STUDENT AND POLITICS
One of the most widely-discussed controversies of the day is whether students should take part in politics or not. In the western countries the issue has lost much of its importance. Politics has now mostly a concern of the elders. While students, living in academic seclusion, seldom thrust their nose into it. But the controversy is still raging in full fury in third world countries including Bangladesh. The root cause of this extraordinary state of things lies in the historical background of our struggle for freedom.
Both in Bangladesh and India, students inherited a tradition of political activity by virtue of having borne the brunt of this sub-continent’s fight for independence. In those days they were rather encouraged to participate in politics mostly by those who, in the post independence era, were advising them to keep away from the political arena. But students have persistently disobeyed that advice and have rather plunged still deeper into the votes of politics.
Those who disfavor student politics advance two arguments in the main.
Firstly, politics being serious and exciting occupation is antithetic to the pursuit of study which requires coolness of mind. Secondly, to do politics in modern society, faced with complex national and international problems, is a hard job and calls for enough of experience and sagacity, tolerance and patience. It needs cool judgment, dispassionate approach to problems and tactful handing of complicated situations.
Both the views are vitiated by extremism.
While there is not denial that the participation of students in politics may bear some good to them and the society, the possibility of ultimate remain impartial enough to check corrupt politicians and protect popular interest. But it must be qualified and strictly confined within reasonable limits. That is to say, they should study politics, go into political and economic problems, discuss about their solutions and express their views in an organized form but with an unbiased attitude.
In fine, the primary root of student politics lies in the conditions of society.
If the students of Europe or America live in academic seclusion. It is mainly because social conditions there are favorable to that.