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January 19, 2017

Essay - Students and Politics

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Students and Politics - Is it Healthy or Not ? 

Overview
  • Define political movement. 
  • Student's involvement in politics.
  • National level parties have their student wings. 
  • Advantages of participating in student politics.
  • Disadvantages of cheap students politics.
  • Unhealthy politics affects the studies. 
  • Right balance between studies and political involvement is needed.
Politics encompasses all activities related to acquiring and retaining power in a government or influencing the actions and policies of governance. Political movements mean active participation, taking out processions, organising public meetings, shouting political slogans, condemning one party or approving another. Today many students involve in such activities. It is just that they need a platform in order to opine their voice and share their thoughts with:others. This platform is provided
by the universities and colleges, which form the breeding grounds for new ideas, thought, processes, beliefs and leaders.

Students who have similar political and social ideologies come together to form student unions (political party). These student unions can be considered as the counterparts of the state and national level political parties. There are number of national level political parties which have their student wings operating in the different universities and colleges. Generally, the name of the student wing is different from the parent organisation. Thus, a university can be viewed as a miniature constituency with political parties and voters. Student unions form an important component of many regional and national level universities. They play the role of a middleman between the governing council and the students.

The student organisations have never been mute spectators to the different developments in the country. National issues are no longer confined to the national and state level political parties. Over the years, the country has witnessed active participation and response from the student communities on the political and social issues, injustices and crimes. They have never feared to take a stand on a particular issue. Undoubtedly, students' politics form an important component of a student's learning. Active participation in the politics acquaints the students with the basics of democracy. The students understand their rights and responsibilities in a better way. Rather than just swallowing the text books, they have a first-hand practical exposure to the functioning of a democracy.

In fact, over the time, they develop an ability to differentiate and choose between the right and wrong. As a result, they are in a position to take rational decisions. The university elections are a good launching platform for the young and enthusiastic leaders. There are a number of examples where the universities have gifted us efficient leaders. Solving disputes, handling problems and crisis situations infuses confidence among them. These situations play an important role in developing and enhancing their interpersonal skills.

The student community is the most progressive, articulate, inspired and dynamic segment of the country's population. Over these years, politics has widened its scope from being an obsolete ritual of election to healthy debates, discussions and dialogues. This 'new age politics' in a way, promote healthy competition. A student in today's time is much more aware of the latest national and international affairs. In our country, many political parties follow a 'catch them young' policy. They over take college elections and force the candidates to contest under their banner. Soon the students are absorbed as the workers of the political party.

But sadly, in the recent past, there have been cases where the student organisations have taken law and order in their hands due to clashes between the political ideologies. In a recent incident, we saw JUN student union President Kanhaiya Kumar, a leader of All India Student Federation (AISF) was arrested on sedition charges after allegations of anti-national sloganeering against him surfaced. Later, he was granted six month interim bail by the Delhi High Court.

The incident took place when some students of Jawaharlal Nehru University organised an event on Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru who was hanged on 2013. The event organisers had pasted posters across the campus inviting students to gather for a protest march against 'Judicial killing of Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhat' and in solidarity with the struggle of Kashmiri migrants. The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) alleged that the protest march consisted of students shouting anti-India slogan. A video was presented to police.

On the basis of it police arrested student union President and some other students. Later granted bail to them as the proof was not enough to punish the students. This incident gained a large amount of media attention and controversy which was not suitable for maintaining academic atmosphere in a university.

Healthy politics was overshadowed by the dirty and cheap politics. The universities have turned into the grounds for the proxy fights among the national parties. Sometimes, this takes an ugly shape in the form of violence and crime in the campus. All these hamper the studies and waste the valuable times of the students.

Some of the student leaders misuse their position in order to fulfil their political and personal motives. Many of these unscrupulous activities are done intentionally in order to attract media attention and gather publicity.

Today many political parties exploit students for their own selfish ends. They ditch them once their ends are fulfilled. They instigate the students for holding of strikes, pickets and processions. But the students do not gain any real benefit from such agitations. The gimmicks in student politics also attract the attention of national political parties and they make heroes out of such people and offer them tickets for the state and national level elections. What they tend to forget is that they are setting a wrong example for the youth in this manner.

Now-a-days the university elections have gained huge importance, as national parties have started taking interest in these election by nominating their own candidates. Sometimes, these elections turn ugly with incidents of violence. The colleges and universities become battlefield for the opposing parties. Unhealthy politics in the educational institutions have a direct effect on the studies. There have been cases where either the examinations have been cancelled or postponed. Many times the students' organisations do not allow the classes to be conducted in the campus for a number of days. This creates an environment of indiscipline and tension. That is why students are advised to stay away from dirty politics.

The students need to strike the right balance between their studies and their political involvement. They must remember that colleges and universities are educational institutes and not political grounds. Unhealthy politics need to be kept away from the educational institutions. The youth is full of zeal and enthusiasm and needs to be channelised in the right direction. They are a powerhouse of untapped potential.

The students should not take part in active politics before gaining sound political knowledge and political ideologies. The student organisations need to understand the responsibility vested in them and channelise the energy of the youth in the right direction. Their main duty is to protect they interest of the student and to maintain the healthy atmosphere in the.' institution. The student organisations must aim for a better tomorrow and a promising future for the youth of our country.

Difficult Words with Meanings :
  • Opine to express an opinion about something
  • Ideology a set of ideas or beliefs
  • Miniature very small sculpture, potrait or painting
  • Spectator a person who is watching an event
  • Aquaints make someone aware of or familiar with
  • Swallowing to accept without question, protest or resentment
  • Exposure the state of being in a place or situation where there is no protection from something harmful or unpleasant
  • Obsolete no longer used because something new has been invented, out of date
  • Proxy the authority to represent someone else, especially in voting
  • Unscrupulous without moral principles, not honest
  • Instigate to cause (something) to happen or begin
  • Gimmicks a method or trick that is used to get people's attention or to sell something
  • Zeal a strong feeling of interest and enthusiasm that makes someone every eager or determined to do something
  • Untapped available, but not yet used.
shared by Nisheeta Mirchandani
 
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