Speaking at a roundtable conference titled “Student Politics of Bangladesh and Relevant Thoughts” arranged by Sushashoner Jonno Nagorik (Shujan) at the Jatiya Press Club, they also sought more tolerance and inclusiveness in student politics on campuses of all the educational institutions.
President of Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) ASM Abdur Rob said it is student politics which gave birth to this country and it must continue for the sake of independence. “In order to protect the sovereignty and independence and establish democracy, there’s no alternative but to keep student politics alive,” he said.
Workers Party President Rashed Khan Menon said student politics will flourish in the country if it is freed from the organisational control of mainstream political parties.
President of Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) Mujahidul Islam Selim said not everything about country’s student politics is completely degraded. “Not everything is lost in the dark. There would have been no Shahbagh movement, quota reform movement, safe road movement or the trial of Abrar murder (had there been no student politics),” he said.
He further said politics and the administrative sector of Dhaka University (DU) are confined to a syndicate. “This syndicate controls everything there. Teachers, students, officials…many are part of it. You can’t represent students without crushing this syndicate,” he said.
Selim suggested forming a council of former vice-presidents and general secretaries of Dhaka University Central Students’ Union (Ducsu) to guide the upcoming leaders of the body.
Incumbent Ducsu Vice-president Nurul Huq Nur said the standard of student politics in the country deteriorated after the 90s.
He also noted that the practice of power by the ruling party affects its student wing. “Bangladesh Chhatra League has become desperate as Awami League is in power. Had BNP been in power, their student body, Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal, would have followed the suit,” he said.
Nagorik Oikya convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna, former Cabinet Secretary Ali Imam Majumder and Shujan General Secretary Badiul Alam Majumder also spoke at the programme.