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Monday, January 22, 2018

Govt, univ authority apathy to hold DUCSU polls

Rayhanul Islam :
The High Court order on the Dhaka University on January 17 to hold DUCSU election within six months raised fresh question whether it will be finally held within the stipulated time. Election to DUCSU remained suspended over the past 28 years. 
Senior teachers and former student leaders of the Dhaka University said the last election to DUCSU was held in 1990. After that all subsequent   Vice Chancellors (VCs) avoided holding the elections - be it under BNP or Awami League governments.
 Some of them even voiced skeptical whether DUCSU election will be held in the election this year before parliament election.
Student politics became highly critical ever since and VCs had either avoided the election partly to avoid bloody violence on the campus or that they wanted to keep student politics under control and DUCSU challenges to their arbitrary use of powers linked to ruling party politics.
Absence of DUCSU election has meanwhile deprived the students to elect their representatives to the Senate and speak for their interest.  
University authorities wanted all these years to suppress the functioning of various rival teachers and student groups to suppress potential challenge to the government. 
But in recent time a bigger section of varsity students and teachers were demanding DUCSU election. Some student groups started protest on the campus and joined in hunger strike demanding DUCSU election. 
President Abdul Hamid also asked the varsity attending a recent convocation to hold the DACSU election.  Former student leaders said in fact all VCs in the past had also promised to hold DUCSU election but these were quite misleading at the end.
Coordinator of student organizations calling for DUCSU election Masud Al-Mahdey said VCs only spoke about DUCSU election in the past, but without matching action it showed they were not sincere at all.
Formers student leaders said absence of such election is depriving the varsity students and also causing big setback to develop new leadership at national level. Poor quality leaders and even criminals are now filling up vacuum. Election to DUCSU could help pick up good leader from bad ones. 
Emeritus Professor Sirajul Islam Chowdhury told The New Nation that DUCSU poll remained stopped as our government does not want it. The government fears if DUCSU election is held, student opinion may not be on their side.
The poll result is considered as popularity of political parties. The ruling party does not want to hold an election which may show the fall in their popularity.
The present VC Professor Akhtaruzzaman on taking charge in September 2017 had also promised to hold DUCSU polls but is  evasive so far. Varsity students now believe he should fulfill his promise in the wake of the High Court order last week.
Communist Party leader and former VP of DUCSU Mujahidul Islam Selim said since the President Abdul Hamid as chancellor of the varsity has asked the DU to hold the DUCSU election, it was an obligation for the VC to hold the election. But so far he has failed that he should not have.
He called for immediate announcement of the DUCSU election date. He even called for fixing the date of DUCSU election in the varsity's annual academic calendar to avoid confusion.
Former DUCSU general secretary Mostak Hosen hoped the varsity authority will make DUCSU election arrangement immediately bowing to public sentiment.
If the poll won't take place now, they will become further isolated. DU students have waited for the last 28 years, he said.
Former VP of DUCSU Aman Ullah Aman said the High Court order is a shame; the polls should have been held much before.  He doubled whether the DUCSU election will be held in this election year like the uncertainly over the Dhaka North City Corporation election.