Student Politics on the decline affecting electoral landscape in Prayagraj 

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Prayagraj, once renowned for its vibrant student politics, is now witnessing a significant decline in student participation in electoral processes. This shift, primarily attributed to the discontinuation of the student union at Allahabad University in 2018, marks a turning point with far-reaching implications for the region's political dynamics.

The decision to abolish the student union followed a series of violent incidents preceding the varsity polls, which underscored the increasingly contentious nature of campus politics. However, the repercussions of this move extend beyond the immediate aim of curbing violence. The absence of a student union has created a leadership void and diminished political engagement among students, historically a driving force in Prayagraj’s electoral landscape.

Student politics in Prayagraj has long been a breeding ground for future political leaders. Many prominent politicians began their careers as student leaders, harnessing the energy and enthusiasm of their peers to propel themselves onto larger political stages. The absence of this crucial platform now deprives students of opportunities to develop leadership skills and engage in political discourse. Consequently, the current generation of students lacks a formal avenue to voice their concerns and influence political change, leading to a significant disengagement from the political process.

Efforts to revive the student union have been met with challenges. Various groups have campaigned to reinstate the union, emphasising the need for peaceful and democratic elections. However, the enthusiasm and energy that once characterised student politics remain conspicuously absent. This apathy towards student politics is a concerning trend, as it not only affects university life but also impacts the broader electoral landscape of Prayagraj.

Local political parties, which once relied heavily on the mobilising power of student leaders and activists, are now struggling to connect with young voters. The decline in student political engagement has resulted in a noticeable decrease in political awareness among the youth. This disengagement poses a threat to the democratic process, as young people represent a vital demographic whose participation is crucial for a healthy electoral system.

The decline of student politics in Prayagraj is a profound loss for democracy. It deprives young people of a platform to engage meaningfully in political processes and to develop the skills necessary for future leadership. Reviving student politics through peaceful and democratic means is essential. Doing so would not only reinvigorate political engagement among young people but also strengthen the overall electoral landscape in Prayagraj.

To address this decline, stakeholders must prioritise creating an environment that fosters safe and democratic student participation. Universities, political parties, and civil society organisations should collaborate to promote political education and engagement among students. Only by reinvigorating student politics can Prayagraj hope to restore the vibrancy and dynamism that once characterised its political scene, ensuring a robust and inclusive democratic process for future generations.