Saturday, February 20, 2010

Debate Organized by me: Politics is not for students

Politics should not be the cup of tea for the students

Recently in many programmes and seminars I attended I discovered that there is a high-pitch rhetoric coming from the top notch of our AMU administration for the students particularly. It propagate that student should never shout slogans at any condition, or protest on the road and they have nothing to do with any political activity. The very basic image of a student is redefined as someone who study, study and only study. It was also mentioned time and again being the self-propagated representative of all good students, that all serious students themselves consider any political activity by students as something abhorrent, detrimental to the course of serious academic training and research. I really felt bad for all the students who once changed the discourse of history in Europe through Feminist or Radical movements. I really felt bad for the student movement in Ahmedabad ( a state with a communal history since 1767) in 1960’s by the Hindu and Muslims students together hand in hand which was rarely seen later against the prise rise & an anti-poor economic policies of the state. I also sympathized the soul of the brilliant students of Presidency College, Calcutta who in order to attain the ‘utopian’ classless society then gave in their lives in the 70’s. And at a time when every political party is manipulating and bowing to Centre for vested interests, I felt terrible for the students of Osmania University who with exemplary courage even after facing all the brutal attacks in their hostels, campus premises by the Police, RAF, Para-Military personnel still going strong and teaching politics to the full time politicians. 4 days back some of my friends from the Department of Cultural Studies, The English and Foreign Languages University joined these Osmania students to protest the presence of police in campus and was chased and beaten badly(including many girls) by the Police along with some media personnel. Shouting slogans and protest are the order of the day there. I can only say that such rhetoric needs introspection rather.

Recently I though let’s check it from the students of Aligarh Muslim University itself on letter and spirit through the greatest tradition bestowed by us since the days of Siddons Debating Club that what they think about such rhetoric and the subsequent developments in our country. And after all it is they who to decide.

At a time when the debating culture is waning at the AMU campus, on the 1st day of Aftab Hall Lit.& Cul. Society organized Inter-Hall Literary and Cultural Fest “Quindeel” on Feb 18, 2010 at the Common Room, Aftab Hall more than 30 students participated to speak for and against the topic which is “Politics should not be the cup of tea for the students.” The Common Room was jam-packed and witnessed a great day of free speech and discussion with constant clapping from the audiences. Let’s have a look on their arguments and comments by some of them. Readers may note that among 32 participants only 5 spoke for the motion and supported the idea not to have any political activity at the campus. However I was overwhelmed with the immense capability of debating by the students on both side after long time and it made me believe that if they won’t be given voice properly to express themselves only the rotten ones will enter the system. AMU can surely be proud of its debaters.

The event was judged by Janab. Md. Ilyas Sb. & Janab Ayub Shabab Sb. of Senior Secondary School( Boys) and Prof Madihur Rahman Sherwani, Dept. Of English.

For the motion

Mr. Amir Khan( B.Tech III, NT Hall)- “What comes in the mind when we talk of students. It is who study. The only thing they learn from politics is corruption and it ends their sense of ethics. A student can serve his country better through academic achievements only. The statistics of Bangladesh from 2001-2007 showed that campus politics has led to violence and loss of lives. Is it that we want to teach our fellow students?”

Ameen Abdul Qayyum( B.Com IInd, S.Z Hall)- “Though students are the most dynamic segments of the society, but politicisation serve their interest in no way. In my Kerala, students are tired of seeing fellow students fighting because someone is SFI, someone ABVP instead of their studies. ICICI chairman once said that Kerala lost a lot due to student politics and its image was affected. Politics for the student, or Students Union are the knife to an infant who doesn’t know how to use it.”

Md. Shibli( B.Tech N.T.Hall)-“Students politics cant be the sole factor of change”.

Mr. Tanveer Ahmad ( BALLB, VM Hall) – “Politics has taught the students how to get hungry for power which should not be his education at that stage. However I support restoring Students Union in the campuses like AMU, Jamia because democracy is the basic necessity and today recommendations like Lyngdoh ones are there and can be implemented. Politics however should not be the short cut for students.”

Against the motion

Readers may note that as many students debated against the topic I am putting the selected ones here.

Harish Kumar( B.Ed)- “The state has always felt threatened of its authority to control by the immense impact by the students movements on its people. “

Mukesh Kumar Gupta- “Today at a moment when socialist practices and values are being pushed aside by the Multi-Nationals Companies student’s participation in the politics is the only way out for the vast majority. Even in AMU commercialization of education has started with doubling up the charges of application forms every year and the administration has no fear to felt threatened of from any systematic student protest organized by the AMUSU. Socialist figure like Ram Manohar Lohias came out of student politics, so students other than likes of Rahul Gandhi have this way to attain political right only.”

Hamid Raza Khan( MA Aftab Hall)- The universities are run like monarchies and people sitting at the top manipulates all the time to snatch the democratic rights of their subjects. “

Shaiq Siddiq Shah( BALLB I, VM Hall)- ” It is only we who can change the world. I will join politics in Kashmir as soon as I complete my education and I expect some political teaching at AMU. Politics should not be something about which a student would shy away. “

Anzar Wani( Phd. In Arabic, Aftab Hall)- “ Allama Iqbal encouraged the youth to strive for their political rights since the very beginning”.

Mohd. Shoaib( BTh Final Aftab Hall)- “Politics is like the salt in the food which is our education at our universities. If you miss that, you have already spoilt the complete taste you expected....Even our Provost Sir cant run the Hall for a minute without indulging politics to any staff or student for that matter, then why we should stay from it? AMU has always maintained a double standard in case of students. Today among the 16 central universities only 2 have Students Union and they are the best in the country i.e JNU & DU.”

Abdullah Mallik, (NRSC)- “ Politics is the never ending struggle to attain power and the art to attain power must be infused in a society early if it wants to move ahead of others.”

Hussain Mahmood( BSc IInd Year, VM Hall)- “ The family system of politics in India is threatened by the student politics in the campuses. That’s why Rahul Gandhi visit AMU and advocate students to join politics in front the Vice-Chancellor but never mince a word about restoring Students Unions at AMU or in Jamia. If this continues students should take up power from the authorities even if it leads to anarchy.”

Mr. Mohd. Nauman( BALLB III BRAmbedkar)- “ The generation of Doordarshan can’t decide the generation of Star Television. Politics is the beginning, politics is the mean and politics is the end. Even before a student, one is the citizen of India and he enjoys his democratic rights from the state. If state can give him his right why not the institution he is associated with. This is sheer hypocrisy.”

Sayyed Arif Hussain( VM Hall)- Students involvement in activism is utmost important and it was time and again proved. Even the Jessica Lal murder case was brought into light by the student activism only. Students politics and the resulted violence that opponent talk about is two different thing. The violence often results due to the influence of external factors and one should check that first before abolishing with the institution.

Peerjada Rauf( BSc Final M.M.Hall)- If one read psychology he would know that a person learn things mostly before 25 and later he just manipulate with his early knowledge. If we will be forced to learn politics at 40, is that because AMU administration wants us to be mediocre later. The justification of abolition of Students Union on grounds of violence needs serious retrospection and it should be known that state always act to dismantle the student politics through criminalization. If violence is the reason why not we shut down the Parliament then when Parliamentary elections became the result of violence?

My Comments to all this- Only democracy has the power to check itself and to do away with the democratic institutions for students is unfortunate and a great hindrance for the all round development of any student. I think now the time has come AMU should listen to the sane voices of students rather than imposing such baseless rhetoric at programmes and functions. We the students challenge the AMU administration to hold a University level debate on it which shall be recorded and posted on Youtube so that the world can judge. The AMU adm. will be free to depute any and as many EC, AC, Court Member or member from Teachers community or students or administration itself to defend their stand that AMU students should stay away from politics and do not need democratic representation. And on the other side there will be only students who will be indulged in war of words only and not mud slinging. So many people of administration are the part of these yahoo networks. I hope all of them would like to justify their stand and take this challenge. And then see who win and who lose? After that you are free to say and do anything.


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  2. I myself was a student in AMU in the 1990s
    What does democracy in the context of a university mean ? I am all for transparency on the part of university administration and that students concerns should be heard by the administration.
    What I don't like is the portrayal of students as the innocent victims of a evil administration which is the scenario which was painted by would be student leaders during my time and which continues even by today's aspiring netas.
    To hear their flowery rhetoric it was as if students were palestinians being oppressed by zionists etc..
    Let us be frank. We are sent by our parents to study and who in almost all cases are the ones who are paying our fees. The false sense of entitlement which students carry is beyond understanding.
    If a student falls ill,it is demanded that the university pay for thier medical expenses even for treatment outside aligarh? why should that be so ?
    I have lived in times when 'studentleaders' used to live in hostels with katta culture and azamghari,bihar,sambhali camps fighting pitched battles, student mobs torching university property,postponing exams for various reasons, student leaders intimidating teachers etc

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  4. hey it is really true to say that students shouldn't take part in politics as they are innocent and donot have mature brains as well.they should focus on studies as they are the future of the country not the politicians.they should not go in the wrong direction but if they enter into the world of politics they definitely goes in the wrong way as it is full of corruption and all.being a student i suggest not to be a devil be a men where India can proud of.

  5. I was in a student residence and i guess students don't really take part in politics because they are a small representation of the cake and they feel like their vote dont really count at all. We have to encourage them because their are the future