Student Politics in Bangladesh: Past, Present & Future


The first and foremost duty of a student is to study. Moreover, he has some other duties to his family, duty to society, duty to state etc. Those duties can be performed in many ways. In this context, students are considered as the future of a nation. The way they get the teaching and upbringing can assist them to become a good citizen. Student politics is a way of socialization that can make the students prepared for demanding rights, performing duties to the state, raising voice against the unlawful decisions by the government. Ironically, the student politics of our country has lost its principle though we have a glorious history of student politics.

If we want to categorize student politics, we have to diversify them in two categories. The first one is political organizations’ sponsored student wings which are controlled under the party politics’ guidance. This is the student politics under the political parties’ direct supervision and the other is student politics for the welfare of the students in the university.

The first one is the student politics that is practiced in Bangladesh. It is the conventional student politics we have. It operates under the direct supervision and observation of the main political parties. It’s agenda surrounds the national political agenda as like as the traditional political parties. It does not care about the students’ welfare. Moreover, it helps the central party politics in various situations.

On the other hand, the politics regarding the bargaining of the students for their interest with the university authority is called student politics. There is no practice of it in our country. The student’s wings are made to fulfill the political agenda of the parties. Some tiny student political parties like “Chatra Moitree”, “Chatro Union”, “Chatra Federation” are operating in different public universities. But they have not enough strength to render service to the students or to look after their interests.

The major political parties’ student wings often engage themselves in clash. Sometimes the clash becomes so violent that the university authority becomes compelled to shut down the university. Consequently, the students have to face unwanted trouble and lose the class time. In this way, the invaluable time of the students is lost. They have to be the sufferers of session jam. As a result of the loss of their classes, their exams are also postponed. Due to this session jam, they have to be remaining unemployed and the country is deprived of a qualified workforce which must be added to the development flow of the country.

Our history says that student claimed the rights of mother tongue as the state language. In order to make the Pakistani ruler bow down, they sacrificed their lives. Because of them, we are able to speak in Bengali. Furthermore, 21 February has been declared as the International Mother Language Day by the UNESCO in memory of the language martyrs of Bangladesh.

During the liberation movement of 1971, the students of this country played an immense role in accelerating the speed of the movement. Their courageous effort had enhanced the spirit of the freedom fighters. Thousands of young students were killed by the Pakistani soldiers brutally. Their sacrifice will always be remembered.

Moreover, a flow of thousands of young students took part in removing the autocratic ruler in 1990. Their participation make the ruler realize that it would be impossible to sustain. As a result, the movement of mass uprising of uprooting the then autocratic ruler Hussain Muhammed Ershad succeeded. Their dedicated effort also assisted the restoration of a democratic state system.

Student politics has an enriched glorious history of its own. Unfortunately, the history has been the history. The history and the present situation is just the opposite. They have become the victims of our dirty politics. Each and every political party has separate student wings. The public university campus is being polluted because of the practice of student politics. But the motto of student politics is to ensure institutional facilities for the students. Student’s rights must be upheld by student politics. But reality says something else.

According to a study of Dhaka University, it is found that more or less 20 classes are suspended every year only because of the student politics unrest. Moreover, each and every student wings organize political programs in the university premises, even during the examination time. The student wings in political power make the hall students participate in the procession unwillingly; sometimes it becomes mandatory for the students. Even, they are informed that they have to participate in the political programs; otherwise they will not get a seat in the hall. This is the real situation in the public universities’ student politics. It refers that we should stop the violent mode of student politics. It is necessary to ensure a peaceful environment in the educational institutions.

The scholar people often express their aggression saying that they there should be a ban on student politics forgetting the significant role of student politics. Some politicians also say that students have potential opportunity of being future politicians if they are provided with a quality upbringing and guidance. I think that the modification is really needed for student politics. Again, there is no necessity to ban student politics. However, banning it may cause weakening our political future further. There is a good number of students enter into national politics after the completion of student life. As they are well aware of politics, it becomes very easy to formulate the agenda. It means banning of students politics cannot be a solution.

In fine, we can opine that the very glory of student politics cannot be removed from our history. Similarly, their existence is significant in our political arena for the betterment of our country. Our political culture is surrounded with the corrupt practices of the political people. That is why, student politics is our last resort for peace in our political culture. Then we can aspire for a future which will be peaceful.