Wandering Souls of Sikkim talked with Raman Mohora, President of St. Stephen’s College Student Union. He was last year elected for the prestigious post in the college affiliated to the reputed University of Delhi.
Here’s the excerpts of our conversation with him:
Wandering Souls of Sikkim (WSOS): Would you like to share something about your early years and about your schooling?
Raman Mohora (RM): I was born in Sikkim and had a short stint in primary school at Tashi Namgyal Academy after which I spent the remainder of my school life at St Joseph’s School, North Point, Darjeeling from where I completed my ISC and graduated in 2017. I am currently a final year student of History at St Stephen’s College, New Delhi.
WSOS: Kindly share something about your experiences as the president of the St Stephen’s College.
RM: At the time of this interview, I find myself poised exactly at the halfway mark until the completion of my term. So far, my Presidency has been a great learning experience for me and has been filled with challenges, constructive criticism and growth. In a short time, our Union has done commendable work. For instance, we passed the historic amendment to our college Constitution to remove the previously used male pronoun for all provisions relating to the President, to make it more inclusive and accessible for people of other genders. (Since St Stephen’s was an all male College at the time of the framing of the College Constitution, provisions relating to the President only use the male pronoun ‘He’). This is a small yet very significant in making our college space more inclusive. Apart from that, St Stephen’s College is a microcosm of India with such a diverse demography. Just staying here for three years are enough to transform you and open your eyes to the beauty of diversity in India (with you yourself also contributing to the diversity here.)
WSOS: How important it is to involve students and youth in mainstream politics?
RM: I personally feel that it is very important to have a politically informed youth. Political ignorance among the educated youth today does not arise out of a lack of education but rather from a position of privilege. Educated and comfortably situated students feel that the issues around the country do not affect them directly and that issues at the national level do not have direct implications. For instance, “the price of onions do not affect me as I don’t buy onions” or “I don’t care about the CAA – NRC because my parents have all the documents.” However, this attitude needs to change. The youth should realise their role in our democracy and realize that both our action and inaction in politics can have a lot of implications. However, even this is changing with social media. Just look at the sheer number of students across universities coming together to defend the Constitution and protest against the CAC-NRC-NPR. There is hope! Thus, their involvement is very important.
WSOS: Your take on the need of an intellectual and informed debates in Sikkim on important issues. How do you think can we engage young people to talk about things that matter?
RM: While there is no paucity of intellectual thinkers and educated people in Sikkim, a lot can be done towards inculcating a culture of debates and the exercise of free speech. Social Media is an important tool that can be used to achieve this. Youth forums across Sikkim could invite distinguished intellectuals, have debates and panel discussions in the Oxford Union Debate format which can be shared widely. Also, awareness could be spread through the use of creative faculties like theatre, art, sports and music. Organisations like the WSOS have a major role to play too!
WSOS: What would be that one thing that you would like to change in the system when you get a chance to be inside?
RM: I feel that the system and vision that has been set in the Constitution of India by our founding fathers is near perfect. What we lack is proper implementation of that vision. Therefore, the changes I would want to bring would not be so much about the system per se but rather changes in the working of the system that is preventing us from implementing and realising the Idea of India as enshrined in the Constitution.
WSOS: Your Message for the youth of Sikkim.
RM: My message for the youth of Sikkim would be to travel extensively all over the country and open up to many other cultures and exchange ideas. It is of utmost importance to move out of our comfort zones and face constructive challenges that help us grow. This fosters a sense of ‘Unity without Uniformity’ and ‘Diversity without Division’ that will be useful in overcoming challenges that people from the Northeast face in other parts of India. It will be an education on its own.
WSOS: Would you like to say something about WSOS?
RM: I came across the Wandering Souls of Sikkim during the winter of 2019 and read about their good work. Particularly, their initiatives like NEEV: A Foundation for better future and the Library Project deserve a lot of praise! Theirs is a selfless organisation whose focus is the upliftment of the youth in the State and I wish them all the best in all their future endeavors. Kudos to the WSOS team for all their good work!
(EDITOR’S NOTE: It has been our endeavour to publish inspiring interviews with young leaders, both from student and mainstream politics in our Young Leader Series. Year 2019 saw two very inspiring youth from Sikkim getting elected to student unions in two of the very prestigious colleges of Delhi. In the last edition of the Series we published our interview with Zigmee Gurung, Joint Secretary of the Ramjas College Student Union & in this edition we have the honour to publish our interview with Raman, the President of St. Stephen’s College student union. We in Wandering Souls of Sikkim congratulate both and thank them for showing the way forward for the young minds of Sikkim.)
CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO READ OUR INTERVIEW WITH ZIGMEE GURUNG: