Sunday, February 26, 2006

I was going to write something profound on elections in general and student politics in particular, but then I came across this. And this. And since we're on the topic this. The last you can ignore. If you're looking for something profound that is. It has the funny bits which have stopped seeming funny to me because right now, short of a bullet in the brain nothing seems particularly entertaining. Not my brain necessarily, although that would be the best place. My head is full of memories tonight. Gah, this post is going to be sappy. Here's the standard self-censorship suggestion.
*ahem*
All ye likely to be offended by a post singularly devoid of humour, sex and such like things please go away. Right.
*begin ramble*
I was in class X the year didi entered college, but she refused to let me step into her campus until my board exams ended. I think it was June 2000, when I stepped into Presidency College properly. I remember didi telling me once that the only reason she chose to study history in Presi was because she fell in love with the main building the day she went for the admission test.
I fell in love with the place about five minutes after entering the canteen. In the next two years I watched my sister throw herself headlong into politics and then retreat just as rapidly into studies. The year didi left Presi I entered JU. And one of the first things she told me was to stay away from student politics.
Except, somehow, with my sterling knack for being completely insignificant and unnoticable, within approximately two months of college, I'd been approached by what seemed like every bloody political outfit there was on campus. And completely self-centred and egotisitical though this may sound, the reason I remained detached from it all was because there was no party I could identify with.
There were about four small parties on campus three years back, apart from the one large one we'll leave aside for later.
AISA, which was made up of three old men *and when I say old I mean forty*. These three have hung around the campus for years on end, getting admitted into a variety of courses. One of them holds about four masters degrees, including subjects like physics and bengali. But the reason I have no respect for him or any of them is because dammit a degree is not a joke, and having four of them does not justify sitting on the same steps year in and year out talking, passing comments on others and pretending to contribute greatly to social welfare.
Then there was PDSF and RSF, both partially revolutionary, both to be passed over barely mentioned because between them they have fewer members than I have fingers.
And there was AIDSO. Which at least had a more presentable number of members but still failed to accomplish anything significant for the students.
That leaves the SFI. sigh. Ideally I'd rather not talk about that party. It happens to consist a bunch of no good losers I pretty much dislike. I do have a few friends who are staunch left-ists, or claim to be, but we keep our political beliefs out of our friendship and pretend the grass is green everywhere.
I find it hard to come up with a comprehensive explanation of why I am not willing to lay a red carpet and embrace all those who wish to hail me as a comrades. Maybe it's because I find it unbelievably pointless that right now their biggest hoarding on campus reads as follows, stop bush, say no to war. Admittedly I would not touch a member of the george bush fan club with a ten foot long barge pole. The man's a moron and an idjit to boot. But wouldn't it be far more relevant if they'd put up a poster which read say no to the new controller of examinations appointed by the university board because he graduated with a bloody 43%.
The again maybe all this ire is because I am sick and tired of the fact that everytime I've passed members of that party over the past week or so comments have been passed in unecessarily raised voices. Of course being red-blooded staunch believers in the need for communal living they find courage in numbers. Normally I revel in the attention and when people come up with threats like dekhe nebo I'm more than happy to invite them to look long and hard because I'm a sight for sore eyes. But sometimes they go too far. A few days back I stepped into the Dean's office for some work. There were twenty of them. I was alone. That they would be obnoxious and loud was expected. That they would say offensive things questioning my parentage was not. Let us draw a curtain gently over the scene of pointless wrath.
I've been rambling pretty pointlessly. Ideally I should be happy right now. This year's election saw one of the biggest turn-arounds in the past ten year history of JU arts. For the last ten years the union has been held by SFI. Last year, 1200 students voted and the margin between the sfi and their nearest competitor was 600 votes. This year, 1500 students voted and FAS *which is the newest thing around* won the highest post in the union and lost the other two offices by a mere margin of forty votes. There's a hung union right now and as I told Tintinda when he asked me what the implications of that were, simply put, roj bawal hobe. both sfi and fas are in charge of the union at present and needless to say there'll be plenty of fireworks in the coming year.
Right now though the euphoria of watching red asses getting kicked has died down. I spent my saturday holiday, which would've been better employed studying, in college, writing posters. I didn't do the writing bit, that involved delicate art work type thingys. I painted the general backdrop and stuck endless sheets of white paper onto cardboard and sliced through immense quantities of cardboard with a very flimsy knife. Na, that sounds like I did a lot of work. Not really. I did next to nothing but my fingers ache like hell. And the reason I'm not particularly happy is because I know that even if we put up the posters on monday, with the elections on friday there is an immense chance that somewhere in the interim the posters will be torn, damaged or simply removed permanently.
I don't like it when people don't play fair. That' a childish thing to say but at the end of the day the reason I don't like politics is simple. I don't have a vested interest. I can't make a career out of this, I'm not even going to make money running for this election. If we could leave behind all pretensions to ideology and then leave behind all th dirty tricks like brain washing and slandering wouldn't life be simpler?

P.S : incidentally did you note the tone of pompous self-righteousness? also the tendency to be a saintly martyr, or a stuffed toad, whichever you prefer. and the fact that by speaking ill of everyone but myself in the entire damn post I have effectively been indulging in some slandering myself. damn. damn. damn. where's the bloody bullet when my brain needs it anyway?

7 Comments:

Blogger Freaky Chakra said...

why do i get d impression that some of the "independents" have fas-leanings?

dont let me catch u wearing their colours!

4:27 AM  
Blogger Acroyali said...

student politics... tho we hav nothing similar to stuff like this back in college. but elections are the dirtiest thing around in the village too.

do take care.

8:01 AM  
Blogger panu said...

No Babel, you HAVE been working hard. I might make fun of the whole matter in my blog, but I do not find politics the least bit funny in reality (and I SHALL publish this disclaimor as soon as I reach my blog). I guess, I don't like Politics. Really. It reminds me too much of the curfew in Kolkata when I lost my uncle and his wife, who was pregnant. And you see, my family's kinda deeply into Politics, so No, I don't like Politics. I believe in my rights, and I exercise them without fail. That does not stop me from hating it.

But I hope you will do even better next year.

Love and hope,

Panu

P.S. Is this Sentu or what??

10:26 AM  
Blogger babelfish said...

freaky chakra : "pyak" marli? e bawa! koto koshto pelam :( But yeah on a scale of 1 to 10, whereas SFI would get a minus three billion, FAS would get a 1 or maybe 1 & 1/2 from me. But no colours. Ever.

acroyali : let us be glad we don't live in bihar at least :D

panu : aww, me is the touched by all the sentu. Faintly hoping that on march 3rd when you get around to exercising your rights you will vote for me :D

12:08 PM  
Blogger "sen"sational said...

ummm....r we having another election?? why?? because the previous one threw up a hung union?? ei post ta pore kamon jano mone hochchhe je univeristyr kono khobori rakhi na...

4:09 PM  
Blogger babelfish said...

"sen"sational : different election altogether; wait I'll try and write a post explaining it. And in our university it's pretty difficult keeping oneself up to date about things. No less than two professors confirmed the date of the last election with me, so you're a first year in exalted company :D

7:50 PM  
Blogger Deepali said...

Hmm this sounds quite different from the politics in my university. Like a smaller setting of national elections in India.

A bit depressing too- sounds like a cliched movie scene which I thought didn't quite exist.

40 yr olds 'students' (?) on campus- eeeks :S

but maybe you can take heart in knowing that there are probably many like you who are looking out for someone not involved in the dirty bit of politics . I'm sure those kind would vote in your favour b'fish.

As for that comment on parentage- poor taste and speaks volumes of their level. But regardless, let me sum up people like that.......

ASSHOLES

11:44 PM  

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