We are surprised to learn that Bangladesh Chhatra League is planning to form committees at the secondary school level. BCL leaders, after a meeting on Tuesday, said the objective behind the move is to spread the ideology of the party among the schoolchildren. Whatever may be the motive behind such a move, it would adversely impact the tender minds of children, and given the current nature of student politics this will introduce the kind of violence that we are witnessing in some public colleges and universities.
The character of student politics today bears no resemblance to what we saw of it in the past. Student politics, since the anti-autocracy movement in late 80s, has been on a path of steady decline and doesn't serve the interests of the general students any longer, which begs the question: what is student politics for then? The fact is, student political bodies are now merely an extension of their parent political parties, who use them to solidify their control over the future generation of leaders. According to an estimate, in the last eight years, incidents of violence and infighting among student groups at different universities and colleges have resulted in at least 125 deaths, of which 60 were due to internal feuds in BCL. If BCL committees are formed in schools now, it may in all likelihood expose the children to the same kind of violent and exploitative politics.
The Awami League leadership has previously denied having any kind of association with the organisations using children in the name of “League.” But mere words are not going to help. They should try and nip in the bud any kind of initiatives embroiling children in politics.