Student politics is not very prominent in colleges in Karnataka; some colleges either do not have a student union or the union is not strong enough

Student unions are serious entities in universities across the country. They wield power no less than a full-fledged political party and elections to these unions are taken extremely seriously.

However, unlike in other States, student politics is not very prominent in colleges in Karnataka; some colleges either do not have a student union or the union is not strong enough. A member of the Youth Congress, on condition of anonymity, told The Hindu that the youth in Karnataka are not very enthusiastic about politics.

Interestingly, there are only a few students who think that office-bearers in college should participate in politics at the State and Central levels and believe there are many other ways of reforming the system. They fear that if members of student unions take part in politics, they might misuse the powers bestowed on them as they are “immature” to decide such serious issues. EducationPlus spoke to some college students to get their views on this issue.

Arushi Kala, Maharani Lakshmi Ammanni College for Women

It is good thing that after 10 years, elections were held in my college for the post of President, Secretary and Joint Secretary; there was an urgent need of a student union to listen to the woes of the students. Unlike the student unions of Delhi University, those in Bangalore are dormant, they hardly participate in politics at the State and Central levels.

I support the concept of student unions in colleges; it makes the flow of information from students to the administration more streamlined, and we get a platform to present our demands and suggestions in front of the administration. If teachers can have their associations, what harm is there in having a student union?

Shravanthi V., Mount Carmel College

I am against students directly jumping into politics; politics surely requires some kind of maturity which we at this point of time lack. It will be a good idea if we contribute in political and social reforms while refraining from engaging in active politics. We are the future of this country and we definitely should work for its welfare. Student unions in Bangalore do not have any powers compared to those of universities in Delhi; the elected candidates are just figurative heads, all they do is to organise cultural fests in college. I think there is a need for student unions to be vested with more powers.

Shimal Kapoor, National Law School of India University

I am against members of student unions participating in politics at the national and State levels. The basic work of a student union is to look after student issues; if these unions start taking part in politics there is every possibility that they might divert from their basic functions, and some members may also misuse power. Moreover, the members of the student unions are not mature enough to solve political problems.

Amita Priyadarshini, St. Joseph’s College

I think it depends on one’s goals if one wants to engage in politics. People stand for elections to student councils because there are some academic advantages attached to it; it is not necessary that they might want to get involved in political activities.

In my college the main function of student councils is management. With regard to nation building there are many other ways by which one may contribute to social reforms. It is not necessary for one to get into politics to change things; there are many other options like Indian Administrative Services (IAS) and Personal Communications Service (PCS).

Preetika Sinha (Name changed), Bangalore University

Unlike my college where they focus only on local issues, I think student unions must work on a broader perspective; there is no harm in students participating in politics at a national level provided that there are proper checks and measures in place to stop them from abusing the power given to them. If we do not take part in politics who else will?

We are young and dynamic and can be very useful in shaping the future of the nation. People keep on blabbering about changing the nation but when it comes to work they shy away.