People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 43

October 24, 2010



SFI Led Combine Scores Massive Victory


THE vibrant spirit of the students community in the University of Hyderabad gave a clear mandate to the SFI led combine in the students union elections this year, while sharply rejecting the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) by a margin of about 951 votes. On an average, while the panel put up by the Students Federation of India (SFI) and Ambedkar Students Association (ASA) polled 1722 or 62.89 per cent of the votes, the ABVP could secure only 763 or 27.88 per cent of the total 2738 votes polled in these elections. The All India Students Association (AISA) contested for the president’s position only and polled 108 votes (3.94 per cent) while the Telangana Students Association (TSA), contesting for the general secretary and cultural secretary posts, polled 287 or 10.48 per cent of the votes on an average.


The percentage of votes polled by the SFI-ASA panel reflects the mass base of the two organisations. It is clear that the ABVP does not have any solid base in the university. The students community in the university gave a clear majority to the ABVP only in 2007 when it won by a margin of 320 votes against the SFI. (One may note that it was the first election the SFI had contested under its banner, after a series of struggle in the University Discussion Forum. At that time the ABVP had polled 736 votes, the SFI had polled 416 votes and the ASA had polled 280 votes. In 2008, the margin of victory sharply declined with the ABVP polling 791 votes against the SFI’s 754 votes and the ASA-NSUI combine’s 536 votes. The SFI had then secured the cultural secretary post. In the same academic year, when the students union president left the campus, the SFI secured the president’s post by a 207 votes majority, bagging 807 votes against the ABVP’s 600. In 2009, the SFI polled 1150 votes against the ABVP’s 850 while the ASA-NSUI-DSU combine polled 600 votes. But the vice chancellor nullified the entire election process in the name of ‘rigging’ but had had no word when the SFI questioned him as to why he did not then punish any SFI member. The SFI went to the Andhra Pradesh High Court and the case is still sub judice. In the re-election organised by the university administration, the ABVP polled 973 votes against the SFI’s 836 and the ASA-NSUI combine’s 638 votes.


However, there has been not a single issue which the SFI did not take up, despite the fact that it had lost the election. It organised many protest actions against the central and AP governments’ anti-people and anti-student policies, and fought on local issues as well in the best interest of the students community. The SFI organised a powerful protest action when the union HRD minister Kapil Sibal visited the campus. He was questioned about the ‘reforms’ his government was bringing about in the education sector. The SFI also organised a number of talks, screened many documentaries and arranged for political education of the students.


Such vibrant activities of the SFI became an eyesore to the ABVP, the winner organisation. One may note that the ABVP never conducts any talks in the university campus as its ideology cannot provide a rational answer to any question. Hence the ABVP strove to suppress the SFI’s voice with brute physical force and organised attacks on the leading SFI cadres twice. It attacked the ASA cadres too. While being in the union leadership, the ABVP did not address even a single issue. Nor was it ever found ready for an ideological debate. As a result, its number of supporters came down. Within a short period, the students community realised that the ABVP was no good option if they wanted to have their grievances remedied.


Meanwhile, the SFI took steps to isolate the ABVP that had been surviving in the campus only because of its position in the students union. It was thus that the SFI and the ASA came together to humble the ABVP, and partially succeeded.


The SFI’s central executive committee (CEC) as well as its Andhra Pradesh state committee have congratulated the SFI cadres in the University of Hyderabad for working day and night for the latest union elections. The SFI’s university unit secretary was of the opinion that the victory was against the communal politics of the BJP and also was a slap in the face of the government of India which has been pursuing the agenda of commercialisation and centralisation of education with a vengeance.