THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran says one-upmanship of SFI and scuttling the freedom for others to function were responsible for the current lawlessness in University College.
The CPI state secretary said that 'one-campus one-organisation' norm can only become acceptable if all other organisation agree to it. "Such a norm cannot be imposed using violence and muscle power," he added. Mr Rajendran said other organisations should be allowed the freedom to function on the campus.
Close on the heels of Kanam's statement, the AISF claimed that it had constituted its unit in University College.
Meanwhile, CPM district secretary Anavoor Nagappan refuted the allegations that the SFI was not allowing other organisations to function on the University College campus. "There is no ban in University College for the AISF to function. They are free to set up their unit or file nominations for the student union elections," he said.
He said KSU activists involved in criminal activities including attacks on the activists of SFI were still continuing in leadership.
A year ago, the CPI state leadership had distanced itself from Ernakulam district secretary P. Raju who had openly accused the SFI of unleashing violence on rival organisations.
The cut that exposes degeneration
The revolt of the rank and file of SFI unit in the University College, Thiruvananthapuaram, against the leadership of the organisation on the campus highlights the ugly underbelly of an entity mouthing progressive rhetoric while making every effort to suppress critical thinking and dissent, says activists and cultural leaders.
The incident in the University College is the culmination of intolerance practiced by the SFI in campuses across the state, they said.
General secretary of Communist Marxist Party (CMP) and one of the erstwhile leaders of SFI C.P. John said the stabbing of own comrade in University College shows the degeneration of SFI is beyond redemption. “Both the CPM and SFI after losing their ideological moorings have become a den of self-seeking leaders bereft of any ethical values or concerns. The degeneration we are witnessing is having striking resemblance to the experience of Soviet Union,” Mr. John said. He also welcomed the courage shown by the students of the University College to defy the degenerated leadership.
SFI gained ascendency on campuses in the late 1970s with the Congress-affiliated KSU losing its moral authority after police atrocities in the Emergency period came into the public domain. SFI became an unchallenged organisation in most campuses across the state by the second half of 1980s.
“The incident cannot be treated as an isolated case or aberration”, says K Vishnu, the state secretary of Democratic Students Association (DSA). Apart from outright physical violence, the SFI and CPM leadership at the local level are also known for approaching the family concerned to dissuade their wards from joining other outfits, he said.
A group Dalit students in the Mahatma Gandhi University campus who took the initiative to set up an Ambedkar Student Association was vilified of being Maoists or Ganja addicts. Joel Augustine, student of polytechnic in Palakkad, faced the wrath of the SFI unit for showing inclination towards DSA, Vishnu said. Vishnu himself was thrown out of the polytechnic campus in June when he went to campus for organisational work....