Role of Students in Free India:
It is a pity that the great manpower of our country, the student community, is being misled into wasteful ways of life. Our educationists and authorities seem to have miserably failed to rally the youth to youthful and nation-building activities. Education must build the nation through our young men and women who must be mentally alert, physically sound and morally and physically awake. Our future prosperity and the welfare of the nation depends upon the kind of education we give to our young generation and what use they make of it.
In the first place, our system of education requires a complete change. It must be modified to bring under control the tremendous manpower of the country. Regular provision must be made for games and sports. Instead of confining the students within the four walls of the classroom, they should be given lessons in the dignity of labour and manual work. Education should be more vocational and job oriented than at present. The students must also be encouraged to do work in villages. This shall bring some practical element in their education for we must understand that when students have to tackle definite problems they will employ all their energy, mind and heart to the task before them. They will develop the habit of thought and of getting things done.
Today our country is full of social evils of all kinds like the dowry system and the services of the students can be best used in uprooting them. The students in other countries have played a very important part by way of social service. During vacations and holidays, students should organize themselves into groups and tour the villages. Besides spreading literacy they can also emphasize the need for family planning. They would also be able to impress upon the people need for sanitation and health.
The students must actively participate in the economic development of the country. Even in the towns, students can do much. They can, for example, fight against smuggling and illicit distillation of liquor and indeed can contribute a great deal towards social reforms.
Compulsory military training must be given to all students who are physically fit. This shall keep them fit and strong to defend their motherland from all enemies. Military training is essential because it imparts a sense of discipline which otherwise is also essential in life. Moreover, the youth of the nation must not only be able to resist any attack but also strike a blow when the honour of the nation is trampled upon. A sense of patriotism and love for the country must be inculcated (impressed) on the students. The glamorous attraction for western fashions and manners must be firmly discouraged.
The students on their part must give up violence, terrorism and lawlessness. They must listen to reason and even if they have any complaints, grievances and dissatisfaction, they must adopt peaceful methods of expressing them.
To conclude, a love for virtue, righteousness and a sense of self-respect and personal dignity must be inculcated in the students. A sweet relation between the teachers and the taught must be established. Love for extra-curricular activities, debates, dramatics and cultural activities must be given due importance. Education must provide substantial activities as well as sufficient relaxations and facilities to occupy the students. The main problem with the students is that they do not have definiteness of purpose and incentive for good work and these must be provided to them by their teachers and the Government.