is invariably a delicate, thankless and generally undesirable job as the lessons distilled from experiences all over the world demonstrate. And student movements have not been confined to mere academic or sectional problems but have been intervening in, and even triggering, various people’s movements, at times political revolutions too. The establishment parties and conservative groups generally, save when it suits their convenience, sermonize against students participating in politics but we were never attracted by that insipidity. Moreover, nowadays bulk of the university students are fully-eligible-to-vote citizens and it would not be proper or advisable in the interests of society to bar them from participation in politics in the name of exclusive priority to their academic careers. Then the logical corollary, of course, would be that just like any citizen a student can also be not immune to application/operation of law and intervention of law enforcing agencies. True, but at the same time there is another crucial aspect here that by custom, by convention and by ethics it is generally recognized that institutions of learning are akin to temples of education and have to be kept as free as possible from any outside intervention. Security and law and order problems are bound to crop up in the course of various students movements but to properly tackle those is best left to the discretion and wisdom of the teaching and governing staff of the universities and institutions concerned. Particularly the autonomy of the universities must be reverently preserved and promoted. An internal security force may be set up by the university authorities themselves to deal with any undesirable offensive activities but until and unless all persuasion and internal monitoring fails and, throwing their hands up, the university authorities specifically request the police to intervene [e.g. recent instance of the police cleaning up the main auditorium of the Vienna University which was under 2 months occupation by the students – actually out of 100 cleared only 15 turned out to be students and others homeless outsiders – on the request of the Principal concerned], it must normally be a ‘hands off’ policy for the police vis-à-vis student campuses.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Monday, February 1, 2010
OUR REPUBLICAN DREAM
originally was one of establishing a sovereign, independent, democratic, socialist-oriented, secular polity with true federal democracy and self-governance for social welfare and development given the prime place. It is essential to remember this vision of Mahatma Gandhi too: “I shall strive for a constitution, which will release India from all thralldom and patronage ... I shall work for an India in which the poorest shall feel that it is their country in whose making they have an effective voice; an India in which there shall be no high class and low class of people; an India in which all communities shall live in perfect harmony. There can be no room in such an India for the curse of untouchability or the curse of intoxicating drinks and drugs. Women will enjoy the same rights as men. …we shall be at peace with all the rest of the world, neither exploiting nor being exploited … All interests not in conflict with the interests of the dumb millions will be scrupulously respected, whether foreign or indigenous. … This is the India of my dreams… I shall be satisfied with nothing else.” Of course he was disappointed in his own life time and was finally liquidated by a fanatic. The point is eradication of poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, corruption and sundry social evils, which was his cherished ideal, still eludes realization and regrettably we still stand in the last row in the worldwide human development indices. May be Obama is scared of being overtaken by China and [us] India in economic surge but the fruits of such development, we see, have only gone to the rich and new middle classes and the bulk of the people still suffer. Rule of the law is more on the paper than in practice and the concentration of wealth detrimental to the common weal, condemned in no uncertain terms in our Constitution, is flourishing in its loathsome extravaganza. We are languishing in a coarse, corrupt and cruel capitalist State strutting in the guise of a socialist republic. Apart from the ever growing economic woes, staggering corruption, communalism, intolerance and hatred of the worst kind are dividing and decimating our people. Can we rest satisfied with such a state of affairs; should we not be up in arms to alleviate such misery and alter this disgusting situation to achieve the cherished ideals.
Posted by I.M.Sharma at 8:55 PM