The former registrar was speaking yesterday at the national symposium on political activism at St Philomena’s College
Expressing dissatisfaction over the recent attempts by the Modi-led Union government to stifle the dissenting voice of the student community in JNU over alleged anti-national views, former registrar of the University of Mysore Prof V K Nataraj observed that the universities were the platforms for creating future politicians.
He was delivering the keynote address at the two-day national-level symposium on ‘Political Activism -Should our universities and colleges nurture future political leaders?”. The symposium was organised under the aegis of the University Grants Commission by the Department of Communication and Journalism in collabaration with the departments of economics, social work, political science and sociology of St Philomena’s College.
Prof Nataraj alerted the audience that if they turn a blind eye to the political processes and choose to be apolitical, it would only result in the misuse of the democratic set-up through vested interests – be it the corporate world or the self-serving politicians and bureaucrats. The citizenry should be politically aware, he stressed.
“Moreover, universities provide an atmosphere where various ideas are discussed and debated and strengthened and the hidden motives and agendas are unravelled. “If the universities fail to nurture and encourage debates how can strong leaders be created? And what will be the governance of the country in the future? If this kind of a situation persists, then the very contribution of the universities towards the nation becomes questionable,” he said.
Prof V K Nataraj stated that in the absence of real dialogue, many youth were becoming victims of certain ideologies. Moreover, there are many intellectuals, who by branding politics as breeding ground of corruption are dissuading students and youth from taking part in active politics.
Such developments should be condemned and instead the youth should be encouraged to participate in various political activities and processes, he said.
He noted that only a politically-vibrant society could strengthen the democratic system. Instead of blaming the ills of the government, the civil society should take active part in the processes, he added.
Principal of St Philomena’s College Prof M Krishnegowda;Vice-Principal Rev Fr Bernard Prakash Barnis and Maharaja’s Degree College retired professor R N Padmanabha were present during the event.