- The ideals of student life.
It is not certain whether politics is an art or science. It is, however, a very noble and arduous pursuit, because it is concerned with the government and administration of countries. It is concerned with the building up of a nation and with the happiness of the people at large. The establishment of happy, human communities is the end and aim of politics. As such, its pursuit requires a mature mind and a sense of dedication and effort devoted to the ruling of people. A good politician is, therefore, a very rare phenomenon. One in a thousand or more turn out to be endowed with that passion for humanity’s welfare which is the glorious gift of politics. If good and selfless politicians are rare, there are any number of people who make a profession of politics and bring its fair name into disrepute. It is common to see people who exploit politics for selfish or narrow communal aims. In the hands of such indifferent politicians, politics becomes no more than a bid for power which is very often abused for undesirable, and social and even antinational end. That is how politicians have become a byword for cunning, selfishness, un-nationalistic ends and mercenary motives.
In Indo-Pak sub-continent today; politicians have multiplied vigorously. During our first election after Independence, we saw how. numerous were the political parties that had sprung up in our country. One reason for this is that our politics was a forbidden fruit in British Rule. Politics then was purely British, with British outlook and British interests. Under such a rule, our political awareness was asleep, and one that rule disappeared, we grew over-political at once. This was the natural result of an unnatural suppression of our political activities.
It is under these circumstances that the students of our country came into politics. Under British Rule, students were severely debarred from taking part in any political activity. In a sense it was good, though the students were denied the right type of public activities. In the fight for freedom, however, students joined their elders and boycotted schools and colleges. They defied government and bravely suffered all the heavy penalties imposed upon them. They. were a very fruitful source of strength for our freedom fight and all honour to them for the national services they so nobly rendered.
But also the picture now is an altogether different one. The same young men and women who were an asset to our country during our fight for freedom have now turned out to be great liabilities. Like tigers tasting human blood and not satisfied with animal blood, our young men and women tasted the power of politics in a wrong manner. They defied authority, and it is not their fault if they have taken their lesson of politics in this way. To them politics means nothing more nor less than the job of defying authority, whether this authority is governmental, parental or academic, For good or evil, our students have begun to imagine that it is one of their most glorious jobs to go on strikes, defy laws and orders, to organize processions, to carry flags and to shout deafening slogans.
Not only this. In our schools and colleges today, we have permitted students to organize themselves for extra-curricular activities. This is no doubt good. In a true democracy, everyone has to learn the art of science of politics. For this purpose, it is good that students are encouraged to set up unions, to participate in ‘parliaments’ and do such other things which are good in a way. These activities are legitimate and they offset their purely bookish life.
But the trouble is that in participating in such good activities, our youths have begun to imitate their elders in the wrong way. For example, it is very common to see students using all sorts of means to get their ends. In the elections to their unions and Parliaments, students become unscrupulous. They even use violent means in getting : votes. They attach themselves to leaders among themselves and display a pathetic loyalty in supporting them. Most often these leaders are not of the right type. They are either failures in academic life, or have some personal grudges against their opponents. And so the result is that these leaders very often mislead their generous and innocent” followers.
In short, politics is not a bad thing for students, provided that they are taught to use in a right way, and not to misuse their political instincts. Many people say that politics should not be indulged in by students. It is not right to deny the legitimate rights of our youths. The youths of today, as we know, are the leaders of tomorrow. If this is so, it would be wrong to bring them up in an atmosphere of mere literary and academic life. They should know the realities of life, and political activities of right type are the best means of giving them such a knowledge. Therefore, we should by all means encourage our youths to understand politics.
To understand politics this is the first step that they should take before we permit them to be actively political. Active politics demands skill, maturity and sobriety that are not possible in youth from the very nature of the case. Young are men are young men and they cannot be fit for taking active part in politics. The life of students is a peculiarly privileged life. The privileges should not be abused, as they are often abused when students begin to neglect their studies in the pursuit of wild political ends. We see the sad spectacle of bright young men and women wasting their life in the pursuit of political power during their academic life. This should be stopped.
Finally, we must say that politics, life fire, is a good servant and a bad master. We must teach students the art of science of politics; we must teach them to build up their character during academic life we must teach them how to set up political parties, and how to run institutions; we must teach them how to serve society, particularly the low and the poor sections of society; we must organise social service cards and take them out during vacations to our villages, which are cpresented by our teeming millions. If we do all this, we will be giving our youth the right type of political training. If we give them such a training, they will cease to be a nuisance and prone to indiscipline. They will cease to follow blindly any leader they might happen to meet. They will cease to abuse their short, precious, student life and they will surely turn out to be the real builders of a great and glorious Pakistan. May God grant that we are able to protect our youths from undesirable political influences.