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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Student Unions: Ban them first and then skin them

India is going to the dogs (if it hasn’t already). The murder of the 61-year old Professor H.S. Sabbarwal (of Madhav College, Ujjain) by student activists is reminiscent of the fact that we are now trapped in a quagmire that we might never be able to come out of.

Political parties directly patronize student unions in India. In fact, the mainstream political parties directly fund these parties and almost all of them are affiliated to one political party or other.

What have these unions done for the students? In fact, these unions have turned into organized gangs of hoodlums, hooligans, criminals and terrorists.

Things have come to such a point that the only remedy is that the government should first ban all student unions immediately now following the parliament passing a law that will:

a) Ban all funding to these unions by political parties.
b) Make affiliations to mainstream political parties illegal.
c) Restrict the activities of these unions to only the local campuses.
d) Make it illegal for the unions to be national in nature and declare names such as Akhil Bharatiya or All India, India, Bharat etc as anti-national.
e) The activities of these unions should not be beyond cultural, sports and academic nature, though they may take up genuine grievances of students to the concerned authorities.
f) Make campaigning beyond the campus boundaries during student elections illegal.
g) Enforce an upper limit in age of the candidates contesting the elections. (There are thousands of student leaders who, to stay in power, stick to the campuses for decades and well into their 40s). My recommendation is that the upper age limit of students contesting elections should not be more than 25 (that’s the lowest age for becoming a Lok Sabha MP). Only then, the unions would have a ‘student flavour’.
h) Lay down stringent punishment for the violators of this law with up to life imprisonment.

I have been a student myself and all that I have seen during my university days is bullying, blackmailing and thuggery by these unions and their activists and nothing else. It is not without any reason I am so critical about these student federations. If we don’t take this matter seriously, it won’t be long we would go the Bangladesh way where student bodies create civil war-like situations every now and then.

As far as the latest crime is concerned, the culprits must be brought to justice. The manner they carried out the murder of the professor is atrocious to say the least. Since I am not in favour of the death penalty, I would definitely like to see them flogged in public (students do need an occasional whacking, don’t they?) and sent behind bars for a life of hard labour.

The political parties need these unions and the unions’ henchmen need these parties. So will this really happen? It is time for the real students to stand up now and demand that since it concerns them, they should have the final say. Only a miniscule minority of the student population in India is involved in active student politics or are active student union members. Those criminals should immediately be uprooted from the campuses.

The advice of the Guru is to start afresh and a bit differently this time. After all, the students are the future of our country.


Blogger Aparna Muralidhar said...

I agree with your views completely. It's extremely disturbing that people have forgotten how to differ from one another within the boundaries of respect for each other. I agree most student unions are politicised and I second your thoughts about separating these as quickly and as efficiently as possible, but the larger concern is that these people go through a whole life of schooling and college education without ever becoming civilized. Perhaps we are becoming more permissive as a society.

8:16 AM  
Blogger Abhishek said...

The rules that you have suggested can very easily be bent. After the death of Prof. Sabharwal, when BJP started feeling heat, they were quick to say that it has nothing to do with ABVP and that ABVP is only a "cultural" outfit! But courts must order political leaders and political parties to stay away from campuses. When the bill for an upper limit on contesting student union elections these leaders and their thugs in colleges opposed it vehementally.
As a matter of fact, this issue needs to be dealt with an iron fist.

2:46 AM  
Blogger Shikari Shambhu said...

You are talking bullshit dude. This is typical knee jerk reaction.

I am wondering what your solution would be if tomorrow one politician commits a murder.

Also I wonder what you would have said if the events had taken a slightly different turn, say nothing had happened to Prof Sabarwal and there had been a lathicharge on students.

Your suggestions simply won't work

4:43 AM  
Blogger Beau Peep said...

Shikari Shambhu,

Politicians committing murders is taken as a part of our daily lives in India. We must not let the student politics go the way of mainstream politics. After all, if you want the politicians to stop committing murders and other heinous crimes, you must first stop these student leaders who are going to be the leaders of the country through mainstream politics.

Student politicians are nothing but like apprentices of the mainstream political parties and leaders. The things they do these days put veterans into shame.

It would be interesting to hear your views on this though.

6:04 AM  
Blogger Shikari Shambhu said...


student politicians are "apprentices" of politicians... so ban student unions...

next you'll find workers leaders are also "apprentices" of politicians... ban them

next what, political parties are full of politicians.. ban them all

why the hell do we need democracy then... ???

dude... the basic premise of democracy is that voice of different sections of society should be heard... if you are denying them that right then there is something wrong...

just one scenario to shake you :
imagine there are no student unions, and now the college management (embarrassed with several scandals) comes out with bright idea that boys shouldn’t be allowed to speak to girls on campus. if found this way the student would be fined.

if this seems reasonable to you, fine, no point arguing.
if not then what do you suppose you can do...
(this was actually happening in a chennai college - satyabama I guess, and there was nothing the students were able to do... not sure if this rule is still in force)

10:39 PM  
Blogger Beau Peep said...

I have never said that they should be banned. However, I said that as they are now, they should be banned and re-created.

Did you actually read what I wrote and suggested? I don't think so because you said this -> imagine there are no student unions, and now the college management (embarrassed with several scandals) comes out with bright idea that boys shouldn’t be allowed to speak to girls on campus.

Read my post once more.

3:06 AM  

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