OU students worried about their negative portrayal during 'T' agitation
Telangana is a reality politically, but another reality that will haunt students of Osmania University for some time is their negative portrayal.
In the changed scenario, will they be able to break the shackles of the ‘agitationist’ tag and channelise that energy towards positive results in education?
Overwhelmingly, the response is yes though some fear that the negative image may haunt them for some time.
“Students are smart, and the positive results of this agitation would fuel their aspirations to achieve big goals,” says Prof. B. Laxmaiah, dean, students’ welfare.
“However, they have to come back to classes, and that sends a strong and positive signal about their intentions,” he adds.
The negativity surrounding the students is not a major factor as far as the majority is concerned. “The agitation only reflects the social and political consciousness among students,” says K. Venkateshwarlu, a research scholar. “In fact, that is an added advantage,” he says, adding that majority of students were serious about academics even during the agitation.
“Since the dream has been fulfilled, it’s time for delivery of promises,” he reiterates.
A challenge, however, is meeting the high expectations from the new State. “We hope the new government considers employment generation a top priority. After all, the fight was for jobs that eluded us,” says Mekala Ravi Kumar of Devarakonda in Nalgonda who finished his M.Sc (Geology) recently.
Peace is back
“Students will come back to classes and for serious preparation for competitive exams given the peaceful atmosphere. After all, we are here for education and employment. Agitations are only a part of our struggle for justice,” he adds.
Shyam Sunder, research scholar in the Department of Chemistry and a Group-II aspirant, argues that the movement has not diluted the competitive spirit of students, and he wants the new government to ensure that the spirit is channelised properly.
“We have to be vigilant till the State is actually created, then put pressure on the government to ensure that youngsters get employment,” says the youngster from Mahabubnagar.
Former Dean of Arts P.L. Vishweshwer Rao says that politicians raised hopes of employment among the Telangana youth in both government and private sectors to fuel the agitation, and that they must seriously address the issue now. Several teachers feel it will be the biggest challenge before the new government, or else students may take the path of agitation once again. Some students agree that the private sector may be wary of employing them initially, and that is a challenge for them. “Teachers have a crucial role to play in erasing the negative image of the varsity,” they say. After all, educational institutions are judged on the basis of the faculty’s achievements more than those of students.