When the Education System was introduced in India during the British era, it was designed to manufacture clerks to help the then administrators. That is why it was kept devoid of the philosophy of the human development in terms of self-respect, independence and more particularly, traditional Indian cultural values. They succeeded and unfortunately, even after political independence from the British Raj, the system was continued. In course of time, the dirty politics entered into the educational institutes to make the matter worse. Today, we find that majority of the students and the teachers participate in active politics more interestingly than pursuing the mission of their joining the institute.
Universities and colleges are always considered as a source of wisdom and knowledge for the human development. They are centres of hope, inspiration and research. Inventions and new discoveries in all walks of life are expected to take place. But unfortunately, we miss the environment suitable for such activities in majority of the Universities and Colleges of today. The suicide of Research Student Rohit Vemula has raised an opportunity for the discussion on the national level on the environment present in such educational institutes. The suicide committed by him is the most unfortunate and deplorable act. However, instead of making political statements, it needs to be considered deeply in context with the circumstances and the compulsions under which the student had to take this action. The political parties did not go through the reasons but involved the caste factor in the episode. Ousted from the main stream of the nation, the Congress and its Vice President, Rahul Gandhi did not go beyond demanding resignation from the Ministers of the Central Government. Even Trinmool Congress Party, silent over the violent disruption gusting the public properties into fire by a particular community in Malda District of West Bengal where it is ruling party, has turned aggressive on the issue which took place in other State. Similarly, other parties too have joined the band. It appears that they are willing to set the scores with Bhartiya Janta Party against the defeat in 2014 in the Lok Sabha Election. They are pursuing their narrow minded politics on the grave issue of the suicide committed by a student out of some frustration in the environment. No one is willing to give a little thought to the reasons of the frustration if any which compelled him to such a serious action. Why did Rohit who is reported to have been a promising Research Scholar opt for committing suicide instead of fighting out against the disciplinary proceedings, whether they were correct or wrong? Were not there other options available for him?
Patience and uninterrupted struggle are always permanent options to get through any problem. Though this matter is now being investigated at high level and the suspension of other students has been revoked, the politics players are still on the traditional crease of making allegations. Undoubtedly, some problems create disappointment. Some time, a self-centric citizen can get disappointment from the society and the Administration. But those people who have patience with positivity await for good days and try untiringly for solution of the problems. But our Universities and Educational Institutes do not have such environment which may inspire the students to be optimistic with the future. They boast of having many types of study disciplines within them. They do carry discussions in the seminars on the social concerns and provide opportunities to understand thoughtful politics in the country. It is good in national interest but when the universities and the educational institutes become the centre of political activities, their way of accomplishing the mission for which they are set up gets bewildered. It must be stopped. It is worth that we carry on discussion on nationalism, Secularism, Marxism, capitalism, Parliamentary System, democracy, election reforms etc. but the universities must not be made centres for caste-conflictions or pseudo political overtures. Sometime ago, in the campus of Hyderabad University, there took place an agitation to oppose the capital punishment to Yakub Menon who was convicted in the Mumbai Bomb Explosions. Right to express the opinions freely can not be granted to express opposition to the judicial pronouncements and sovereignty of the nation and such activities can not be called as general activities in the campus of any educational institute or university. There was some dispute between Ambedkar Students Association and All India Vidyarthi Board. The matter is under consideration before the Court, University and Police. In the meanwhile, Rohit committed suicide. He did not allege any particular party, leader or any officer of the University for any wrong. But the political parties and their leaders who are personally in opposition to the Bhartiya Janta Party and its leaders, are targeting them and the Central Government. It is true that the local MP and the Minister in the Central Government Mr.Bandaroo Duttatrey had made some correspondence. It is not unusual. Earlier, the Congress MP Mr. Hanumant Rao too made some correspondence in 2014. Central Human Resource Minister wrote to the University and the University too had taken appropriate action already. We can review about the action taken on the merit basis. The disciplinary action was taken against Rohit as a student on the same lines it was taken against other students. He was never targeted if that belonged to any particular caste. There was no particular consideration regarding Rohit’s individual caste factor for taking action against him. Unfortunately our biased political parties are making the issue of suicide as a caste-based issue to provoke social unrest disguisedly.
It is true that Indian Society has got many castes and faced caste-wise differences. For some time, we are feeling such differences to be reducing gradually. In the urban culture, they are disappearing. Moreover, the educational institutes and the universities are supposed to nurture the calibre without any discrimination. But due to vote bank policy being followed by the political parties, particularly by the regional parties, the caste impact is still there which is responsible to ignore the basic problem. Whenever any remedial action is proposed to be taken, the caste factor is put up to eliminate that remedial action. Why our Universities and education institutes are not able to produce high calibre students is due to the caste factor they have to follow under the political pressures. A student fails to get an opportunity to advance because he does not belong to any particular caste. His personal merit does not entitle him to have that opportunity and that creates frustration. The policy of using the students for political purposes is an old policy of the political parties. This policy is not liked by the meritorious students. The political parties favour their policy on the basis of getting good leaders like Arun Jaitely and Sita Ram Yachuri from the university corridors but we find that the leaders like Atal Bihari Bajpai does not have any such back ground. The Universities and Educational Institutes do not owe any responsibility to give good political leaders to the nation. They owe the duty to prepare dutiful and capable citizens to the nation.
It is said that Rohit who committed the suicide had never wished to become a Political leader. He was dreaming to become a philosopher, a scientist like Carl Sagon or some writer. Carl Sagon had intended to see the whole universe as a single entity. In opposition to his dream of becoming a scientist like Carl Sagon, Rohit could not overcome the pressures of the small world within his approach. He fainted down in the local overtures only and committed suicide due to his own weaknesses.
We must endeavour to make our Universities and Educational Institutes politics-free. The professional politicians take easy the political pressures but the young students can not afford to bear such pressures. We must ensure the Universities and Educational Institutes must not entertain any political activity. They must not permit any Association or Unions to develop or interfere in their affairs. Now, we must do everything possible to ensure to enhance optimism in the students towards their original mission of getting better education and how they become a source of wisdom and knowledge for the human development again. Political activities should, therefore, not be permitted within the Universities and Educational Institutes.