THE suggestion by the head of the National Youth Commission (whose name I couldn’t even remember while I am sipping my coffee now) to kick out state scholars from the program for going against government policies is reflective of the kind of primitive mindset prevailing in governance nowadays. I was a student activist during the rule of then dictator Ferdinand Marcos and not even the dictator could countenance what this young sipsip hatched. The dictator, at least was an intellectual, a genius even. This youth leader is... never mind.
To think Marcos had to put up with the best that Filipino youth activism could offer. Remember the “Diliman Commune”? The clash between state forces and the students then turned violent at times. Of course, student activists would later get the brunt of the fascist attacks after military rule was declared on Sept. 21, 1972. But at least Marcos was wise enough to declare martial law first before raising the level of the harshness of his attacks a million times.
I consider the fascist mindset primitive because reason is not its best suit. It knows only the language of force. When a problem crops up, the first thing that comes to mind for those with that world view is to intimidate, harass and even kill. That a supposed youth leader is suggesting a shakedown for activists who are famously known as the “Iskolar ng Bayan” shows how far the fascist mindset has seeped down this country’s bureaucracy.
And in fairness to diehard Duterte supporters, not even the President suggested that path in dealing with student activism, among whose best practitioners are from state universities and colleges. That is why I agree with Sen. Francis Escudero’s response to that sipsip NYC leader’s suggestion: his utter lack of understanding of the pertinent provisions of the Constitution (to that I might add a lack of respect for basic freedoms) should prod him to resign from his post.
What the sipsip youth leader obviously wants is to purge state colleges and universities of the activist mindset that is a necessary component of leadership. He wants to transform students in state colleges and universities into sipsips of which he is the greatest practitioner. He wants colleges and universities to be like the current version of the House of Representatives that is being led by a discredited former president.
The truth is many of the best products of, say, the University of the Philippines, and who eventually became among this country’s greatest public servants, were forged in the fire of student activism. Conversely, those who became tyrannical as leaders weren’t. Critical or analytical thinking can’t be developed by “sipsipism.”
Sipsips, obviously don’t have a mind of their own. They wait for every statement or act of their boss then nod their heads and even sing songs of praise for that statement or act. The popular example: when their boss orders them to jump from a building, their response is always, “from what floor?”
Pathetic, isn’t it?/sunstar Cebu