Much can be said in support of and against the students participating in politics. Politics is a part of one’s life, especially in a democratic country like ours. Though the idea of students taking part in politics might have been an anathema until a few years ago, there are now many who feel that students should take an active part in politics if the nation is to be provided with effective leaders in the years to come. By students, we mean the college students should be kept away from politics as they are not mature enough to understand party politics.
The opinion is divided on the desirability of students taking part in politics. Those who oppose such a move argue that students should devote their time to studies and excel in academic activities. They feel that political parties will exploit the students and ruin the academic atmosphere. But are the students at the college level insulated from politics today? The fact is they are not. May frontal organizations of leading political parties like Congress, BJP and the Communists operate in the university campuses.
As the students studying in the campuses are members of these student organizations representing different political parties, it can be said that the students are taking part in politics though not in large numbers. The desirability of the students taking part in politics is, of course, open to debate. If democracy is to have the intended effect on our society, every section of the society should take an active part in it. The student that is college students are not exception. If a student has a flair for politics, there is nothing wrong in that student taking part in politics along with his studies.
If the students keep away from politics, the illiterates will take over the role of leadership as has been happening for some decades now. Should we settle for leaders who are illiterate by keeping the students away from politics? Have we forgotten the pre-independence days when several students participated in the freedom movement? By supporting the student’s participation in politics we will be directing their energies in the right direction. Politics is no more the last resort of scoundrels. Many professors, bureaucrats and other intellectuals are joining the political parties of their choice.
This is a good sign as politics had been dominated by near illiterates for several years. With even intellectuals choosing politics as a carrier, it makes so sense if the college students are kept away from this field. If students, who are well educated, take to politics one can hope that the rot that has set into our political system will be done away with in a few years. If India’s democracy is to be strengthened, we need more educated leaders to give shape to the dreams that were cherished by the freedom fighters. And for this to happen, students should take part in politics.