuals.

Notable student organisations
These student organisations contest in JNUSU:
  • All India Students Federation (AISF)
  • Students' Federation of India (SFI)
  • Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students Association (BAPSA)
  • National Students' Union of India (NSUI)
  • Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP)
  • All India Students Association (AISA)
JNUSU Election

"JNUSU Election is one of the very biggest event on campus. You’ve never seen it happened anywhere in the world where students' union election is so thrilling, chilling, and exiting moment on campus. It is JNU that opens the freedom space for student activities to the maximum. I decided to vote in JNUSU elections for the first time in five years. The Leftist parties have occupied JNU for decades, expected change for the Rightist? No yeah, it’s not that easy. But is there any leftist alternative among them? Yes, of course. One vote one voice!" – said one voter in anonymous, September 8, 2017.

Election campaign is very creative, provocative and strategic. These parties set out their respective political agenda and inform it to the voters via election campaign which is conducted in different means such as parade with slogans, pamphlet circulation, posters as well as door-to-door knocking. A day before election to take place, there is alway the open President Debate in which nominated candidates are to present their party's political platform followed by very difficult questions from the audience.

Their political platform is not limited to university politics, it expands to the national and international levels. Hence, it also critical for national political parties to establish their wings with students' union. For example, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is linked with ABVP (right-wing), and Indian National Congress is the patron of NSUI. However, many parties of JNUSU have remained independent from national political parties especially those from the left-wing ideology like SFI and AISA. These two left-wing parties sometimes merged in standing for election as a strategy against the the rising right-wing ABVP.

All these activities make the campus so lively and draw local media attention often to the front-page. To say the least, for JNU Students, politics is a way of life. They strongly believe in the quote, "When politics decides your future, decide what your politics is".

JNUSU Election September 8, 2017

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