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SHOULD STUDENTS TAKE PART IN POLITICS?

Many students are found indulging in politics these days. It is one of their Extracurricular activities in universities and colleges. Not only do proper student political
wings exist but also students enlisted in these wings carry out their political party duties
in the most loyal and desirable manner. People hold diametrically divergent views
regarding the role of students in active politics. Some plead in favour of students taking
part in politics while others reject the notion altogether. Politics as treated here means
active participation in political movements. However it should be emphasized in
educational institutions that students should not take part in politics.
During their college and university lives, students should focus more on drinking from
the foundations of knowledge and inculcating different qualities in themselves under the
guidance of their esteemed faculty. The students should first become mature enough to
understand the political affairs of the world in their proper perspective and not just come
forth as an active political member of the society without any knowledge of the arena
they are entering. Students must take a leaf out of the life of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad
Ali Jinnah who started taking active part in politics when he made himself financially
sound and secure and had carved out an honourable place for himself in the society. The
students must bear in mind the parting advice of Quaid-e-Azam which he gave to the
students of Islamia College Peshawar: The duties required of you now are: develop a
sound sense of discipline, character, initiative and solid academic background. You must
devote yourself wholeheartedly to your studies for that is your first obligation to
yourselves, to your parents and to the State. (Dawn, 1948).
One point to be noted here is that students should learn to differentiate between
understanding politics and active politics. There is no harm to the student if he engages in
research to develop a sound knowledge base about the workings of politics in the society
that he resides. He should try to get acquainted with the policies and manifestos of
different parties and should try to ascertain which program best suits the interests of the
motherland. (Ahmed,1992). However, he must refrain from applying that knowledge to
his university life by participating in party politics because mainly it is immense loss to
students due of wastage of their valuable time. Several students through participation in
politics start indiscipline in colleges. This leads to groupism among students which is
detrimental to the interest of students itself and weakens the concord among the student
community. Many students for these activities are rusticated from educational
institutions.
In Pakistan the student party politics has sadly developed a heart rending picture where
students are very actively indulged in supporting the ideologies of different political
parties. Students can easily be exploited by politicians for their personal ends. They try to
utilize the youth force for their personal benefits. This tendency is also not conductive to
the welfare of a nation. This exploitation generally results in violence. The extent of
political participation can reach such high degrees that students are willing to take up
arms and ammunition in order to stamp their authority in a particular educational
institution. The student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami was accused of introducing firearms in

student politics when some members fired upon a National Students Federation (NSF)
rally at the University of Karachi in 1979. (Paracha,2008). Even peaceful protests by
students are a subject of torture and the writ of the government is reinforced on these
students. On 16 June 1976 a spontaneous uprising by students in Soweto in South Africa
was brutally suppressed by the police and hundreds were killed. (BBC,2005 10th June).
The proponents of student participation in politics argue that they should take part in
politics, keeping in mind that they are the future of any country. Among these students,
we will have our future politicians. At least, they should know what their prerogatives are
and what is wrong in the political system of their country. But having said that, one also
becomes wary of this idea when these students get involved in dirty-politics, they put
their future at stake. They get involved in politics without caring about their studies. They
become a pawn in the hands of so-called patriotic-politicians. So it is said that students
should first build their future then decide whether to take part in politics or not. (Mirza,
2009), (Youtube, 2009).
Thus in light of the above discussion, it can be firmly concluded that students, being the
foundations of the future of their nations, should devote their might and energies towards
seeking excellence in the academic fields. Politics is just a huge distraction in their aim to
acquire education, the participation in which will render this aim unachievable.
Dawn (1948, 12th April) Responsibilities of the Youth. Retrieved from: http://m-ajinnah.blogspot.com/2010/04/responsibilities-of-youth-12th-apr-1948.html
Ahmed, Nazir (1992) Should Students Take Part in Politics, Caravan College Essays,
Lahore: Caravan Book House.
Nadeem, F.P (2009) Student Politics: A Brief History, Indus Asia Online Journal
BBC, (2005, 10th June) Africa- Should the Youth Get Involved in Politics? Retrieved
from: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4080910.stm
Mirza, M (2009), Should Students Take Part in Politics. Retrieved from
http://www.trcb.com/education/college-university/should-students-take-part-inpolitics-2716.html.
(2009) Should Students Take Part in
www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xVaCA8GUlY
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