Women talk on campus politics

Speaking out

Speaking out  

Kundavi Ramachandran, a third year B.Com. student of the St. Teresa's College, does not feel that a political platform is needed on a campus to put across one's views. This was what former member of the State Women's Commission, Monnamma Kokkad, also said earlier at the same venue.

A Kochi Corporation ex-councillor and retired Hindi teacher, Julie Xavier said that women should be strong enough to say no to political pressure. ``All politics should be outside the college campus,'' she said.

These views were reflective of the general tenor of the deliberations at a seminar organised jointly by the Fellowship of Reconciliation India (FORI) and the St. Teresa's College at the college itself on Thursday. Mothers were invited to speak on the issue of the High Court verdict which allows a college head to decide whether or not to allow political activity on the campus.

Thankam Mathew, mother of industrialist Pamela Anna Mathew, said: ``Studies are a one-time effort.'' Students should not waste their energies in politics which spell doom for their career. Colleges are the grounds to equip oneself with the necessary skills to face life, she says.

The chairperson of FORI, Beena Sebastian, who presented a paper calling most of the political activism in colleges as politics of violence, said such activity should be shunned on the campus. Sister Tessa, Principal of the college, in her presidential address, provided the background to the court verdict, which had become a hot topic of debate in the State.

The chief speaker at the seminar, Prof. Kokkad, felt that the verdict is not being debated in the right perspective. The politics of violence should be shunned, she said, adding that politicians fail to see this from a mother's perspective. According to Leela Menon, journalist, since the only type of political activism seen in colleges is violence related, it fails in its original vision to equip the students to analyse, debate and react to current issues.

By Shyama Rajagopal

Photo: Mahesh Harilal

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