Time and again when a political movement begins, the student unions come into action with their mainstream political parties, often more vibrantly than any other resource they may have. This has in the past played a pivotal role for a number of movements to succeed in their agendas. It is not just the story of the present times as we see them. The phenomenon has been observed and archived over the years where political advantages are concerned. Statistics of the same may seem mundane and off the same beaten path. The point of the matter is that, what we have seen from the past, is the fact that, when students act for a political agenda they lose the true purpose of the institution that a student union is. The reason why a union of any sort was created was to facilitate the ones who become a part of it. The objective of the union was to cater to the needs arising, which were relevant to the formation of the union. Student unions were to facilitate the students in matters regarding their educational institution’s processes. When a student body gets involved with a political agenda, their aspirations and objectives change. They are bought to the forefront to bear the brunt when and if it comes to it.
How and Why?
Let’s come straight to the point. How many examples have we seen in the past where, when the student unions have been used for political reasons and agendas got not just hundreds but thousands of students displaced. Not to mention a reasonable number who lost their lives to someone else’s cause. Throughout history we can easily come across examples where very promising students, due to involvement with political agendas fled to other countries, always looking over their shoulder, whether or not they were being pursued. Innumerable books and movies have been published and made on the lives of student activists who when partook the cause that they were diverted to, had to run for their very own lives regretting their association with politics for then.
This became a game of the hunted and the hunter. Those who succeeded in saving their skin from the wrath of the hunters, settled down in various countries, furthering their talent where they had left them off. But could never revert to their original self and in many cases not even their own true names, in fear of being tracked down and taken out. They had to leave their families and wives behind which was another source of persistent and reminding agony for them. Examples of this phenomenon are rampant in European and east European countries because of their civilised age. The students who could, fled to their nearest country across the borders. Then as the pursuance increased they went further on towards other countries where they could blend in without any problems till anyone, thus came for them. Generic broad spectrum examples are of students from the Irish movement, the Russian and Chinese movements, who took refuge in various countries taking to various professions under guised names for life. It has been very rare that only a few of these students who fled from their countries were able to use their own identities later on. The accounts of such may not be overwhelmingly found on the internet because of obvious reasons. Their lives had been archived and movies and songs talked a lot about them as their subjects or theme. Talking of USA the student bodies met with crushing results during the Depression Era, after which they had to dismantle and take up jobs as regulars till the time the educational institutions streamlined themselves again. As USA is much younger than the abovementioned countries it mainly saw the student riots mixed with the political ones when the migration era was in process. The rest of the time the country was working towards settling itself in the new continent that was found.
On a Local Level
As for Pakistan the student unions and bodies have suffered at the hands of the turning of most regimes and most of the students partaking in political activities either met/meet a dreadful end or moved to another country only to, and if, return when the dust had settled down. All in all, when students become a part of a political agenda they not only lose their true calling but also lose their original footing. For when you place power and aspirations beyond measure in a ‘yet growing mind’ you tend to misbalance its growth altogether. However much said the subject is vast enough for anyone to study at length and come to their own conclusion.