Study! Don’t do politics! Nonsense!!

“Why are they getting into politics? If they are interested in politics, they can leave studies and join politics. Simple. Join your favourite party,” Mr Naidu said, also pointing out that Kanhaiya Kumar’s “favourite party is not even in single digit in Parliament.”

Thus, Venkaiah Naidu. Again, a common trope these days: These students should be studying, why are they getting into politics, what nonsense is this?

If someone in authority had said this four decades ago — *says he on a wistful note* — we would never have had to endure a Venkaiah Naidu. From his wiki entry:

Having been associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh from his childhood, he started his career in politics as a student leader of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad in the year 1973–74 after being elected as the president of the students union of Andhra University Colleges. He came into spotlight for his prominent role in the Jai Andhra Movement of 1972. While Kakani Venkataratnam led the movement from Vijayawada, Venkaiah Naidu took active part in the agitation in Nellore, until it was called off a year later.

In 1974, he became the convener of the anti corruption Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan Kshatra Sangharsha Samiti of Andhra Pradesh. He took to streets in protest against the emergency and was imprisoned. From 1977–80, he was President of the Youth Wing.

Those who are now busily peddling this whole students should study, they have no business ‘doing politics’ thing, a little thought experiment: Make a list of your personal favorites among today’s political leaders (start with Narendra Modi if you like) and see what they were doing when they were students.

(Admittedly, a majority of today’s politicians are actually a good advertisement for the theory that students shouldn’t get into politics — but let’s not go there now).