It was October of 2018 when a bunch of students supported a group of girls in protest, who accused a professor of the Zoology department of BHU of harassing them sexually. The professor was suspended until June 2019, when he was reinstated with censure and also was denied any administrative position and tour responsibility. There were many more cases like this in schools, institutes, and universities all over the world when a bunch of students raised their voice for a reason which brought difference and made examples for society. The formation of such student politics groups universities with a reason or with similar views is highly associated with politics. What is politics? Politics are the certain set of schemes that are related to making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations among individuals, like the distribution of resources or status. It is practised in a wide range of society, from clans and tribes of traditional societies, through modern local governments, companies, and institutions up to sovereign states, to the international level. In a modern society on the national level, people often form political parties to represent their ideas and practices. These political parties are further chosen as ruling or opposition parties, by the citizens of the sovereignty and they together manage the whole nation’s government.
So what is student politics and Why we all need student politics in Universities? Politics with the involvement of students in it is student politics, but actually, it’s deeper than that. Student politics is when a group of students from school or college who tend to share similar viewpoints comes together to form a union, i.e, student union. Let’s try to explore this area with depth and all the perspectives.
Approaching the management and association
The very first and basic task for the student union is to update the association and management of the institute the union belongs to about the basic needs and issues faced by students of the same institute. Those needs and issues might be of any kind, from the quality of chalk to the hostel facility, from teaching to ragging, and many more. Also, the union might raise its voice against management if it smells some corruption with the funding provided by higher bodies like the government. And if the institute keeps
ignoring union has the right to reach the government. For example, in 2020 when lockdown kept on extending by the government, studies of college students were getting affected especially for the final year students, unions from institutes and universities all over the world went on protests demanding the institution for some solution.
Approaching the government
Many times when certain bills are passed or some decision is made in the parliament by the ruling party with the majority in favor and the citizens including the students are not very comfortable with the same, the student unions from different backgrounds might come together to raise voice through protests, marches and strikes to oppose the decisions taken by the government and put common peoples conditions and demand forward. Which is yet a great way to approach the government itself with nationwide problems. As an example, back in 2019 unhappy with the introduction of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, students from different background came together to raise voice against the government.
Creating Future leaders
As far as the future is concerned, every country needs good quality leaders not just equipped with principles, ideals, and integrity but also with some grasp in the field of politics, and that is possible if they start gaining some experience as early in life as possible. Perhaps the best way to start is student polity. As we already have our hon’ble finance minister, Smt Nirmala Sitharaman, was a student in JNU and was active in student politics back in her time. Also, the former minister of finance and corporate affairs, late Sri Arun Jaitley was very much active back in his college time at the University of Delhi.
Sometimes student polity takes a bad face and horrible turns, leading to damaging results. One such case was at BHU back in 1997 when the student election went on to become more and more violent, two students even lost their lives in clashes, the administration took strict actions and dissolved The Benaras Hindu University students’ union and the union has struggled to completely stand again ever-since. Many times the involvement of the administration itself in the union leads to the formation of not so efficient student’s union. All the violence and inefficiency of the union also affects the environment of institutes and universities, which eventually affects the studies of students
Though it is a little difficult to achieve clean and fair student politics, we can’t give up. Even today students find the administration slow and ineffective sometimes, even today it is difficult for the voice of the girls getting harassed on the campus to be loud enough for administration and association to step up and take actions, even today student many-times finds no transparency in administration, labs of science faculty of many colleges and universities are equipped with rusty and inefficient pieces of equipment, how do we make all these problems loud and clear to the management and demand for what the students deserve. Indeed we do need student polity for the union and the administration and students would have to come together in peace in order
to make the politics clean and fair.
Also check out: Effects of COVID-19 on students