Monday, 17 September 2012

SFI Release Dated 17 September 2012

SFI congratulates and thanks the Election Committee for the smooth conduct of the JNUSU Elections 2012-13. The EC members had taken up the tough task of organising the JNUSU Elections in a short span of time, and put in their best efforts to ensure the same in the face of many odds. We would also like to extend our greetings and thanks to the student community for having participated in this massive democratic exercise in large numbers.


SFI condemns the undemocratic, lumpen behaviour indulged in by ABVP activists during various stages of the election process. Although the RSS-sponsored ABVP unit in the campus had been lying low for many years in the recent past, we believe that the fight against this outfit is far from over. This fight will continue in the days to come until the Sangh presence here is rooted out in terms of politics and praxis.

We hope that the JNUSU will remain a progressive instrument of struggle for students’ rights and larger societal issues, and that it will adopt a non-sectarian approach in championing those concerns. SFI commits itself to stand with the JNUSU in all such struggles.

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

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

SFI Pamphlet Dated 11 September 2012


Down with the Degenerate Politics of "SFI-JNU"

Yesterday’s “SFI-JNU” pamphlet says, “The President and Joint Secretary candidates of the “official” SFI panel got admission into JNU this year after the “dissolution” of the SFI-JNU unit. They are contesting the elections within two months of joining JNU, without having made a single contribution to the JNU student movement.” These remarks were repeated by “SFI-JNU’s” candidate for the post of Joint Secretary in today’s UGBM. SFI strongly condemns these statements which insult the political maturity of the student community in JNU. The students who are contesting for the posts of President and Joint Secretary in the SFI panel had applied to Direct PhD in JNU well in advance in March, not after the dissolution of SFI’s JNU unit as “SFI-JNU” suggests. All the candidates in the SFI Central panel have been associated with SFI for a long time, and have played important roles in a number of struggles, including struggles for hostels, struggles for gender justice and agitations against the commercialisation of education. The students’ movement in JNU has historically championed a politics which links itself up with larger societal concerns, not just in terms of rhetoric, but concretely in terms of movements on the ground. Political debates, both during elections and at other times, have centred on the politics and agenda of various organisations and their commitment to the issues they take up. The history of the JNU students’ movement is replete with instances when student activists who have been active in movements elsewhere brought their valuable experience and enriched the students’ movement in our campus. The sad irony is that “SFI-JNU”, the opportunist organisation that has put forward apolitical, degenerate, right-wing arguments regarding other candidates still claims to belong to the Left!  Of course, nothing better can be expected from those who, in a most servile manner, abandoned SFI’s politics tailing their overlord, Prasenjit Bose. New students shall not contest elections, says their diktat. We shudder to think what would come next. That new students should not be allowed to vote?

For a JNUSU that will fight to ensure a student-friendly and hospitable campus environment

Resist encroachments on students’ access to public spaces: The tenure of the AISA-led JNUSUs of the recent past has seen the administration bringing in a plethora of measures to restrict students’ access to university spaces. Unnecessary restrictions have been imposed on using various places, including PSR and the academic complex itself. Clampdowns on students’ programmes such as freshers’ welcome functions have been increasing. Various restrictions on the entry and movement of students in various places, often amounting to moral policing, have been increasingly put into place. Some of the restrictions imposed by wardens in certain hostels are nothing short of draconian. New restrictions regarding taking out books from some sections of the library have reduced accessibility and increased costs for students who want to make use of books in those sections. Such encroachments on students’ rights and access to university spaces have to be effectively resisted and rolled back by the students’ movement in the days to come.

Better facilities for PH and VH students: In spite of the struggle led by differently abled students earlier in the year, the dog menace continues unabated. Urgent steps need to be taken to address this issue. The infrastructure in the Helen Keller unit should be improved, and more scanned books should be provided. Transport facilities for PH students should be provided in the campus.

Improve Transport Facilities: The frequency of the 615/621 buses must be increased, and it should be ensured that they run on time. A new timekeeper should be appointed for the purpose. Metro feeder services to Hauz Khaz metro station should be started. A University Bus service connecting the major libraries in Delhi should be started as used to be the case earlier.

Mitigate Water Scarcity: Measures must be taken to address the issue of water scarcity in various hostels. Rainwater harvesting facilities should be put in place in all buildings.

Protect and Nurture the Environment: The ecological fragility of the Delhi Ridge region, of which JNU is a part, must be taken into account while constructing new buildings, and the adverse impact on the environment has to be minimised.

Health Centre: The health centre should function 24x7. Another ambulance should be provided, and equipments for basic diagnostic tests like X-ray should be made available.
Sd/-
Subin Dennis, Rajeev Kumar, Umesh O
Co-Convenors, Central Campaign Committee, SFI

SFI Panel for JNUSU Elections

President - Kopal
Vice-President - Siddik R.
Joint Secretary - Samuel Philip Mathew

SSS
Viswanathan V
Najeeb V R

SIS
Santhosh J
Nitheesh Narayanan K V

SLL&CS
Ravi Kant

SAA
Akhila Vimal C

Sunday, 9 September 2012

SFI Pamphlet Dated 9 September 2012









Onwards to the JNUSU Elections 2012

The rule of the UPA-II government has seen the Indian State being reduced to nothing more than an instrument to facilitate primitive accumulation. While carrying out this basic function for the ruling classes is nothing new or surprising as far as a bourgeois-landlord state is concerned, what is unprecedented in the history of independent India is the brazen, naked fashion in which such accumulation has been taking place. From the 2G Scam, S-Band/Devas-Antrix scam, CWG Scam, the KG basin scam, Air India scam and the Airport land scam to the latest “Coal-gate” scam, the sheer number of corruption scandals that have hit the Indian firmament during this period is mind-boggling. The BJP, which is raising a hue and cry on many of these issues, had been responsible for a number of scams during NDA rule, from the ‘West End’ (Tehelka) exposé, UTI scam, Disinvestment scams (BALCO, Centaur Airport Hotel, Modern Foods) where precious public property was handed over to the private sector at throwaway prices, to the Telecom, Sugar and Stamp Paper scams, to give just a few examples. In the issue of the allocation of coal blocks itself, the BJP-led NDA government had sought to privatize coal allocation by bringing in legislation to that effect. As far as allowing private companies to loot coal reserves – a non-renewable natural resource which the State holds in public trust – is concerned, there is absolutely no difference between the BJP and the Congress. In short, the increasing loot of public resources is intrinsically linked to the paradigm of neoliberalism itself, whereby the changed form of state intervention allows the ruling classes to deliver illegitimate gains to themselves in a much easier fashion than earlier. The recent years from 2007 onwards have also seen an enormous increase in the prices of all goods (especially food items), which has led to a steep erosion in the living standards of the common people in the country. However, the assault by the ruling classes on the lives and livelihoods of the people has not gone unchallenged. From the struggle against Reliance’s Maha Mumbai SEZ and the struggle by the Maruti workers in Manesar to nurses’ struggles, unprecedented united actions by trade unions and agitations by students in various parts of the country against policies that seek to keep education out of the reach of the bulk of the young, tidal waves of popular struggles have begun to rise up to defend people’s lives and rights.

Viewed in this backdrop, the forthcoming JNUSU elections place before us the historic opportunity and responsibility to reiterate SFI’s commitment to defend and advance students’ rights and to carry forward the fight for an egalitarian social order free of the scourges of oppression in all forms.

Fight to re-establish the progressive character of our admissions policy
Our fight for a socially just, equitable admissions policy has been facing renewed attacks from the administration. Even the constitutionally mandated implementation of the SC/ST/OBC/PH reservations has undergone dilution during the past few years under the AISA-led JNUSU. The struggle for the reduction of the weightage of viva voce marks in entrance examination has to be fought till victory. The struggle against social discrimination in the viva voce, however, will not stop there. Valuable lessons can be drawn in this respect from JNU’s Old Admission Policy which was in place till 1983, according to which the SFCs played an important role in preventing discrimination by sitting through the viva voce. The Equal Opportunity Office (EOO) may coordinate with the SFCs in this regard to ensure the latter’s presence in the viva voce. The EOO was set up as a result of the agitation led by the SFI-led JNUSU in 1998-99, with the mandate to deal with the problems of those hailing from deprived sections. It needs to be strengthened with elected student representatives in order to effectively deal with cases relating to discrimination on the basis of caste, religion, race etc. More Madrasas need to be recognised for admissions to BA. With regard to admissions and further, steps need to be taken to sensitise teachers and students on the need to advance the rights of the students in a holistic manner. This fight does not stop with admissions, but needs to be carried forward to providing an adequate support system to students. The system of remedial classes for English, Mathematics etc and the system of Bridge courses (for students belonging to the respective centres, but hailing from other subject backgrounds)  must be revitalised by making them part of the regular time tables of the concerned centres, alongside routinely offered courses. Such classes should be held as much as possible in the respective Schools themselves so as to make them more accessible. The translation of basic reading materials into various languages should be arranged and they can form part of centre-level libraries. The EOO can play a crucial role in many of these. Measures must be taken to provide fellowships for first-generation learners to support their families back home, and the EOO must be sensitive and proactive to address individual and family calamities.

Build More Hostels! Beef up Infrastructure!! Appoint more teachers!!

The worsening accommodation crisis needs to be addressed on an immediate basis. More hostels have to be built to accommodate the increased number of students in the campus, and the administration has to be forced to commit to begin and complete the construction of new hostels in a time-bound manner. The JNUSU cannot casually remain satisfied with the promises of the administration – struggles which result in concrete written agreements need to be fought in this regard. It is time, once again, to learn from the legacy of the militant struggle led by the JNUSU in 1998-99 which forced the administration to build four new hostels. The construction of the various school annexure buildings must be completed in a time-bound manner. The Wi-Fi facility should be extended to hostels. The shortage of faculty must be addressed by recruiting more teachers. The contractualisation of non-teaching work needs to be arrested.

More Scholarships!!
The MCM scholarships were increased to Rs. 1500 in 2006 after a valiant struggle by the JNUSU, and have not been increased ever since. The AISA-led JNUSU failed to even raise the issue of increasing MCM at a time when the country has been facing sky-high inflation. The newly elected JNUSU must ensure that the MCM scholarships are increased and linked to inflation.
Implementation of Sachar and Ranganath Mishra committee recommendations
The University must take steps to implement the recommendations of the Ranganath Mishra and Sachar Committee reports. The SFI in JNUSU would organise a workshop to discuss the modalities of the implementation of the relevant parts of these reports.
Defend and Strengthen GSCASH
The GSCASH needs to be strengthened and its democratic functioning must be ensured in order to effectively combat patriarchy. The full support of the JNUSU needs to be ensured to the GSCASH. The funds allocated to GSCASH should be increased and the infrastructure facilities available to it should be enhanced. The autonomy of GSCASH and its democratic character which has been ensured owing to its having elected members needs to be defended against intrusions.
Sd/-
Subin Dennis, Rajeev Kumar, Umesh O
Co-Convenors, Central Campaign Committee, SFI



SFI Panel for JNUSU Elections

President - Kopal
Vice-President - Siddik R.
Joint Secretary - Samuel Philip Mathew

SSS
Viswanathan V
Najeeb V R

SIS
Santhosh J
Nitheesh Narayanan K V

SLL&CS
Ravi Kant

SAA
Akhila Vimal C

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” (http://bit.ly/LIS3eO), “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.



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

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