An exclusive interview with Raman Mohora, 21, who was elected unopposed after other candidates failed to meet the eligibility criteria at the prestigious college in the national capital
Gangtok: Sikkim native Raman Mohora became one of the first from the Himalayan state to be elected as a student leader after he became the new president of students' union at St Stephen's College in New Delhi.
In an exclusive interview with EastMojo, the 21-year-old third-year student of History (Hons) at the prestigious college talked about himself, what made him contest the elections and his message to students from Northeast India studying in the national capital.
Please tell us something about yourself.
I hail from Gangtok in Sikkim. I am 21 years old. I had a short stint at Tashi Namgyal Academy in Gangtok and proceeded to St Joseph’s School in Darjeeling where I completed my ICSE and ISC board exams. I am currently in my third year of study at St Stephen’s College and am pursuing a degree in History Hons. I want to place my utmost gratitude to all my teachers for being the wind beneath my wings.
What made you feel that you should contest the election?
I had been an elected member of the Students’ Union Council in my second year. Just the simple joy I derived from my experience working for the students’ union combined with the collective support I received from my friends and family gave me the strength to contest.
With the win, how are you feeling and what will you focus more at?
I am certainly very elated with the win. I have chosen to focus on the basic issues that the students have been facing with regards to washrooms, mental health and gender-related reforms. These basic issues come under our greater overarching idea to set up a system of accountability and that of consultative democracy in college. In short, to promote the welfare of the students and raise the bar.
Have you ever faced any identity crisis in Delhi or a need to fight for your place as one from the Northeast region?
Not really. Delhi is a salad bowl and has so much diversity. If anything, Delhi has given me a sense of identity. Further, my college experience has been enriched by the sheer amount of diversity here. The people here are extremely sociable and welcoming and the faculty is also approachable. In college, it does not really matter what you speak, what you wear or where you are from -- it is a space for everyone.
How much confidence has it raised in the Northeastern students there after your victory?
I hope that my election empowers other students and gives them hope to pursue whatever their goals are. I also want my election victory to be seen beyond regionalism in the greater national context of creating more well-informed and conscientious citizens. Most importantly, I hope that they get the greater message of ‘unity without uniformity’ and ‘diversity without fragmentation.’
How challenging will it be for you and what are the hopes & aspirations from the students there from you?
I know that the journey will be long drawn and challenging. I have a strong belief in the capabilities of my cabinet and also in the faculty and students of my college. They will assist me in my endeavour to fulfil the goals that have been set. It will be a collective effort. As far as hopes and aspirations are concerned, what the students want are not luxuries but necessities that can be fulfilled.
Do you see yourself as a youth leader/young politician in future?
A leader/politician is basically a vigilant citizen. We can all strive to be so. I am not certain what is in store for me, only time will tell.
I want to pursue law after college.
Your message to the students, especially from Northeast region?
There is certainly a need for students to venture into the unknown and take the road less taken. We need more people to participate in healthy student politics. Working in a space like the students’ union would go a long way in creating honest, effective and responsible leaders for our country in the coming future.