With the growing student unrest in the country, everybody has started asking a question about whether students and politics can and should go together. Students were made to take part in politics long before the independence of the country.
They were the vanguard (front leader) of the national struggle for independence. Gandhiji often gave a call for civil disobedience movements and the students took an active part in them.
As a matter of fact the game of politics is not at all beneficial to the student community. So they should keep aloof from active politics as far as possible. There were strong reasons for it.
The student life is very precious and students have to devote themselves heart and soul to their studies. True education means the harmonious development of body, mind and soul.
Students have to be physically strong, mentally alert and morally upright. If the dirty game of politics is played by the students inside or outside the campus, much of their valuable time will be wasted and their studies would remain incomplete and their careers would be ruined.
Students are generally too immature to understand the ins and outs of politics. They have not yet gained that worldly wisdom and tact which are so essential for a politician.
Another reason why students should not take part in politics is that they are more emotional than rational with the result that they have not as yet acquired that stable and balanced mind that the game of politics requires. It is a well-known fact that politics is a dirty and dangerous game. Without a balanced and rational mind, it is very risky for students to jump into politics.
During the pre-independence
Education was a secondary consideration then. Now that India has won freedom, the first and foremost duty of students is to acquire knowledge. Politics should not be their chief concern. They might indulge in politics after completing their studies.
Now let us look at the other side of the picture. Students are the cream of society, the pillars of their nation and the future hope of their country The students of today are the citizens of tomorrow. Political consciousness is, therefore, very necessary for the future citizens of the nation.
There is no harm if the students go on acquainting themselves with the political affairs of their country. But having knowledge about politics is quite different from indulging in politics.
The syllabus of various subjects taught in schools and colleges demands such knowledge from the students. For this purpose, the students must devote some time daily in studying newspapers and understanding the current political developments in the country and abroad.
Today, our country is facing a crisis of character. The crisis of rising prices and consequent misery and distress for the lower sections of society and the crisis born of corruption and inefficiency in administration, especially at the higher level, have attained serious proportions. It is high time that our students should come forward to rid the country of corruption and inefficiency and pull her safely out of the crises.
In the prevailing circumstances, it is useless to prevent students from taking part in politics. Moreover, in a democratic set up every citizen must be aware of the political conditions prevailing in the country. The students form a vital part of society.
Our conclusion is that students cannot remain separate from politics. They should take theoretical but intelligent interest in politics so long as their studies are not complete. Afterwards they can take an active part in the political affairs of their country. It is not proper for them to join politics at the cost of their academic interests.