Whether students should take part in political activities or not, is a widely debated subject, which draws difference of opinion. It is often argued that students should not deviate from studies but at the same time it is also argued that it is the campuses where ideas & events of life shape up fro students.
The suicide of Rohith Vemula, a research scholar at Hyderabad Central University was extremely tragic. The tragic death of a young scholar actually raked up a political controversy and we witnessed National political leaders flocking to Hyderabad to express their solidarity with victim’s family and protesting students.
It is unfortunate that prestigious universities have now become battlegrounds for slug fest between political parties. It also takes us to larger picture of how political parties use student to use as pawn to wage their proxy wars. That’s exactly the reason; there are growing views in favour of completely banning student politics.
Rohith vemula’s case snowballed into a political controversy, which was followed by media hype. Later in the case of JNU, almost all political parties were involved into slugfest over the issues that were followed by arrest by student leader, Kanhaiya Kumar.
It is often said that we should have young participation in politics and university politics can be the stepping-stone towards playing a bigger role in nation building. We have healthy tradition of student politics in universities and many big political leaders of the country have emerged out of campus politics. But of late, the incidences of protest, strikes and violence have tainted its image. Questions are raised that do we actually need politics in out campuses?
Violence in campuses could have erupted due to different reasons but there is one common thread – these were all politically motivated incidents. Ideally students should be focusing on their rights but instead, politicians manipulate them for their own personal interests.
We have largest youth population in the world and it is beyond a question that voice of young Indians matter. There have been many instances when youngsters have stood beside each other to raise their voice against wrongdoings in our society. They can work as catalyst to mass movement to herald a positive change but instead we often witness them taking law in hands pushing political ideology.
The culture of debate is getting lost in the universities and student organizations have become stooges of parent parties. In this context, the need of student politics is often questioned.
Students are free birds and they can choose their own flight and decide what path to take. Going beyond formal education, it is a never-ending journey. A process of learning and unlearning, it is a journey of discovering who you really are.
However, when you get into student politics then a label is attached to you. You are forced to adopt an identity, which you may or may not be comfortable with. Embroiled in student politics, you get detached from social ground realities.
Without disrupting the academic discipline of institute, students should find innovative ways of dissenting through writing, public debates or social media. While at the same time they must not deprive fellow students’ right to study in peaceful environment.
Universities were fertile grounds of debate where ideas would be discussed with passion and many great people were thankful for the formative years as students that shaped them intellectually. It is usually said that students have the power to shape nations but actually they have even bigger responsibility of becoming better minds to make well-informed choices in life!