Three out of four voters on the Panjab University campus are girls so obviously no party can win the Student Council elections without the girls’ support.
Girls constitute about 78 per cent of the Panjab University student body but despite their numbers they play almost no role in PU student elections. Occasionally, a campus party will put up a girl as it’s vice presidential candidate, but basically each party is a collection of moustaches. An exception was Deepika Thakur of president INSO. In 2009, Deepika Thakur created a history by becoming the first Girl to be elected as Student Council General Secretary. SOPU claims that they won the 2011 election, thanks to the support of girl voters. SOPU leaders say that they are keen on more girls coming forward to actively participate in student politics.
Panjab University girls say that if actively participating in student politics means standing for the post of vice president then they are not impressed. They point out that the vice president has nothing to do and no decision power. The girls say that if campus parties mean putting up with the same old macho swaggering then they have better things to do.
So, the situation in campus politics closely mirrors the situation in state and national level politics. There are a very few Sonia’s, Mayawatis, Mamtas and Jayalalithas but by and large, women are nowhere in the rough and tumble that brings up leaders from the ranks.
Simranjeet Kaur, General Secretary NSUI blamed India’s patriarchal social system for the lack of girl’s participation. She pointed out that if girls show any interest in politics, their parents are quick to oppose it and even those girls who do participating find that the only way they can survive is to be the minion of some guy who dominates them and steals their ideas.
The parties know that the support of girl voters is crucial and they are trying to get their support but it a girl actually came forward and demanded a real leadership role, would any party go along with her?
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