The nation chose a secular democracy as the system of governance at the inception of the constitution that every political party across the canvas either respects or puts up a show of respecting at the least. The nation till then was governed with a tight military style of command chain and there was no tolerance for any deviation from the system laid down by the British masters and it would be pretty safe to assume that the political “think tank” of the fresh independent nation would have preferred to have a liberal, non military like system in place given the constraints they experienced under the British.
British system of governance which reflects from the style of education system they followed for their own children as well as certain “Indian selected candidates” was indeed disciplinarian in nature and pretty much in line with military ethics and routine where apart from physical fitness and sports, the military “Drill” which was the basic tool of inculcating discipline among-st the pupil. Even today, the schools of utmost repute, the likes of The Mayo’s College, The Lawrence School Sanawar, The Sherwood or the Rashtriya Indian Military College Dehradun and various king George’s Military schools to name a few are all British era education institutes following some form of military disciplinarian modus operandi as the basic ethos.
The school authorities have their own system of penalizing and ensuring discipline at all times, fine chores as simple as wearing a uniform or dining in a MESS is soaked in the youth before he leaves his school for a career outside. Moral code of conduct, sportsmanship, courtesy, discipline, loyalty, punctuality are some tenets the system has the impetus on. Civility is something which harped upon by the system though it wouldn’t be sane to assume that every alumni of these institute would be en example of civility, deviations are considerable but the system tries to ensure discipline and civility notwithstanding.
Even if one was to take the ancient Indian “Gurukul” system of education as a benchmark, the mob indiscipline was unacceptable and total devotion to the “Guru”, the teacher, was called for. Individuals were given a model code of conduct to follow and to absorb before they were let out to the world where they would eventually make their own decisions.
Pr-independence India saw student politics as a tool of dissent against the ruling regime, the British who were outsiders and India had to get rid of them somehow. That “somehow” encouraged politics in education institutes, which was then in turn carried to independent India as well.
Now we have career politicians in our education institutes furthering their ambitions of making it to the upper echelons of the industry called politics, budding career politicians who’d care no heed to the education that they are in for, rather would focus on the career that would earn them privilege, money and standing in the society even without a real skill to enrich the society they form part of.
Stark irony of the political system lies within our daily regimen. A responsible young man endures all impediments, the steep ascent in his voyage to the basic livelihood, gets bruised and mellowed as he gets along the hackneyed chores of buying a dwelling, the daily bread, has no time for allegiance to politics whatsoever and then, why should he? but that man is not clever enough to utilise the college campuses for making people his skateboards of evangelism and that clever career politician knows it well.
Campuses where the mob agitations, over the brim agenda pushing in the name of “freedom of expression“, political allegiances rule the roost, there is very less room for discipline, mob processions are the end of discipline. Agitations to halt industrial work, put a spoke in implementation of a developmental work, stop traffic by blocking a road which might even lead to death of a patient being carried to hospital in an ambulance, protesting by torching buses and trains, destroying public property however have become a norm are miles from civility, the same civility which was the purpose of the education institutes.
Holding a students union election, deploying security forces to prevent any disturbance before, during and after elections cost public money, after all that cop is not meant to do and is not paid for what he is made to do. Issues varying from the Kashmir conflict to AFSPA, to relations with neighboring country are passed a verdict on by some random hemp smokers who haven’t even passed college yet and naive common students become vehicles of their propaganda helping them in their own political ambitions. College/ University authorities losing control over what goes in the campuses isn’t a good sign, perfect situation is created for separatists to push their cart as well, we have seen that happening already.
And then, to what end? What has student politics achieved
We have a generation vehemently fighting against national anthem in movie theater, how weak in the spine we are today that we cant stand for a minute to pay respect to our flag, our anthem. We’ve had “Student activists” and educationists fighting alongside against the installation of our own national flag in universities, is that an eye sore to you? we have a new term coined for being a nationalist thinker “hyper nationalism” , we have people mining “intolerance” in every second happening in our country and dividing the society further to bits.
This is what we gain from politics in educational institutes, we have many chores to tend to in the path to making of a better society, Ban students’ politics to begin with before we are thrown to chaos, let universities be the shrines, the lamasery of learning, wouldn’t recommend the Military disciplinary regimen but wouldn’t like that quagmire of narcissistic political agenda pushing either.