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August 11, 2015

In one, among the last few senate sessions of the previous semester, a bill was passed, that changed the face of student representation on the campus once and for all. The regular structure of SAC was dissolved and replaced by an independent system where anyone could contest and everyone would vote.

Democracy at IIT Roorkee comes with its fair share of intrigue. It is something everyone talks about and takes a passing interest in. But when it comes to casting votes, most of the junta can be found feigning sweet slumber on that fateful Sunday morning. And hence, politics at IIT Roorkee inevitably boils down to a select set of kingmakers and their minions. This is in no ways any more distinguished from the way it is played at the highest echelons of politics in our country but every change must originate at the bottom (or so we would like to believe).

Campaigning for the elections here has always been an inconspicuous affair. It starts with a frantic mob hunt of potential candidates, with the poly-sters spreading their nepotism and hegemony in every way possible. It is rare that a manifesto, which is supposed to be the criterion to check the competence of a contestant, is ever talked about before the final night of the elections or has appeared in any form other than the a few scribbled words on the back of a business card; it ultimately reduces to a competition of who has the highest number of fair-weather friends. Though it would be justified to help a friend win, to draw lines on the basis of caste or region is outrageous and demeaning, especially in an IIT.

In your stay in college, there will come multiple instances when you need issues to reach the forefront and be dealt with at the managerial level. It could be the denial of your rights, the administration not acting in the best interest of the students, rules and regulations which hinder the students from excelling in any field or one could simply think of an alternate model which would fit better into the existing system. All of this needs a strong student representative body which has the guts to vouch for what is right and fight for it if need be.

This year, like every other year before, we have yet another chance to choose the right people to represent us. Every student has a right to his own opinion. A good, clear opinion is a byproduct of rational thought, preceded with information and succeeded by discussions. So, this year, unlike the others before, do not let the elections be reduced to a show of Machiavellianism. Assess every situation, make informed choices and exercise your franchise, as is your prerogative.

The election system has been massively revamped. For better or worse? Watch Out!, attempts to add some honest insight to the proceedings by critiquing, amending and questioning the reforms as need be; thereby doing its bit to facilitate the functioning of democracy at IITR. Watch out for the upcoming blog series analysing the reforms and the repercussions they might have on R-Land.