Should Students Take Part In Politics?

He should know what is happening where and why. Be the American scene, or the Russian action, or the Pakistan Coup or the World Trade Fair or the Olympics to be held in Sydney or for that matter anything that happens within the country or without, must interest young student. He would be really justifying his time and energy in gaining more and more knowledge from more and more sources. He should know all about politics too, what politics is, what the political parties within the country are planning and doing. They have every right to form their own opinion and their impressions, even to discuss or debate on them in their seminars, symposia or mock-parliaments.

But the moment they think of entering active politics they lose the aim and purpose of their career and suffer a diversion and a distraction which can mar their objectives.

The aim of education is to give a student adequate knowledge and to equip him intellectually and morally of face the challenges of life. The game of politics, as in our country or for that matter in any country has its own rough and tumble.

Ethical and moral considerations take a backseat in this game and the personality of a man at all moments remains charged with manipulative motives and dubious designs. There is a constant craze for grabbing power by whatever means possible — foul or fair.

Students have not entered the portals of a University or a College to play such a game. This is the time for them to learn as much as they can and raise their intellectual level. Political activity would blunt this desire of theirs and would snatch away from them that precious time which they have at their disposal.

At least, so far as our country is concerned, political parties are ready to spread out their nets to catch the youth as they are youthful and energetic. For arranging rallies or even for enlarging the scope of their influence they can even mate students the tool in organising strikes and ‘bandhs’ — even agitations and strikes in their institutions.

Students have to guard themselves against being made tools in this manner. This premature activity on their part can jeopardise the basic object for which they have come to an educational institution.

Those interested in bringing the student power in active politics can argue that the age for exercising franchise has been reduced to eighteen years only to give the young to play their active role.

Let them vote, let them exercise the right vested in them, but let them stay away for some years more from the lust of power and let them mature themselves to carry the torch.

Even the student unions in educational institutions and their elections are ridden with politics and the political parties and support candidates to create a base for themselves.

All this is playing with fire, and is the undoing far vibrant generation. Those who are so maneuvering would realise and understand that these young men and women are also sons and daughters of some radians are spending their hard earned money to make their children gain maturity and responsibility. Let them not be misled to waste that money and that energy that these young men can fruitfully employ in making themselves ‘students’ in the real sense of the word.

Let these young men and women learn the lessons of discipline, devotion and dedication with the singleness of purpose — for thereafter the whole span of life lies before them. Let them become the disciplined leaders of a disciplined nation at the proper time.