Empowering Voices: The Inspiring Journey of Two Dalit PhD Students Elected to JNU’s Student Union Panel

In a heartening development, two Dalit PhD students, Priyanshi Arya and Dhananjay, have emerged victorious in the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) polls, symbolizing a significant milestone in their journey of empowerment and advocacy. Their triumph not only underscores the importance of diversity and inclusion in student politics but also serves as a beacon of hope for marginalized communities striving for representation and recognition.

Priyanshi Arya, a first-year PhD student pursuing Philosophy at JNU, secured the position of general secretary by defeating the ABVP candidate Arjun Anand with a remarkable margin of 926 votes. Hailing from Haldwani, Arya’s academic journey began at Delhi University’s Indraprastha College for Women, where she completed her Bachelor’s degree. Her victory reflects not only her academic prowess but also her commitment to fostering inclusivity and social justice within the university community.

Similarly, Dhananjay, aged 28, clinched the position of president, adding another feather to his cap in a journey marked by resilience and determination. Hailing from Gaya, his ascent to leadership in JNU exemplifies the transformative power of education and the unwavering resolve of individuals to challenge systemic inequalities and barriers to advancement. His victory serves as a testament to the importance of perseverance and self-belief in overcoming adversity and achieving one’s goals.

In their respective interviews with The Indian Express, Priyanshi Arya and Dhananjay shared insights into the experiences that shaped their lives and propelled them to pursue higher education at JNU. Their narratives underscore the transformative impact of education as a catalyst for social mobility and empowerment, particularly for marginalized communities like Dalits.

As they embark on their tenure in the JNUSU, Priyanshi Arya and Dhananjay have articulated their vision for the coming year, which revolves around promoting inclusivity, amplifying marginalized voices, and advocating for progressive policies that prioritize the welfare of all students. Their commitment to social justice and equity resonates deeply with the ethos of JNU as a bastion of academic freedom and democratic values.

The election of Priyanshi Arya and Dhananjay to the JNUSU panel not only reflects the diversity and vibrancy of student politics but also underscores the university’s role as a crucible for social change and progressive activism. Their leadership represents a triumph for inclusivity and representation, heralding a new chapter in the ongoing struggle for equality and justice in India’s educational institutions. As they assume their responsibilities, Priyanshi Arya and Dhananjay embody the spirit of empowerment and resilience, inspiring generations to come with their unwavering commitment to social transformation and empowerment.


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