SFI has recently conducted an “Opinion Poll” unilaterally and by undermining the JSC, which has jeopardised our collective struggle against imposition of Lyngdoh and for restoring JNUSU election as per JNUSU Constitution. SFI has been engaging in acts of highly condemnable one-upmanship and sectarian behaviour. This is a display of utter contempt for collective functioning and complete disregard for the implications of its irresponsible acts on the ongoing legal battle at the Supreme Court. SFI is propagating that the lack of an elected JNUSU for four years has done irreparable damage to the student movement. But have they ever bothered to even think what kind of damage it will do if we throw away the JNUSU Constitution and welcome Lyngdoh to the campus? It will put an end to our four years long political and legal struggle against Lyngdoh and our defiance of draconian regulations imposed by the State.
Welcoming Lyngdoh will not merely damage, but will destroy JNU’s student movement beyond repair, once and for all. This will be a tremendous setback to the four decades of JNU’s progressive and democratic movement built up by generations of students. It is this movement which has produced the JNUSU Constitution – the foundation and the guiding document for JNU’s long tradition of progressive students’ politics. If we replace this Constitution with the draconian Lyngdoh, we will of course get an elected union, but not our JNUSU. A students’ union with Lyngdoh will be reduced to a lapdog of the administration – a toothless body at the mercy of the Pink Palace. It will no longer remain a platform of struggle. Do we, the present students of JNU, have the right to sacrifice this long-standing democratic tradition for the sake of a sham election and a puppet union to fulfil the electoral ambitions of renegade SFI? Should we abandon our responsibility to carry forward the legacy of the struggle to restore JNUSU and its Constitution even if this means a prolonged struggle? We want to remind SFI that there is no short-cut to struggle, and surrender is not a replacement for the fight for democratic principles and politics.
Apart from the high possibility that SFI has clandestinely manipulated the numbers of the unilateral “opinion poll” to show the numbers in their favour (we should not forget that CPIM and SFI have a long record of rigging all elections in Kerala and Bengal when in power), SFI has also openly misinterpreted the verdict of the unilateral “opinion poll” in their leaflet (13.9.2011):
(a) SFI has claimed that 79% students are in favour of conducting elections this semester. This is a blatant lie and twisting of facts. In none of the “options” given to the students in the “Opinion Poll” was it mentioned that election has to be conducted within this semester, or within any specific deadline. The students were not asked for any deadline nor did they choose any deadline. It is only SFI which is desperately looking for elections with Lyngdoh within this semester, thereby betraying the four-year long hard-fought struggle against the draconian Lyngdoh recommendations. This is very much in keeping with SFI and CPI(M)’s opportunist and degenerate politics.
(b) SFI also claims that 37% students are in favour conducting elections by rejecting Lyngdoh and as per JNUSU Constitution, while 42% are in favour of elections as per Lyngdoh and by rejecting JNUSU Constitution. This is another open lie and manipulation, because with the 37% who are against conducting elections according to Lyngdoh, we must also add the significant number of 12% students in SFI’s “opinion poll” who believes that Lyngdoh should not be accepted and the court case should be pursued to its logical end. Therefore, the number of students who have rejected Lyngdoh in the “poll” is as much as 49% (37%+12%), while going by SFI’s version, only 42% (which of course include SFI and Youth for Equality members) are in favour of surrendering to Lyngdoh. SFI should take it as a clear warning from the student community that majority of them are not going to tolerate the ‘option’ of total surrender to Lyngdoh and betrayal of the JNUSU Constitution.
SFI is desperate to conduct elections by hook or crook within this semester, hoping that elections can revive its fast-receding acceptance among the students of the campus, even if at the cost of putting the noose of Lyngdoh on the neck of JNU students. Yet they are scared of openly advocating Lyngdoh, apprehending a backlash coming from student’s overwhelming opposition. Though SFI has been very eager to know the ‘opinion’ of the students and have put forward their theory of available ‘options’, they themselves have not publicly declared their own position on whether they want elections as per Lyngdoh or according to JNUSU constitution. A fine example of SFI’s hypocrisy and double standard!
Let us be in no illusion. SFI wants JNUSU elections as per Lyngdoh and not JNUSU Constitution. In fact, SFI has always supported and welcomed Lyngdoh recommendations at an all-India level. In one of the first joint public meetings after the imposition of Lyngdoh in JNU in 2008, a speaker from SFI’s central leadership quoted from a resolution. In this resolution by SFI’s central secretariat, they welcomed the Lyngdoh committee recommendations. SFI argued that Lyngdoh could be ‘used’ by progressive forces to strengthen campus democracy and to conduct union elections in campuses where such elections are not held!
But there has been a total opposition to Lyngdoh from the student community of JNU (except the arch-reactionary YFE which gave slogans like Lyngdoh Zindabad!). The very first UGBM on Lyngdoh passed the resolution of opposing Lyngdoh in JNU in toto, and established the Joint Struggle Committee with the mandate to fight for restoring the elections as per JNUSU Constitution. Seeing the overwhelming mood of the students, SFI in JNU quietly shelved its position of ‘welcoming Lyngdoh’ at that time. SFI is fully aware that the opinion of the students even today is decidedly against welcoming Lyngdoh and throwing the JNUSU Constitution into the dustbin. So SFI does not want to take the risk of inviting Lyngdoh. Therefore it is cleverly trying to put the onus of welcoming Lyngdoh and undermining JNUSU Constitution on the students through spurious “Opinion Polls”, and is aiming to do so once again with their proposed ‘Referendum’. SFI is working with a dangerous game-plan.
Rather than playing shadow-boxing with their tricks of “options” and “opinions”, we dare the SFI renegades to come out openly with their position of supporting JNUSU elections as per Lyngdoh. Or else, we will be forced to seek a referendum for expelling SFI from the Joint Struggle Committee, because the JSC is mandated to struggle against Lyngdoh, not to find ways to surrender in front of Lyngdoh. SFI has no right to advocate Lyngdoh while still remaining within JSC. They must remember that students threw out YFE from JSC in 2008 in a UGBM for advocating Lyngdoh. Accepting Lyngdoh in any form and undermining JNUSU Constitution is not an ‘option’. DSU will continue to resist tooth and nail any attempt to bring Lyngdoh to JNU. We appeal to the student community to stand steadfastly in defense of JNUSU Constitution as they have done in the last four years, and defeat SFI’s nefarious attempts to backstab JNU student movement’s four-decades long democratic tradition.