One of my first memories of Panjab University, Chandigarh is Ankit Malik & Puneet Rooprai, two 2nd year seniors coming to my room and giving me my first lesson in Panjab University Politics, in process making me a SOPU member for life. But I also remember me having thought at that time, “ I have not come here for politics, I will study!” That might have been the case with most of the people entering Department of Chemical Engineering and Technology as politics is perceived as a thing for the law or arts guys. But PU is a place where you just can’t stay away from SOPU-PUSU or INSO & ABVP & SOI as well some may say. Looking at it all in hindsight, I don’t think I regret having been an active supporter of SOPU or being “involved” in politics. I think it in reality, it lead me in discovering a totally different side of myself.
I was as staunch a supporter of SOPU as one could be but I was good friends with a lot of people who didn’t support my party. There used to be a tradition in our hostel that some seniors were baptised as fathers of some juniors, based on how close they are to each other. Ironically, my “godfather” was Rahul Ravi- a PUSU member and so were most of his friends. But that never was a bone of contention in our relations. We did our best to make sure that we bring success to our parties but we never fought our such stuff. I don’t remember having seen any Senior-Junior alternations because of politics during my first couple of years in DCET. Now that I am no more enrolled as a student in the University and am not directly involved in the elections or any related activities, I realise things have drastically changed. Or were they changing when I was there?
Panjab University Campus Students Council elections have recently concluded and PUSU won 3 out of 4 seats in the council. I am myself disappointed by the result, but what pains me even more is the Facebook wars going on between various supporters of both parties from my department. What hurts me even more is the fact that in majority of the cases, it is a case of seniors(in some cases- passouts) and juniors having a full frontal attack on each other. Something that was unheard of in “our times.” I don’t know what is the reason for it-It can be the sudden rise of Facebook which has given wings to people’s thoughts, It can be the fact that now “ragging” is banned unofficially as well as officially so juniors probably have no real nor apparent respect for the seniors, it can also be due to our dedicated efforts in making our juniors loyal to our party more than anything else or it maybe due to some other reason or maybe due to a mix of reasons. But, I know it is not good for the future batches of my beloved DCET( can’t get used to UICET).
So just a heartfelt request to my fellow DCETians, support your party as much as you want to, just have some respect for your fellow batchmates, seniors & juniors even if they support some other political outfit. I think you will enjoy your stay in the university much more.