The most important factor for formation of organizations by students should be to develop core competencies in areas including but not limited to learning to communicate effectively, the ability to think critically, building character, preparing for citizenship, living with diversity, preparing for global society, acquiring broader interests and preparing for a career and vocational development. And central to the development of these core competencies is the necessity for students to focus on their academic pursuits as utmost priority.
It goes without saying that politics has to have a large role in any organisation including that of students. The need to activate and prepare young minds to observe and form critical opinions and learn to assert their opinions and collective suggestions cannot be stressed enough. There is however an inherent risk for the young impressionable minds to be led astray from their focus of developing the core competencies to dabbling with issues which are beyond their area of interest and relevance.
With the multitude of mushrooming student bodies in the state raising a plethora of issues and not infrequently at loggerheads among themselves, it is no surprise then that every so often these organizations steps out of their area of relevancy and tries to raise non-issues for no apparent reason except maybe to announce their continuing presence which many could equate with ‘attention-seeking’ behavior.
Another cause for concern as witnessed during the recent announcement to ban or rather impose a dress code on the teachers by the student organizations is the increasingly evident self-appointed role of an executive body with the self-sanctioned right and power to impose its decisions in the society which is far removed from the main purpose of representing the students both within the institutions and externally on issues relating to facilities, support and services.
As prospective candidates for leading the society towards progress and development in the near future, students play a huge role in the society. The expectations placed on them by the society should be taken into account in every conduct and decision they take as the results will reflect the future path the society is taking. Perseverance, restraint and broadened perspective should be the guiding principle in their quest for perfection and progress. But most important of all, they should understand the thin line dividing activism and extremism.
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.