The unholy and power-centric alliance of SFI-AISA in JNU not only exposes the ideological bankruptcy of the Communists but also reiterates the national trend that they are a dying force with little hope of revival
Dr Shiv Shakti Bakshi
While Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) once again secured a massive mandate in Delhi University Student Union (DUSU) elections, in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) the results went in favour of the communists. It was seventh time in a row that ABVP won three to four seats in the DUSU elections since 2010 and also registered remarkable victories in the students’ union elections held across the states of Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand. But JNU has given a
different result. The JNU elections were seen with interest in the entire country mainly due to recent happenings like anti-India sloganeering, reports of rapes on the campus and raging debates
thereof on the issues. Now the question is whether the communists have been able to win the elections or there are reasons for them to introspect about their politics. On the face of this superficial win there lies a stern message for the communists who find themselves thoroughly challenged in the place which they consider to be their stronghold. In the alignment and re-alignment of forces on JNU campus if the current trends are projected it’s a very disturbing journey for the communists ahead.
This time JNUSU Elections were held in the context of some larger issues which raised some serious questions about the kind of student politics allowed on the campus. The unacceptable activities of the communists on the campus and their support to anti-India sloganeering dented the image of JNU as a premier university in the country. While communists engaged themselves in further damaging the reputation of JNU by taking unwarranted stands, ABVP stood alone in defending its reputation. ABVP which is seen as a force which can rescue the campuses from the clutches of divisive and destructive forces has emerged as a hope in the entire nation. It was due to the increased strength of ABVP on JNU campus that forced the hands of the communists to come together for their survival. While ABVP can claim ideological victory for having cornered the communists into an unprincipled huddle, it is time for the communists to introspect about their politics in the country.
While student politics in JNU has always been around the ideological issues, this time ideology gave way to opportunism on the campus. The
coming together of Student Federation of India (SFI) and All India Student Association (AISA) was not only unprincipled but aimed to hoodwink the students by the hollow slogan of ‘left unity’. The biggest mockery was the fact that AISF to which outgoing Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) President Kanhaiya Kumar belongs failed to find even a suitable candidate for the elections. It shows the character of the left organisation on the campus and the manner in which they are losing credibility among the students. The SFI and AISA have been at loggerheads and presented themselves as ideological enemies deriding each others’ political position and questioning each other’s legitimacy as communist formations. The SFI-AISA unholy and power-centric alliance not only exposes the ideological bankruptcy of the communists in the country but points to the fact that today they are dying force with little hope of revival. It is clear that the Communist parties have realised this fact and are trying to somehow survive by entering into unprincipled alliances. Such alliances have been rejected across the country and in JNU a process has started wherein communist space has started to shrink.
A deep analysis of the JNU results would find reasons for ABVP to
celebrate the kind of trends that are now visible in JNU politics. Though the hegemonic space of the communists stood seriously challenged with the emergence of ABVP as a strong force in JNU but even then the communist
outfits together enjoyed control over more than two-third of the students votes. It was the first time in the history of student politics of JNU that all the Communist parties joined hands to
present a united front against the rising tide of ABVP. The SFI-AISA alliance had the support of Communist outfits like AISF, DSF and others. This alliance was seen as an unprecedented
phenomenon aimed at demolishing ABVP irretrievably. The alliance was supposed to be a force multiplier for the Communists expecting massive support from the students and complete
rejection of ABVP. But the results jolted the communists in no uncertain terms. The result was that ABVP votes increased by 20 per cent increasing its support base on the campus. But the most shocking outcome for the Communists was that the two-third space which they enjoyed in the campus got reduced and they were pushed below 40 per cent of the total votes polled in the elections. It has never happened before, their hegemonic position has been severely dented on the campus. Any honest assessment of the results would make communists realise that the trends are clearly suggestive of their progressive decline in campus politics.
The emergence of Birsa-Ambedkar-Phule Students’ Association (BAPSA) on the campus gave a new dimension to the JNU politics. It not only exposed Communist politics but challenged its stated claim of representing the
marginal and deprived sections of the society. The kind of support which BAPSA received in the elections clearly points to the fact that the students from marginal and deprived sections are no more ready to be misled by the hollow rhetoric of the communists. The manner on which the communists have been marginalised in West Bengal and
cornered in Kerala and wiped out from the rest of the country, the beginning of same kind of trends can be seen in JNU. As the Communists lost their way amid the tears of the farmers of Nandigram and Singur and the rapes and murders of the likes of Tapsi Malik, the resistance of marginal and deprived sections and the criminal acts of rapists like Anmol Ratan have similarly set the stage for
the obituary being written for
communists in JNU. The students in JNU have now started realising the communist conspiracy to hide their
divisive-destructive ideology behind the facade of their hollow sympathy for the marginal and deprived. Communist
politics is getting unmasked with every passing day in JNU.
The Communists nurtured JNU as their stronghold right from its inception and created a hegemonic space for themselves in the process. The
emergence of ABVP was considered a challenge to their dream of launching an ideological assault across the country from JNU. A false narrative based
on malicious propaganda against
RSS-ABVP-BJP was constructed to stem the rise of ABVP on the campus. The Communists long back sensed the potential of ABVP to pose an
ideological challenge to them as the torch bearer of nationalism. Their apprehensions proved to be true as the anti-India sloganeering and related
incident from February 9, onwards and the national response therein forced the communists to close their ranks. In the face of an imminent defeat the communist resorted to an opportunistic and unprincipled alliance which undeniably is a moral and ideological defeat of the communists. Now that all communist outfits have joined hands the ABVP has to brace for a decisive struggle ahead. The malicious communist propaganda has been responded by hard work, patience and credible student movement on the campus by ABVP but it has still a long way to go. The goal of decisive victory can only be achieved by ABVP through ideological commitment,
dedication to student cause and by giving credible leadership on the campus.
(The writer is former ABVP-JNU President and Executive Editor of Kamal Sandesh)