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Revive lost glory of student politics: President
President Abdul Hamid on Saturday called upon the student community to come forward to bring back student politics on the right track and regain the lost glory once it used to enjoy.
"...the tide of youth never stops and I do believe their tide won't stop in the future, too. You must attach the highest priority to the interest of the country and the nation than the individual and familial gains," he told the 50th Convocation of Dhaka University on its campus.
The President said the country's student community has a glorious role in Bangladesh's political history as they played a leading role in the 71 Liberation War, the 1952 Language Movement, Six-point Movement and other democratic movements of the country.
The student community always comes forward to resist all threats to the country's independence and sovereignty for which many of them had been harassed and sent to jail, he said.
Criticising the ongoing trend of student politics, Hamid said general and brilliant students used to be encouraged to get involved in politics when he joined student politics, but this is not done these days.
Now people of even 45-50 years of age are involved in student politics, he said, questioning how they become student leaders. "Regular university students must lead student politics."
The President stressed the need for holding Dhaka University Central Student's Union (Ducsu) election, aiming to help create new political leaders in the country.
"Ducsu election is a must...if Ducsu election is not held, a vacuum of leadership will be created in the country's politics in the future," he added.
Highlighting the history of Dhaka University, Hamid said the university is the country's largest and a very prestigious educational institution, and it was the centre all major socioeconomic, political and cultural movements of the nation.
About the government's measures to advance the country's education sector, he said the government is committed to establishing a modern, scientific and time-befitting education system.
Noting that there is no alternative to political leadership for the nation's development which is complementary to democracy, Hamid said honest and competent leadership must be built up in the country through student politics to strengthen the foundation of democracy.
"I, myself, started politics through student politics. But, there's a huge difference between today's student politics and that of ours. During the 60s, the aims and objectives of student politics were to ensure welfare of the nation and the country," he said.
Students used to lead and control the politics in the past when there had been no space for dependence and common people showed respect to them, the President said, adding, "But now it is seen that individual or group interest is getting priority in student politics," he said.
"Sometimes, non-students control student politics. Thus, the trust, support and respect of people, even of general students, to student politics are decreasing gradually. This is not good for the nation and the country."
Asking the students to get united to get the student politics on the right path and start ideology-based and welfare-oriented politics, he said: "The student community has to play a leading role in this regard."
Recalling Dhaka University's contributions to the country's politics, Hamid said it has created many veteran politicians since its inception in 1921 and they played their significant role in the country's Liberation War, other democratic movement and its development.
"So, Dhaka University has a deep relation with the student politics. In one word, Dhaka University is the birthplace of politics," he added.
He urged newly graduates of the university to always uphold their moral values, conscience and patriotism and not to bow down to any injustice and untruth.
DU Vice-chancellor Prof Dr AAMS Arefin Siddique, convocation speaker Prof Amit Chakma and DU Pro-vice chancellor (Academic) Prof Dr Nasreen Ahmad also spoke on the occasion.
The university conferred Doctor of Science degree on Amit Chakma, Bangladeshi-origin academic and Vice-chancellor of University of Western Ontario in Canada for his outstanding contribution to science. He was born at a Chakma family of the Chittagong Hill Tracts in 1959.
The university also conferred degrees on 17,875 graduate students while 61 students were conferred Phd degree and 43 students M Phil degrees. Besides, 80 students got gold medals for their outstanding academic performances.