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Monday, July 21, 2008

Campus conflict

Campus conflict
Dhaka University, established in 1921, is recognized as the centre of national hope and aspiration. Students of the university are the factor on which the aspiration depends as an institution; Dhaka University faces a lot of problematic issues that disturb the standard of education and research. Moreover, these problems act as the dynamics to disturb the proper environment of education. Conflicts among the students of Dhaka University can be considered as one of the greatest problems. At the same time it can also be viewed positively. Still the students of Dhaka University protest the decisions of government which are taken against national interests. They are the pioneer of raising hands against every type of exploitation, corruption and weak governance. Such types of conflicts result in positive outcomes. Despite the presence of positive conflicts still negative forms of conflicts are available in the campus. We should analyze the real nature of unnecessary and harmful conflicts and contribute to remove it from the holy campus.

Defining conflict.

Conflicts of historical significance:

01. Anti- British movement.
02. language movement of 1952
03. 21 points movements.
04. Movement against Agartala Conspiracy Case.
05. Movement of 1990.
06. Conflict between student and army in August 2007.

Conflicts in the students of Dhaka University:
The first question is about the existence of conflict. Can we find any conflict in DU students or not? The answer must be yes.
The first logic behind such answer is the conception of inevitability of conflict. It is known to us that where there is the existence of human being there is the presence of conflict. So it can easily be said that conflict is available in di students like any other part of society. The second logic is the continuing concrete proofs of conflicts. It’s our everyday experience that different groups of students are involved in different types of conflicts which sometimes result in violence. The third logic is goal incompatibility. When a situation of goal incompatibility arises, we define it as conflict. Scarcity of material goods such as classroom, seminar room, computer lab, seat in halls and positional goods such as the first position in class, prestigious posts of different organizations is available. Such scarcity make goal incompatibility and consequently the conflict take place.

Classified discussion on conflict:
Some prominent researchers present different formal classifications to generalize the diversity of conflicts in different stages of society. But in this paper I will introduce a realistic classification to catch the nature of conflicts in DU students easily. This is because I’m thinking about the conflicts of a specific part of our society. I like to see the conflicts mainly of three kinds.
01. Political conflicts.
02. Non-political conflicts.
03. Psychological conflicts.

Political conflict
Ideological conflicts
Conflict for material interests
Conflict for positional interests
Other political conflicts
Conflicts for posts
Political conflict in academic activities
Political organization vs. government
Inter party conflict
Internal conflict
Capturing hall
Conflicts for seat
Tender related conflicts
Political organization vs. administration
Continuing violent reaction as prestige issue

Non-political conflict
Love based conflict
Regional organizations
Civil students vs. administration
Co-curriculum organization
Psychological conflict

Political conflicts:
Theoretically conflict is generally viewed as a political concept. Practically politics is seen as the most powerful catalyst of conflict. Politics is a very familiar feature of campuses in Bangladesh. Dhaka University is also not different. Most of the conflicts in the students of Dhaka University are generated and driven by political issues. Actors in such conflicts are political groups or persons. Political conflicts of DU students can be classified under four kinds.
01. Ideological conflicts.
02. Conflicts based on material interests.
03. Conflicts based on positional interests.
04. Other political conflicts.





BSL, internal conflict
JCD, internal conflict



BSL, internal conflict
JCD, internal conflict

JCD, internal conflict


JCD, internal conflict




Ideological conflicts:
It’s a positive form of conflicts in democratic political culture. Different political parties follow different ideologies. The parties have their student wings. They act to expand their ideologies and attract the students. Thus the same students are targeted to be recruited by all of the parties. They present their ideologies before the same students. Thus the ideological conflict arises. It was seen in student union elections. But DUCSU election has not been being held for a long period of time. Now, ideological conflicts can be found in the speeches of student leaders. They criticize confronting ideologies and present their own ideological logics in their speeches in different meetings. Some parties carry on study circle which is a great example of ideological confrontation. Another weapon is cultural functions. Different parties have their cultural wings. They introduce their ideologies in cultural presentation. It’s also an ideological conflict.
Conflict for material interests:
Conflict is concerned with interest. Interest may be material goods or positional goods. Now-a-days material interest is considered as more powerful force of driving conflict. Campus conflicts are also the same in nature. We can view such conflicts under following points.

Capturing hall:
Hall is not an institution to be captured by any political group. In Dhaka University, hall is an inevitable part of academic system. But we see an unexpected reality where political groups try to dominate hall administration and students. This is because political leaders expect some materialistic benefits in hall. For example they enjoy residential facilities without maintaining legal procedure. They also enjoy some other illegal facilities like eating without payment in hall canteen etc. for such facilities student wings of different political parties are involved in conflict. Because more than one groups can not dominate the same hall at the same time.

Conflict for seat:
It’s the duty of hall administration to allot seats for the students through a recognized system. But seat is now a great issue of politics. To get a seat, students have to go to political leaders. They have to be used according to the will of the leaders. Sometimes political leaders decide who can reside in which seat. They use force for this. Even they decorate some rooms in their own way. Students of opposite political ideologies are not allowed in such rooms. It’s a great issue of conflict in hall.

Tender related conflicts:
University administration often invites tender for various activities of construction, canteen management, development activities etc. corruption is still available in tender issuing system, political leaders influence university administration by force or power to issue the tender according to their choice. Illegal money transaction is held between those leaders and the person or corporation that received the tender. Political parties of students are often divided for such large amount corruption. Even leaders of the same party confront each other. They forget their ideological unanimity for economic benefit.

Conflicts for positional interests:
There are some conflicts where materialistic interest is absent but conflict is carried on by positional interest. As scarcity is the common feature of both material goods and positional goods, often the situation of incompatibility is created. Some conflicts based on positional interests are given below.

Conflicts for posts in party:
Changing leadership is a common characteristic of student organizations. But it is impossible to satisfy all by the existing posts. Moreover, sometimes two or more applicants stand for the same post. In this context, most of the conflicts are concerned with the vital posts like president, general secretary, organizing secretary etc. sometimes the same student organization is seen to be divided under different sub groups behind two or more applicants. They move separately in campus, make show down in different programmes of party. Tension increases as the time of election or selection come nearer. Often the supporters of different applicants generate conflicts in hall or campus. Such conflicts do not end after finalizing the full committee. Loser persons contain internal grievances that act for generating conflicts between different groups within the same party.

Continuing violent reaction as prestige issue:
Misbehavior, altercation, using slang words and such other little incidents often take place in political groups. Frequent reaction of such little incidents may result in large conflicts. So, reaction should not be continued but it is done for protecting prestige. Different students have been declared disqualified for residing in hall because of such incidents. Despite the fact, students sometimes forget everything as they think of the issues concerned with their prestige.

Influencing non-political organizations:
Leaders of political organizations often tend to influence non political organizations. This tendency leads those organizations to bad political culture. Students, who try to be president or general secretary of such an organization sometimes, ask for political support. They use their political groups to oppose their competent. Thus the political conflicts spread in non-political organizations. Political leaders consider it with greater importance that the vital posts of other organizations should be handled by the students of their own political side.

Other political conflicts:
There are other political conflicts which can be discussed under previous three kinds but they have enough importance for separate discussion. Some of these conflicts are given below.

Conflicts between political organization and administration:
Poor administration is a great problem of Dhaka University. In different issues administrative body can hardly think of the interests of students, even the interests of the university. So, political organizations have to move against anti-student decisions of administration. For instance, a lot of movement has been being held to reduce admission fee and other costs of study. A recent example is the movement against the agreement
between grameen phone and the university on TSC. There is a black side of student vs. administration conflict. Sometimes leaders make the students excited in particular issues and force the administration to fulfill their hidden demands, even to distribute corrupted money.
Conflicts between political organizations and government:
As a democratic country, Bangladesh is ruled by party government. Opposition parties and their student wings observe the government activities and criticize. If any activity of government seems to be against the greater interest of people and national sovereignty, student organizations come to street and raise hands against the particular activity. Sometimes government try to suppress those organizations and thus the student organizations are driven in conflict with government. Conflict of this category has a magnificent history ib Bangladesh during the period of internal colonialism of Pakistan. For instance, language movement, students participation in mass upheaval of 1969, 21 points movement etc. in Bangladesh period, student organization vs. government conflict has been seen a common feature in campus even out of campus. Contemporary issues of such movement are against this government.

Inter party conflicts:
Sometimes open conflict between two parties is occurred in different spots of campus and in halls. Attack and counter attack are taken place. Illegal fire arms are also used sometimes. Some instances exist about triangle conflicts among three parties. Many political and non-political students are injured in such type of conflict. Inter party conflict may be generated from different reasons. Some of them are as follows.

1. Confrontation of procession
2. Side by side meeting
3. Trying to capture hall
4. Showing power
5. Direct attack
Such conflict has a great impact over the national arena. Inter party conflict in Dhaka University raise tension between parties in other campuses.
Internal conflict within the same party:
Political parties of Bangladesh have their own history of splintery groups. Sometimes the student organizations are also divided in two or more groups. Different groups act behind different leaders. Such split is occurred for different reasons. Some of them are as follows
1. competition for leadership
2. Regional ism.
3. dividing in opinion on important issue
4. conspiracy from outer side
5. Fraud of some leaders.
Split of a party may be occurred but unexpected and violent conflicts between divided groups often spoil the environment of campus. A recent instance of such conflict is reformist vs. anti reformist conflict in student wings of mainstream political parties.
Political conflict in academic activities:
This is shame for us that some of our teachers have mixed their political views in academic activities. This type of conflict is mainly related to
1. result and
2. appointment of teacher
Political recognition of a student is considered by the teachers in giving number. Sometimes qualified students are not given first position because of their political position. This make them frustrated and frustration lead people to psychological conflict.
Another conflict is seen in appointing teacher. We, the students of Dhaka University, know that academic result and teaching quality are not enough but political lobby is the most important precondition to e a teacher. It’s the reality which acts to generate another type of psychological conflict.
Non-political conflict:
In Dhaka University campus, conflict is considered as a political phenomenon. But there exist some non-political reasons and occurrences of conflict.
It can’t be denied that non-political conflicts re also sometimes related to politics.
Psychological conflicts:
Psychological conflicts in the students of Dhaka University demands a large discussion. It has different forms. A familiar theory of psychological conflict reveals the difference between expected achievement and actual achievement. To study in Dhaka University is a unique dream of brilliant students of Bangladesh. To be a student of this University a student has to compete with thousands of students. Consequently every student has a great expectation from the University. But the University does not serve the facilities enough for education even a healthy environment for education. Students lead troublesome life in halls. Halls can not allot enough seats for those students who apply. Canteen, mess, library, internet access & lab facilities are so poor that students are often frustrated. Consequently psychological conflict arises.
In Bangladesh, it’s very common that brilliant students stay away from student politics. This is because; political organizations and their student leaders never encourage study rather they make the junior students busy with a lot of irrational activities. But students have to go to them and spend day to day in procession, meeting, and guest room only for seat. They become introduced with violent and aggressive thoughts and attitudes which is very much incompatible to their values. Despite this incompatibility they have to carry on surviving in hall and campus. This is a great psychological dilemma which can be defined as an important form of psychological conflict.
Commercial or job oriented thinking is increasing day by day in students. Students of some traditional subjects are anxious of their future life. Unemployment problem of Bangladesh act as a fuel for such thought of frustration. This generates another type of psychological conflict.
Equal treatment is very much important factor in academic arena. But a great proportion of teachers of Dhaka University don’t treat all the students equally. Their jaundiced eye considers student’s political position, regional origin even gender recognition. If any student suffers from such unequal treatment he/she can easily be frustrated. A great proportion of Dhaka University students come from middle and lower middle class family and most of them are from village. There are a lot of students who can not get financial support from their family. They have to earn their own academic and all other costs. They have to spend a lot of time in tuition or coaching centre or part time job. This harms the study of those students and they experience how poverty obstructs the bright outcome of their brilliance. This is another type of psychological conflict.

Love based conflict:
A significant conflict is concerned with loving affairs between girls and boys. This is very common in the culture of Dhaka University campus. This acts to generate various types of psychological and physical conflict in concerned students.
Some important factors of this conflict are as follows
1. Triangle love
2. Miss understanding
3. Suspicion
4. Polygamous love
5. Changing love
6. Indecision about marriage
7. Failure of cell phone love
8. Family vs. affair tension
All these factors act to generate conflict in individual mind or mutual relation and sometimes lead to physical conflicts. Individual student can be led to psychological disorder. Students should be very much realistic in these issues. The most dangerous result of such conflict is suicide.
Recently, suicide in Dhaka University students has increased. It is a great concern for us. In this context, at first I’d like to discuss about the question whether suicide is conflict or not. This question arises because conflict needs two parties but suicide indicates to one party. I like to define suicide as conflict because it is the outcome of psychological conflict. Secondly, desire of committing suicide is originated in depression or frustration which is related to another party. Thus suicide fulfills the requirement of two parties to be defined as conflict.
Suicide has become a concerning issue in DU students. This tendency is much higher in girls. Psychological depression and frustration make a man mentally prepared for suicide. Such frustration may be generated by different reason. Analyzing previous cases of suicide by DU students we find following reasons.
1. Love betray
2. failure of cell phone love
3. mental depression
4. Family disorder
10 students have committed suicide in east 5 years. Recently the suicide and attempt to suicide has increased up to the alarming mark. Extra consultants have bean appointed in girls’ halls. Different organizations have held a few seminars on the topic of suicide.
Hall/ dept.

ChhandaRani Sarkar
Rokeya Hall
25 June
Johra Kham progga
Rokeya Hall
Fine Arts

Robiul Islam
Mujib Hall

Samsunnahar Hall
Humayun Kobir
Surjasen Hall
Khadija Aktar
Rokeya Hall
27 July
Samsunnahar Hall
20 Oct
Silpy Rani
Rokeya Hall


Conflicts in non-political regional organizations:
A lot of region based organization carry on activities in Dhaka University campus, students of the same region become organized with a view to cooperate each other and work for social welfare of their region. It is seen that political leaders or industrialist persons try to use such organizations for their own interest. Thus conflict is generated in such type of regional organizations. Sometimes the organizations ate divided in parts. Conflict in such organizations is increased in a greater degree in time of selecting or electing a new committee. Political influence is a common feature of conflict in regional organizations.
Non-political students vs. administration:
Non-political students refer to those students who ate not active in political activities with parties. These students are treated as civil students. University administration even political parties have a general idea that civil students can’t generate any movement. But a few movements can be presented as the proof of civil students’ movement. Semester system was introduced in arts and social science faculty from 2006-2007 session. Education cost was increased with the implementation of new academic system. After completing the first semester Vice Chancellor increased semester admission fee by an order. Politics was banned at that time. Even law enforcing agencies used to allow mo procession or meeting. At that time civil students were organized moved against the decision, negotiates with VC and succeeded to reduce the amount of fee. So, it can be said that when political parties become unable to move for students’ interest, non-political students can take the responsibility. Given incident is an example of conflict between non-political students and administration which was resulted in negotiation.
Applying the theory of conflict management:
To manage the conflicts of Dhaka University students, following processes should be followed,
1. supplying valued goods
2. minimizing demands
3. institutionalization
4. negotiation

Supplying valued goods:
There are some scarcities which can be avoided by supplying according to demands of students. University authority should find out the artificial scarcities and ensure enough supply. This will help to manage related conflicts.

Minimizing demands:
This is based upon influencing demand rather than managing supply. Underlying value structure of campus should be affected to make individuals or groups prepared to minimize their demands. This is important to deal with the conflicts for the posts of leadership.

Like state the University has political and academic institutions for managing conflict. But unfortunately, DUCSU and hall student Unions have been inactive for a ling period of time. Institutions should be strengthened so that the conflict can be managed.

In Dhaka University campus, it is fact that negotiation is very difficult in political conflicts. But a lot of non-political conflicts were managed through this process. If political or civil students move against any decision of authority, they should sit for negotiation. It’s helpful to realize the speech of other party and to take a decision acceptable to all.

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