Students, Politics, and Higher Education in a Developing Area: The Case of Bombay, India

Altbach, Philip G.

     In addition to providing a factual account of student organizational activity in Bombay, this study seeks to identify the relevant factors which have helped to determine student organizational activity as well as other aspects of student life related to politics. . . . The purpose of the study is to present in an analytical framework the progress of student politics and organizations over a period of time and to relate the changing organizational structure of the student movement to factors in the educational system and in society.
     This study has two major foci. Its first task is to describe accurately and in detail student activity and aspects of student life and of the society which may have a bearing on student organizations and movements. . . . The emphasis [is] on those organizations and endeavors which have implications for student political involvement, educational attitudes and goals, and social change. The much discussed phenomenon of 'student indiscipline' [is] considered in its organized manifestation, as [are] the more permanent student political, social and cultural groups.
     While describing the student groups and movements which have been important during the past half century, the . . . study [considers] educational and political conditions which have directly impinged on the activities and attitudes of the students. A mere description of student organizations without respect to their environment would not help to explain the phenomenon of student activity and the differences in such activity over a period of time. By placing student organizations in their contexts, it [is] possible not only to explain better the background and causes of student activity, but also to understand more adequately higher education and politics in Bombay.

C. Arnold Anderson, Charles E. Bidwell, Philip Foster