The word politics has acquired a reputation for being associated with all things negative. It does not help to see our members of parliament hurling abuses at one another on prime television. Where is the dignity?? Where is the respect for the constitution?? Politics is generally equated with agitation-constitutional or unconstitutional.
This takes on bigger proportions when all kinds of media are used to propagate it. The escalating drama then rears its ugly head in the form of Bandhs, stone throwing, and unrestricted violence. The result is almost always loss of life and loss of property. Now this is the kind of politics that students should have no part of.
Constitutional agitation requires knowledge, acquaintance with the forms of government in the country and an understanding of the socio-economic dynamics of the country. It calls for educating the masses to understand their needs. It calls for pressing on those in power, the need for reform in an educated and nonviolent way.
Students have no place getting involved in constitutional agitation either. This requires knowledge of the constitution, the conditions of life- something the student is yet to experience, and an understanding of the demerits of existing forms.
The mind of the student is not sufficiently developed to undertake all this work. Besides youth is the age of enthusiasm. It is the time to learn, the time to soak in experiences, the time to gather information. Without experience or knowledge the youth will end only propagating the views of others. It is important that he must develop his own opinion based on the facts available.
Youth is a stage in mans development where the mind is inexperienced hence prone to brash outrage. There is enthusiasm yes, but it needs to be channeled in the right way for it to one day turn into wisdom so that it can serve both him and his nation.
However, students can prepare for their sojourn in politics. They must use the time they have at this point of their life when they are not hampered by family responsibilities to study and gain information. Political science should put before the children facts about the principles and history of government as per their capacity to understand.
College students should be allowed to attend political meetings so that they gain hands on knowledge of the goings on at these meetings. They should, however, not be allowed to participate. It is the time to assimilate knowledge, harness it so that one can use it when one has the wisdom to do so. College might be treated as mock parliament and the students might be allowed to assail roles in this mock parliament.
Students will learn how to put their point across, they will learn to accept criticism, and more important, they will understand that there might be different ways of doing the same thing. They will gain perspective and valuable experience which will allow them to make educated choices when they finally decide to step into the world of politics.