ROLE OF THE STUDENTS IN DEMOCRACY
Demos is a Greek word for the people. Thus democracy is a government of the people. Students form a considerable part of the population of a country. Students symbolizes the youth of the nation. There has been a trend among the teachers and parents to advise students to remain away from politics. It is a partial view. If the young students do not share their responsibility it will fall on the decaying shoulders of the older generation. The older generation has its limitations. It succumbs to pressures and stands for status quo. Both of these go against the interests of the nation. It may remain under the sway of undesirable elements within the nation or surrender before the wishes of the progressive nations.
Democracy is not a stale affair like monarchy, nor is it a reign of terror like a dictatorship. It is poles apart from extreme socialism that reduces man to nothing before the authority of the state. Democracy stands for permanent everlasting ripples in the body politic of the nation. It requires active watchfulness. A little of slumber may reduce it to a play thing of a dictator. Selfish over enthusiasm may give birth to indiscipline reducing democracy to anarchy. It may result in disintegration of the nation falling prey to the ambitions of a foreign power. It is only the youth; the youth students can provide the unselfish vigilance. It is only they who keep the nation united and strong enough to face the onslaught of a foreign power with iron hand. The fort of democracy is rather built on the strength of the young.
Progress in a democratic set up requires innovation in all spheres of human life and innovation is the prerogative of the educated young. Democracy requires not only the vigilance but change too. The social and economic institutions develop in a successful democracy as they have in the USA and Japan. Efforts are to be made through the government agencies too. Thus it is essential for the young students to play an active role in the democratic set up.
Social equality, individual liberty, freedom of thought, fraternity and a spirit of tolerance are the virtues on which the citadel of democracy rests. The old become a little conservative. In a country like India they stick to the caste barriers not allowing thousands of castes get mixed up. It is the young who are more large hearted. It is they who lay stress upon freedom of thought and individual liberty. Let them be the essential part of the political setup to make the democracy a real success.