By Amarjot Sangha : A student leader zipping through the campus in an open jeep, waving passionately to the cheering crowds, posters stamped at various places, rhetoric inspired by achievements, has been a part of the student campaigns for long. But with multiple parties, hi-tech campuses and an aware voter population, ‘innovation’ has been the in-word in the Panjab University student elections this year.
Be it posters, stickers, eye-catching slogans, party specific music compositions, zingy speeches, rallies, websites, blogs, blood donation camps or simple candidate-student interaction, the election scene is abuzz with smart campaigning techniques to engage the voter’s attention.
Shares PUSU chief Udey Singh Wirring,“Our campaign this year has been totally aligned towards the recognition factor of the candidate. The election manifesto has to penetrate into the minds of the voter.”
Udey who scores on his humble and proactive approach relates, “Apart from repeated voter-candidate interface, our blog has been handling student queries, with Facebook page, SMS texting, updated websites being an essential part of our campaign.”
Social concern has also been prominent in this year’s campaign, with parties such as SOPU soon to organize a tree plantation drive, the PUSU party has organized a blood donation camp.
Says Deepak, a newcomer to the university,” It was only at a peace march organized in memory of those who lost their lives in the Leh tragedy that we were made aware about various parties in the university.”
With the election looming large on the horizon, the campus is ablaze with reds, yellows, orange and greens, the colors of the various parties. One can spot party insignia on handbags, slogans painted on nails, mehndi designs with the names and symbols of various parties, et al.
Harsh Vardhan Singh Jhinjha, campus president, SOPU, reiterates“We have focused a lot on student-to-student interaction through our website, apart from carrying press cuttings of our achievements to the classes.”
Zippy songs can capture your ear with their rhythm, “We have come up with a party anthem, a musical composition which reflects our party’s aspirations,” adds Gurpal Singh, a SOPU party worker.
As Shantanu,the campus president of the Hindustan Students Association tells us, “We have consistently tried to keep in touch with the students through handmade posters. Apart from being environmentally friendly, they add a personal touch. The HSA stresses on improving the student-authority communication.”
Dinesh Chauhan, organizing secretary, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad adds, “On foot rallies, photostated material about our achievements and to meet every student personally is our aim.”
With the campaigning reaching a fever pitch, all parties doing their maximum to muster mass support the election scenario has been more glitzy and yet more focused than ever before. The battleground is all set.