The Central Executive Committee of Students’ Federation of India congratulates the student community of English and Foreign Languages University, (EFLU) in Hyderabad for giving a thumping victory to Allied Students’ Action for Democracy- EFLU, ASAD-E in all posts in the students’ union election concluded yesterday. ASAD-E is a larger platform of all democratic and progressive sections in the campus, backed by SFI. This clear mandate by the students goes in favor of the ongoing brave movement in the campus for democratic rights. The victory of ASAD-E is a verdict against the anti-democratic, anti-student administration of EFLU.
Tony Sebastian is elected to the post of president and Ajay Mathew (SFI unit president in EFLU) is elected as general secretary. Tania Kar (Vice President), Noble Antony (Joint. Secretary,AnasRahman(cultural secretary) and Ashish Krishna (Sports secretary) are the other members in the union. Tania Kar, AnasRahman and Ashish Krishna are unit executive committee members of SFI. ASAD-E was uniting the democratically minded students across the sections in the campus against the anti-student moves of administration and for a democratic and inclusive campus. It was only few days back that in a highly condemnable manner, disciplinary actions were taken against 11 students over their participation in a protest voicing for students union elections and democratic rights of the students in the campus. The administration was forced to conduct students’ union election after the continuous struggles and united interventions by the students of EFLU. But, in an attempt to curb the strengthening of the movement all those 11 students were barred from contesting students’ union elections. There were incidents of issuing show cause notices threatening them with disciplinary actions over even posts in the social media.
After the election results were declared, instead of taking out a victory rally,the students have decided to wage a protest under the leadership of the newly elected union against the disciplinary actions on students. SFI demands that the disciplinary actions should be immediately and unconditionally withdrawn. We hope that this strong rebuttal of the authoritarianism of the administration by the student community will add momentum to the fight for campus democracy in EFLU. While saluting the spirit of the vibrant student community of EFLU, the Central Executive Committee of SFI reiterates our active support to all their struggles for advancing students’ rights.
Dr. V Sivadasan, President Ritabrata Banerjee MP, General Secretary
The Central Executive Committee of SFI condemns the brutal attack on Paris conducted by ISIS. The death toll from this most gruesome attack has reached 129 in the latest count and it is possible that the final count will be far higher.
It is the duty of all progressive forces to vehemently criticize organisations like ISIS and make sure that its thrown into the dustbins of history. But at the same time it’s unfortunate that right-wingpolitical organisations in France have started blaming Syrian refugees for this attack. This is most condemnable since it should be understood that these refugees are fleeing from Syrian because of ISIS and its inhuman ideology.To blame them who are in fact the worst victims of ISIS is completely unacceptable.
Predictably, right-wing parties has also stated blaming Muslims as a whole for this attack.It should be noted that the worst victims of organisations like ISIS or Bokko Haram are Muslims. So it’s extremely important we resist attempts by right wing organisations to use incidents like this to create an atmosphere of hate towards Muslims and Islam as a whole. It is also important that along with the brave souls who passed away in Paris yesterday we remember and pay homage to the many thousand victims of ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The role played by the US led imperialist powers in grooming such regressive forces also should not be forgiven.
The Central Executive Committee of the SFI deeply mourns the death of innocent people in these terror attacks and condemns such barbaric terror.
The Central Executive Committee of SFI strongly condemns the disciplinary action taken against 11 students by the administration in English and Foreign LanguagesUniversity, EFLU, Hyderabad over their participation in a democratically staged protest in the campus demanding students’ union elections and voicing against a show cause notice issued to a student for a Facebook post. It has to be noted with deep concern that such highly undemocratic and regressive moves are undertaken even in the premier educational institutions in the country like EFLU. It is clear beyond the shadow of any doubt that the action against the students of EFLU is one of the attempts of the administration to silence the student community of EFLU from coming forward in big numbers with the demand for campus democracy.
The students of EFLU staged a protest on October 15 over the questions of their democratic rights. Democratically conducted students’ union election had been a major demand of the student community of EFLU for a long time. The VC and administration were continuously avoiding the students even after their repeated approaches at different occasions. Instead of protecting at least the constitutionally assured rights of the students, the administration has been showing more enthusiasm to oppress them further time and again. The October 15 protest was also against the unacceptable show cause notice served to a student for voicing his opinion about the SwachhEFLU program on Facebook, along with their long standing demand for students’ body elections.
The well participated protest was entirely peacefully and did not disrupt any academic or administrative functioning of the university. Even though the administration was forced to declare students union elections after this protest, twelve more students received show cause notices alleging utter lies such as inciting violence on campus and being involved in anti-university activities. Followed this disciplinary actions were taken against eleven students including the unit secretary of SFI Com. Sarath MV and Joint Secretary Com. Vidya Sukumaran which ranged from reprimands to suspension from the hostel and cancellation of Ph.D fellowships from three to six months. Muhammed P. (Ph.D Cultural Studies), Rose Sebastian (Ph.D Cultural Studies), Vishnu V (Ph.D Film Studies), Arjab Roy (Ph.D Indian and World Literature), Abdul Jabbar (MA MCJ), Saheer V.P (MA MCJ) Sreejith P.S (MA English) and V.Parameeswaran (All three are SFI executive committee members), Geo CirilPodippara (M.AEnglish) are the other students served with disciplinary actions that varied according to their alleged "degree of involvement" in the protest. These students were denied even the chance to speak their version before the committee which took action. The actions like stopping the fellowships of researchers provided by UGC exposes the feudal mind set of the VC and administration that treat the university as their Jagir. These show causes were issued on 5th November just after the notification for the elections were issued. All these students have been barred from participating and contesting in elections too.
It is not the first time that such news is coming from EFLU. There were various incidents of launching war on dissenting and debating students by the university administration in recent past itself. The developments in English and Foreign Languages University are undoubtedly a matter of shame to a civilized society. Universities are not spaces to silently listen the lectures and mug up information. Campuses must be upholding the high values of democracy and promoting democratic platforms. The Central Executive Committee of SFI salutes all the students who are bravely fighting the autocratic EFLU administration and we stand in full solidarity with them. SFI demand that the disciplinary action should be withdrawn immediately and unconditionally. We request all the democratic sections to rise up against the EFLU Administration’s move to curtail the rights of the students.
RSS has been forced to ideological back foot to such an extent that in its Hindi mouthpiece ‘Panchajanya’ it has labeled Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) as “anti-national”. This has come at a time when a host of writers, filmmakers, intellectuals and other sections have come out openly against the rising intolerance and the un-making of India under the RSS-BJP regime. This has come at a time when education is facing all out attacks from the policies of the Modi government and attempts are being made to sell out education in the upcoming Nairobi rounds of WTO-GATS talks.
The RSS and its affiliates like the ABVP have raised this bogey time and again. In fact during the tenure of the previous BJP-led NDA government, the RSS tried to target JNU and the JNU Students Union as a den of “ISI agents”. Such targeting, however, was defeated by the steadfast resistance of the students’ movement led by the SFI-led JNUSU.
What exactly is the idea of nationalism which RSS and ABVP seek to propagate? The RSS was not part of the anti-colonial struggle of the Indian people against British rule. Nathuram Godse, the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi, was an RSS man. V D Savarkar, a prominent Sangh leader, was an active participant in the conspiracy to murder Gandhi. The RSS's ideal of India and its nationalism is enshrined in the infamous motto “Hindi-Hindu-Hindustan”. It refuses to accept the equality of all the different nationalities that constitute and comprise India, and which fought together in the freedom struggle against colonial rule. The RSS seeks to impose a monolithic, communal idea of the nation, which is evident, for instance, in the writings of M S Golwalkar, the Hindutva ideologue and the second Sarsanghchalak of the RSS. He wrote in his work 'We or Our Nationhood Defined':
“The non-Hindu people of Hindustan must either adopt Hindu culture and language, must learn and respect and hold in reverence the Hindu religion, must entertain no idea but of those of glorification of the Hindu race and culture ... In a word they must cease to be foreigners, or may stay in the country, wholly subordinated to the Hindu nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges, far less any preferential treatment — not even citizens' rights.” This is why one of the articles in the current issue of ‘Panchajanya’ complains with angst the fact that courses on discrimination and exclusion, on north east studies etc. are taught in JNU.
Contrary to the world view of RDD, The students of JNU, have always opposed the Sangh Parivar's bigoted ideology and held up the equality of all people, belonging to all religions, communities, ethnicities, languages and nationalities. They have stood up to oppose the RSS ideology which treats women as second class citizens and as “being fit only for domestic chores”. Precisely because of our determined opposition to the chauvinistic project of the RSS, the Hindutva forces have made JNU a target.
Not only is the RSS's idea of India utterly communal, but in essence and practice the India that it promotes is that of the Adanis and the Ambanis and other big businesses. The workers, peasants, petty produces, Dalits, Adivasis and women belonging to all communities lie outside this ruling class idea of India. The economic policies of the RSS-led Modi government benefit only the ruling classes led by the big corporates, who ultimately form a tiny section of our population. The working population of India, consisting of the workers, peasants, Dalits, Adivasis, women and other toiling sections, must constitute themselves THE nation (though not in the bourgeois sense of the word) in order to resolutely oppose and defeat the RSS and its communal-fascist vision of what India ought to be.
The Central Executive Committee of SFI would like to assert here that student community and the people of India would firmly reject the attempts to refashion India to fit the communal-fascist, majoritarian, ruling class idea of the “nation” peddled by the RSS. We will continue to speak the truth, and all fascist attempts to muzzle our voices in defence of the working people of our country belonging to all communities will be rejected.