Life is too short for acquiring knowledge. Student life is mainly meant for studies. A student who devotes his full energy and time to his studies is a good son of his motherland. India needs mentally alert and able young men and women. It is the duty of students to acquire as much knowledge as they can during their student life.
A nation of undisciplined citizens can never make any progress. Such a nation is always in danger of extinction. Indiscipline is a serious drawback of our national life. Not only students but also mature citizens, responsible leaders and honorable legislators, often behave in an undisciplined way.
This shows that they did not get proper training in early life. Naturally, it becomes the most important duty of students to be fully disciplined. They should be disciplined in every thought and action. No one can become disciplined. It is essential in their life outside schools and colleges. The damaging of public property, burning of buses etc., are all signs of indiscipline. They are anit-national activities. Students must not indulge in them.
During the national struggle for freedom, students were asked to take active part in the struggle. But in free India students must devote all their time to their studies. However, political parties use them to gain their own ends. In Gujarat, in Punjab, in Assam, in Bihar, and in other parts of the country, students were used as tools. They took part in agitations against price-rise, unemployment, or for the dissolution of some Legislative Assembly or the other at the cost of their studies.
Students must safeguard themselves against their involvement in politics. It simply means wastage of time and energy. Only mature minds can be successful in politics. the first duty of students is to carry on their studies. They should avoid politics.
A nation does not live by its big factories, dams or buildings. It can live only by the character of its people. During three hundred years of foreign rule, our moral character was shaken. Students are yet in the process of training. It is their sacred duty to build up their character.
They must learn from the very beginning the lesson of self-help, self-reliance and self-sacrifice. These are the essential qualities of character which they must acquire. They should learn to co-operate with each other in their class-rooms, on playgrounds and in other activities of college life. For them no duty is of greater importance than the development of character.
Today communalism threatens to break the country into pieces. Religion is being used to secure votes. This must not be done. It is the duty of students to see that religion is declined from politics. Religion must not be misused for political purposes. Further, students must shun violence. Violence leads to terrorism. Every effort must be made to do away with it. Students as citizens of India must play an active part in putting down such evils. Students should participate in the political life of the country, but not at the cost of their studies.
No doubt, the voting age has now been lowered to 18 years, but this does not mean that they should neglect their studies. Seasoned and experienced leaders are there to shape the destiny of the nation. Students will be required to take their place when they retire. They are the future builders of the nation. Their duty in the present is to prepare for the future. They should be well equipped morally, emotionally, mentally and physically. In this way alone would they do discharging their duty to their motherland.