AISA Welcomes the Decision of SFI’s JNU unit to Oppose CPI(M)’s Support to Pranab Mukherjee in the Upcoming Presidential Polls
The JNU unit of the Student’s Federation of India (SFI) decided at a general body meeting held on the night of July 5th, to oppose CPI(M)’s support for UPA’s Finance Minister in the upcoming presidential polls. The resolution passed on July 5 by SFI’s JNU unit states that CPI(M)’s position is “unconvincing” and “not in the best interests of the left and democratic movement” (seehttp://sfijnuweb.wordpress.com/).
AISA welcomes this decision of the SFI’s JNU Unit to oppose CPI(M)’s support to Pranab Mukherjee. We have consistently maintained that supporting UPA’s candidate for President’s post would be a betrayal of a principled opposition to UPA’s neo-liberal policies, which is wreaking havoc on the common people of the country.
In JNU, Left and democratic student opinion has time and again debated and overwhelmingly rejected SFI’s support of CPI(M)’s indefensible decisions: whether it is the forcible land acquisition and state repression in Singur and Nandigram, CPI(M)’s support for UPA’s anti-people legislations like the SEZ Act, or the CPI(M)’s dilly-dallying on the issue of the Indo-US nuke deal, or CPI(M)’s support for the draconian AFSPA. The SFI’s JNU unit’s refusal to defend CPI(M)’s support for Pranab Mukherjee, which is a departure from its norm, is to be seen in this light. The SFI’s leaflet dated July 7 has also indicated much the same analysis – that “in a left-leaning campus like JNU,” Singur and Nandigram “eroded the SFI’s support base among the progressive and democratic minded students,” and led to SFI’s defeat in the JNUSU elections of 2007 and 2012.
Going by the CPI(M)’s track record of elimination of Comrade TP Chandrasekharan, expulsion of Prasenjit Bose, restraining of Abdur Rezzak Mollah from joining the March to Singur recently, and rejection and ridicule of VS Achuthanandan’s solidarity with TP Chandrasekharan’s party and family, and ignoring of the constructive criticism of intellectuals like Prabhat Patnaik and Ashok Mitra, it is clear that the CPI(M) has, time and again, responded with contempt for any inner-party struggle against right deviation. It remains to be seen whether the SFI as an all-India organisation, and the CPI(M) party, take heed of this realisation and ferment in its unit in a leading Left campus of this country.
The support for Pranab Mukherjee is not the only symptom of CPI(M)’s right deviation. Its policy of land grab and state repression in West Bengal, its defence of the draconian AFSPA in the name of national unity and counter-insurgency, its defence of Operation Green Hunt and the war on tribals in the name of fighting Maoism, its continued denial of the reality of peasants’ resistance to land grab at Singur and its support for the pro-Tata verdict in the Singur case, its role in covering up the murder by its own cadres of Comrade TP Chandrasekharan – are some of the many instances that call for a vigorous and sharper struggle against the CPI(M)’s increasingly opportunist and rightward praxis, and undemocratic response to dissent and questioning. We note that SFI JNU unit, in its latest leaflet, has raised some of these issues (especially relating to Singur, Nandigram, and TP Chandrasekharan) as well, taking a position sharply different from the official CPI(M) line.
These undoubtedly positive developments (SFI’s change in stance on Singur, Nandigram, and TPC, and its refusal to endorse the support for Pranab Mukherjee) have been made possible, as SFI’s own leaflet suggests, due to the fact that SFI could not afford to remain silent or continue to defend CPI(M)’s wrong positions, and found itself ‘vulnerable’ to AISA’s questions regarding ‘doublespeak’; questions that struck a chord with the progressive and democratic opinion on the campus at large.
There is an unprecedented all-out assault on people’s livelihood, lives, and democracy. At such a time, there is an urgent need for Left forces to resolutely resist the right-wing offensive, and also to fight the trends of right-wing deviation and surrender to ruling class policies and politics within some of the Left streams. We are confident that all genuine fighting Left forces will respond to this challenge, and will eventually develop a unity in the fields of struggle.
(AISA Poster, dt: 8 July 2012)