#8. students in politics

Man is by Nature a Political Animal – Aristotle
The Chief Justice of India (CJI) laments that lack of student leaders in the country is affecting democracy. This appears to be correlated with diminished participation of students in social causes after liberalisation. Students are the guardians of freedom, justice, equality, ethics, and social equilibrium

👍 प्रस्ताव / For the motion:

  1. Student leaders across the world have been the harbinger of change. At the world stage, anti-Vietnam war, the US Civil Rights movements, anti-imperialism protests in France, Bangladesh War of Independence were primarily student driven. Student involvement in our national struggle has been a source of inspiration and Bhagat Singh, Madan Lal Dhingra, Khudiram Bose are youth icons till date. Prafulla Mahanta, former Assam Chief Minister at 32 years age straight from student politics, generated a new interest in politics amongst students in modern India just as students pouring in huge numbers to protest the 1977 emergency subduing Indira Gandhi in the general elections subsequently. In recent times, the anti-CAA movement in late 2019 witnessed extensive student participation. As Dwight Eisenhower puts it, “Politics ought to be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage.”
  2. Mahatma Gandhi had devised “Nai Talim” as education for life, through life and throughout life. Nai Talim has been divided into pre-basic, basic, post-basic, university and social education of which student movement forms an important tool of social and political organisation. Student politics infuse fresh ideas into the staid system beleaguered by castes division, exploitation and inequity. For instance Shaheed Bhagat Singh preferred “Inquilab Zindabd” to “Vande Mataram” indicating the sustained nature of protest to stand by the oppressed.
  3. “To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists and punk-rock performance poets” says Barack Obama. Involvement in politics in formative years moulds views on issues which matters the society, nation and humanity as a whole. Politics is both a study and a skill as to how power is exercised, by whom, through the administration of public power to manage people’s affairs.

👎 अप्रस्ताव / Against the motion:

1. Student bodies have a highly political orientation. Every political party nurtures student unions as their feeder pool. The political debate in the campus is increasingly veering away from the issues affecting the students and more on the world outside it. Student politics may be seen as baby step for national politics but not the cost of the primary agenda of student welfare. What explains a few student leaders questioning the idea of India ? This makes student politics susceptible to sellout and hollow sounding machinery.

  1. Much fuss is being made about student politics who remain untested in real worldpragmatism. Utopian ideas without concrete execution skills on ground make strange bedfellows. They do have disruptive power but to harness them for national good is a long drawn process.
  2. “I didn’t run for student council president. I don’t see myself in any way in elected office. I love policy. I’m not particularly fond of politics” – Condoleeza Rice, former US Secretary of State. Politics is wrought with chaos. When students feel that their rights are being interfered they resort to revolts. This is a legitimate cause but mostly result in barbarism. There are riots, chaos, people getting beaten up, injured and sometimes casualties do occur. This is a primary reason for unrest and indiscipline in institutions. There is a real difficulty in maintaining an open political environment that allows open debate and reasoned opposition, whilst opposing dangerous extremism.


The victory of the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), formed a mere 67 days before the elections, was a watershed mark in student politics history across the world. The All Assam Student Union (AASU) embarked on a popular agitation against illegal immigrants from Bangladesh that lasted until 1985. Prafulla Mahanta, AASU president, headed The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) rounding up 68 seats in the 126-member assembly, consigning the Congress(I) to merely 25 inconvenient perches in the Opposition benches in a remarkable reversal of electoral fortunes. He became the chief minister of Assam at the age of 32 with half the cabinet comprising of former student leaders of AASU with average age below 40 years. 

कामक्रोधौ तथा लोभं स्वादुशृङ् गारकौतुके 

अितिनद्राितसेवे च िवद्याथीर् ह्यष्ट वजर्येत् 

According to Acharya Chanakya, a student, in order to succeed in academics must renounce eight things – 1. Sex (Kama), 2. Anger (Krodha), 3. Greed (Lobha), 4.Tasty food (Swad), 5.Too much self grooming (Shringar), 6. Too much Curiosity (Kautuk), 7. Excessive sleep (Ati Nidra) and 8. Too much self indulgence and comfort (Ati Seva). 

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