14
Professional, Scientific, and Intellectual
Students in India

METTA SPENCER

Studies of the political orientations of students in the universities of several different countries have shown a rather consistent pattern of political allegiance, participation and information when one compares students in different majors or faculties. In general the leftist students (who are often more politically active and better informed than are the conservative students) are found in the humanities and social sciences. The evidence has been summarized by Seymour Martin Lipset, who comments on the Indian universities that commerce is the major studied by the most conservative partisans, while students of "sociology, economics and anthropology" incline more toward the left. Science students are in between. 1 Evidence from the National University of Colombia shows the faculties of Law and Economics leading "education, psychology and sociology," who in turn lead the natural sciences in radicalism. 2 One minor departure from the pattern of highly active social sciences was reported in a study of three faculties in the University of Buenos Aires, where Silvert and Bonilla show that students in the exact sciences and even medicine are more active in politics than the economics students, in that they more often participated in street rallies or party meetings. However, the most radical faculty in Buenos Aires is letters and philosophy, which includes social science departments. 3 In Mexico, also, the economics faculty of the National University is by far the most leftist, with law second. The responses of commerce, engineering, and medical students are much more conservative. 4

Data from universities in Teheran, Pakistan and the United States show greater leftism among humanities and social science students than among

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