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Dear Kanhaiya, Drop The Pretence Of Being A Student And Make A Real Difference

09/03/2016 8:29 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
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Dear Kanhaiya,

I've been meaning to write an open letter to you for some time now. You've been in a whirlwind the last few weeks and now that the dust is hopefully settling, it's a good time for me, an ordinary Indian, to share some advice and for you to reflect.

Don't waste your time on student politics. You're obviously very intelligent, very capable, and if you nurture your talents carefully and don't get carried away by extreme leftist ideas of incendiary revolution, you will go far.

Vacate your seat and allow some other young person from a disadvantaged background to get a chance... you are clearly using your time only for extracurricular activities.

You are supposed to be a PhD scholar, and if research is your true passion, then go ahead, focus on it and get your degree. Leave student politics to the undergrads. It's their turn to learn the ropes. You're no longer a 'kid' so the junior league will simply not do justice to your leadership, oratorical and political skills.

If politics is your real interest, which I suspect it is, then stop the pretence of being a student and join an organization like the INC, AAP or CPI(M) that will appreciate and nurture your ideas. As things stand, you're making a mockery of doctoral studies and you are actually perpetuating a big farce. Face the nation as a politician and don't hide behind the facade of being a student.

If you're still confused, pay a visit to Siachen. That should give you perspective. After all, youth is when you should dabble in these adventures of self-discovery. Also, it is very easy to deliver fiery speeches in a cosseted university campus in front of adoring freshmen and sophomores. We would really like to see if you have it in you to face real hardship and adversity.

Or start a business and generate employment. And pay taxes. Your studies are being funded by a government grant. The taxpayers' hard earned money isn't meant for you to play politics and give smart speeches that play into the hands of vested interests. That money is for deserving students to get an education.

Thirty-year-olds in student politics just isn't right. It's like an eighth grader playing football in a team of fifth graders.

By the looks of it, politics is what you will choose. Offers are now pouring in for you to campaign in upcoming state elections. Your education has obviously served you well and you are now ready to graduate. So go ahead, vacate your seat and allow some other young person from a disadvantaged background to get a chance to benefit from these programs. It is extremely hypocritical of you to criticize the government on the one had for "not providing freedom from social injustice and inequality" and then selfishly block the limited resources available in this poor country when you are clearly using your time only for extracurricular activities.

You need to find some constructive way to make a difference for this country. There is much that needs to be done and you should look at making a meaningful contribution.

To the powers that be in this country, my request is that student politics be restricted till the undergrad level. Let that be a platform for young students to express themselves and form their own thoughts and beliefs, and not a breeding ground for another crop of thugs.

We don't want career student-politicians who spend their entire lives in JNU fomenting anarchy and distracting others from academics.

We don't want career student-politicians who spend their entire lives in JNU fomenting anarchy and distracting others from academics. If they show talent, draft them in the major leagues and let them do some real work for the country and society. This will also help infuse young blood into the country's politics and ease out the decaying geriatric leadership. Thirty-year-olds in student politics just isn't right. It's like an eighth grader playing football in a team of fifth graders. It doesn't do anyone any good.

So Kanhaiya, do the right thing and step away from student politics. For once, you will be setting the right example for impressionable young minds and sending a strong signal to the rotten political system in this country that uses student politics to vitiate and corrupt centres of higher learning.

Regards,

Amit Nangia

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