End class boycott deadlock: Bodies
Source: Hueiyen News Service
Imphal, October 29 2009: Concerned over the class boycott agitation in the state, nine different organisations have urged both the parties to give room for dialogue, to break the deadlock and come up with a consensus benefiting the future of our society.
In a joint statement, nine organisations including Linux Manipur; Don Bosco Imphal Alumni; Khoibu Students' Union, Delhi; Kuki Students' Organization, Delhi; Naga Students' Union, Delhi; International Manipuri Progressive Forum, UK; Little Flower Alumni; Manipur Youth Foundation; Zillai Yahoogroups (International) have appealed to all to support education and lift the class boycott and find other ways and means.
The joint statement urged the agitating students that the aim and aspirations of the students unions agitating against the ongoing state sponsored terrorism deserve full solidarity from the public.
The student organisations in its struggle for the ruling government to be held accountable for the various human rights violations in Manipur have resorted to boycotting students' education.
"But we believe firmly that the consequence of the ongoing education or class boycott, in the long run, can become counter-productive, subsequently can contradict to the very purpose these organizations are seeking through the agitation, thereby rising the possibility of their image being perceived in a wrong light," the joint statement read.
Stating that any democratic protest has its own momentum and can ebb away slowly on its own as its driving force wane gradually, the statement observed that many incidents have happened and many protests and strikes have beengone through but the government, especially unaccountable ones, knows surely that it is not going to last.
"In fact, if we really look into the matter the public would even begin to forget the purpose behind the agitation of the student's Union.
During these critical phases many of the parents, guardians, teachers and general public are of the opinion that ongoing form of protest might be against the welfare of the people as due to the prolonged boycott of students' education," it stated.
The statement noted that the agitation has, to many, alarmingly look as if many of the public might have turned against the students associations, unfortunately forgetting the alleged crimes and injustice of the government.
The government is, as seen in the past, seems to be focused in just buying time, during which can result in an undesirable contradiction and distrust between the public and the agitating bodies, thereby resulting in a possible nullification of each other.
At that time, the statement observed, the public will then be again, might be left with nothing, without justice! .
It stated that had the government been truly democratic, then they would have never indulged in militarisation and its resulting gross violation.
Instead, any democratic government would have listened and act upon, to the many public outcry against the multiple fake encounters which have claimed thousands of lives till today.
Any ideal government would have initiated dialogues with the students' Unions regarding the boycott of children's education so as to safeguard the right to education.
But, instead of such prior justified responsible actions, the government has been playing with the fundamental civil rights and emotions of the public.
The government has done nothing that a democratic government should be doing, the statement noted.
These basic distortions and anomaly in the roots needs to be corrected for a prosperous future democratic society, but in an effort and protest to correct these basic wrongs, the use of class or education boycott can be interpreted as "too shallow and a counter-productive" method to be used, it observed.
"This crucial moment calls for a better and effective strategy which can exert a much intensifying and effective pressure to the government.
We would like to request to the various student's organization to please understand the need of continuation of a productive education especially during these unfortunate time, for we believe that in the long run, it is the best means to move our society to the form of humane democracy, we all aspire," it added.
Calling the government, the joint statement categorically asked the government why they are still sitting idle while the lives of thousands of the students are at stake.
"Why is the government taking a safe side by just being a silent spectator in the present situation? What is the purpose of the existence of a government that takes no responsibility for any kind of public grievance? Why has the government not come up with a forum to bring certain form of negotiation with the student organizations?," it asked.
"If the government is irresponsible and fails to understand the importance of the lives of thousands of students then we question the rationale behind its existence.
It is a clear signal that the present government is unable to handle the situation," it added.
The statement pointed out that if the government has any consideration for the students and the general public then it should have taken the initiative to speak to the student bodies to break the deadlock from the very first day of the class boycott.
The silence of the Government all this while only shows its lack of interest and carefree attitude toward the public.
If there is even an iota of concern left for justice then the government should move forward and arrange for a table of negotiations over which political dialogue can be conducted in order to solve the impasse.
Silence and indifference is worst than anything and it will only lead to further confusions deadlock will only get tighter, it stated.
The Government's silence only shows that it has no respect for the people, their lives and their dignity.
The government, that does not enjoy any support from the general public, has lost its legitimacy.
It is facing an inherent contradiction and sooner or later it can crumble on its own, it noted.
"How long is the government continue to remain indifferent and unaccountable from its responsibilities? It is necessary for the government to know and accept its fault and try to find ways of correcting themselves.
It must constantly be reminded that such boycott came up because of the dictatorial attitude of the government and its gross violation of civil rights and violent militarization of our state over a period of time," the statement noted.
Drawing the concerned of both the parties, the statement observed that there is a crucial need for a re-evaluation and reconfirmation of the purpose of education.
Education can give jobs, make a person much enlightened, and make one understand the society better.
But the main purpose of education is to make someone capable of questioning the existing systems -political, economic, social or ethical if any of these systems perpetuate subjugation, oppression and exploitation and subsequently to denounce those unjust elements and resist and change them towards fairer ones.
"Our society is emaciated for want of these means provided by education.
In fact, the more we boycott classes the more political turmoil we are inviting in the long run.
Education is the only way to make people capable of making dialogue without which no human community can survive in peace.
In this dark and disappointing environment, education is the only ray of hope.
We call upon all to rise above to put forward education," it underlined.
Education is crucial to the life of our democracy.
In that sense, anybody who has been thinking about democracy has to think about education.
There is a profound connection between guaranteeing democratic rights and education as the foundation, which makes democracy work.
The founding of the common school, the public school was for the foundation for an effective and successful democracy.
The connection between schooling, citizenship and democracy is taken for granted, the statement elucidated.