Political immaturity behind campus violence

SFI leader Abhimanyu became the first student fatality of strife between rival unions at Maharaja's College in Ernakulam

Abhimanyu’s murder came as a devastating news. As an alumnus of Maharaja’s College, I never expected such a tragic news from that campus in this age. Nobody can justify students killing each other no matter what ideology drives them.

When I was a student of the Maharaja’s, we were saddened by the news of the murder of Muthukoya. The man from Lakshadweep was the victim of mistaken identity. He had gone to the college hostel to meet some of his fellow islanders.

Abhimanyu had gone far from his home to pursue studies in Ernakulam. He comes from Vattavada in Idukki, a place vastly different from a cityscape. The wails of his mother on television were heartbreaking. I am a mother too. No mother can keep her composure when her son lies lifeless in front of her.

We might think that our children are better-positioned educationally and culturally. That is not the case. They are yet to attain real culture and political maturity. That is why our campuses turn into killing fields. They have submitted their thinking capacity to political leaders and spiritual masters. Precisely for this reason, our campuses will stay dangerous.

The unfortunate incident happened in a college which has made immense contributions to the intellectual and cultural spheres of Kerala. This was not the Maharaja’s I went to. That campus had room for every conflicting streams of thought.

We were blessed with strong-willed teachers who knew the pulse of the students and ready to correct them. We do not have teachers with the calibre of M K Sanoo or M Leelavathi anymore. I had worked as a teacher and I know the challenges of the profession. But I have to say that the profession has hit pathetic lows in colleges including Maharaja’s.

The teachers who are supposed to guide the younger generations are in the thralls of partisan politics and trade unionism. We have not forgotten the sad episode when some students burned the chair of the principal. Such a humiliating scene would not have happened had the teachers acted on time.

I had gone to Maharaja’s to attend a recent alumni meeting. The memories are still fresh in my mind. But the latest news has come as a shock. This murderous politics would not have happened if we had sworn by the politics of truth and the culture of virtue.

Maharaja’s is still a passion. Please do not pollute it.

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