Saturday, 8 September 2012

SFI Pamphlet dated 8 September 2012

The JNU Students’ Movement in the Wake of the Lyngdoh clampdown

The developments since 2007 have had far-reaching implications for the JNU students’ movement. These were not confined to the clampdown on student union elections. In terms of the balance of political forces, these developments have served to change the debate in favour of the administration, exemplified by the sheer volume of anti-student moves on its part during the last five years. While the SFI was championing the fight outside the campus for the restoration of the JNUSU, the AISA, which was leading the JNUSU since 2007 (after getting its term extended following the banning of elections) was literally on an alliance with the administration and trampling upon hard-won students’ rights all through, whether it be in the case of seat cuts in 2008, allowing a slew of measures to be brought in place to restrict students’ access to public spaces, or be it in swallowing the administration’s version on the current hostel crisis in JNU. What has been in existence in the name of a left students’ organisation leading the Union in this campus was a fashionable, pro-administration student body oblivious of the rights of students. The AISA-led JNUSU was more than satisfied with its status as the loyal retainer of the administration while the protracted battle for the restoration of the JNUSU elections was being fought by many progressive-minded students, led by the SFI. The AISA’s continuance of its political legacy of championing the ruling class politics of attacking the organised Left complemented its role as the administration’s loyal retainer.

Formation of the bourgeois factional outfit “SFI-JNU”

The impact of the ruling class attack on the organised Left led by the AISA was such that it managed to engineer a split in the erstwhile leadership of the SFI in JNU. A handful among the leadership resorted to tail AISA’s ruling class politics, claiming that “the developments since 2007 have made the SFI vulnerable to attacks of “double-speak” by the ultra Left” (pamphlet dated 5.07.2012). Enthused by the resignation of Prasenjit Bose, who was their in-charge from the CPI(M), they pushed for a wrong and divisive political line at a thinly attended GBM over a non-issue. The erstwhile leadership even attributed the electoral defeats of the SFI since 2007 in the campus to the SFI’s organic link with the larger left and democratic movement in the country. This inevitably necessitated the intervention of the higher leadership, which put an end to the prevailing disorder, after which a handful among the erstwhile leadership floated the bourgeois factional outfit called “SFI-JNU”.
The tactics of this outfit in the immediate to ensure their survival in the campus is twofold - free riding and building on the political legacy of the SFI in the campus, and remaining subservient to the ruling class agenda of attacking the organised Left. Questions from many students regarding the political identity of “”SFI-JNU” were addressed by its leaders by suggesting a mythical course of action, claiming that the decision regarding organisational affiliation would be taken at a later date suited to their electoral opportunism. As we predicted earlier, this tactic of confusing genuine SFI sympathisers combined with efforts to corner a share in the pie of the anti-SFI, anti-organised Left polarisation (which includes the right-wing) of which the AISA has been a virtual beneficiary all through, is already in operation during the ongoing campaign for the JNUSU elections. The “SFI-JNU” resolution of 4 August had, in the meanwhile, clearly established the idea of openly floating a new outfit by November this year.
The recent days have witnessed “SFI-JNU’s” tailing of AISA reaching new lows – they have been flaunting a “certificate” from Dipankar Bhattacharya, the CPI(ML) Liberation General Secretary, regarding their radicalism (he had apparently “welcomed” “SFI-JNU’s” “radical political dissent”)!! Their current lament is that the AISA in this campus has refused to ratify this certificate. The political and ideological degeneration of this outfit has gone so far that the latest “certificate” that its leaders are flaunting is from Aditya Nigam!! It needs to be remembered that this is the same Aditya Nigam who said, in a “footnote” to his “certificate” (, “The Indian Left is of course determined to go the way of the Communist Parties the world over (sic.). May they succeed in their mission as quickly as possible, so that with the space cleared of that rubbish, a new kind of left thinking can emerge – something that is urgently required today.” In other words, the Left in India should decimate itself, and championing the politics of class struggle should be put on hold – it is enough to continue “thinking”!

AISF’s Opportunism

The unholy alliance between the above-mentioned section of the erstwhile SFI leadership and the AISF has been quite evident from early on – the AISF in JNU had condemned the dissolution of the JNU unit of SFI as “undemocratic”, even as the SFI Unit Organising Committee repeatedly pointed out that this amounted to an encroachment upon the organisational matters of a fraternal organisation. In the run up to the JNUSU elections, the AISF walked out of the alliance, in the pretext of its dismay over Com. Sitaram Yechury’s (accurate) remarks over the role of the CPI and the AISF in the campus during the Emergency. The role and positions of the CPI during the Emergency have been clearly explained in their own documents. Five days after the Emergency was declared on 25 June 1975, the Central Executive Committee of the CPI met and passed a resolution which said “Bearing all these facts in mind, the central executive committee is of the firm opinion that the swift and stern measures taken by the prime minister and the government of India against the right-reactionary and counterrevolutionary forces were necessary and justified. Any weakness displayed at this critical moment would have been fatal. Any waiting for the campaign of anarchy to unfold further would have been disastrous. A preemptive blow had to be struck against these antinational and antidemocratic forces.” (“National Emergency and Our Tasks”, Resolution adopted by the Central Executive Committee, Communist Party of India, New Delhi, 30 June to 2 July 1975) One year later, the CPI said, without an ounce of regret in its stand, “The overall situation is such that the task of building up unity of all patriotic and progressive parties and forces, especially the Congress and the CPI, has acquired even greater urgency.” (Resolution adopted by the National Council of the Communist Party of India, Hyderabad, 4-8 Aug 1976) It was only in the CPI’s 11th Congress held at Bhatinda in 1978 that it finally accepted that its support to the Emergency was a mistake.

The SFI does not intend to take this shameful episode in the past of the CPI-AISF or AISF’s current opportunism which harks backs to that ignominious legacy for granted. Nor is it willing to remain unaccountable to the valiant martyrdom of Com. Mohammed Musthafa of SFI, who was tortured to death on 18 August 1976 by the police in Kerala, where the CPI, in alliance with the Congress, was in power. We hope that the above-mentioned facts would open the eyes of the AISF activists in the campus, even though their leadership has opted to willy-nilly tail their new-found partner’s love for an “autonomous left movement” within the campus.

Subin Dennis, Rajeev Kumar, Umesh O
Co-Convenors, Central Campaign Committee, SFI

Down  with  Liquidationism!
Down  with  NGO  Politics masquerading  as  the Left !!


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