Reclaiming the spirit of student politics

However tainted the current state of mainstream student politics is, the history was glorious. Students from different university while talking to New Age Youth condemned the criminalisation of  student politics and expressed their desire to reclaim its democratic tradition through a new beginning.
In your view, what should be the role of student politics in public and private universities?

Niswi Mong Marma

Dhaka University

niswi mong marma

It is important to note that mainstream politics and student politics are not the same thing. Conventional politics is aimed at establishing oneself as professional politics. It sees politics as profession. Whereas, the aim of student politics is to represent students, to take the problems students face at educational institutions to the administrations and to raise their voice on any issue critical to the nation. However, the mainstream student politics today is about gaining and maintaining control for ruling party control on campus.

It is an unfortunate truth that the in our public universities student politics revolves around capitalising student hall seats. Students who come from distant districts to the city for better higher education with no place to stay except for the student halls, they fall victims of this politics. Using their vulnerability, the mainstream student leaders compel general student to participate in their politics. If they don’t participate, they won’t get room allotment. This practice has been there for some time now; it will be there in future as well, until the university takes full control of the process of student hall room allotment system. It is now in full control of the ruling party student leaders. If the administration takes control, then student will be able to independently engage in student organization. They will be able to explore student politics with other ideological orientations.

Although, there are provision of electing democratic student body, so there will be student representation in the administrative decision making, that provision is defunct for 27 years at Dhaka University.

I think, students have more social obligation than others. Today, they could mobilse against all social evils. Taking stand against terrorism and rape, all forms of violence they could make a political contribution in this trying time of the country.

Another tragic part is, the majority of today’s youth are apolitical, as in, they think, and they have nothing to do with the national politics. Again, for this, it is the society, educational institute, and the campus administration who are responsible because, denying the glorious past of the student movement they tend to control any attempt to establish a democratic student government on campus or else. If such unnecessary control is withdrawn, may be a new beginning for student politics will be possible.


Abu Sayed (Bappi)

Shahjalal University of Science and Technology

md. abu sayeed

Student’s politics have a glorious history in 1952, 1969, 1971 and other democratic movement of Bangladesh. But at present, some people think that student’s politics is a dirty game and doesn’t bring any good for the student’s in their future. It creates group and parties among the students and destroys mutual relationships among students. This type of thinking has been made because of some events during last few decades done by students of some political parties. I think that main purpose or role of student’s politics should be protest and having their interests from varsity authority. Student’s politics should be made only for the positive change of our society and even they can participate in decision making for institutions and society. Alongside students politics can make better interaction among institutions, government and general students. They can work for general students to make a spirit of service and devotion to their own study.


Meaner Raman

North East University Bangladesh

mijan rahman

Though today’s student politics is far away from the establishment of student’s right but it has much glorious achievement in our country. In recent history, the movement against VAT on education is an example. Only student politics can help to establish the rights fully in any institution. These political groups should claim to the respective authorities to make their syllabus more scientific, ask authorities to increase budget on research and extracurricular activities. They can claim to the private university authorities to reduce the tuition fees. It can also make pressure on both public and private university authorities to create more space for research on diverse subject. Student politics is about securing students right, it is not about maintaining the order of big political parties.


Sabre Saberio Ava

University of Asia Pacific

sabree ava



If we look back into the history, it is lucent as day light that behind every movements which took place in our motherland, there were groups of students. From Salam, Raffia, Bark at, Babar to Nor Husain —we can feel the power of student politics. But sadly, now a day, that sprit and spark can’t be seen in the students who are involved in politics in both public and private universities.

The incompetence of our student leaders and several other anomalies in student politics can be the cause. On the other hand, student unions are more sister organizations of mainstream political parties. Many of the leaders in the working committee of the student unions come into power from the favouritism of political leaders. This is why their actions and strategies are frequently dictated by their parent political parties. This is really pathetic!

Students are vital to building a grass roots social movement that can win the fight against corruption, influence of money on politics. So, the students should provide energy, ideas and enthusiasm for outreach on their own campuses. They should work in coalition with students from other public and private universities and joining together with activities in their surrounding communities. Yes! A change must have bound to come in society as well as in our country.


Oiler Sun

Jahangirnagar University


Student’s politics needs to be directed to a larger social change which is essentially a re-conceptualisation of the state. Though it’s often debated whether students can be the sole force of revolution with their bourgeoisie and petty bourgeoisie characteristics alienated from the reality of the so called masses which is further enhanced by the current university environment both public and private, a democratic change is still possible or to be more correct an envisioning of a democratic change remains largely possible through university oriented students politics. Now, when I speak of student’s politics the images of machete or gun parades definitely peep through my imagination, but is power driven partisan politics the only face of student’s politics? Of course not, take for instance the recent movements in BRAC and Jahangirnagar University both of which was a fight against power. These movements are signs that a democratic force in universities still remains active and is becoming activated with the passage of time which envisions the subversion of repression of all kinds. Students’ politics along with their students rights movements should also set examples for the state to follow as students politics essentially connotes progressive politics not as a Eurocentric concept therefore universal rather as an idea that takes into account the class and power relations in different social contexts and creates space for historical dialectics.



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