POST TIME: 3 November, 2019 00:00 00 AM
Why student politics should be suspended for five years
Only this year Sheikh Hasina selected the president and secretary of Chhatra League after long consultation and consideration but had to oust them within a few months of their appointment due to serious allegations against them
Abdul Gaffar choudhury

Why student politics should be suspended for five years

Our ex-Chief Justice A.B.M. Khairul Haque is a most respected man in our country. Now he is the chairman of the law commission. People respect him for his courage and non-partisan outlook. I have a close connection with him and whenever he visits London we meet and discuss the situation of Bangladesh. Almost in every respect I agree with his opinion and hold him in high esteem. In mid-October he expressed his opinion about the current student politics in Bangladesh. Unfortunately for the first time I could not agree with the learned opinion of this respected man. After the killing of Abrar and the crackdown in the casino clubs where a number of top Juba League leaders were found guilty for high corruption the controversy about the future of student politics in the country got new life. I agree with many people that student politics should be suspended in the whole country for 5 years, though government has banned the same politics in BUET for an indefinite period. Now there is controversy whether suspending or banning student politics from the country is desirable.

The ex-Chief Justice said, 'If student politics is banned, the country will not get any new leaders in the future. Even it will create problem in the growth of future leadership. If student politics is banned non-students will come to the leadership of the young generation. This will not be good for the country. Actually our students are an educated class. For some reason they have now lost their character. We must bring them back. Just for one incident it will not be good to ban student politics'. First of all, I think nobody demanded banning of student politics permanently. It is not only one event (killing of Abrar), but the killing of dozens of Abrar's in the last few months. Though killing of Abrar was a barbaric act, we could still say it was an isolated incident if there had not been countrywide crimes for the last few years.

It is not only Chhatra League or Juba League, Chhatra Dal or Juba Dal of BNP also are now full of miscreants. Another BUET student, a young woman was killed a few years ago by BNP's Chhatra Dal. This was not done by real students or student leaders. Now all the universities are dominated by so-called student leaders or workers who are not real students but corrupt people belonging to the corrupt syndicates of different political parties. I humbly want to say that our ex-Chief Justice may have made an error by calling these miscreants students and their groups, student society. The educated student society we saw 40 years ago who were properly educated and involved in social movements are no more there. At the present the real students have no voice. The so-called student leaders are involved in all sorts of social crimes and to save the country it must be stopped now.

Recently I have written an article in a Bangla Daily of Dhaka suggesting the suspension of student politics throughout the country for 5 years, to weed out pollution from the grassroots and rebuild a real student society. If government takes this measure, the move against corruption and abuse of power will be easy to start because the power house of these corrupt politicians will collapse. There will be no more corrupt syndicates in politics to act as power house of corrupt politicians in the country. If student politics is suspended for a certain time it will not affect future leadership. The DUCSU (Dhaka University Central Student's Union) election was not held for many many years. Did it hamper the arrival of new leaders in the universities? There are many good leaders now but they cannot raise their voice as bad money push out the good money from the Market. In student politics also bad leadership has pushed out the good ones. And actually these leaders are not students. After the crackdown against corruption it is now known that the age of the chairman of Juba League is 72. The age of one Jubo Dal leader is 69. A student leader in London has three grown up children and they are sitting in power year after year. They may remain in leadership till death as student leaders. They do not make way for new leadership. It is now proved only some corrective measure will not purify student politics.

Only this year Sheikh Hasina selected the president and secretary of Chhatra league after long consultation and consideration but had to oust them within a few months of their appointment due to serious allegations against them. Before sowing seeds in a field a peasant clean out the whole field. Otherwise crops will be unhealthy. Just like that to purify student politics the political field should be made clean without any weeds. The murdered student of BUET, Abrar and some of his killers are very meritorious students. Among the killers one is a son of a van driver. By strenuous physical labour that poor man earned money and spent it for his son's higher education. His hope was to see his son established in life and help the family. Now he is ruined. He sent his son to higher education and his son became a member of a killing syndicate. The Chief Justice might think them as student society but if this so-called society or syndicates are not thoroughly rooted out from the educational field how many families and students like this killer of Abrar, would be destroyed who knows?

After its suspension of 5 years, student politics should be revived with new blood and new vision. Their leaders should be elected and not thrust upon them by leaders of the political parties. Participation in the business of tender and license etc. should be banned for them. Their party constitution should be written in a way so that they can revive their old glory and heritage of the past and again associate themselves with cultural and social movements and become free thinkers not blind followers of any corrupt syndicate of any party. Some student League leaders who made themselves millionaires by corruption have now taken shelter in London after Hasina government's crackdown against their syndicates. They should be extradited to Bangladesh to face their trials. I apologise to my much respected ex-Chief Justice A.B.M Khairul Haque for my difference of opinion with him, but my earnest hope is that by suspending student politics for 5 years in the country would pave way for a new dawn not only for student politics but for our national politics also. Hasina government has at last started a war against the real enemy of the country, it should be continued and widened. Half-hearted measures will only bring danger and no good.

London, Thursday 31 October, 2019