The subject of students in politics has become a pertinent issue today in view of the concern expressed by the Supreme Court, about a students’ union elections recently held at a well-known university. Reportedly, there were instances of rowdy behaviour by some of the Union leaders within the campus and lavish flow of money in the election campaigns.

Earlier, the court had examined yet another case where student union members had bashed up teachers and locked up their Vice Chancellor for catching students copying in the examination. It was revealed by the court that college elections were being fought not by genuine students, but by professionals who fulfilled the eligibility criteria by getting themselves enrolled in one or the other of the courses.

It is, therefore, important in the above context for students to understand what “politics” is and what the true role of a “politician” is. The literal meanings of the two words are – the activities associated with controlling and managing the affairs of a group of people, and the term politician connotes a person who involves himself into politics as a job, and not as a matter of casual interest. It appears from the above meanings that politics involves organizing people and directing and leading them towards a common goal, which is beneficial to them.

A conglomeration of people without a leadership is like a rudderless ship. Especially in a democratic organization, in which the people themselves choose from amongst them those whom they deem fit to form the governing body and to run the affairs of the organization. Since everyone cannot have a talent and capability of governance, persons who have natural aptitude for the job will have to come forward to take up the mantle of the organization.

The main attraction of politics is that it gives the politicians the power, which is more potent than money power, or muscle power because political power can be manipulated to ones advantage. Today it is the lust for power, which is drawing more and more people towards politics whose main objective is to fulfill their own selfish goals.

People who have genuine love for the country and its people today stay away from politics and those who have entered the arena have no compunctions in their hearts either for the people or the country. The political actions of the present genre are not much different from those of ancient rulers; who functioned only to perpetuate their own rules.

It is rightly said that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. To gain absolute power the present day politician has spread his tentacles in every direction, liaising with the rich on one hand and extending undue favours to them and patronizing criminals to mobilize their support. They have not spared the school and college going generation and are luring the young ones with their patronage.

They choose students known for riotous behaviour and hooliganism in the college and promote their cause of winning students elections by all means. Every political party has a student wing. If a student is able to view things in the above light and understand that they are being made pawns in the political games they will be able to judge for themselves and decide their own course of action.

This will help them to participate in students’ elections in a more democratic way. On being elected as representatives of the students they should try to take objective views of their problems and issues and resolve them in a manner that does hurt neither the student’s community nor the sanctity of the education institutions.

Let college and university unions be the cradle for the future generations of politicians and learn while running the students union the true qualities and nuances of leadership. The country needs enlightened politicians to take it forward on the path of progress and it is the upcoming generation that will have to provide.