Two leaders of Students’ Federation of India (SFI), student wing of Communist Party of India (Marxist) are in shameful controversies. State Secretary PM Arsho, a Maharaja’s College, Kochi student, “passed” third-semester examinations of post-graduation in Archaeology & Material Cultural Studies, which he had never appeared for. Mark list says he has “Passed.” The mark list was withdrawn from the website when the controversy broke out. Later on, it was corrected as “Failed”. Arsho was in jail when the examinations took place in December 2022. The mark list published on the college website shows a zero in the boxes provided for marks. No grade has been mentioned. Students were agitated when they saw the “pass” result on the website. They blocked the Principal.
College Principal V S Joy claimed, while speaking to the media persons said, that the whole episode happened due to a fault in the software of the National Informatics Centre (NIC). But, ABVP and pro-Congress KSU alleged that there were high-level interventions to ‘pass’ Arsho even though he did not appear for the examinations. Meanwhile, P M Arsho has come out with a demand for a probe into the issue. SFI State leadership issued a statement whitewashing Arsho. It says, ‘rightist forces’ and media have been attacking Arsho since he took over as the State Secretary.
When Arsho’s past is reviewed, one does not come across much bright. Kerala High Court, on March 1, 2022, cancelled the bail of Arsho since he was involved in 12 criminal cases during the bail period. Bail was in connection with a murder attempt case. The Court directed the police to arrest him. While considering the application for the cancellation of the bail, Court observed that the leader believed that political activity means involvement in criminal cases. HC directed the police to register Arsho’s arrest in connection with all existing cases in various stations.
The cancelled bail was granted on March 20, 2019. Court asked DGP to conduct an enquiry into the report. Police presented evidence before the Court in Arsho’s support. The report says Arsho does not have any criminal background. In the meantime, the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Ernakulam, informed that ten cases were registered against Arsho during this bail period. However, thirty-five cases were registered, against him, in Ernakulam Central Police Station alone.
Another case is reported from Kochi, a blatant forgery of documents. Maharaja’s College is again at receiving end. SFI leader K Vidya forged an “experience certificate” from Maharaja’s College. College authorities complained to the police, and a case has been registered accordingly.
It is unbailable and can invite even seven years of imprisonment. Divya was an SFI leader at Maharaja’s College and Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, Kaladi. She was an elected class representative in Maharaja’s College and Students Union General secretary in the Sanskrit University. Maharaja’s College Principal said that they had not employed any guest lecturer during the period mentioned in the experience certificate Divya submitted before the management of the Government College, Attappadi, Palakkad district. She applied for the position of Guest Lecturer. Divya is reported to be having a close friendship with SFI leader Arsho. Now, Sanskrit University is examining the documents she submitted before the authorities for her PhD admission.
College authorities of Karinthalam Government College have convened an urgent College Council meeting to discuss Divya’s forgery as she worked in that College using the forged Maharaja’s College experience certificate. There are reports that Divya was a student during the period she has mentioned in the experience certificate.
ABVP State secretary Srihari said his organisation would submit a complaint before Kerala Governor in this regard. Observers believe that the aforementioned forgeries are impossible without SFI leadership’s active support and cooperation.
Union minister V Muraleedharan said the issue cannot be confined to Divya alone. BJP State President K Surendran said that the Kerala Government itself had become an apparatus of forgery and CM Pinarayi Vijayan had become a fake.
Last year there were a lot of serious complaints about SFI leaders passing the Public Service Commission examinations in the same manner. Kerala High Court cancelled some appointments of college teachers since they got the job through illegitimate methods. And they were the classic examples of nepotism. Several PhD holders invite wrath for the alleged plagiarism. Last month, the Principal of a college communicated to Kerala University, the name of an SFI leader as the elected University Union Councillor who had not even contested the college union election.