It is by now clear to all that the AISA-led JNUSU was interested in resisting the privatisation moves of the administration only in rhetoric and not in practice. This is similar to the anti-imperialist cries of the parliamentary left who are enthusiastically implementing the same imperialist policies wherever they are in power. By compromising and surrendering on every count, the present JNUSU leadership has conceded not only this movement but also the movements in the coming days which will be fought, if at all, against this very administration! The credibility of the JNUSU is at a historic low, and the responsibility squarely lies on the JNUSU leadership who has repeatedly betrayed the trust and responsibility placed on them by the students of the campus. What was common between the administration and the present JNUSU leadership in the course of the struggle however was the bypassing of democratic bodies and ignoring the aspirations of the student community. The administration had taken the decisions on meter, fee-hike, PSR, ‘beautification’ etc. unilaterally bypassing all the concerned bodies like CDC or IHA and without involving representatives form students and teachers. Similarly, the JNUSU decided on the course of struggle unilaterally, by undermining the UGBM mandate, implementing courses of action which were defeated by the UGBM, bypassing the debates generated in the All-Organisation meetings and undercutting the larger students’ aspiration to confront this authoritarian administration with more assertive forms of protest.
JNUSU leadership and its alliance of opportunism: the AISA-led JNUSU vested its complete faith in their new-found ally SFI, and vehemently attacked voices of dissent and criticism, conveniently forgetting SFI’s commendable history of ‘disassociation’, betrayal and opportunism. It is the same SFI which started with the demand of paralyzing the ad-block in the initial period of the movement, and then took a sly u-turn on the eve of the UGBM. They mouthed the demand of blockade after the UGBM passed it, again to slip away on the eve of the blockade. The AISA-led JNUSU chose to forget all this in the hope that by sticking together they will be able to revoke the rustications. But by running away from the struggle, the SFI has once again assured us that it is an honest and true opportunist, even though it meant leaving AISA high and dry. The other ‘natural ally’ of the JNUSU in the course of this struggle was JNUTA, to the extent that its mere appeals had more weight and importance for the JNUSU leadership than the commands of the students passed through UGBMS. Members of JNUTA came uninvited at midnight and addressed the rally on the eve of the blockade, dissuading the students from going for this confrontation. This was readily agreed to by the JNUSU leadership. Again the JNUTA ‘appealed’ to the JNUSU to withdraw the indefinite hunger strike even before the negotiations began on any of our demands. Such a unilateral withdrawal at the behest of JNUTA has been unprecedented in a JNUSU-led struggle. JNUTA from the beginning has made no commitment in supporting our demands other than expressing its mild protest against rustications. It is not hidden from anyone that the teaching community, with a few honourable exceptions, is whole-heartedly backing the administration’s present privatisation drive. The deplorable role played by the JNUTA a few years back during the struggle to hike MCM amount is still fresh in our memory, when it insisted that the struggle be called-off with a compromise. The struggle rejected such offer and went ahead without the support of the JNUTA, finally winning it with the sole strength of the students. Knowing full well this history, how can JNUSU allow the JNUTA to dictate terms of the students’ movement and be influenced by it, when the TA’s role can at best be advisory? JNUTA is not a neutral body. It has remained closer to the administration than the students. JNUSU leadership’s capitulation to the pressure-tactics of JNUTA and the administration has converted a possible victory to a near-certain defeat, for which it is answerable to the students.
The JNUSU leadership vested their trust on everybody except the students. So pathetic and bankrupt has been AISA-led JNUSU’s politics that it forgot the political nature of the struggle, and tried to evoke a non-existent ‘humanism’ and ‘sympathy’ of the administration through a indefinite hunger strike! The students who came for the long march, boycotted classes for a long time, participated in all other protest actions called by JNUSU, has been left betrayed and angered. But the responsibility of this historic defeat of the ongoing movement will have to be borne by the opportunistic JNUSU leadership, and not by the student community. As Brecht has put it, The defeats and victories of the fellows at the top are not always the defeats and victories of the fellows at the bottom. This is a defeat of the leadership, and its high time that the students of the campus prepare for a fresh round of collective struggle against privatisation