Published: 24th April 2021
TNIE Let's Debate: Should students be allowed to protest for just causes?
While some of the debaters spoke about why protesting can help students grow, others said it may be detrimental to their education
Students from across the country were debating on the topic 'Students should have the right to protest for just causes when in school' at The New Indian Express' virtual inter-school debate
The largest inter-school virtual debate competition in India, it was held in association with Hindustan Institute of Technology and Science, MEIL and Linc Pens. The judges for the debate were Adarsh Basavaraj, Life Coach and Diana Sahu, Principal Correspondent and Chief Sub-Editor, TNIE.
Speaking against the motion, Vrishab Anurag V, a Class IX student of PSBB Senior Secondary School, Chennai said, "For education to be effective, it has to be continuous, rigorous and uninterrupted. Any sort of protest including those for social causes interferes with regular classes. Take the movement against climate change. Students around the world took part in it. It sure needs awareness, but there was so much disruption in the students' education. The safety of students is paramount. Most often these protests turn out to be violent and students get so riled up that they end up destroying government property. Failed protests can also affect their mental health."
Sweety Jain, a Class IX student of Mrs Mariadas School, Vishakapatnam rebutted saying, "Protesting doesn't affect education. In fact it helps students grow because when they're out there, they learn more about the world."
Ajay Bhat, a Class VIII student of Sarvodaya National Public School argued for the motion saying, "The right to protest peacefully is enshrined in the constitution of India and children are an integral part of a democracy. Not allowing them to protest is subduing their voice, which is against the tenets of democracy. New thoughts and new ideas must be encouraged. Today's students are tomorrow's leaders. We must allow a child to express his ideas, likes and dislikes. If the proposal is good, then accepting it might boost the child's confidence. If the proposal is not good, then he or she should be convinced and shown a better option. Allowing a child to protest might also help one's overall development. It inculcates lateral thinking and promotes innovation. It allows the child to accept what is right and raise voice against what's wrong."
The winners were Vrishab Anurag, Class IX, PSBB Senior Secondary School, Chennai for making the Finest Point, Arush Sharma, Class IX, Sai International School for Counter Strike and Hitansh Bhutani, Class VIII, for winning the Lighter Side award.