Students urged to concentrate on developing a national approach

Students urged to concentrate on developing a national approach


Friday, February 13th, 2009

“The student community should organize itself at the national level concentrating on developing a national approach in dealing with national issues. To facilitate this a nation-wide network is to be framed. Among them, there must be broad understanding of social issues relating to all sections of the society”.

The above thoughts were expressed by Anis Ahmed while delivering the key-note address at the National Students Conference session of the three-day National Political Conference of Popular Front of India, (PFI), which began here in the coastal city of Kozhikode in Kerala.

Ahmed stressed that there is a need for a national outlook students movement not just confined to particular universities, states or regions. He said students campus has an important role to play in rebuilding the society. Students have consistently responded and organized around the vital issues that broader society is concerned about.

“We have to draw forward and develop a new generation of activists”, he remarked. 

The key challenge for activists on campus today is to rebuild campus activism around these issues, and to use the resources of the universities in order to strengthen the role that students can play in sparking the fight among broader layers, he added.

Speaking at length Ahmed said today’s meet marks a special place in the history of Students activism in India. Years ago the Tiananmen Square in China witnessed the martyrdom of the students who strived for Social and Political change, he recalled. Today students from across the country have gathered here at “Tiananmen Square Hall” to continue the legacy of the students of Tiananmen Square, he exhorted.

He said students are considered as an important section which can play a crucial role in building the society. Students are the privileged section of the society who has the power of education, vision and knowledge with them which is denied to most of the marginalized sections of the society. Universities and colleges are places where a new generation of ideas and thoughts are developed.

Earlier, Abdul Rahiman, chairman of PFI, hoisted the outfit’s flag at the Kozhikode beach to herald the beginning of the conference wherein political activists, human rights defenders, scholars, women, NRIs, students and media persons have converged to give new political directions to minorities, especially Muslims, and other down-trodden communities of India. Hundreds of enthusiastic Popular Front national/ state leaders were present at the hoisting ceremony. The programme started with Moulana Usman Baig conducting “Dua” (prayers).

Meanwhile, two resolutions were passed on the on the occasion. The first resolution put forward by Mohammad Shakir urged the Central Government to accept the recommendation of Ranganathan Misra Commission to introduce 15 per cent reservation for the minority communities in the field of education and labour. The conference also demanded that in this 15 per cent reservation 10 per cent to be given to Muslims and 5 per cent to other backward communities as Muslims lag behind even Dalits in literacy and education.

The resolution said that India will never attain progress without the development of the backward and minority communities especially Muslims, who constitute 14 per cent of Indian population. Muslims who became backward due to historical reasons should be given reservation not as minority community but as backward people.

The complaisance and nonchalance of constitutional arms to the matter of reservation should be questioned. The decision to grant reservation for the economically backward sections of forward communities and to restrict reservation 50 per cent is against the spirit of constitution, the resolution pointed out.

The second resolution deplored the commercialization of education It expressed great concern at the commercialization in education which is denying access to the poor and the deprived for education The profit motive has become the single most important criterion for the establishment of kindergartens to post graduate institutions. It has affected the quality of education as only the rich get opportunity for the educational advancement, the resolution said.

A. Sayeed, vice chairman PFI who delivered the presidential address, declared that this student conference has entrusted Mohammad Yousuf of Tamil Nadu to coordinate activities of like-minded organizations in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka and also explore possibility of organizing National Students Movement at the national level.

The conference was inaugurated by Dr. Shams-ul-Islam of Delhi University. Others who expressed views at the conference included Rona Wilson (CRPP), Chand Pasha (Ramnagar), Adv. Iresh Student Federation president, Karnataka, P. Noor-ul-Ameen and Rafeek Kuttikattur (both Calicut). K. S. Shan proposed a vote of thanks.