Three Lives in Student Politics
I discovered that I am on a holiday today. I went through the entire newspaper. Not only today's edition but the last few days. One curious feature got my attention.
Called Three lives in Student Politics, it profiled 3 random student politicians. Why do I say random? Well, the subjects range from an "18-year old, bespectacled, first-year student of Sociology Honours at Janki Devi College" whose biggest achievements in politics were losing the Head Girl election at her school, to the Delhi state unit secretary of ABVP.
The topic was interesting, no doubt, but the treatment from the interns who did the piece was, as expected, bland. Except for the fact that the ABVP woman stating that 'she admires Congress President Sonia Gandhi as a “very strong woman”', there was not much that could not have been written without meeting the people concerned. At least in the first two pieces.
The third, however, is amazing. The web-edition itself is funny. It starts with 'Subhonil Chowdhury’s unkempt hostel room in JNU smells of unwashed clothes and wrinkle-free ideology.' The photograph of his room clearly show the unwashed clothes. The none-too-generous tone that Sutirtho Patranobis adopts shows up through rest of the article as well, and he just stops short of saying "Son, Leftist-Weftist bahut ho gaya, ab kaam kya karoge?". Or he doesn't... 'Subho is aware that there is a world outside the cosy comfort of a tree-lined walk to Ganga Hostel dhaba and the romance of hearing Karat speak of Cuba, Chavez and Left resurrection late at night, huddled with friends in the packed auditorium. But he does not know what he’ll do in that world yet.' (Italics mine)
The punch, though is missing in the web-edition. While the byline for the NSUI article is "The NSUI is the youth's springboard to the Congress Party. But why would anyone want to join it?" and the ABVP is "The ABVP is BJP's student wing. Check out its Delhi State Unit's secretary's worldview.", the "Lal Salaam Land" article has a wicked stance. Just look at what's written just below the photograph. Talk about newspapers trying to maintain an unbiased perspective.
Page 2 (HT Metro) in the Epapers has the 3 articles, in case you want to read them: NSUI, ABVP, SFI.