'Students' participation in politics essential'

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New Delhi, Sep 5 (UNI) Students could participate in politics but take it up as a mission and not as a profession in order to uphold the democratic credentials of the country's polity, according to participants at seminar on students politics.

A day before the Delhi University Students' Union elections (DUSU) today, students from across the university speaking on ''Should students participate in politics'' at the 14th Delhi Book Fair here yesterday said they should participate in politics and serve the country.

''If an 18-year-old can vote, he or she should be able to participate in politics as well and serve the nation,'' said a Kamala Nehru College student.

The sentiment that students should take part in politics echoed at the seminar conducted by 'Lekhika Sangh', an organisation which promotes women's writing in collaboration with the Federation of Indian Publishers (FIP).

''There has to be a balance. Those who participate in active politics at university level should not do so at the expense of their studies,'' said Asha Rani, president Lekhika Sangh.

Ummel Khar, first year student at Gargi College who won the debate at the seminar, said, ''Students should participate in politics as India is a democracy.'' She pointed out that if students could take part in sports and theatre, there should then be no hindrance when it comes to politics.

Former Union Minister Arun Jaitley, Ajay Maken MP and Delhi Mayor Aarti Mehra were cited as examples of leaders who have made their mark in the country's politics after taking it up at the students' level.

Most of the students were of the view that student elections should not become a part of the country's politics and national political parties should dissociate themselves from the university politics.

Harish Naval, reader at Hindu College, said, ''Students should not be kept away from politics but from its excesses. They should know their priorities and maintain a balance.'' UNI SKB SK NS1322

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