Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Catch 'em young

When I go back to my college days I remember many things, but one that does not crop up at all is college politics. I think it was the lazy city attitude that rubbed off on people, which made them lazy enough to not care for college politics. Then came the Babri Masjid incident and that gave ABVP the opening it was looking for. We probably had a relatively hectic college election that year. I didn't like it then and I have come to hate college politics even more.

Its true that every profession wants to catch their next stars young. The IT companies love to talk of the 16 year old whiz kid from chennai doing his MTech in IIT or the son of LN Mittal soon going to head his empire or for that matter Andy Murray beating Federer! But our politics is by far dirty and catching them young in this profession doesn't necessary mean great. Student units like ABVP and NSUI foster violence in the name of college politics and don't necessarily help the college students cause.

An incident came to light a couple of days back. A professor in Ujjain was beaten to death by students because he allegedly stalled student elections. The student(s) has been caught, will probably escape with a strong reprimand but nothing more, after all his political gurus will rescue him and set a precedence for irresponsible behavior to be rewarded. It is very irksome to think that in an India that we dream to take to the "next level", we are hindered constantly by politicians who just care to make their side of the fortune, even if were to be at the cost of the future of unsuspecting students. I don't intend to paint all the students with the same colour, but most students are quite naive before they become politicians!

Look at a state like Kerala, where engineering courses are not for 4 years like it should, but more like 5 years. The extra year because of all the days that the college is closed because of Bandh! A responsible display of democracy is needed and healthy, but to inculcate the same in (mostly) destructive means by political mentors is outright condemnable! Do we really need college politics? Can anyone vouch for something good coming of it, and if so, does the good outweigh the bad that it brings along in good measure??

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