Student unrest, universal in nature, is not a phenomenon peculiar to our country. All over the world young men in general and students in particular manifest signs of restlessness. Unrest among students in society is evidenced by the strikes, agitations, processions, demonstrations, gheraos, arson and defiance of authority.
It is the unrest in the minds of men that have brought about revolutions in the world and have generated new ideas. As such unrest among students should be welcomed by teachers, parents, and statements as it shows a progressive outlook. Hence, there is nothing dangerous about unrest.
However, it is regrettable that the unrest among students has assumed fearful proportions as they have become defiant and disobedient. Sometimes they go on strike because they have genuine grievances like poor facilities in colleges, insufficient furniture, and equipment in classrooms and laboratories and incompetent staff to teach them. Sometimes they go on strike because one of their leaders has been fined for misconduct. Transfer of a particular teacher, detention of students, difficult question papers is the other excuses on which students resort to misbehavior and begin to ventilate their grievances buildings, destroy or hijack buses and even loot shops. Sometimes they have brushes with the police and when a student or two are injured as a result of police lathi-charge, the unrest assumes more serious proportions and it becomes a statewide affair.
Some educationists are of the view that the unrest among the students is a reflection of the general unrest in the country and the world. As society is passing through a great change and the old order is changing and the new is taking place, the modern student is an active observer of the changing events. He had expected that the dawn of independence would open up new opportunities for progress in life but he is disillusioned and unhappy to see that the leaders of the country are corrupt, politicians are dishonest and inefficient bureaucrats are thriving while their future seems to be bleak and this state of affairs leads to student unrest. Some people blame the students. The current education system is aimless and does not provide any spiritual or moral training. Students, after taking degrees, fail to get jobs which leads to frustration.
Also, parents have become indifferent to their children and politicians use the students to further their vested interests. Students become handy tools whenever the politicians want to protest against a particular policy of the government. Students, being young and volatile, follow the politicians blindly and resort to rampage. This does not, however, mean that students should not be aware of the political developments in the country. But they must remember that their primary duty is to study.
Leaders and educationists should also understand that the problem of student unrest is psychological and requires a sympathetic solution. As the students of today are the leaders of tomorrow, it is incumbent upon the teachers, parents, and politicians to direct their minds in the right direction. The student’s energies should be channelized in the right direction and they should not be made victims of oppression, suppression, and repression. The leaders of the country should set noble examples of conduct for the students to emulate. Also, they should be provided opportunities for a creative expression of their energy. The students also must discipline themselves and the government to keep the teachers content by providing them handsome salaries and better status.