SFI strongly condemns the police assault on students who gathered outside the gates of the Ministry of Human Resource Development to form the Ambedkar Periyar Forum in Delhi today. The Central Executive Committee (CEC) of SFI had given a call to form Ambedkar Periyar Forums in campuses across the country. It must be noted that after the derecognition of the Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle in IIT Madras, several such study circles have sprung up in campuses across India.
Today’s programme in Delhi met heavy police repression. A few minutes after the Study Circle was inaugurated, the students who had gathered peacefully were assaulted and pushed into the police bus. They were detained in the Parliament Street Police Station for several hours. SFI All India President Dr. V Sivadasan, All India Joint Secretary Dr. Vikram Singh and Delhi State Secretary Sunand were among those who were detained.
The entire episode betrayed the deep anxiety of the Central government on this issue. The derecognition of APSC is a reflection of the Hindutva fascistic powers’ attempts to curb democratic voices, and brought to light the deeply undemocratic nature of the so-called guidelines in several such institutes which deny students the basic fundamental rights of freedom of speech and freedom of association. Campus democracy is something that has been absent in many of our top notch institutes. The developments surrounding APSC and IIT Madras have also brought to the fore the reality of caste discrimination in our premier institutes. In the last few years, scores of students have committed suicides in many of the premier institutes due to caste discrimination.
The SFI CEC resolves to struggles on these issues and to carry them forward to their logical conclusion.
Dr. V Sivadasan (President)
Ritabrata Banerjee, M.P. (General Secretary)