Student Politics “A way forward to swift democracy in Pakistan?”

It is always well said that Politics decides the future of a nation and students are the nation builders. Politicians are referred to as those people who take responsibility for state affairs and are supposed to take care of the public. To do so they must know the ground realities of their country. Politics is not a pack of peanuts. It demands a higher level of maturity and a fine intellectual approach. These things are not inherited but are definitely learned over a while. Student Politics involves the student in political debates, the main objective of this phenomenon is to give students exposure to the political world so that they can become professionals in politics and take the wheel of state affairs in the future for the welfare and wellbeing of the state.

While addressing a group of students, the Father of Nation Qaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah Said ‘’My young friends, I look forward to you as the real makers of Pakistan, Do not be exploited or do not be misled. Create amongst yourselves complete unity and solidarity.’’ The Antiquity of student politics in Pakistan reflects its health of democracy as well. Just like democracy, student politics in Pakistan has a long history of ups and downs. Both of them had been a victim of exploitation and manipulation. Its roots can be traced back to the pre-independence era when the Student wing of the Muslim league ‘’The Muslims Student Federation (MSF)’’ played a vital role in gaining independence from the Colonial Empire. This wing of the Muslim League inducted students from all over undivided India and asked them to help the Muslim league in achieving its aim of a sovereign independent Pakistan. Their efforts to spread political awareness to the people of the sub-continent paved the path to success for Muslims. Right after the independence, there was a consistent fluctuation in the student politics of Pakistan till it was banned by the President of Pakistan General Zia-ul-Haq in 1984. Activities by these student unions were conducted on regular basis such as political elections and campaigns. Over time there were new buds in the political arena such as DSF (Democratic Student Federation 1950s), NSF (National Student Federation 1950s), IJT (Islami Jamiat Talba 1960s), and PSF (People Student Federation1960s), etc. 1980s brought serious changes to Pakistan as Pakistan jumped into Soviet-Afghan war under the martial law rule of Zia-ul-Haq. The weapon culture was normalized and violence reached its peak. Student politics also became a victim of this culture and the consequences lead to its ban in 1984. Except this Pakistan was ruled by two dictators at a very early age and that rivalry between the political entities and juntas of dictatorship scattered and ill-defined the values and norms of student politics.
In contemporary Pakistan, politics is not hailed. Political education in Pakistan is at its deadliest level. People think that by saying ‘’We have no interest in politics’’ they are doing the right job. In fact, Politics should be a matter of great concern for every responsible citizen because it is the ultimate thing that architects the future of their state and so the future of their upcoming generations. It is well said that if you don’t have any interest in politics doesn’t make sense that politics will not have any sort of interest in you. The youth of the state from an early age is kept away from the political arena. Their political grooming exists in the shadows. When they are about to reach the age of maturity they are bounded by oaths in educational institutions that they will never be a part of any political activity. They are not allowed to make student unions and bodies. As a byproduct students get involved in some sort of de-facto political activities that results in violence and unrest. Their immature political mindsets lead them to be easily exploited by the materialist objectives of political tycoons. They are groomed in such a way that their future goals center around becoming an engineer, doctor or businessman, etc. In such conditions, there is a genesis of political deficiency.

So a question arises that if every educated young bud is deprived of political awareness and education then who actually makes its way to the constitution-making bodies and national assemblies of the country? Well, its answer can be easily discovered when one has a slight watch on the trembling governing history of Pakistan. In such an environment, feudal lords, business-tycoons, and people with usually great financial assets make their way to the political assemblies of state irrespective of their leadership skills. If not this there are coups by military or puppet governments of the establishment. Its examples can be witnessed in the case of Pakistan, for instance, none of its Political leaders belongs to working-class or middle-class family background who is aware of harsh ground realities of public sufferings. Its ministers and statesmen belong to that prestigious college of Lahore who recently rejected the admission of native because his monthly earnings were 1.5 lakh PKR in a third world country like Pakistan where the PCI (Per Capita Income) of a citizen is roughly 2.5 lakh PKR. In addition to this, a political gap still resides in this country as it has been ruled by Military dictators for 30 years of its 70-year life. Surprisingly, Pakistan held its first full franchised adult elections in 1970; 23 years after its independence, and in 2013 Pakistan had its first democratically elected government to complete its full fledge tenure of 5 years.

So keeping in sight the trembling past of Pakistani governing bodies, Political education, and awareness among students seems to be the need of time. No doubt if exercised in pure form without any sort of manipulation and exploitation Student Politics can generate strong foundations to swift democracy and ultimately lead to a prosperous Pakistan.


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