We saw how the recent movements at the Jawaharlal Nehru University and the Hyderabad Central University pitted the the student community against the government.
Now, to keep a check on such controversies in the future, a government committee headed by former cabinet secretary TSR Subramanian has now recommended restricting student politics in universities and colleges, says a report in The Indian Express.
This new move comes months after Parliamentary affairs Venkaiah Naidu had objected to campus politics saying students must not get involved in politics.
This is what he had said:
They are all studying at a central university where public money is involved. So they must do justice to the cause and they must study, that’s all. If they are interested in politics, they can leave studies and join politics.
The committee, in its report, perturbed over the increasing number of student protests states,
Agitations, disturbances, gheraos and other disruptive movements are being increasingly witnessed on campuses with potential to interfere with normal academic activities. As a result of this, examinations often get delayed or postponed. These disturbances are generally caused by a small section of politically active students and work to the detriment of the majority of serious students.
Based on its report, these are the major recommendations of the committee:
- Educational institutions should consider derecognising student groups based explicitly on caste and religion
- Political activities on campus should be discouraged
- Stay of students on campus should be restricted on the ground that most of the disruptive movements are led by students who remain enrolled for many more years than normally required
In a country with the world’s largest youth population, their voice matters. Forcibly silencing them can’t be the answer; should not be the answer.