ABID AZAD

Things that make you to Think

How well the students fare

It is mostly common now-a-days that most of the public university students in
Bangladesh hardly have any interest to work for their own betterment in their entire campus life. Not only so, it has been learnt that majority of the students have no platform to unite themselves in order to make their demands. At present, campus living has become more dreadful for the general students due to misuse of power in the name of students politics.

While talking to students and teachers, it was found that violent students politics,
teachers politics, political affiliation and absence of central students union are the major problems for which a large number of students are deprived of proper education.

In the Pakistan period, students had some principles for which they did politics. But after the independence students lost the direction because of political affiliation of both teachers and students including the appointment of vice-Chancellor and students various group, says Dr Enamul Haque Khan, a professor of History department in Jahangirngar University (JU).

For those very reasons, students welfare is overshadowed by the politics. As a result, mugging, looting, raping, assaulting, tender business, admission business and political rivals conflicts frequently occur in the public universities in the name of students politics, as reported by the various news media. The political power in the campuses shift along with the respective party that comes to power
after the national elections.

Dr Sabbir Ahmed, assistant professor of Government & Politics department in Dhaka University (DU), says, Student politics has now become power centric. For this, if any party wants to attain the power, the party needs muscle men. Students, often teachers, then have to become their ‘master’s voice’.

On the other hand, teachers are involved in such politics to be benefited, for example, to ensure their safety, residence facilities, higher education, promotion, etc. All these are controlled centrally, he further adds.

A DU student Ashik Mahmud, expresses his deep concern regarding student politics in public universities. He says, “We the general students have no platform for which we can stand for ourselves. Whether it is Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) or Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD), we have to be silent in front of them because they are powerful and have political backing while we are totally alone;
thus we are deprived of our rights.”

A student from Jagannath University says, “I was involved in the recent protest on our campus, demanding continued government funding for the institution. I could hardly sleep at night thinking about my own safety. Though we were many at the time of the protest, but now everyone is feeling insecure.”

The same anxiety was found in a femalestudent’s voice from JU. She said, “We lost our friend Zubair to the wicked hands of politics. I am not asking to ban student politics; I would say it should be for the students welfare. Otherwise more life will be lost in the name of student politics.”

Dr Md Amran Hossain, a teacher from DU, says, “If the leaders of the political parties order their respective student wings to refrain from violence on the campuses, those political students must stop.”

“We founded a democratic country but there is no practice of democracy. We lack a system of check and balance. Those violent situations in the public universities could only be stopped if the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the opposition leader Khaleda Zia sit together and find a fruitful output to make a livable campus for the students,”says Sabbir Ahmed.

This was published as Spotlight at Morning Tea.

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