My election a setback to caste politics, says Rajasthan University’s first SC president
Vinod Jakhar, the newly-elected president of Rajasthan University Students’ Union, decided to fight election as an independent candidate after being denied ticket by NSUI.
For 24-year-old Vinod Jakhar, the University of Rajasthan Students’ Union (RUSU) polls was a fight against the caste hegemony. He is a scheduled caste but says students of all communities – Jats, Yadavs, Meenas and others – supported him to cast more votes for him that a combine of the first and second runner-up.
“My victory is a tight slap on the faces of those who spread the feelings of caste-based discrimination,” he said, a day after becoming first SC president of RUSU in the university history.
Son of a small farmer in Medh village in Jaipur’s Viratnagar tehsil, Jakhar studied in the village government school until Class 3. He got into students’ politics in 2014-15 when he was elected president of students’ union in Rajasthan College, an associated college of University of Rajasthan for undergraduate Arts courses.
He has done MA in Sociology and is doing a double MA in Rajasthani Language from the Department of Rajasthan Studies.
Jakhar, a member of the National Students’ Union of India until the organisation denied him ticket for RUSU polls, raised funds for the election as an independent candidate through crowd-funding.
“I requested students to give one rupee to me for fighting the election,” he said.
Jakhar’s friend, Ajay Yogi, who has known him since 2012, recalls how Jakhar has been upset after NSUI denied him the ticket.
“I saw him really upset the day he was denied the ticket. But, he bounced back the following day. Vinod is somebody who is quick to pick up his confidence and get back on the track,” Yogi said.
On being asked if he plans to again join NSUI, Jakhar said, “NSUI has taught me a lot. But the students voted for an independent candidate and I do not plan to join NSUI. However, if I decide to join a party, it will be NSUI,” said the newly-elected RUSU president.
On being asked if caste has been a hurdle for him, he said, “More than caste discrimination, economic incapability has been a hurdle in my career in the student politics. I could contest and win only because I got support from the students.”
“The truth is neither I, nor the students of the university had the feeling of caste segregation within them. I have always worked as students’ servant and not as their leader. I have helped students with their problems by raising their demand time and again. Hence, the students realised who deserves the post of president,” he said.
Source: The Hindustan Times, Sept 13, 2018