Student politics in the country must be kept away from influence of national politics in order to establish students’ rights, said speakers at a roundtable yesterday.
They said the existing “unhealthy culture” should be stopped, in which the student wings of political parties, especially the ruling party, often use their power to terrorise general students.
Former and incumbent student leaders, as well as leaders of different political parties, were speaking at the roundtable on “Thoughts on Student Politics of Bangladesh” at Jatiya Press Club.
Shushashoner Jonno Nagorik (Shujan), a civil rights body, organised the discussion.
Speaking there, Workers’ Party of Bangladesh President Rashed Khan Menon said that the country’s student politics will move forward if it gets rid of any organisational control by national political parties.
Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) President ASM Abdur Rob said the incumbent government is trying to ban student politics so that students cannot speak out against the government’s misdeeds.
“Students have to raise their voice in order to safeguard the country’s independence and sovereignty,” he said.
Mujahidul Islam Selim, president of Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB), said if student politics were banned, there would not have been movements demanding quota reform and justice for Buet student Abrar.
Selim, the first vice president of Dhaka University Central Students’ Union (Ducsu) in independent Bangladesh, further said student politics should be accessible for all instead of being banned.
He also urged all former vice presidents and general secretaries of Ducsu to come under one platform, to help young leaders and show them the way forward.
Former state minister for information Prof Abu Sayeed said national politics is now being controlled by the corrupt. “Student leaders should not follow their footsteps,”he added.
BNP Chairperson’s adviser Amanullah Aman said a historic change is needed in the country to restore democracy. Addressing the present Ducsu VP Nurul Haque Nur, the former Ducsu VP said, “Carry on your leadership; the intellectual community and former student leaders of the country will support you.”
Ducsu VP Nur said student bodies including Chhatra League and Chhatra Dal have carried out many misdeeds only to make their respective mother organisations -- Awami League and BNP -- happy.”
“No big change in student politics has taken place after 1990,” he claimed.
Chairing the roundtable, Shujan executive member Ali Imam Majumder stressed on enhancing standard of education to create a sound environment for student politics.
The roundtable, conducted by Shujan general secretary Badiul Alam Majumdar, was also addressed by Nagorik Oikya convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna and Bangladesh Chhatra Union former general secretary Ruhin Hossain Prince, among others.