Student unrest is a worldwide phenomenon. It manifests itself is many forms. Lately, in our country student anger has been erupting in a very disturbing type of violence. Murders, shoot-outs, physical clashes, arson, rampaging and destruction of institutional property are common. A few decades ago China saw student violence for democracy which was crushed down brutally. France also witnessed long drawn violence by students paralyzing the life of Paris. But the student violence in India is not for some one common cause.
In every country Youngman in general and students in particular show signs of restlessness. It is because they are most concerned about future. Any hint of negative factor disturbs them. Such unrest is not bad. It has brought about revolutions, fuelled independence struggles and has generated new ideas. Due to this progressive outlook, the teachers, parents and political leaders have backed them.
But now the restiveness of the students of India is degenerating into senseless violence. Normally the students express their disapproval or protest through strikes, agitations, demonstrations, processions, boycotting classes, slogan shouting and sometimes pelting some stones or bricks. Only on rare occasions arson and violence was resorted to. The grievances also used to be genuine like poor facilities in colleges, lack of furniture, equipment in class rooms and labs or incompetent staff. Now they go on rampage making unreasoned demands like suspension of action against the criminal acts of their leaders, dismissal of inconvenient V.C. or teachers, cancellation or postponement of exams, easy question papers, permission to use mobiles in college premises etc.
College or university elections degenerate into political hooliganism and gang wars. Recently a professor was manhandled to death by student hooligans. Ragging of freshers means torture now. Academic atmosphere is vitiated by ugly casteism in reaction to reservation policies. The behaviour of students has become very defiant and disobedient. On slightest provocation they indulge in rowdyism, and go berserk destroying college property. Often nearby markets and roads also become target of their anger.
Experts and educationists think that the restlessness among the students is a sign of general upheaval in the country and the world. India is passing through great social and economic changes. Old order is changing and the new is taking shape. Today’s student is a keen observer of the changes that are taking place. He likes some but dislikes other changes. His perception is that most of the things are not going in the right direction. He feels angry about it but can do little to change the course of events. Then, he resorts to violence to give rent to his pent up frustrations.
Corrupt society, dishonest leaders and inefficient bureaucrats further fuel his anger and disillusionment. Growing population and shrinking opportunities make the future uncertain. A student sees looming unemployment after completion of his studies. Some students willingly become stooges of politicians to play their dirty pines. They see an opportunity in it to become rich and successful politicians in later life with those connections. Many of them have even done that. They serve as living examples of that fact. The students seriously interested in studies find the campus atmosphere in hospitable. That is a pity because the education is the primary duty of a student.
It should be understood that the problem of student unrest is purely-psychological in character. Party politics should be pushed down-to a low level without banishing it because it is a part of education. The universities must create academic environment in campuses. The teachers, parents and politicians should direct the minds of the students in the right direction instead of using repression.
The media should project positive picture of the future to put the student mind at ease and give it hope. The media channels compete with one another in the grim side of everything for their TRP rates. The fact is that India is emerging as an economic power with millions of new job opportunities coming up. Indian professionals are valued everywhere on the globe and are a sought after lot. Our country is on the verge of becoming a knowledge giant; so, where is the place for despondency?