A Call to Youth
by Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
Questions and Answers (AECC BLOCK – 02 : Prose)
1. What is democracy? What is or what should be the spirit of Democracy?
Answer – Democracy is a political philosophy that imbibes the values of equality, empathy and compassion to fellow human being. The sense of entitlement and innate superiority are alien to democracy. To be truly democratic, an individual or their community need to inculcate certain values such as compassion, sharing, and egalitarianism. When such values are practiced, it fosters fellow feeling, and banishes selfishness and acrimonious tendencies. A truly democratic society will see far less rancor, and violence.
2. What are the major responsibilities of the youth of the country?
Answer – The youth born in a nascent democracy like India are saddled with onerous responsibilities. Not only they have to earn a living by doing a job, but also, they have to build a nation that is progressive both materially and morally. Building dams, factories, ports etc. might spur material gains, but without strong moral values, the country will be plunged in never-ending strife and acrimony. Thus, the youth of the country have to ensure that the country does not waver from its path of ethics and honesty. Pursuit of wealth must not tarnish the soul of the nation. The youth must see that greed does nor overtake the nobler sentiments of the citizens.
3. Why does the author feel that educational institutions should not be treated as trade unions?
Answer – Educational institutions are the places where teachers guide their students along the path of knowledge and skill-building. They also help the students to develop character, imbibe noble values, and exhibit compassion and empathy in their conduct. Teachers do their duties n a selfless way without expecting any sort of material rewards from their students. The students pay back the gift of their teachers through respect, devotion, and high regard. In such an atmosphere, there is no place for profiteering, exploitation, or denial of rights. A trade union, on the other hand, routinely fights to safeguard the interest of its members from any sort of unfairness from the employer. Quite obviously, an educational institution is far away from the world of trade unions where disputes, and struggles are common place. This is why educational institutions must never be like trade unions.
4. Do you think there is any need of student election in our college and university campuses?
Answer – Student elections, per se, are not all that bad, so long as they are conducted in a peaceful, apolitical, and orderly manner. Unfortunately, we have in recent years seen ugly and unsavoury scenes where rival candidates use money and muscle power to muster votes. After a candidate is elected, they feel confronting the teachers community with impractical demands through coercion is their duty. Such practices vitiate the atmosphere in colleges. In conclusion, I would rather not have student body elections than having such ugly slugfests in the campuses.
5. What is or what should be prime responsibility of a student in an institution?
Answer – A student acquires new knowledge and skill in the educational institutions to be able to earn a living later. However, this is but a myopic understanding of the role of the teaching organizations. The students should also read epic books of literature, religion, philosophy etc. so that the horizon of their mind expands and they learn to look upon the disadvantaged sections of the society as fellow humans who deserve attention, care, and compassion. The basic comforts of life must not elude them. The students have to groom themselves to be broad-minded, compassionate, and responsible guardians of the society.
6. How do you think integrity of a character in a student can contribute towards the betterment of the institution?
Answer – High integrity of character developed in a student makes them a responsible, honest, and dutiful member of the society both in his job, and inside their family. When upright and honorable men and women are at the helms of a country, it progresses fast and wholistically. The country seldom plunges into strife and turbulence. The nation’s fiscal resources are not lost through corruption and misuse. The taxpayers’ money is put to good use. The country experiences growth and happiness.