India is a country which proudly espouses democracy, with the youth forming half the population. Sounds good right?
Reading the above lines, one would expect our country to have young and dynamic politicians.
Unfortunately, we do not have a single “young” and successful political leader. Forget leaders, the youth is not even capable of making well-informed voting choices. The last time someone was touted as a ‘youth icon’ was Rahul Gandhi, in 2009, and we very well know what he has become now. The reason is a decline in students being involved in politics, espescially in South India. It has become common for the Gen-Y to be not interested in politics. This is because our higher educational institutions that claim to offer so called holistic development do not take politics into consideration, leaving most colleges with a dummy Student’s Union.
We proudly say that our college does not have any political “interference”, and parents are also wary of sending their children to politically active colleges. I agree that violence should always be avoided. The infamous JNU incident is also nothing to be proud of, but at least, we could witness a battle of ideologies, and debate on an important issue, i.e, freedom of speech. Every society needs debate and discussion to progress. Instead of clamping down on student politics, colleges should keep the violence in check, encourage debates, arguments and peaceful discussions among student groups of different ideologies, so that we, as a society, become more socially and politically aware. Of course, political canvassing might interfere with academics, but then, there’s much more to life than academics, and it’s an indivdual’s choice to prioritise one activity over the other. Politics helps us understand problems faced by the people around us, and helps us to come out with the best solutions, as there is always an incentive of power and respect.
When there’s a lack of fundamental understanding of politics, it becomes difficult for the country to get capable young people as its leaders. The country’s economy is dependent on politics, yet we don’t see any kind of encouragement for youths to join politics. That’s just sad. Another implication is that, as student politics is on the decline, there is a stagnation in well known colleges, which provided a much higher standard of education when students were politically active, as now focus has shifted from development of the society to only academics. Now, as the power has shifted to the management,useless and stupid rules like dress codes are being applied in colleges, making a mockery out of student freedom!
An uprising, defying the authorities that clamp down on us, is the need of the hour. We need young and dynamic leaders, we need people who have early exposure to solving real problems. All this is possible only when we students unite to revive our right to be politically active, and take our power back from the management, which has ruined some once-great institutions.