Tuesday, July 10, 2012

JNU SFI Unit's Statement Against All India SFI Leadership's Decision to Dissolve SFI-JNU Unit and Expel 4 Delhi State Committee Members from JNU


Unite against Authoritarianism and Stifling of Democracy

A meeting of the SFI Delhi State Committee was convened today to discuss SFI-JNU’s position against CPI (M)’s support to Pranab Mukherjee in the presidential elections. The meeting was attended by the SFI All India General Secretary Ritabrata Banerjee, All India President P K Biju and All-India Joint Secretary V Sivadasan.

The 4 Delhi State Committee members from JNU explained the rationale behind the political position adopted by the SFI-JNU Unit. Unfortunately, there was no effort on the part of the All-India leadership to provide any political explanations or arguments. Instead a tirade was launched against the SFI-JNU Unit. The state committee members from Delhi University and Jamia Millia Islamia, who tried to intervene and argue for a political resolution of the matter, were coerced into submission.

The State Committee meeting has passed a resolution by a margin of 8 votes to 4, expelling the 4 state committee members from JNU: Roshan Kishore (President, Delhi SFI), P K Anand and Zico Dasgupta (Vice Presidents, Delhi SFI) and V Lenin Kumar (State Committee member); and dissolving the SFI-JNU Unit. It is to be noted that 3 Delhi State Committee members of the SFI, including the Secretary of the Delhi State Committee, are out of station and were not present in the meeting.

The SFI Constitutional provision invoked during the meeting relates to the purview of a primary unit in taking decisions on international and national issues. The SFI-JNU Unit has always adopted positions on international and national issues over the past 40 years of its existence. SFI’s Constitutional provision has never come in the way nor been invoked by anybody concerned. Moreover, the SFI CEC has not taken any position so far on CPI (M)’s support to Pranab Mukherjee or the other issues raised by the SFI-JNU. Therefore there is no question of violating any all-India political line.   

The decision to dissolve the SFI-JNU Unit is nothing but a mockery of the democratic processes of organization functioning, as laid down in the SFI Constitution and a grave assault on the independent and progressive character of a student organization like the SFI. The SFI-JNU Unit has not indulged in any anti-SFI activity. The political position against CPI (M) support to Pranab Mukherjee was adopted in a transparent and democratic manner, after convening EC meeting and a GBM, which is the highest decision making body of the unit. Neither did the All-India leadership of the SFI take any public position on the issue nor did it make any attempt to engage with the SFI-JNU Unit in a democratic manner.

The decision to expel 4 SFI Delhi State Committee members from JNU because the SFI-JNU Unit has taken a collective decision on a political issue, smacks of an authoritarian, undemocratic and vindictive attitude. The All-India leadership seems to be under the misconception that by targeting a few individuals they will be able to browbeat the entire unit and divert attention from the relevant political issues. They are taking the collective political consciousness and organizational unity in the SFI-JNU Unit for granted.

The SFI-JNU stands by the principled political positions it has adopted in the GBM and articulated through subsequent pamphlets. SFI-JNU Unit will carry forward the legacy of Study and Struggle and continue to function in the name of SFI-JNU and retain its adherence to the SFI Programme and Constitution. It is the All-India leadership of the SFI who have acted against the SFI Programme and Constitution. We appeal to SFI Units across the country, SFI State committees and SFI CEC members to register their protest against such violations and reverse the undemocratic decisions.

SFI-JNU appeals to the students of JNU to join a protest march at 9:30 pm tonight from Ganga Dhaba against this authoritarian and high handed decision of the SFI All-India leadership. We also appeal to all progressive-democratic sections of the student community to unite against authoritarian attempts to throttle political debates which would corrode the legacy of progressive student movement in our country.     

Arjun (Secretary SFI-JNU), Anagha (President SFI-JNU), Lenin; Divya (Vice President SFI-JNU), Anshul; Rahul; Altamash (Joint Secretary SFI-JNU) 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Pamphlet 1 February 2010

AISA’s Panic and Confusion on JNUSU Elections: A Rejoinder

AISA has once again chosen to heap abuses on the SFI and mislead the student community through its pamphlet dated 31st January. That they are thoroughly confused and unwilling to take any constructive initiative is borne out by the way they have willfully distorted the arguments in favour of holding the elections as per the JNUSU constitution and avoided addressing the core issues.


The ongoing case regarding the JNUSU elections had taken a turn on 11th November, when the matter was referred to a 5 judge constitution bench. The questions posed before the 5 judge bench, inter alia, include the very constitutional validity of the Lyngdoh Committee and its recommendations. Now the 5 judge bench will deliberate on constitutional issues and is likely to take 3 to 5 years to arrive at a judgement. The question before the student community is, how to respond to this new situation? AISA and the JNUSU office bearers have singularly failed to come up with a meaningful response even after 2 months of the 11th November development. SFI along with some other student organisations have put forward a concrete proposal. It is highly unfortunate that rather than engaging with that proposal, AISA is indulging in cheap slander and mud slinging against the SFI and unnecessarily creating paranoia about contempt of court. Let us cool headedly consider the available options before the student community in the backdrop of the 11th November development.


1. Keep on extending the tenure of the incumbent JNUSU for a period which might stretch up to 5 years. This is not a workable option since the JNUSU will get irreparably weakened with such a prolonged ad-hoc status.

2. Hold JNUSU elections by accepting Lyngdoh Committee recommendations. This is what the JSC lawyer has also suggested in a roundabout way by adopting an “internal mechanism” where candidates do not violate the age and repetition criteria. But the choice of having elections as per the Lyngdoh recommendations was available right from November 2008, when the Supreme Court had first stayed the elections. This was not accepted by the student community. Rather, a JSC was formed after a UGBM which challenged the imposition of the Lyngdoh recommendations in JNU in the Court. Two JNUSU elections were sacrificed due to the ongoing case, only because the students were not willing to accept the Lyngdoh recommendations and wanted to defend the JNUSU Constitution. Accepting the Lyngdoh recommendations at this point of time would render this entire struggle irrelevant. Moreover, accepting the Lyngdoh recommendations at a time when the Supreme Court itself is deliberating on its constitutional validity, would amount to missing an opportunity that has opened up before us.

3. In contrast to the above two options, the third option available is to hold the elections in this semester itself in accordance with the JNUSU elections. SFI, along with AIDSO, AISF, DSU and PSU, has held that this is the best option in the given situation.


The forthcoming UGBM can pass a resolution in favour of holding elections as per the JNUSU Constitution. If such a resolution is passed, the election process can begin with the convening of the School GBMs and the election of the Election Committee. If this is challenged in the Supreme Court or if it takes suo motu cognizance, the JNU students would be asked to explain their stand. AISA is unnecessarily creating panic by suggesting that this would amount to contempt and therefore a sudden crackdown on students. This is a gross misreading of the situation (whether deliberate or otherwise). Why should the same Supreme Court, which is now deliberating on the constitutional validity of the Lyngdoh recommendations itself, crackdown on the JNU students for being unwilling to accept the Lyngdoh recommendations! In fact, it is likely that the Supreme Court agrees with the position of the JNU students and restores the JNUSU constitution, at least till the final verdict on Lyngdoh Committee is delivered. It may of course disagree with the JNU students and issue specific directives on JNUSU elections. The question of contempt will arise only if the JNU students willfully defy those specific directives. In sum, AISA is prejudging the stand of the Supreme Court on the matter, getting panicky and spreading that confusion.

The crux of the matter is whether we make a whole hearted attempt to restore the JNUSU constitution in the light of the developments in the Court case on 11th November 2009. Rather than being evasive on this count and unnecessarily complicating matters by writing abusive and verbose pamphlets, AISA as well as the JNUSU office bearers would do well to spell out their position on this core issue.

Sd/- Lenin, President SFI-JNU                                                     Sd/- P.K.Anand, Secretary SFI-JNU

Pamphlet 25 January 2010

AISA must come out clearly on its position on Restoring JNUSU Election!! Why beat around the bush?

Why such tentativeness, ambiguity and inertia in taking a clear and concrete stand??

AISA’s pamphlet issued yesterday has created some confusion on the issue of the restoration of JNUSU elections. In the first half of the pamphlet, AISA has stated that the elections have to be held at the earliest to ensure due representation of students and that the JNUSU Constitution must be defended against every onslaught. But it complains that there is no roadmap available to carry this agenda forward. Then it goes on to brand all the other organizations who have taken the position that the JNUSU elections should now be held in accordance with the JNUSU Constitution as sectarian and driven by oneupmanship! What does one conclude from this?

AISA has stated: "All suggestions including holding of JNUSU elections according to JNUSU Constitution must be explored with an open mind in consultation with larger campus community and beyond, given the present context of the ongoing case". But what is AISA's position on the issue? That should first be made clear, especilly because all the JNUSU office bearers are from the AISA. They should clarify as to whether “exploring all options with an open mind” also means agreeing to the JSC lawyer’s opinion of holding elections by adhering to the recommendations of the Lyngdoh Committee? That is the crux of the matter. There is no point beating around the bush.

SFI is of the opinion that given the referral of the very constitutional validity of the Lyngdoh committee to a five judge bench, accepting its recommendations to conduct JNUSU elections at this stage does not make sense, from either a legal or political point of view. In view of the changed nature of the court proceedings, the students of JNU can decide through a University General Body Meeting to conduct the elections according to the JNUSU Constitution and an Election Committee can be subsequently elected through School GBMs as per the Constitution. If the UGBM agrees on having the elections as per the JNUSU Constitution, this can happen smoothly. If this is challenged in the Supreme Court, the case can be eminently argued. The Supreme Court would get to know that the students of JNU want the restoration of the JNUSU Constitution and not the Lyngdoh committee recommendations. Given that the Supreme Court is itself is deliberating on the constitutional validity of the Lyngdoh committee, it may agree with the JNU students at least till the final judgement is delivered on the Lyngdoh committee.

AISA's ambiguous position on the issue can either be interpreted as a do-nothing approach or a meek submission to the Lyngdoh recommendations, which the JSC has fought till date. It is unfortunate that the organisation that is supposed to provide leadership to the JNUSU is so tentative and confused on the issue. To conceal its own indecisiveness and inertia, it is cynically abusing other student organisations of sectarianism. Such defeatism will only harm the collective cause of restoring the JNUSU elections. 

SFI appeals to the JNUSU office bearers to adopt a pro-active approach in this regard. An UGBM should be convened at a suitable date, giving adequate time for consultations within the student community, especially within and between the student organisations, so that a broad based consensus emerges on the issue. SFI is committed to work for a firm and decisive mandate to hold JNUSU elections in this semester according to the JNUSU Constitution.

Lenin, President, SFI-JNU                                                                P.K.Anand, Secretary, SFI-JNU

Pamphlet 9 January 2010

Public Meeting: Obama's War

Speaker: Vijay PrashadChair of South Asian History, Trinity College, Connecticut
9 Jan. Tonight   Kaveri Mess  9pm Sharp

As the President of USA Barack Obama announced a ‘surge’ of 30,000 troops in Afghanistan and later on while accepting the Nobel Peace Prize defended the necessity of war for a lasing peace, the reality of Obama being the head of the Hegemonic-Imperialist power in the world was reaffirmed, shedding away all the pretensions of being a ‘Messiah of Hope’ and ‘Crusader of Change’.  Inspite of being charged of being ‘cynical’ the anti-imperialist left-democratic and progressive forces had refused to join the ‘bandwagon of hope’ as Obama-the first African-American to have been elected to the post of the President of USA took charge in 2008 amidst much of an euphoria. Those who understand the overarching reality of imperialism could not have ‘hoped’ that an individual could bring any change in the existing order of things, even if one gives him the benefit of doubt and accepts the sincerity of his promises. On the other hand it is plausible to argue that Obama is a product of the very necessity of the system to legitimise itself, to provide it with a human face. But being the President of the hegemonic-imperialist power makes it difficult at times to even masquerade behind the human face as the imperial ambitions-not of the individual but inbuilt in the system-take over.

The decision of the deployment of 30,000 more troops in Afghanistan shows how the Presidency has become subservient to the conservative political and security establishment in the United States. Obama, who was elected on a non-war platform, has transformed himself into a “War President” in the mould of his immediate predecessor, George W. Bush. Inspite of the apprehensions and reservations in some quarters of Obama administration, with 61 per cent of registered Democrats opposed to an escalation in Afghanistan and in addition, 52 per cent of the total population believing that the war itself was not worth fighting, Obama has bogged to the demands of the military-industrial complex in the country. So much to the ‘greatest democracy’ in the world!  Furthermore in his speech at American military academy at West Point, New York where he announced the ‘surge’ in Afghanistan-now better known as Af-Pak policy-Obama said that the struggle against “violent extremism will not be finished quickly and it extends well beyond Afghanistan and Pakistan”. Obama, like Bush, is now talking about endless wars.  The eight-year war in Afghanistan has now lasted longer than the Second World War. More than a million Afghans have lost their lives. The military approach of the US would further precipitate the crisis in Afghanistan.  It is the presence of foreign forces in the country, not Islamic radicalism, that makes ordinary Afghans resist the occupation. This in turn strengthens the forces of insurgency such as Taliban. But this has always been the case with the actions of the US and Obama is no exception to it even though there is so much of talk of ‘change’!  Even during his campaigns to the Presidency, Obama had sought to shift the theatre of the war from Iraq to Afghanistan, whereby troops from the former could be moved to the latter.

A President at war accepting the Nobel Peace Prize, was an unprecedented phenomenon even though in the past people such as Henry Kissinger has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.  The ‘audacity of Obama’ being that he acknowledged the “hard truth: that we will not eradicate violent conflict in our lifetimes; there will be times when nations – acting individually or in concert – will find the use of force not only necessary but morally justified.’’  Anti-Imperialist Left forces have acknowledged this ‘hard truth of imperialism’ and recognise the necessity of defeating the imperialist forces and putting an end to the exploitative world order as the pre-condition of the lasting peace. Nevertheless one can definitely be outraged over such a shameless justification of war while accepting the Peace Prize, but this irony itself marks our times.  In the world where de-caffeinated coffee is available so that one can enjoy the coffee with no ill-effects of caffeine, one can go at war while accepting the Peace prize, with all the rhetorical lip-service to Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi, and somehow can ‘buy off’ the sins. The Nobel to Obama is very much a case of a system trying to ‘buy off’ its sins!

The task before the anti-imperialist left forces is to remain steadfast in its opposition to the imperialist designs of the hegemonic powers led by the USA while continuing the battle against the fundamentalist forces of different hues. After all these two represent a ‘unity of opposites’, wherein one feeds on the other. And while doing so it is of utmost importance not to come under the ‘charismatic spell’ of Obama and to remain critical and vigilant all the time as the task before us is no more made easier by the coming of Obama. Hence, it is in this context that we need to analyze the larger foreign policy of US under Obama administration and how it is making attempts and seeking to continue the efforts earlier administrations including that of George W. Bush. In this regard, we call upon the student community to attend tonight’s Public Meeting on Obama’s War in Kaveri Mess to be addressed by Prof. Vijay Prashad, noted academic and writer.

Lenin, President, SFI-JNU                                                                      P.K.Anand, Secretary, SFI-JNU

Friday, January 30, 2009

SFI Pamphlet dated 3rd January, '09

This is to inform the student community that due to the extreme weather conditions and unavailability of speakers, we are forced to cancel today’s public meeting on the Gaza situation. We assure that this meeting would be held at the earliest possible date.

Down with the Zionist aggression in Gaza! Unite to oppose imperialist US-Israel Gameplan against Palestinians!!

For the past one week, the world has been witness to the murderous attacks by Israel in Gaza Strip launched against the Palestinians living there. These severe attacks-which are a continuation of the long-standing war against the Palestinian people-have, resulted in the death more than 400 people, many of them innocent civilians. These attacks have also left many severely wounded and also led to the destruction of vital installations like Gaza University, schools, hospitals and power stations. The Israeli regime under PM Ehud Olmert and Defence Minister Ehud Barak, has reasoned that the attacks were necessary to prevent rocket attacks by Hamas. But the same regime conveniently forgets that it had for months imposed economic siege on Gaza on the arrogant pretext of non-recognition of the legitimate and democratically elected Hamas government. This catastrophic siege had heavily crippled the people of Gaza, one of the most densely populated regions in the world leading to essential supplies and medicines being short in supply. There was also severe shortage of fuel and power. Many aid agencies are reporting the growing scarcity of food and medicines, leading to conditions of massive humanitarian crises. In all its aggressive actions, Israel has the active support and backing of the US that has been well-reflected in the mild and ritualistic statements issued by the UN Security Council. There have been wide-spread reports that these attacks are being used by the ruling parties in Israel, Kadima and Labour to shore up support in the upcoming elections in the country. In this entire scenario, the role of the ruling UPA government is entirely shameful and palpable. Apart from issuing a mild condemnation, the Manmohan Singh government has remained a mute spectator. The government by seeking to have closer strategic relationship with the US and thus kowtowing to its diktats has also sought to deepen its relations with the Zionist regime. India is one of the largest customers of Israeli defence industry. This stands in direct contradiction to our anti-colonial and anti-imperialist legacy of our freedom movement, when we stood shoulder to shoulder with the aspirations ands rights of the Palestinian people. The need of the hour is to rekindle this glorious legacy and stand in full solidarity with the resistance being put up by the Palestinians against this onslaught, despite the blatant surrender by our government. SFI calls upon the students of JNU to rally with the Left-democratic and progressive forces in standing in complete solidarity with the people of Gaza in this hour of crisis.
Sd/-Roshan, Secretary, SFI-JNU.

Photos of the Programme of Ajoka Theatre Group from Pakistan in JNU on 23rd December, '08

Monday, December 8, 2008

SFI Pamphlet dated 7th Dec, '08

Public Meeting: Mumbai Terror Aftermath: The Way Forward

Speakers: Com. Nilotpal Basu, Central Secretariat Member, CPI(M)

Prof. Zoya Hasan, CPS, JNU & Member, NCM

Siddharth Varadarajan, Deputy Editor, The Hindu

7th Dec (Tonight) - Sutlej Mess - 9.00 pm

Friends, 7/12/08

The recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai have left a huge sense of insecurity and paranoia within the common people in our country. Not only did the terrorists who attacked various places on 26th November kill almost 200 people including innocent civilians, foreigners and security personnel but they also succeeded in creating a reign of terror all over the country. The fact that an attack of such proportions, which involved heavily armed terrorists with rigorous military training entering the country from the sea route could be executed without there being any clue to our intelligence and security apparatus has left far too many questions unanswered. A leading newspaper has correctly described these attacks as “an affront to the Indian state”.

The moot question which stares us in the face now is what is to be done in the present situation. Of course there is no dearth of opinions on this issue. From the right wing forces led by the RSS-BJP-ABVP which have declared that the test of patriotism and commitment against terrorism lies in military strikes against Pakistan and branding the entire Muslim community in India as terrorists to the politically illiterate media which has embarked on a tirade against politicians and the political establishment without any sense of responsibility, whereby jingoism and anarchy seem to be taking over what should have been an objective and mature response to this crisis situation. Attempts are also being made to describe this as “India’s 9/11” and build pressure for us joining the US sponsored war against terror. Absurd conspiracy theories are also being floated by some persons in the ultra left and NGO circles describing these attacks as handwork of CIA-Mossad and the Indian state.

As responsible citizens of the country and people who cherish the cause of peace and justice, we must ensure that political common sense does not take a drubbing at this critical juncture. Also any attempts which try and push the country towards military conflicts with Pakistan must be carefully guarded against given the delicately poised situation in this sub-continent which involves nuclear weaponized states. Diplomatic pressure through appropriate bilateral and multilateral channels in keeping with the UN Security Council resolution 1373 on terrorism must be used to put pressure on the Pakistani state to ensure that those involved in these activities are brought to book. Adequate steps must be taken to overhaul and strengthen our internal security and intelligence establishments, to prevent such mishaps in the future. And most importantly, there is an utmost need to defeat any attempts which seek to create divisive feelings in the country for petty political gains. To share some ideas on this issue, the SFI invites you to tonight’s public meeting in Sutlej Mess at 9 pm.

Sd/- P.K.Anand, President, SFI-JNU.
Sd/- Roshan, Secretary, SFI-JNU.