India achieved independence forty-four years ago on the 15th of August, 1947. The Britishers left it in ruins. It was hoped, however, that with the advent of freedom a new era would dawn and the country would make all round progress, hoped, however, that with the advent of freedom a new era would dawn and the country would make all round progress.
The hopes, however, have been belied. The condition of the people is almost the same as ever. In spite of the socialist programme of the national government, the poor are becoming poorer. The prices of the necessities of life are going up. The economy of the country is all but shattered. Huge sums obtained as loans from other countries have to be paid off with interest.
The students too suffer from the same malady. There is unrest, discontent and indiscipline in them. Universities are becoming hot-beds of mischief and violence.
If we go deep into cause of students unrest, the following seem to be some of the main reasons :
First is our defective system of education. This western system of education is unsuitable to our present-day needs. Too much stress is laid on text-books and examinations, Students resort to cramming in order to pass the examination. When they come out, they are not fit for anything except a clerical job. They join the rank of the educated unemployed. There is discontent and frustration on their faces and it often expresses itself in violent demonstrations.
Secondly, there is no student-teacher contact. The classes are unwieldy. Seldom do the students have an opportunity to discuss their problems with their teachers and learn from their experience. The teachers have also lost their prestige. The students therefore get out of control and neglect their studies. They only need an excuse to come in clash with the authorities.
Thirdly, the various political parties in the country use them as tools to serve their own ends. They incite them to violence to get their demands fulfilled. Lastly, the students have lost faith in God and fear of law. They have become slaves of fashion and use intoxicants which not only harm their morals but their health also. Then there are university unions run by wicked leaders whose chief motive is to create difficulties for the authorities.
Student unrest is posing a great problem and it needs immediate solution. It can be lessened if the present system of education is overhauled. Education will become meaningful if it is given a technical bias so that our young men become self-employed after completing their education. Of course, our nationalized banks can come to the help of those young men who have no capital to invest. This will remove a part of the unemployment among the educated.
Next we should pay more attention in schools to character building. This can be achieved by establishing once again the student- teacher contact. The teachers should serve as an example to the students and should not do anything which might spoil their image before their pupils. Student unrest in indeed posing a great problem and should be tackled wisely and sympathetically.