Last week’s clash between Cotton College boarders and drivers of Uber and Ola taxis is unseemly and should never have happened. Had this been the first such clash with outside groups, one might have looked for different solutions. But according to reports, there have been several recent incidents where Cotton College boarders have been involved in conflicts with outside elements. One of the reasons is that some Cotton College hostels like the Mahendra th Deka Phukan Hostel, very close to the Guwahati railway station, have no protective walls that can prevent students from going to the railway station for a late-night cup of tea or coffee or something stronger. The funding of college education in India is very different from what it is in most western countries, where college students work for their scholarships and earn them with considerable difficulty. The normal practice is for parents to fince the education of their children only up to the higher secondary level. Beyond that, those who decide to go for higher studies have to secure scholarships or loans for higher studies on their own. Those who decide to termite their studies at this point look for jobs or seek altertive vocatiol options. The pattern is normally very different in India. In India, parents generally support their children fincially as far as they want to pursue their education. This is one reason why college students in India need to be more accountable to their parents and to avoid activities that go counter to their studies. There is every reason why they should stay out of avoidable conflicts with the outside world. The animosity of several Cotton College students with Uber and Ola taxi operators and their friendly relations with auto-rickshaw operators is significant. Many of these students who damaged several taxis but have not been charged for their crimes have a cordial relationship with autorickshaw operators who do not use their meters. On the other hand, the Uber and Ola taxi operators run on their meters. There is room for legitimate speculation that a section of society that has had the benefit of education is on the side of transport operators who operate illegally without meters. This is certainly unfortute.
Unseemly for Cottonians