Recently Sunil Gavaskar has asked college students to be Indians first and to go back to their classrooms. He said, “The country is in turmoil. Some of our youngsters are out on the streets when they should have been in their classrooms.” During the time of freedom struggle and also during the time of emergency, college students hit the streets instead of just confining themselves into the classrooms because they were indeed conscious and ideal Indians. They played a great role to make India free from colonial yoke during the Gandhi satyagraha movement. They again did take a major part to save our democracy during the JP movement. Those who dared to join those movements put the interest of India above their career goals. Indeed we salute them for their sacrifice.
Commenting on Gavaskar’s super slow first world cup one day cricket match against England in 1975 in which he scored just 36 runs from 174 deliveries, the then team manager, GS Ramchand had said, “It was the most disgraceful and selfish performance I have ever seen.” We do not want to remember this innings where self interest of the batsman ruthlessly jeopardized country’s interest. But we will certainly remember selfless freedom fighters for their coming out from their classrooms to the streets to peacefully protest against the British raj for the sake of India.
College students have often been advised not to join politics. But if they do not join politics then where will we get young educated leaders from? It is true that students should give maximum attention to their studies. However, the Universities need to teach students about our Constitution, how to logically present one’s views and the art of listening and thinking about other’s opinions. This will enable graduates to be conscious citizens to objectively exercising their voting rights and even to become political leaders to lead the country forward.
There must be a clear road from University campuses to local self governments, assemblies and the Parliament. We need more young educated youths in politics rather than local goons. The equation between machismo and politics needs to be banished with logic and reasoning. What we need from politicians is empathy. But machismo is against the idea of empathy.
Sujit De, Kolkata