Students' manifesto seeks good governance
“It was summer in 2004. It is summer now,” former External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said answering a question on the current situation in the State on Sunday, kickstarting his campaign. Krishna is not the only politician who exhibits what students term “a callous attitude”. He is just an example.
“Politicians must retire at 60,” a manifesto, prepared by students from various colleges in City, Tumkur and Kolar, demands.
“It is important to become more active. The responsibility to keep India’s democracy intact rests in us, the public,” Ritika S Rao from Maharani Lakshmi Ammani College said, explaining the reasons for her association in the process of preparing the manifesto.
Stop violence against the marginalised, improve quality of education, give a stable government that can improve economic stability, are among slogans in their manifesto, which will be submitted to various political parties in fray for the forthcoming elections in the State. In a stark difference between the manifestos of political parties, the students’ manifesto, is a reflection of serious homework and research.
“We have been saddened by the actions and behaviour of the political class, this is an attempt on our part to make a difference,” C J Ravikumar, student of HIMS College, Tumkur, said.
Stating that politics has been converted into a business and not a public service, the students, in their manifesto have pointed out: “While prices of essential commodities have risen, people are made to buy more and more consumer goods.”
“Education has been commercialised with the creation of private universities, self-financing courses in colleges, impetus to starting of private and international schools and withdrawal of grant-in-aid to schools and colleges. Education is fast becoming a commodity beyond the means of average families.”
Stating that politics in the State has been most divisive, the manifesto said: “The State had seen three chief ministers in five years with caste playing a decisive role in all appointments at the political level.
“Secularism was attacked and aggressive attempts made to transform the State into communal one.”
The students also expressed their discontent over the opposition parties being mute spectators to the ‘communal agenda of the BJP in the last five years’.
“Instead of challenging the party, all of them silently watched when places of worship were attacked, women’s self-respect was harmed, minorities were assaulted, dalits were humiliated. There was no articulate opposition on imposition of dress code, restrictions on rights of women, curtailment of rights for free expression, violation on the right to food of communities, attack on media and secular fabric of the State.”
“We belong to no political party. We would like to contribute to the political process in the State. We desire better governance. We want candidates who are contesting in the elections to serve the poor and the downtrodden and work towards eradication of poverty.”
The students want all parties to work towards creation of a human community based on solidarity and concern.