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A Code for Students
(1) Student must not take part in party politics. They are student, searchers, not politicians.
(2) They may not resort to political strikes. They must have their heroes but their devotion to them is to be shown by copying the best in their heroes, not by going on strikes if their heroes are imprisoned or die or are even sent to the gallows. If their grief is unbearable and if all the student feel equally, school or colleges may be closed on such occasions with the consent of their principals. If the principals will not listen, it is open to the student to leave their institution in a becoming manner till the managers repent and recall them. On no account may they use coercion against dissentients or against the authorities. They must have the confident that is they are united and dignified in their con duct they are sure to win.
(3) They must all do sacrificial spinning in a scientific manner. Their tools shall be always neat, clean and in good order and condition. If possible, they will learn to make themselves. Their yarn will study the literature about spinning with all its economic, social, moral and political implications.
(4) They will be Khadi uses all through and use village products to the exclusion of all analogous things, foreign or machine made.
(5) They may not impose ‘Bande Mataram’ or the National Flag on others. They may wear National Flag buttons on their own persons but not force others to do the same.
(6) They can enforce the massage of the Tricolor Flag in their own persons and harbor neither communalism nor untouchability in their hearts. They will cultivate real friendship with student of other faiths and with Harijans as If they were their own kith and kin.
(7) They will make it a point to give first aid to their injured neighbours and do scavenging and cleaning in the neighbouring villages and instruct village children and adults.
(8) They will all learn the national language, Hindustani, in its present double dress-two forms of speech and two scripts–so that they may feel at home whether Hindi or Urdu is spoken and Nagari or Urdu script is written.
(9) They will translate into their own mother tongue everything new they may learn and transmit it in their weekly round to the surrounding villages.
(10)They will do nothing in secret. They will be above-board in all their dealings; they will lead a pure life of self-restraint, shed all fear and be always ready to protect their weak fellow-student and be ready to quell riots by non-violent conduct at the risk of their lives. And when the final heat of the struggle comes they will leave their institution and, if need be, sacrifice themselves for the freedom of their country.
(11) They will be scrupulously correct and chivalrous in their behaviour towards their girl’s fellow-students.
For working out the programme I have sketched for them, the students must find time. I know that they waste a grate deal of time in idleness. By strict economy they can save hours. But I do not want to put an undue strain upon any student. I would, therefore, advise patriotic student to lose one year, not at a stretch, but spread it over their whole study. They will find that one year so given will not be a waste of time. The efforts will add to their equipment, mental, moral and physical, and they will have made even during their studies a substantial contribution to the freedom movement.
The Bombay Chronicle, 9-1-‘46
The base imitation of the West, the ability to speak and wire polished English, will not add one brick to the temple of freedom. The student world which is receiving an education far too expensive for starving India, an education which only a microscopic minority can ever hope to receive, is expected to qualify itself for it by giving its life-blood to the nation. Students must become pioneers in conservative reform, conserving all that is good in the nation and fearlessly ridding society of the innumerable abases that have crept into it.
Student have to react upon the dumb millions, they have to learn to think not in terms of a province, or a town, or a class, or a caste, but in term of a continent and of the millions who include untouchables, drunkards, hooligans and even prostitutes, for whose existence in our midst every one of us is responsible. Students in olden times were called Brahmacharis, that is those who walked with and in the fear of God. They were honored by king and elder. They were a voluntary change on the nation, and in return they gave to the nation hundredfold strong souls, strong brains, strong arms. Students in the modern world, where they are to be found among fallen nations, are considered to be their hope, and have become the self- sacrificing leaders of reforms in every department. Not that we have no such examples in India; but they are far too few. What I plead for is that students’ conferences should stand for this kind of work befitting the status of brahmacharis.
Young India, 9-6-‘27
The student should devote the whole of their vacation to village service. To this end, instead of talking their walks along beaten paths, they should walk to the villages within easy reach of their institutions and study the condition of the village folk and befriend them. This habit will bring them in contact with the villagers who, when the students actually go to stay in there midst, will by reasons of the previous occasional contact, receive them as friend rather than as strangers to be looked upon with suspicion. During the ling vacations the students will stay in the village and offer to conduct classes for adult and to teach the result of sanitation to the villages and to introduce the spinning- wheel amongst them and teach them the use of every spare minute. In order that this may be done students and teachers will have to revise their ideas of the use of vacation. Often do thoughtless teachers prescribed lessons to be done during the vacation. This, in my options, is in any case a vicious habit. Vacation is just the period when students’ minds should be free from the routine work and be left free for self-help and original development. The village work I have mentioned is easily the best form of recreation and light instruction. It is obviously the best preparation for dedication to exclusive village service after finishing the studies.
Young India, 26- 12-‘29
Put yours talents in the services of the country instead of converting them to £.s.d. If you are a medical man, there is disease enough in India to need all your medical skill. If you are a lawyer, there are differences and quarrels enough in India. Instead of fermenting more trouble, patch up those quarrels and litigation. If you are an engineer, build model house suited to the mean and needs of your people and yet full of health and fresh air. There is nothing that you have learnt which cannot be turned to account.
Young India, 5-11-’31
Student and Politics
Student should have the greatest freedom of expression and of opinion. They may openly sympathize with any political party they like. But in my opinion they may not have freedom of action whilst they are studying. A student cannot be an action politician and pursue his studies at the same time.
Student cannot afford to have party politics. They hear all parties, as they read all sots of books, but their business is to assimilate the truth of all and reject the balance.
Power politics should be unknown to the student world. Immediately they dabble in that class of works, they cease to be students and will, therefore, fail to serve the country in its crisis.
To The Students, p. 283