It’s that time of the year again in KGP. A time when “poltu” is the buzzword on campus, when formals are the in thing, and SN hall day is an excuse t get into the girls hostel. Amidst all this, there is always an undercurrent of factionalism, the “pacts”. It was when I posted the link to a Scholars’ Avenue poll : “Is it possible to have fair and “pactless” elections in Kgp?” that the shit hit the fan. For all those who are added on my facebook friend list here is the link to the full debate. For the others, I am posting a few of the quotes below.
“Why do u need logic behind pacts … its elections … get real … and no this is not an election for selection the head boy / head girl of “hip hip hurray” … real elections have coalitions, so does this..”
“”People with common aims band together”. Is that what a pact is? Is hall sentiment really representative of the sentiments of its every resident? If so, then yes, that’s what a pact is. A pact is an entire hall voting for a single set of candidates. Law of nature? Really? I’m not commenting on whether a pactless election is feasible – I’m merely refuting the fact that pacts are a manifestation of the “birds of a feather…” syndrome.”
“Let me put in this way, you can say halls are analogous to political parties, the top leadership decides who to support and what the pact will be. The decision trickles down to the rest of the members, but does every member vote according to the top leadership decision? I still dont see how you can say that the pacts arent formed because people forming them dont have common goals.”
“”Is the sentiment of the government representative of every single citizen? No. It ought to be but it isn’t. Pacts – pool of some 50 odd leaders who band together to align interests. The participants of the pact are more often than not clueless as to what it is they’re voting for. It’s blind faith. Pacts are unfair. I’m not saying they’re avoidable, but I think they’re not entirely just.”
“You’re not saying a pactless election will work. You’re just saying a pact”ful” election is unjust. So an ideal situation would be when two candidates contest because they think they can. Then everyone who is interested enough goes and does his own research and decides and goes and votes. Leave aside a macro level, this situation wouldnt even work with a sample space of a 100 people. Youd be looking at 20 candidates, and then 30 votes polled in total.”
” “if the voter is ignoramus (which 90% of the voters here are)” & “If the people in KGP had the balls to think for themselves”
Kgp is no way a microcosm of India for starters. It is understandable to be an ignoramus if you were BPL and could not muster enough income to satiate your hunger/basic needs. Kgp is NOT that. All of us *can* think for ourselves and make the right choice but don’t… so I see it as giving up on the fact that we *can* have a “fair” election that can negate coalitions … and we are raising questions that follow the naive and insulting assumption(s) as stated above.
We should create as much of noise as possible against pacts/coalitions/nexus of any kind because I think everyone agrees about the fact that even if pacts superficially did exist, the overriding factor which would work the best is — if people would think for themselves and make a judicious choice
And I trust kgpians to think right provided we create enough dissonance around the existing idea(s) and assumptions of kgp elections. Most people do not think because there isn’t enough debate about these things. People assume that the Hall is making the right choice for them simply because they never even gave it a damn (and not because they do not have the balls to think about it themselves). Jitna halla macha sakte hain, machana chaahiye.”
“The issue of how a better suited candidate does not get to contest will be resolved if he/she believes that there is enough of a chance that he/she will get elected based on proposals etc. rather than pact alignments. This will happen when the KGP populace realizes that each of them can very easily subvert the pact. This is a point ScholsAve makes every year in one way or the other. I am yet to see the difference.”
The crux of the debate was whether pacts prevent elections from being free and fair. I think in the context of KGP it would boil down to the individual, and that is not saying much. The majority of people wouldnt be bothered enough to research and vote for the candidate who they think has the most potential, and hence it would somehow boil down to a follow the herd mentality, which is not good. In the end, I think we all agreed that pacts are a reality of life, but what really screws up the process is when the individual starts shirking his responsibility towards the process of election.
Also, in the present context of KGP, it is extremely important that the voters know who and what they are voting for. Now, more than ever, we need a student leader who is a do-er, someone who will work for the welfare of the students, be available and open to their suggestions, not some mythical figure who only shows up in Disciplinary Committee hearings. The issues are many: BCRoy, HMC, hall maintenance. What remains to be seen is what our candidates have to offer in terms of a better life on campus for the students. That is the plank on which these elections should be fought. And therein lies the responsibility for each one of us.
For it’s part, The Scholars’ Avenue will bring you as much information about the candidates as possible, as soon as we get it. Keep visiting our site. We will soon be setting up a portal where you can send in your questions to the candidates, and we will try our best to get their replies on these issues, preferably in the SOP Box, which again will be recorded and shared on DC++.
Let the best man win.