It is said that the real strength of a nation depends not so much on its natural resources or on its uniformed men or on its military capabilities but rather on its students. They constitute the backbone of a nation as well as the pillar on which the national edifice is built. They are the real wealth of a nation. Students play a vital role in the society. They are the guardians of freedom, justice, equality, ethics and social equilibrium. They have tremendous responsibility to see that injustice, inequality, oppression; exploitation, corruption, misuse of public money etc. re done away with. Communalism, religious strife, regionalism, militancy, criminalisation of politics, indiscipline in society etc. which characterise the Indian horizon and throttle our national progress, can be rooted out by the students of our country, by their various peaceful movements. They are such a force that the political parties, national leaders and the administrative set-up ‘bend their knees’ before their might. Therefore, students can do wonders in removing the various bottlenecks that retard and strangle our society, economy, and the nation.
Students can also play a significant role in helping out the less fortunate members of the society by fighting against racial discrimination, social inequality and economic disparity so prevalent in the Indian society. They can render valuable services by extending their helping hands in promoting mass literacy programmes, public awareness schemes, forestation projects, and by undertaking social work for the upliftment of poor and the economically backward people of the society.
Social work and community service must, therefore, become part and parcel of present- day education. Students can also render valuable services to the nation at the time of natural calamities such as, earthquakes, floods, drought, and accidents. Students ought to take leadership in organising quick rescue work during these national emergencies. In fact, in many places in India during such occasions students have been the first ones to reach and start rescue work.
Students organisations such as, N. C. C and Scout troops have rendered commendable and praiseworthy services to the nation at times of national need. Today, one of the greatest tragedies of our nation is the decline in patriotism and national feelings. The spirit of separatism, regionalism, militancy, and terrorism thriving in some parts of the country is destroying the very fabric of our nation. National integration and national unity is the need of the hour.
In this context the students can play a significant role in promoting nationalism, national fervour, and a feeling of common brotherhood. However, the recent trends seen in students movements such as, frequent student unrest often leading to wanton destruction of public property, politicalisation of educational institutions, becoming mere propaganda agents of political leaders, getting involved in religious tussle and causing terrible public hardships by calling hartals, bandhs, strikes, picketing, etc. too frequently, have had serious negative consequences. Thus, there is no doubt to the fact that, the future of any nation depends upon their students. They are the hope of tomorrow and the beacon of future for a nation. They have the great potential to make or break a nation. That is why every nation gives a lot of importance to students and their proper development. Students constitute the greatest asset of a nation.