Bengal mulls necessity of student elections

Following the death of SFI leader Sudipto Gupta, the Bengal government is contemplating the necessity of conducting students’ union elections at colleges and universities. Bengal higher education minister Bratya Basu said that there should be a debate socially as well as politically on the issue. Currently, the state government has withheld the process of students’ union election following the death of a policeman at Garden Reach area due to campus violence. Incidentally, Sudipto died while protesting against this very decision of the state government.
Mr Basu, on the sidelines of a programme at Calcutta University, said, “I feel that there should be a debate over the necessity in conducting the students’ union election. However, one must note that this is ultimately a political call. For this reason, the political parties must have a political will to take a call.”
He said the civil society must debate on the matter and express its thoughts. “ If the civil society is able to convince the political parties or the political parties agree to adopt the suggestion of the civil society then there could be a solution to the problem,” he added.
Academic experts said student politics and students’ union elections are not similar. A section of the experts feel that the intervention of the political parties in the students’ units at the colleges and universities have made the situation murky. Many have also cited the example of colleges like Lady Brabourne College, St. Xavier’s College, Bethune College, Bengal Engineering and Science University where there is no existence of students’ union.

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