Socialist Yuvjan Sabha (SYS) condemns the violence that broke out in Ramjas College of Delhi University a few days ago. SYS condemns similar bouts of violence happening in other universities. The tragic suicide of the promising research student RohithVemula of Hyderabad University too could be viewed as the result of this trend of violence in student politics. SYS believes that universities are a platform for the freedom of expression and the holistic development of students. The future of the nation is shaped in its universities, where students sharpen their intellectual acumen to lead a more meaningful life for the nation and society. But the pervasive violence witnessed first at JNU and now in DU has diminished the stature of the universities. This has caused insecurity for students (especially those who have come here to study from far-flung areas) and has disrupted their academic career.
Under the umbrella of the power at the Centre Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of RSS/BJP, is indulging in routine ruckus in the name of nationalism and culture. In reaction to this, the communist students’ organizations lead protests for freedom of expression in the campuses. In the battle for supremacy between Sanghis and communists, the general lot of independent, liberal, non-violent, democratic, secular students, and those who advocate social justice naturally stand against ABVP’s retrograde agenda. But the communist student organizations often try to use them for their own limited agenda. This weakens the struggle which benefits the ABVP. Communist student organizations do not actually lead these groups; this was proven beyond doubt with the BAPSA’s impressive demonstration in JUNSU elections when it contested for the first time. SYS had fielded its panel in the DUSU elections after a long hiatus in 2013 and 2014 and received good support from the student community. SYS believes that in the university campuses, the fight for the freedom of expression should not be transformed into a fight for hegemony.
It is a matter of great concern that in the wake of the Ramjas incident some communist comrades openly advocated violence on social media. The ill effects of violence are usually borne out by the students from the weaker sections of society. SYS believes that university campuses should be no place for violence of any kind from any quarter. Consequently, SYS unequivocally opposes the violence. The time has come when all student organizations must agree to follow the path of non-violence advocated by thinkers like Gandhi, Bhagat Singh, Acharya Narendra Deva, Yusuf Meherally, Kamla Devi Chattopadhyaya, Dr. Ambedkar, Frontier Gandhi Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, Dr. Lohia, JP and Kishan Patnayak.
The Ramjas incident has become an alibi for some people to speak against student politics. What is the need for politics in university premises, they ask. SYS believes that the right kind of political training can happen only in the environs of universities. In this context, the following statements by Bhagat Singh and Dr. Lohia are pertinent:
‘They (the students) should study. They must study. Along with it, they should also acquire political knowledge, and jump into politics if and when the need arises, and dedicate their lives to its cause.’ (Bhagat Singh)
‘When students do not participate in politics they tacitly support governmental politics and in this way do politics indirectly.’ (Dr. Lohia)
Come; let us all join hands to free education and educational institutions from the clutches of neo-liberalism.
Niraj Kumar (President) Bandana Pandey (General Secretary)