Bengaluru: The ongoing student unrest at JNU and the Central University of Hyderabad (UCH) has left no one in doubt about growing political activism on campuses. While some are alarmed and feel its time to rein it in, others believe it is to be expected and helps create budding leaders of tomorrow.
Says Ms. Smitha K Kunder, a political science research scholar, “ It is unfair to stop political activism on campuses as colleges and universities are a fertile breeding ground of young leaders. Many student leaders have gone on to become leaders of mainstream political parties.”
She also notes that campuses are not free of problems and the students fraternity needs strong leadership to counter them. “With all the political parties having their own student wings it is impossible to avoid political activism," Ms Kunder contends.
But advocate Ranjith Kumar believes students of JNU and CUH have misused the freedom they enjoy. “In the past students responded to the call of Jayaprakash Narayan when the Emergency was imposed on the country. But today, university campuses are used more to defame someone or the other. There are divisions of caste and religion on campuses and political affiliations of students' organisations has only worsened the situation,” he regrets.
Prof. GK Karanth, national fellow, ICSSR, however, thinks it's time the government offered the students of JNU and CUH an olive branch. “The situation is now such that no one is sure who is the real enemy anymore. We need to put an end to these controversies at some point. The government must offer an olive branch to ease the tension and those who are agitating must accept it and look forward to a new beginning,” he advises....