Following the death of SFI leader Sudipta Gupta and sub-inspector Tapas Chowdhury — both resulting from campus politics — not many Class 12 passouts are willing to join politics in colleges.
Eighteen-year-old Brototo Deb of MP Birla Foundation Higher Secondary School and also one of the ISC toppers says he would not like to join politics in college. “I never had any interest in politics. Moreover, after the Sudipta Gupta incident, I will make sure that when I join college I stay as far as possible from student’s union,” said Deb, who aspires to become a doctor.
However, Trinamool Chhatra Parishad (TMCP) and Students’ Federation of India (SFI) activists feel that it wouldn’t be a problem for them to find new members. “We know that the recent incidents have had a negative impact on the students who will take admissions in colleges this year. Therefore, we are planning to rope in more women candidates, as we believe, if they take charge, the clashes between political unions could be controlled. In fact, we are planning to reserve 50% seats for women. Moreover, the general secretary will also be a woman this time,” said Sabir Ali, South City College TMCP chairman.
Frequently in news for clashes between students unions, the South City College, this year, has decided to shift students’ focus in cultural and sports activities. “We have abolished the system of setting up a union room in the college. Moreover, spending time in the canteen has also been restricted so that students focus more on their classes,” added Ali.
Presidency University, which has always been the hotbed of politics, was in news lately for campus clashes. “In the name of college politics, people are playing dirty politics. But Presidency has never mixed up politics and education. Students join politics on their own wish. Despite all recent incidents, we don’t have to force or motivate them to join politics. The decision to join politics is their own and they take it gladly,” said Saptarshi Dutta, SFI president at Presidency University.
Devdoot Ghosh, another ISC passout from the Future Foundation School, is equally unwilling to join politics. “I just want to concentrate on my studies. There is so much violence these days in the name of college politics. Who would want to involve themselves in such things?” asks Ghosh.
Sarthak Banerjee, chairman of the TMCP wing in Ashutosh College, says, “We don’t need a strategy to motivate new students to join our union. They join us on their own.”
When asked, the Souvik Mukhopadhyay, general secretary of Faculty of Engineering and Technolgy Students Union, an apolitical students’ union, says, “Many students do not want to be actively involved in college politics, but they take help of unions to address their problems.”