Student Politics: Definition And a Contemporary Analysis

By-Sheikh Fazlul Karim Maruf, the Central President, Islami Shasantantra Chhatra Andolan (ISCA)


Definition of Student Politics
It can be defined in 2 ways.

1. Firstly, Discussion on student relevant issues, adoption as an agenda, and create pressure on authority to take positive political decisions on the particular agenda might be defined as ‘student politics’.

2. Secondly, acting as a student window for an active national political force, forming future leadership for that party as well as using students power in the interest of that political group can be called student politics in another sense.

Theoretically or in the explanation of the political intellectuals, the first symphony seems to be appropriate, but practically the second one is being practicing all over the world. In Bangladesh perspective the second definition of student politics is most appropriate with some difference. Though Bangladeshi model of student politics is not seen anywhere else in the world.

There are some political organizations in Bangladesh whose main aim and purpose is to get state power anyhow. Students’ politics which is under controlled of the mother political party is always pursuing its national party to make the party to power holder. So what, they don’t leave anything undone to keep or bring the party in power. Chhatra League, Jatiotabadi Chhatra Dal has made this trend of politics.

On the other hand, there are some different type of organizations who want to make ideological change in every field of the country. That’s why the student politics of those organizations is to promote their ideology among the students, to make students active worker for the ideology and most significantly is to make future leaders from the students for bringing this ideological struggle in its supreme success through practicing the leadership for a long way. Bangladesh Islami Chhatra Shibir and Islami Chhatra Andolan are performing second kind of student politics in Bangladesh.

To understand the role of student organizations on any issues related to the interests of students, it is necessary to understand aforementioned interpretation of student politics. On the issue of student interest, the role of student organization of the power expecting parties depends on the possibility of getting and losing their party power. If there is any possibility of a change in the government by organizing a movement centering on a student issue, then the student organization of opposition will take part or lead the movement seriously. The greater the likelihood of the collapse of the government in the movement, the greater the integration and participation of the opposition student organization. Again, whenever the possibility of change in government in that movement will be reduced, then the movement or the issue will move proportional to the student organizations.

Moreover, if the government student group notice that there is no harm to the government, then they would be active there. But seeing the possibility of any negativity for the government, the government student organization will turn away from that issue no matter how much logical the issue is. And the opponent will act differently.

What should be the role of ideal student organization?
Usually they use to take advantage of any student related issue so that through this, they will be able to promote their ideology to the students and they try to draw student’s attraction on their own doctrine. They keep themselves on an issue in the field until it becomes the ultimate hazard. When a movement becomes so vulnerable that the administration is committed to forcefully suppressing all concerned, ideological organizations then take their people away from the issue for the sake of their long-term goals.

Now a question raises here very strongly is that, what would happen with the issue of student interest?
There are a few things to understand before getting the answer to this question. When a state takes a stand against the interest of the students, my question, is it the only problem of that state? Which will solve everything? Or is it just a manifestation of the characteristic problem of that state? To speak more clearly. Has this government taken only this case that the government has taken pro-discrimination against the quota and took advantage of deceit? Or is it the characteristic problem of the government? Which one of the manifestations happened on this quota issue? Everyone will agree that taking sides in discrimination and deceiving not only happened on this issue, but it is their characteristic problem, On the quota issue, her naked outburst has just happened.

Where the solution now?
Only on this issue, if they correct their character, their discrimination and deception will stop from all the places of the state? Not at all. If they are closed in this case, they will do it elsewhere. Therefore, no political student organization can get all the wages on this issue. And nobody holds it. Yes! If they were forced to compromise on this issue, there could make a way to stop of their discrimination and deception character. But the price that had to be paid for it would have been more than gain.

Students’ organizations have given importance to this movement in power politics. Because, on this issue, they saw the least of the power illustration. But hopefully. Ideological organizations, through this movement, have not even seen any possible probability of revolutionary changes in current reality. So if they take part along with their supreme ability and efficiency, they might be aberrant from their ultimate objectives.

The core reason behind this attitude of student organizations is that, in fact this movement would not change any of the policies of discrimination and deceit, therefore, the power should be kept in order to make the state permanently equal and humanitarian, rather than to get temporary benefit haphazardly. Now the politics of power-based organizations think that if they come to power, it will be a remedy, so here, they didn’t spend all their power, they have kept the power to go to power and walked towards achieving more power.

Idealistic organizations believe that it is not possible to solve the overall problems by changing the power only, it needs an overall policy changes, and overall change is not possible through this specific movement, so they have kept the energy for overall change, instead of expenditure all the energy here.

It would not be an irrelevant question, how much is to differentiate the student problems from other of the society? And how much to give them the highest importance? Ignoring all other basic problems of society, emphasizing on the student’s problem indirectly hides the other significant and fundamental social problems. Citizens are not getting proper right to access food, clothing, shelter, medical and education or five basic human rights. Security is the most terrible issue in Bangladesh right now. Human franchise has been taken away, politics is being controlled from across the border. Discrimination is being made against each level of society. Meanwhile, problem of the students is one of that all.

This problem of students is not a major issue of present time, but an expression of the main problem. AIDS is the main problem. A furuncle in the body part is just a syndrome of AIDS. Now there is a need for medical aid for AIDS. Spending all the money behind the furuncle cannot be an intelligent task anymore.

That is why Marx did not say anything differently about feminism. Because he believed, the problem of women’s is a part of main problem of the society that’s the why he just emphasized on the solutions of social problem. Likewise, students’ problem is a problem in the main problem not something out of existing socio-economic problems.

All should remember, it is a Western philosophy to differentiate various problems and make different versions of solution. Much discussion on particular small problem takes away the people’s focus from the main problem.

Ideological organizations work to solve the problem of discrimination and deceit in the society by not being trapped in the West. In this, western intellectual intellectuals and emerging Facebook intellectuals may think that ideological organizations have passed the quota problem. But they are not able to circumvent it, but they are moving on the way to solve problems from their origin.

Those who value the ideological political organization in their submergence and narrow view of their interests, think that their interests should be mobilized by the parties. If they did not do so, they would express their surprise, “how the do the student politics!

Generally speaking, in the yearly government jobs like 60% of the rate of discrimination against the people of the 56% quota more discrimination and ruthlessness is being made with millions of people in the country. 10% richest people is consuming 38% of national income. And 10% people living under extreme poverty line is having only 1% of the national income.

Modern Facebook intellectuals have not been seen in the streets to protest against such disparity. They are seen so active once in a decade against the inequality of government jobs only 3 million youth would supper it.

Now the Facebook intellectuals come to teach political organization how to practice the politics! Although the parties have been contributing to abolish all discrimination year after year. Meanwhile, these so-called intellectual reaming silent over the years, in fact they are actually blind with their own interests.

They think from a narrowest ground ignoring all the basic problems of the society and spending all their resources for their narrow interests.

Here again, we would pay our tribute to Ahmad Safa (a prominent Bengali writer and politician) again. “The country would not have been independent if the leaders heard what the intellectuals said, and the country would not forward, if they heard what they are saying.”