Nothing epitomises the word, “revolution,” like the iconic image of Che Guevara and this revolutionary might just tip the vote in favour of the All-India Students’ Association or perhaps Karl Marx might do it for the Democratic Students’ Union.
Both these legends adorn a major part of the paintings and hand-made posters of these two arch rivals and prime contenders for the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union.
“We might come across something interesting with a revolutionary flavour in a book or a cartoon in a newspaper might catch our attention. When many in the group are excited with the idea, we then sit and plan out the painting or the poster,” said AISA member and former JNUSU president Sucheta De, adding that Chandini Chowk was a popular destination for buying paints and brushes. “We know the shops for years now and we usually get a good bargain. Money is always an issue; we usually put in our personal resources.”
Paintings sometimes adorn an entire wall of some schools in the university; the eateries inside campus are usually painted red or some other identifiable colour and some schools even have parts of their corridors painted before it is found out and painted over. “It usually takes us one entire day to do a poster but the wall paintings take much longer,” she added.
This is an important election strategy especially to capture votes of the newcomers, says DTF’s presidential candidate Ishan Anand, whose posters have quotes from Karl Marx. “Some of the new students are not as familiar with the left-oriented associations like ours so the more visible we are, the better,” he said, adding that the worrying factor this year was the sudden presence of posters from the National Students’ Union of India.