Of late, student indiscipline has assumed alarming proportions. Almost every third day we read in the newspapers reports of the violent activities indulged in by students and of the destruction of national property caused by them. Fortunately, some states like Maharashtra do not have this problem. But, by and large, student unrest is widespread and poses a grave problem, especially in North India.
In several schools and colleges strikes have become common. These strikes somehow lead to stone-throwing and burning of buses and railway stations. Student indiscipline also takes other forms such as, gherraoing the Principal or beating up the invigilators.
Student indiscipline is a symptom of a deep-seated disease. What are the real causes of this disease? Firstly, our educational system has several defects and breeds dissatisfaction in young men and women. The practice of judging a student’s merit only by a final examination, over-crowded classes in colleges, the fact that our-education is not related to the needs of day to day life-these are some of the features of our educational system which make our youth more or less restless.
Another important reason for student unrest is the tradition of agitation and lack of respect for law developed among students during the days of the struggle for freedom. Leaders called upon students to take part in the struggle for independence. Many students took a: prominent part in activities such as burning railway stations and post offices, which were meant to make British administration difficult.
Of course, what they did then was admirable. But, unfortunately, this tradition of defying law and indulging in violent activities has continued even after independence. Some unscrupulous politicians exploit this tendency among students for their own selfish or party purposes. Finally, a fundamental cause of student indiscipline is lack of values and of a sense of purpose. Earlier generations of students had a goal – the liberation of their country. Modern students lack a sense of purpose of this kind.
Certain steps can be taken to curb indiscipline. Radical reforms should be made in our educational system. More and more vocational and technical courses should be provided for. It should be impressed upon the younger, generation that building up a new India is a task as exciting and worthwhile as attaining independence was. Politicians should keep away from students and their affairs.
Students should not be asking to work for any political party on the eve of the elections or at any other time. Above all, the elders who shape public life should set an example to the younger generation in discipline and decent behaviour.