The ever present expectations of social unrest and unsavory revelations of mis-governance and bureaucratic mess-ups have rendered the social set-up an ad-hoc in nature. What made it worse is the fact that there is an ever-present expectant air of anarchistic freedom. Perhaps, the public have got so attuned to the protracted disturbances and social unrest at a subconscious level that we have now come to accept these frequent social unrest and flare-ups as a way of life. There is no other plausible explanation for the innumerable acts of wanton violence and irrational destruction which apparently provides sadistic pleasures to the rapidly growing rank of perpetrators. The underlying current of uncertainty and uneasiness that has pervaded our society, even at the best of times, speaks more for the situation we all have come to experience and abhor, but have been forced to endure. One of the most affected section of the society during the ever-present social flare-ups, or any social unrest for that matter, has been the student community. One would be hard pressed to come up with a single year without the disturbances and interruptions in their academic activities.
With such protracted disruptions year after year, do we now have the right to expect the students to perform to their optimum and to compete with students from the rest of the country and come up trumps? Don’t we at least owe them the responsibility to shield and protect them from the ever-increasing influences and disruptions from amongst their own community with tinted political views which take them away from their main priorities- to acquire and assimilate knowledge which will help them achieve their dreams and help in changing the society for the better? We need to provide them an atmosphere free of apprehensions and tensions- an ambience conducive to development of knowledge and progressive thinking. Students, especially those who are below the graduation level should not be made or rather coerced to indulge in agitations and protests, except under extreme circumstances when absolutely required.
They need to be made to understand their priorities and be provided with enough space and support to realize their full potential. And contrary to popular argument, home schooling in the state is a concept whose time is yet to come. For now, schools remain the only practical option for imparting knowledge and teaching social interaction skills to the impressionable young minds. While it was announced that there is no objection or opposition to smooth functioning of schools by any group, organizations or students’ bodies, yet the school authorities are wary of resuming classes, lest some self-proclaimed crusaders of the people comes along and mete out instant justice which would invariably involve vandalizing and destroying the school properties. Meanwhile, the students are losing out on valuable time and opportunities. It would be the most prudent move for us all if we can ensure a disturbance-free atmosphere for the students in the state. We owe at least that much to ourselves and to the future of the state.
Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 15+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents.