Challenges before the student community

Siehzahau T Singsit *

49th AMSU Foundation Day at AMSU Mayai Loishang , D M College Campus   :: August 28 2014
49th AMSU Foundation Day at AMSU Mayai Loishang , D M College Campus on Aug 28 2014 :: Pix - Shanker Khangembam

Student unrest, student politics, student revolt, student power and student movement are some of the terms that are often used when speaking about student organizations all over the world. This is due to the fact that all over the world, "the student community is haunting the Government and the student have become a source of interest, concern and fear of the nation."

However, it is not only the Government that looks at this group with some kind of caution, but even the society at large. Students' today have become so powerful that they have not only succeeded in overthrowing and toppling Governments but also usher in social and political changes besides shaping the destiny not only of their region or state but the country as a whole.

As students are becoming class conscious, alert of their rights and role, after freeing themselves from the 'subdue syndrome' have posed a number of challenges to the society. They have often express "massive discontent with, and opposition to, the existing social and political order." This is more true in the case of 'new society' than of those with a long drawn formal system of educational tradition.

This expression is articulated due to the frequent interaction of ideas in educational institutions which are strategically located, their dynamism, their love for change and their feeling to champion not only 'incampus' or student related issues but even 'offcampus' or social issues. This class consciousness of the students is an important factor in steering their activity and to a great extend in bringing success to their various undertakings.

One of the greatest challenges that base the students' community in general and the leaders in particular is the high expectation that people of the community had. Usually, students are taken to mean those sections of the society who are dependent either financially or otherwise for maintenance and studies on their parents or guardians. A student is always linked to someone who supports him in the pursuit of his study. Because of this, students are dependent on parents.

Moreover, it has also often been held that student movements are clean and pure, people usually think that students in their activities do not have vested interests or selfish motives behind such struggles. The students are viewed to belong to the category of have-nots and who "do not fear losing whatever they have in money, social status, prestige or political power." The people, therefore, have great faith in their sincerity and their spirit of altruistic service.

Hence, with the massive faith and confidence reposed on them, the students community has to prove its mettle by not betraying their people in power tussle, making pecuniary gains for themselves or trying to carve out a political niche for their personal benefits. If these tendencies are noticed, a student organization may lose the confidence of the people, it seeks to stand for.

Another challenge before the student community is the realization of excellent academic goals. It has been noticed by many researchers that students of science or professional streams do not usually get themselves involved much in student activities. In most of the cases, students from the Arts stream are more inclined towards student's activism. This is due to the fact that there are different types of students in the various campuses.

According to Chandra Hazary, there is a four fold classification of the Indian Students population. There are the careerists who are academically oriented students. These students often excel in their studies and extra-curricular activities but are indifferent to politics. The second groups are the political activists. These students are more politically oriented and have links with political parties. They do not compete with the careerists.

In the third groups are the professional students who like to hang around in colleges to enter into the political world. These students have high verbal capacity and are political aspirants and take the student Unions as their platform for a future political career. In the fourth groups are the silent aimless majority who are political and academically average students. They are gregarious in nature and swim with the current affairs.

It is interesting to note that most of the students not only here but elsewhere are by and large considered that what really matters is the degree and not the education that they will gain in life. This pattern of thinking on the part of the students has also to be changed since the long tedious years of learning should not only be aimed at acquiring a degree but more importantly to prepare them for life. People, therefore, expect the student community to take their duty seriously and also create a conducive atmosphere for learning. Hence, the disruption of learning may not be looked favourably by the people and in case there is repeated disruption of academic life, the people's expectation from the student community may be jeopardised.

Another important challenge to the students' community is the allurement to active politics by vested interest groups. It has been pointed out by a number of researchers that "a major case of student unrest is found in the interference of political parties in the affairs of the students' community." The students, if they are serious on being the catalyst of social change have to avoid being "pawns in the chess-board of politics."

Political parties and politicians may try to infiltrate into the students' community to make them their tools in order to get their political aspirations fulfilled. This may be done overtly or covertly. However, it is important, that if student community wants to maintain the image of service to the society, they should be aloof to politics and politicians.

People of our region in particular do not like that students should take part in politics and in order not to betray the masses and get their wholehearted support, this sense of discrimination must be kept in mind. If a student group shows its leaning to any political party, that will spell its ruins. Hence, it is a difficult and trial experience, for student leaders in particular, not to be associated with politics, since vested interest groups will always be after them.

The perspectives of violence and force too have to be taken into consideration by the student community. In these days, violence becomes a distinctive characteristic of the student indiscipline in India. Violence and force, as far as possible, should be avoided since this will not take the community to forge ahead but instead paralyse the whole social system. Students may deliberately foment struggles in order to gain recognition by established leaders.

Hence, one factor that may lead to the glorification of force and violence may be the attempt on the part of the student leader to show that he is brave and daring or to gain recognition from the political leadership, especially those that are not in the ruling Government as it was observed by Lipset. Henceforth, the use of force and violence in itself is not a manifestation of power alone but also it may reflect on the personality of the leaders and even the student community at large.

In the context of the North Eastern region, another important expectation of the people is that students should serve as a mirror of the people's needs and wants. Often, the student community is looked upon as an 'emerging elite', that knows the problems and needs of the masses, many of them are drawn from this group. It was probably with this in mind that various student organisations have taken up certain issues pertaining to tribal nature.

Students as they climb up in the rung of society, understands the discrimination meted out to them for no fault of their own, but since they were born into a stratum that is being looked unfavourably by people from other parts of the country. The student community, then which is considered highly knowledgeable, should help in the ventilation of the problems of their people and prevent discriminations and exploitation on all lines and at all levels. The student community then, should not have a parochial view of their association but take the people's aspirations into confidence.

The student community everywhere has its own "stresses and strains which upset their mental equilibrium." These stresses and strains are unavoidable since they may come from the student's perception of their future. Stresses and strains are part and parcel of the student community and they cannot be rid off by any manner. However, meeting these stresses and strains with self-confidence in the group so that they may not generate any sense of alienation among the group is an important factor for consideration. A student community that has no stresses and strains is probably immature; their maturity can be established only in their proper management.

* Siehzahau T Singsit wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer can be reached at stsingsit(at)gmail(dot)com
This article was posted on November 27, 2014.

* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.

  • Great June Uprising @Kekrupat #2 : Gallery
  • Yoga Day: Celebrating Your Health
  • Chak-hao - black gold of Manipur
  • In response to the culture of shaming
  • 3rd Documentor Imphal
  • 4th International Day of Yoga by AR
  • Appeals for Resolution of MU Crisis
  • Recommendation to control Flood damages
  • International Yoga Day at Loktak PS
  • After Flood : Introspection about the future
  • MUSU & JAC : Hot issues before the Govt
  • Zeliangrong orphaned by Nationalism #2
  • General Thangal Eco Park : Gallery
  • Letter to President on Crisis at MU
  • Precision medicine & life sciences
  • Black topping-can ground leveling be behind
  • Condemns security force intrusion in MU
  • Developer wanted at LMP, Konjeng Leikai
  • AR gears up for International Yoga Day
  • NPF rejoinder to NDPP : 20 June
  • Rejoinder by Dr. Shurhozelie : 20 June
  • For a little bit more
  • Deadline of 5 days time set : MU crisis
  • Garlic Festival @Ukhrul #4 :: Gallery
  • Flood in Imphal [14 June] #3 : Gallery
  • Inungshi, Gaichanglungliu :: eMing
  • Taking 'Hau' Music to Rest of World
  • Kakching bags cleanest city in NE Award
  • JRF (Junior Research Fellow) at IBSD
  • Oxfam India launches emergency response
  • VC, MU - Resign immediately :: MUTA
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Translation of ancient Manipur texts begin
  • Pre Yoga Capsule organized
  • NDPP Rejoinder on 19 June
  • NPF Youth Wing Rejoinder on 19 June
  • Favouring digital govt : still a Virtual dream
  • June 18 Anniv : Consult all stakeholders
  • Great June Uprising @Kekrupat #1 : Gallery
  • Binota Thokchom at BRICS Young Scientist
  • The Merger of Manipur
  • Improving school management in Manipur
  • Pros & cons of screening tests
  • NPF Rejoinder on 18th June
  • Nagaland CM statement on Aboi ambush
  • June 18 significance: Still living on prayer
  • Need to identify one's strength
  • 18 Immortal Souls Remembered : Flash
  • The Great June Uprising : Read all about it
  • The Pitfalls of Identity Politics
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • All his sons :: Poem
  • Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016
  • Eid bring cheer in flood hit areas
  • Willong Khullen, Maram #1 : Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Defending the environmental defenders
  • Delusion in self - cause of worry
  • Road to Russia: FIFA World Cup
  • It must be love :: Poem
  • 'Future of Naga people is bleak'
  • Give a miss call to Amnesty
  • 'Naga area' bandh on June 18
  • Dzuko valley #4 :: 360 Panorama View
  • Flood in Imphal [14 June] #2 : Gallery
  • Id-Ul-Fitr Festival
  • Letter to PM Modi on Naga Talks
  • Greetings on Eid-Ul-Fitr
  • Rejoinder to NPF statement
  • Rejoinder to Nagaland Chief Minister
  • Flood relief continue on 3rd day
  • India-Vietnam Youth Dialogue 2018
  • MU debacle: Why would it be left unnoticed
  • Spirit of World Cup : Brazil to Russia
  • NEC to come under Home Ministry
  • Manipur NGO hosts summit on LGBTQ
  • Flood in Imphal [14 June] #1 : Gallery
  • Women Struggle in Self-Determination
  • 14 June- World Blood Donor Day
  • Naga Integration not possible- NPF react
  • Naga Integration is not possible- CM Rio
  • Relief work in flood affected areas
  • A day which keeps our spirit alive
  • Ranked 320 in the country : MU
  • Flood in Imphal [13 June] #2 : Gallery
  • Sovereignty Struggles in Northeast #5
  • Be alert: It's admission time
  • Yin and Yang
  • Watermelon beauty benefits
  • Temp accommodation for Aligarh students
  • Wrath of Mother Nature: Why challenge..
  • 60 pc is no longer first class : 95 pc
  • Flood in Imphal [13 June] #1 : Gallery
  • Sanamahi Laihui & Sanamahi Laining
  • Kuhi- Essential plant for Nungbi pottery
  • Climate justice is integral to development
  • The bridge :: Poem
  • Lt S Vijaya Devi felicitated
  • Then : Indifferent :: Now : Hyper sensitive
  • Phumdigi Tantha : Dance Drama : Gallery
  • Grief at Xavier Rutsa's demise
  • Modi's India: A descend into Ochlocracy
  • The Philippine Experience
  • Cry of a Dying River #33 :: Poem
  • Community Iftar at Moijing, Cachar
  • Candle Light at DU over Assam lynching
  • Demand replacement of Manipur Univ VC
  • The Tragedy of Higher education
  • Unacceptable points spelt out
  • Teinem Luira Phanit @Ukhrul #3: Gallery
  • RPL-PMKVY trainees @Hojai : Gallery
  • Manipur Sports University in UP ?
  • Coloniality of the Postcolonial
  • Yellow leaves in the autumn :: Poem
  • Prof N Irabanta-distinguished academician
  • Leadership matters
  • Artificial turf for budding talents
  • 2 municipal bodies in NE awarded
  • Who is Arambam Somorendra ?
  • Manglandasu Nang - OST :: e-pao Radio
  • Shirock 2018 - Shirui Lily Fest #3 : Gallery
  • Linthoi's "The Tales of Kanglei Throne" #2
  • Grass root challenge- Education in hills
  • Earth does not belong to us...
  • Sita Mata as test-tube baby
  • What happen to VIP Culture Mr. CM
  • Merchants of education
  • Laitonjam Rajnikanta : Profile
  • A blessing to see :: Poem
  • Sovereignty Struggles in Northeast #4
  • Difference between Hinduism & Hindutva
  • How to choose the perfect fragrance
  • Iftaar party at Lilong
  • Bitter truth of Manipuri society
  • MU, NSU, IGNTU : Students at the centre
  • Amuktang-Ga Haikho #1 : eRang
  • Sangai Veterans' Football #2 : Gallery
  • Pony : A Cavalry Horse Par Excellence #2
  • Issues that keep Manipur burning
  • Cry of a Dying River - 32 :: Poem
  • CM & AR interaction with villagers
  • Certification of PMKVY trainees of Hojai
  • Christian appeals for Peace in Shillong
  • How safe are our women?
  • Riders put up by JAC for talk
  • Khangkhui Cave in Ukhrul #3 : Gallery
  • Pluralism, Democracy & Ethnic Relation #2
  • Irom Sharmila meets with Mehbooba Mufti
  • JRF @ Mizoram University (Biotechnology)
  • Tobacco and heart disease
  • Understanding SOWA - RIGPA #2
  • Campaign "to End Child Sexual Abuse"
  • Implementation of 7th Pay
  • Indigenous street vendor sing gi wafam
  • The crumbling Manipur University
  • Kang Tournament @ Yaiskul : Gallery
  • Zeliangrong orphaned by Nationalism #1
  • A rainy night :: Poem
  • HSLC Exam is the start! What next?
  • 1528 cases of fake encounter
  • Linthoi's "The Tales of Kanglei Throne" #1
  • Handloom Weaver @Bishnupur : Gallery
  • Shirock 2018 - Shirui Lily Fest #2 : Gallery
  • Hinduism in Manipur : Political Perspective
  • All the World and his Wife :: Poem
  • Tribal Cultural Festival #1 : Gallery
  • Women in CCpur turn to self-help groups
  • Purul Paoki Wrestling : Gallery
  • Sangai Veterans' Football #1 : Gallery
  • Khangminashi IV (Lecture) : Report
  • Seminar at MU - Hinduism in Manipur'
  • Evolution of The Meetei State
  • Heartbreak at Ukhrul: Unfolding Shirock
  • State Level Khurpui-Lam Festival: Gallery
  • June Calendar for Year 2018 :: Tools
  • School Girls Basketball #2 : Gallery
  • Where is Manipur....???
  • 'Manipur' in Google maps : Gallery
  • The Killing Fields - 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • Mama Poktabi :: Funga Wari
  • Veterans Football Tournament #2 : Gallery
  • Shirock 2018 - Shirui Lily Fest #1 : Gallery
  • Sougrakpam Vijaya makes history sailing...
  • Arunachali unfurled Salai Taret at Mt Everest
  • Panthoiba: 2nd Rank- class XII, Uttarkhand
  • Ras Leela @JNMDA Day : Gallery
  • HSLC 208 Exam Toppers : Gallery
  • HSLC 2018 :: Toppers Listing
  • HSLC 2018 :: Check Result
  • HSLC :: Statistical/Subject Topper
  • HSLC 2018 :: External
  • Poumai Purul Hiimai Paoki #2 : Gallery
  • Kakching Garden :: 360 Panorama View
  • Folk Dance Festival #5 : Gallery
  • Aerial view from Chingmeirong : Gallery
  • Curtain Raising- Sangai Fest 2017: Gallery
  • Lainingthou Lai Lam thopka #2 : Gallery
  • Re-visiting Khangkhui caves in Ukhrul
  • Gardening @Ema Keithel #2: Gallery
  • Front Page Photo 2018 #2: Gallery
  • Pakhangba Cheng Hongba #2 : Gallery
  • Steelheart @ Shirock , Ukhrul #3 : Gallery
  • A. Halim Chowdhury: A Profile
  • Class XII Exam Toppers : Gallery
  • Class XII Result : Science Toppers
  • Class XII Result : Arts Toppers
  • Class XII Result : Commerce Toppers
  • HSE Result 2018 : District Wise
  • HSE Result 2018 : Highest Marks
  • HSE Result 2018 : Science Stream
  • HSE Result 2018 : Arts Stream
  • HSE Result 2018 : Commerce Stream
  • Temples of Manipur : Gallery
  • Recipients of Akademi Awards for 2014
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic