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‘Coexistence during Ducsu polls just for show’

  • Published at 07:29 pm March 6th, 2019
Mostafizur Rahman
Mostafizur Rahman Courtesy

The Dhaka University Central Students' Union (Ducsu) polls will be held on March 11, after a hiatus of 29 years. A total of 229 candidates will contest for 25 central Ducsu posts. Mostafizur Rahman, joint convenor of Salimullah Muslim Hall unit of Chhatra Dal, and candidate for the post of Vice-President, in an interview with Dhaka Tribune's Ahmmed Sharjin Sharif, talked about his student forum's policies, the current political scenario and his chances of winning the polls

What are your expectations for the Ducsu election?

As you may have noticed during the recently-held 11th general election, people are turning away from casting their ballots. Polls are becoming a farce. I am optimistic that the Ducsu polls will help people regain their trust in elections.

I hope the people will regain their democratic right to vote in the Ducsu polls.

What is your assessment of the election atmosphere? How much coexistence has been ensured?

The coexistence at Dhaka University (DU) regarding the Ducsu polls is just for show. Chhatra League activists are disrupting our campaign, and the administration is yet to take any steps to mitigate the issue.

Posters of Chhatra League candidates, printed in full-colour, are all over the campus, in clear violation of the election code of conduct. The administration has taken no steps against this violation.

What do you think are the chances of a fair election?

Considering the present atmosphere, I cannot see any indication that there will be a fair election. Since the beginning, most students’ organizations on the campus, excluding Chhatra League, have demanded that polling centres be located in academic buildings.

The reason for the request is that more than 60% of students live outside the campus dormitories. They are concerned about casting their ballots inside students’ dormitories. I can sense ill intentions.

Why are you participating in the polls if there is this much adversity?

We wanted to trust in our university's administration, but sadly, our trust was misplaced and our concerns were ignored.

We participated in the Ducsu election to fight for the students’ rights, and for the betterment of their community.

What are your plans if you consider the polls unfair? 

If the Ducsu polls are not held in a fair manner, we will launch a strong protest campaign, along with the students and their organizations.

Considering that most aspirants on the Chhatra Dal panel are relative newcomers, how optimistic are you about winning the Ducsu election?

We are optimistic that if the election is held in a fair manner, there is a 100% chance that we will win. The students’ organizations must step forward and work to ensure a fair election, as meritorious students are the conscience of this country. 

History tells us that the students rise up every time the country needs them. They will lend us their support during the ongoing political turmoil, to free this country from oppressors.

Do you feel the need for the continued existence of students’ organizations, if the Ducsu polls are regularly organized from this point on?

Every organization is unique and different, and they all represent the students’ community across Bangladesh. Ducsu works as a platform for everyone on the campus. 

Students’ organizations involved in politics work to establish their ideology, and the need for their existence is unquestionable. Many students’ leaders have later become national-level politicians.

You have been complaining against the administration, are the matters you presented resolved yet?

The administration is only catering to the demands made by Chhatra League, and ignoring other organizations. I feel that the Ducsu election is on its way to becoming a one-sided contest.

Do you have any recent plans to launch a political movement? 

We are presently focusing on the Ducsu election. We will launch a political movement if we are disrupted while campaigning for the polls.

What are your plans if you are elected?

My initial plan is to work to realize Dhaka University students’ rights. One of the major problems the students face pertains to accommodation. Many first and second year students are being forced to live off campus.

Other issues I will focus on resolving include improving food quality in campus canteens and reducing the shortage of seating at the library.

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