Letting young students lead the protest Leave the kids alone

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73 Government schools drawing blank on the success board of the just announced HSLC examination results. Students, mostly from Government schools taking to the streets to demand that the students detained by police be released and turn the three Bills passed by the State Assembly last year into Acts. Two entirely different stories but look closer and one may see a link between the two. Students out on the roads on an issue which should ideally be left to the adults of society and the students failing to even pass the matric examination and the connection is there for all to see. The scenario is bleak indeed. True students have been at the forefront of numerous issues all over the world, and one just has to look at the Assam movement under the aegis of the All Assam Students’ Union in the 80s and 90s of the 20th century. But were they school students or university students ? This is a question which ought to be asked with the seriousness it deserves. Moreover how many of the young school students who are at the forefront of the movement demanding the ILP or a similar mechanism really aware of the finer nuances of the said Act. How many of the students have really given a thought on why Manipur continues to attract so many workers from other parts of the country ? Street politics may be acceptable but can this answer the need to regulate the unchecked inflow of non-local people into the State ? Pressure tactics it may be but at what cost ?
Leave the kids alone. This is the age of excellence and everything is measured in terms of competition or how competitive one is and for students their place should be the classrooms and the playgrounds. For too long young students have been used to pursue a demand or two and the question is how long will this continue. Also good to remember that competition today means competing with the best from around the world. Not for nothing is it understood that the world is today a global village and there is no room for mediocrity. What is stopping the adults from taking over the issue and leading from the front instead of letting the young students take the lead role ? Time for everyone to give some serious thought to this. This is not to say that the young students should not be made aware of what is happening here or the threat perception to the indigenous people, but this is something very different from mobilising them to move out from their classrooms and take a leading role in the protest movement. Make them aware, educate them on the issue, but do not take cover behind their back. This would be doing justice to the cause and to the land.

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