By Arun Srivastava
Candidates of Left Unity Alliance have swept JNU Students Union elections. The alliance has won all the four key central posts for the JNUSU polls. Though officially the results will be declared on September 17 following court order, the verdict is already known to all students of JNU.
Post Kanhaiya Kumar episode and the aggressive posture which the BJP and its students’ wing ABVP adopted against the left students forces sent a loud and clear message that saffron forces were determined to finish the left forces from JNU. The ABVP adroitly backed by the Central leadership of the RSS and BJP have launched a unrelenting campaign against the left, even using the government resources and machinery to liberate the JNU campus from the left influence. But this year’s result of the student union makes it imperative that it is beyond comprehension to defeat a united left.
The victory of the united left is undeniably a warning to the professional leadership of the left political parties, especially the CPI(M) and CPI, to unite and assert. It is irony that the left parties and their leaders are behaving in most incongruous manner. On many occasion the CPI leadership came out this nature of offer but the CPI(M) leadership was hesitant.
It cannot be denied that the left student leaders of JNU have been more objective and pragmatic. They element of hegemony and arrogance has not taken over them. It is intriguing how could the professional left leaders divorce this basic tenet.
It is equally important to watch while the left leaders have been reluctant to join hands and float the united left party, their students have been practicing it. Left Unity of students comprises of candidates from the All India Students’ Association (AISA), Students’ Federation of India (SFI), Democratic Students’ Federation (DSF) and All India Students’ Federation (AISF).
What is most significant to watch is the saffron forces utilising every available resources to defeat the Left Unity. The RSS and BJP deployed some of their vocal leaders, even Central Ministers, to campaign for the ABVP candidates. Ironically the Vice-chancellor and Registrar of the JNU allowed the ABVP leaders to use the university’s establishment for their electoral gains.
While the RSS and BJP provided huge financial and human resources to the ABVP, the Left Unity was deprived of the facilities. They depended, what saffron alleges and touts, on the strength of their Daphali. While left won presidentship, the ABVP got the fourth place. Incidentally the administration tried to rig the result during counting of the votes. But could not succeed in their endeavour. Sucheta Dey, All India Students Union president and former JNUSU president alleged, “This is a direct interference of the administration in the election process”.
The most spectacular development has been the emergence of The Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students’ Association (BAPSA), the dalit and minority force in a more assertive manner. It has fielded candidates for two posts president and general secretary.
Sometime back eminent historian and a CPM member since 1953, Irfan Habib had described the party’s tactical line on alliance as “absurd”. He had expressed apprehension that this could push the Left movement to the sidelines of India’s polity. His observation has turned prophetic. The left is not only on the verge of losing its ideological and political credence, it has already lost its electoral relevance. It had turned a political non entity.
It is really shocking to watch left missing the opportunity to launch a war against the anti-people and democratic policies and politics of the BJP and RSS. In Bengal and Kerala the left is witnessing massive desertion. In these two states the BJP could emerge as the most potent political force based on the support of the shifting loyalty of the left cadres. Obviously it implied that the cadres have not been properly and thoroughly indoctrinated, otherwise such large scale migration from left to saffron would have taken place.
Little doubt politically the left leaders are yet to get matured. They are reluctant to accept that the BJP under Narendra Modi has been practicing fascist tendencies. Lynching, terrorising the minorities and suppressing the voice of dissent are manifestation of this. Nationalism and patriotism have been replacing the idea of secularism. The left should have played a more proactive role, as in the past, to build a broad understanding. Unfortunately the left have ceded this space to regional leaders. Just giving a call for supporting the strongest Opposition candidate against the BJP in seats the Left is not contesting is insufficient.
The BJP used the tactics of describing leftist and secular elements as anti-national in JNU too. But the students leader successfully foiled it though a couple of senior activists and leaders are still in jails. But unfortunately the professional leadership failed to evolve a mechanism to counter saffron attack.
The Professional leadership must reply why their parties have failed to entice the youth and young cadres and enrol them as members while at the same time in the same situation the students of JNU continue to be loyal to left ideals? These students also belong to the same society where youth are unwilling to join the left parties.
Left must intervene in all the spontaneous struggles which develop and take them forward. It must be in the forefront of the fight against Hindutva communalism. This struggle has to be conducted in the social, cultural, political and ideological spheres. The party must fight against the element of ultra-nationalism or get ready to be dissipated. (IPA Service)