The Debate On Students And Politics Ends Here!
The student movement, according to famous American author Philip Albach, has played an important role in commencing the wave of social change, especially in western countries. The student movement is nothing but the involvement of student activism in bringing out political, social, cultural and educational changes in countries. The amalgamation of students and politics has been instrumental in transforming government policies in Asia, Latin America, Africa and Europe.
The new century has brought with it, a gap between generations and has made space for ingenuity, has given rise to student communities and unions which work towards the welfare of student and university life for students. The student community often aims to be independent of external influences such as faculty interference and administrative dilemmas and focuses on representing the interests of students of the university and college.
There are several pros and cons of student involvement in politics. However, when students were asked how comfortable they are with politics on campus, the following chart shows their responses.
Source: Inside Higher Ed
It can be conferred from the graphical representation above that a majority of students are comfortable discussing a controversial political topic, disagreeing with their professors’ point of view while expressing unpopular opinions.
Over the years, students have developed their own traditions and have established educational, political and social behaviours. This is usually a response to local government authorities and is sometimes perceived as rebellion. Students develop their own practices or strike down past traditions that are not in sync with their ideologies with the help of politics. While this can be a good thing in one country, it may work exactly the opposite in another. As a result, students and politics play a vital role in evolving the social and cultural environment of an academic institute.
What Are The Cons Of Students And Politics?
It’s A Dirty Game
Many believe that politics is a dirty game. While this is true to an extent, a mix of student and politics may eventually give rise to a negative educational atmosphere. Students who find solace in practicing politics may adopt it as a lifestyle that includes adopting a manipulative attitude and working to fulfil selfish motives, instead of thinking of the greater good. The reason why politics is usually considered to be a dirty game is that it often stems out of agendas and motives. Since the consequence of winning at politics is becoming powerful, this power is what attracts most people to politics.
Politicians Use Students For Their Personal Gain
There is a difference between merely learning about politics and participating in it and this demarcation must not be forgotten. In schools, students discuss problems in the classroom but stay away from active politics. Similarly, politicians are not allowed to interfere in the working of the schools. This model has been successful in weaning students away from active politics. The active participation of teachers and parents is a prerequisite to accelerate the process. Unscrupulous politicians manipulate students for petty political gains, thus spoiling the career of many. Student unions often force the students to engage in party politics that’s not related to their academics at all. This means that valuable time is lost and they do not perform well in academics.
Detracts From Academic Goals
Politics in academic institutions can only be seen as an extracurricular activity. Usually, universities and colleges organise student unions and communities to encourage debates, representation and instil a sense of awareness among students. Since it is mostly a power play, politics can become addictive. As a result, students who resonate with politics often pursue it as a full-time career but at the cost of giving up their education.
What Are The Pros Of Students And Politics?
Unity & Strength
Student and politics go hand in hand, at least in the 21st century. The Freedom Movement of India was the driving force behind student activism and was the reason why the movement was a success. When we talk about national freedom, India invariably rears its name in the conversation. There was a time when political parties in India turned to students for support for the nation’s independence. Students as a result can be seen as a powerful people who uphold a country’s democracy such as that of India.
Only The Best Man Wins
When students and politics are referred to in a single sentence most of us would want students to be as far away from the dirty game of politics. However, when it comes to politics within an academic institution, such involvement is often encouraged by seniors and other faculty members. This is because practicing politics is also seen as an indispensable skill that can help students live life through awareness and be responsible citizens of the country they belong to. While politics may be seen as a power play, within academic institutes it is a method to encourage the idea of “may the best man win”. This nurtures healthy competition among students without any scope of cheating or malpractice
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