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Nur won for his fighting spirit, Shovon hailed for ‘hug’ to his rival

DUCSU polls give new messages to student bodies, national politics

Published : Thursday, 14 March, 2019 at 12:00 AM  Count : 701
Observer Special

The long awaited Dhaka University Central Students Union (DUCSU) polls, held after a lapse of 28 years, which is still the most talked about event, have given some new messages and created some unexpected as well as unprecedented experiences.

The election has set a new trend that the general students will stand by the leader who fight for the cause of the students notwithstanding, whether the leader belongs to any established student organization or not.

Before this March 11 polls, no student withoutany political platform could clinch the pivotal VP (Vice-President) or GS (General Secretary) posts of DUCSU.

Setting a new instance Quota Reforms Movement leader Nurul Huq Nur secured the VP post winning the support of the general students. Even after the decision of his panel to boycott the poll before one hour of the end of voting on allegation of ballot staffing and gross electoral irregularities, he defeated a tough contestant, Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) Central President Rezwanul Haque Chowdhury Shovon whose panel won 23 posts including the post of General Secretary out of 25 in the DUCSU elections.

DUCSU VP-elect Nur had to face attack from Chhatra League on different times. He faced many cases too and even he was imprisoned. But such obstacles could not dissuade Nur to fight with his associates for the cause of general students. He led the movement for quota reforms that forced the government to scrap the quota system in government jobs. From a leader of quota reforms movement, Nur is now elected Vice-President of DUCSU, the strongest platform of university students.

The polls to the DUCSU and Hall Unions signal that the traditional political student bodies that will not fight for the cause of the students will lose students' support. In the VP post, left leaning student organisations' candidate Liton Nandi of Chhatra Union only secured 1216 votes while Nur got 11,062 votes, Shovon 9,129 votes.

The history of DUCSU and hall unions shows that left bodies had a stronghold in the university. In many times, they won VP and GS posts. However, the left student organisations have been losing their appeal among the students following the fall of communism and socialism.

In the elections at Dhaka University, the BNP's student wing Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) was shown the thumbs down by the students. Before the 11th March polls, the last VP and GS were from Chhatra Dal. But in this poll, they were outright rejected by the students as JCD failed to fight for the students cause.

Chhatra Dal VP candidate Mustafizur Rahman got only 245 votes while GS candidate Anisur Rahman Anik only 462 votes. In this DUCSU and hall union polls the Islami Chhatra Shibir, the student wing of Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami, closest ally of BNP, has become a  non-entity.

In the past anti-government and anti-establishment sentiments reigned in DUCSU polls but this time, Chhatra League, the student wing of ruling Awami League, demonstrated its strong roots bagging 23 out of 25 posts including GS and AGS posts in the DUCSU polls and winning panels with VP, GS and AGS posts in 12 hall unions out of 18.

The history of DUCSU polls had no instance of victory in VP and GS posts by a ruling party's student body. Not only in DUCSU, Chhatra League dominated the male residential halls. But it has miserably failed in the female residential halls in the polls.   
After Awami League returned to power in 2009, the male residential halls have been ruled by Chhatra League. However, in the female residential halls, BCL has little dominance as hall seats are controlled by the university administration in those halls.

The female students of Dhaka University have shown courage and tenacity on the voting day. They have foiled the attempts to snatch away their voting rights and forced the university administration to ensure transparency in the polls in their halls.

At the four out of five female residential halls, independent candidates became winners while in Rokeya Hall only Chhatra League won.

In Rokeya Hall union, where Chhatra League secured all the posts, the resident students on Tuesday night protested against the poll results and demanded re-election at the hall union.

Though the DUCSU and Hall unions polls results were rejected by all the panel except Chhatra League and they are demonstrating demanding re-election, the tense  situation on the campus has eased following the positive gesture shown by Chhatra League Central President Rezwanul Haque Chowdhury Shovon greeting VP-elect Nurul Huq Nur and extending cooperation to the newly elected DUCSU leaders to work for the welfare of the students. All quarters hail the unique move of Shovon. Nur won the DUCSU polls but Shovon, though lost to Nur, stole the limelight by showing the gesture of greeting Nur with a friendly hug in public. Such culture is now absent in our politics and society.

Let this spirit be imbued in our national politics and turn our educational institutions to produce new breed of student leaders who will succeed as able national leaders.

We all know nothing breeds success like success.

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Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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