Sunday, March 6, 2016

Should students (be permitted to) involve in politics - 3

The real concern of those who oppose
If we dig deep, it is clear that the current spate of advises to students and admonishment of student involvement in politics, stems from
a) a sense that the investments in educating such students is not yielding labor for the market. Clearly folks are disappointed.
b) a fear of being questioned. Seldom does anyone like being questioned. 
c) more importantly, the fear and hatred for the left - the Commies and Maoists as they are now referred to. I wonder if many who liberally use these words even know what their philosophies are , or how Marxism is different from Maoism. Most just assume that the former group shouts slogans and organizes strikes, while the latter does not hesitate to use the gun. Without getting into the merits or demerits of the left wing philosophy, we know, that there is little left in the left today. To my mind, they haven't evolved a philosophy for India and will remain a fringe force, unless they are beaten up and made big. 

Students and politics
There are actually no valid reasons to justify an advisory to students on politics. Students beyond 18 are majors. It is for them to decide what they want to do. They are thinking individuals , for whom we may have certain responsibilities, but certainly not rights. They have their dreams and responsibilities. We can equip them with knowledge and skill to choose. But the choice is theirs. 

In fact it is important that students are aware of the world around them - including the political world. It affects them now and will affect them in future as well. They are the future and they will naturally be and have to be concerned about what is being done now - as it will decide what will be done later. Whether some one chooses to take a right wing stance or centerist stance or a left wing stance is her / his choice. 

There are just 7 things that we could do, and they are
1. Inculcate a value system which makes morality and personal integrity as non-negotiable values.
2. Inculcate sensitivity to the people in the world around 
3. Inculcate a sense of respect ( not 'tolerance') for plurality of culture, thought and action. 
4. Inculcate a spirit of questioning - irreverential questioning. 
5. Inculcate courage to take a stance and to call a spade a spade. 
6. Provide all information available so that he / she makes a well thought out, deliberated and educated stance. 
7.And pray to the Almighty, 

Cry as hoarse as we may - students will do what they please. Let them. Let a thousand ideas come forth. Let the ideas clash and evolve. Only then will we have a better tomorrow. 

1 comment:

  1. Brilliant yet balanced analysis in three installments. When you find time listen to Barry Schwartz on Practical Wisdom on YouTube. It addresses the first issue in your to-do list of seven.

    Bala Baskar