5th September 2005
One thing that I have learned in the past one month is that college life is more of an adventure than fun. And if one does not agree with, come to Panjab University during the elections.
The following are a list of things that you can enjoy during PU elections.
- Chandigarh Police checking you vehicle from boot to bonnet
- Ocean of leaflets, hoardings, posters, etc.
- Tents of different parties, unions , associations
- Door to door campaining, which can take place anytime(literally they can come “Any Time” of the day)
- NO CLASSES due to mass cut or campaining in the classrooms etc
- Movies, Disco etc- the leading parties take you to these things, although it is not always well organised. For example the party that took us to disco had arranged for transport for going to the disco. While returning there was a serious shortage of
vehicles. So you have to manage yourself. Also you have about 600 people at the disco which is designed to accomodate only about 200.
We were taken to a movie in Fun Republic (the only multiplex in Chandigarh), we first entered the audi showing ‘No Entry’, but we never got a seat that was booked by the party. Thus we were thrown out of the audi within 10 mins. Then we entered the audi showing Iqbal, again we were kicked out as the row which we occupied was not booked by the party. Finally each of us was handed over a ticket for Barsaat which we all enjoyed finally. Reason for this mismanagement:- they initially booked 120 seats and 350+ students turned up.
- No Ragging.
- Police Raids at each and every hostel room late at night (or early morning) between 4:30AM and 5:00 AM
- Every one is tensed- you might be caught by a party you are not supporting. So the key is to remember each politician and keep him happy. How? With a big smile tell him that you support his party even before he asks you anything. And you better not mix up the party name and the politicians.
- Riot control police vans all around the campus.
- Leaders giving BHASHANS (Speeches- I am the best. Better than the rest. etc)
- If you are lucky enough you might see the parties doing DANDIA. In other words trying to kill each other with sticks, hockey sticks etc.
- Kidnapping. (This is the true adventure part)
If any party gets to know that you are not supporting them then you might find yourself in either Patiala, Rajpura and other places far away from Chandigarh. Reason? They do not want you to cast your vote.
My experience with kidnapping:- Late night on Thursday, 1st Sept there was a knock at my door. Seniors! I thought. But actually they were politicians from the leading party (whom I support). They asked us to carry our books, I-cards and come with them to their hostel as otherwise we might be kidnapped by opposition party. My room partner was really happy to see them and quickly agreed to do whatever they said, I did the same reluctantly. First we were taken to their tent- the safest place in
the campus (according to them). Then we were asked to follow them and seven of us followed them. A car was waiting for us outside the campus. It took us westwards away from the city. A long ride and we reached an extremely dark village. We stepped out of the car and were guided into a single room on the first floor where there were a few pillows for us to sleep on the floor. We were really nervous (which we
ought to be). The senior asked us to trust them and he took our mobile phones and did not allow us to make any call. We spent the whole night in that small room with one senior and no electricity. We had no means of communication and we did not know where we were. They refused to tell us anything, just that we were safe there and they got us here as their hostel was sealed by the police. I did not sleep the whole night and in the morning we met a few other seniors who asked us to be calm and offered us food. They took us back at about 11:00 AM and then returned our phone. The next day the same thing repeated but one of my friend and I managed to escape somehow. I told them that I would go to my Local Guardian.
The elections took place on 3rd Sept. We were driven to the polling booth and we met our friends (who in short were ‘kidnapped’) over there. And trust me that is quite an adventure.
A few facts:- In all there were 110 polling booths in the campus, more than 7500 voters with UIET being the largest department with approx 1250 voters.
Now finally the elections are over and every senior is free to rag us all over again.
If you have not experienced something like this- JOIN PANJAB UNIVERSITY.