For students in our country, the election to the College Union is a very important event. Even before the declaration of the date for the election, they busy themselves canvassing for their candidates. They know that if they do not make use of the time, their candidates may fail. One notices hectic activity in the campus. The students lose themselves in the election.
The election of the office bearers of the College Union gives the students an opportunity to develop their talents for leadership. The candidates and their leaders make speeches before their college mates, telling them what they will do, if elected. They overcome their nervousness and learn how to express themselves impressively. They acquire the skills required to organize things. They gain proficiency in the art of propaganda.
In a democratic country like India, the election to the College Union is on democratic lines. The students get practical knowledge of the procedure adopted for the election.
The election makes the students take a keen interest in the political affairs of the country and the world. They do not remain mere bookworms. They start looking at political affairs as part and parcel of human life. Man is also a political animal. The students, therefore, take pains to understand the strengths and weaknesses of various political parties and students’ organizations.
Very often, this election leads to violence, quarrels and bloodshed. There may be differences of opinion among the leaders .of various student organizations. But such differences must be settled peacefully. They must be ready for negotiations. ‘Give and take’ is absolutely necessary. Resorting to violence and making abusive speeches are against the spirit of democracy. Lincoln said long ago, “The ballot is stronger than the bullet”. The college authorities must also take timely action to prevent the outbreak of violence.
The teachers should remain neutral. On no account should they favour any students’ organization.
The office-bearers of the College Union should dedicate themselves to the welfare of the students. The Union should be a training ground-to acquire the ability required for effective speaking and skillful debate. It should arrange for lectures, debates and mock-parliament for this purpose.
They should not incite the students to unnecessary agitations. The office bearers should realize that once they are elected, they are the representatives of all the students. This important principle of democracy is often forgotten. The promises they made at the time of the election should not remain as pipe-dreams. It is their duty to work hard, to carry out the promises and assist the college authorities not only in creating a peaceful atmosphere, but also in making the college famous in all fields.