CAMPUS: Parallels were drawn between the ideals behind the campaign by Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders for US presidentship and the national movement solidifying behind Kanhaiya Kumar at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi at a discussion which was a part of a cultural exchange programme for students from Ramapo College of New Jersey and the students of St Joseph’s College on Wednesday.
The interaction dealt with the voice of youth in democracies and sought to analyse what was stirring up the Bernie Sanders and Kanhaiya Kumar, respectively. The students discussed an array of topics such as nationalism, a nation’s identity and the right to freedom of speech and expression.
“Nationalism can be defined as the devotion to the state surpassing the devotion to oneself. But what is wrong when that is used as an iron fist to control our right to freedom of speech and expression,’’ said Kakugha T Aye, I MA Political Science, SJC.
SJC Principal, Fr Dr Victor Lobo, asked the exchange students from the USA whether they would vote for Hilary Clinton. He was surprised to find that none of the female students raised their hands. Most of the students were rooting for Bernie Sanders and felt that to make a comparison between Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump was unfair.
“It was an interesting exchange. We realised that the issues in both countries are strangely similar,” said Prithvi Chandavarkar, I MA English.
“This was an excellent opportunity for students from different cultures to ultimately discuss our collective futures. The events at JNU in India and the popularity of Bernie Sanders in America show the beginning of a movement that has the potential to shift political perspectives in both countries,” Michael Joseph Pacheco, a student of Ramapo College of New Jersey.
Dr Priyanca Mathur, PG Co-ordinator, said, “We are happy to have hosted them and glad for the opportunity to interact with the exchange students.”
The discussion was moderated by Professor SanghaPadhy, Assistant Professor of Law and Society, Ramapo College, and Professor Padma Baliga, Department of English, St Joseph’s College. It was organised by the PG Department of Political Science,SJC.
Andrea Aruna Anthony