As if the clashes between security forces and Maoist rebels were not enough, the indefinite education called by a Maoist student wing in 12 mid-western districts of Nepal has affected 400,000 students.
Pre-SLC exams are also affected. The strike is called by All Nepal National Free Students Union (Revolutionary) who have demanded the release of their leaders who, they claim, were abducted by the security forces.
Helpless in this tug of war between the rebels and the government, many
students have already left for the tarai and other urban areas. Guardians and parents who have not been able to send their children to safer areas are concerned about their educational future. Caught between gun-totting rebels and the helplessness of the security forces, students and their parents have every reason to feel hopeless about the future. What worsens their fear is the kind of bombing that took place in the district education office in Banke last Sunday. Other Maoist-declared protest programs like hoisting black flags in educational institutions, conducting 'people's action', closing
schools, organising shutdown strikes in transport and industrial sectors are yet to come.
People in the mid-western region these days are sure only about their insecurity: "Only god knows what will happen next," they say. As a result of a flare-up in the violence, schools in Surkhet district have already closed. The shutdown strike in educational institutions may serve the interests of the organisers but they are grossly indifferent to the future of the students. When strikes affect thousands of students, the organisers not only fail to attain their goals but they will lose what support they had.
This is not the first time students are being used for the vested interests of a political party. In the past, almost all parties resorted to this mean to meet their objectives. They must stop this selfishness. They must understand that meddling with students' present means snatching away their future. This also robs the nation of its future.
These are the same parties that never tire of raising slogans about nationalism and the people's welfare. When it comes to action, they do just the opposite. This hypocrisy must end.