The Central Executive Committee of the Students’ Federation of India congratulates the students of Jadavpur University, the West Bengal State Unit of SFI and tens of thousands of students from across all sections for the struggle they have waged against the authoritarian and repressive JU Vice Chancellor backed by the state administration of West Bengal.
It all started with the molestation complaint lodged by girl student of arts’ faculty of the university. The arts’ faculty students’ union which is led by SFI demanded quick and necessary intervention to resolve the issue for the restoration of academic integrity and dignity of the university. Resolving this issue means proper and transparent investigation done by a neutral body and those who will be found guilty in the due course of investigation must be charged with exemplary punishment, demanded SFI.
It has been reported by various sources and even the media houses that the Vice-Chancellor of Jadavpur University had somehow insisted on suppressing the facts and it has been said that his attitude has failed to reassure the complainant. The Vice Chancellor was keen to censor the facts that reach the press. SFI sending a mail to the Chancellor informed that there were questions being raised including what was compelling the VC to take such steps and put an embargo of such. SFI felt serious apprehension that the transparency and neutrality required to resolve such issues is at stake. On the 5th of September SFI led Arts’ Faculty Students’ Union of JU demanded the intervention of its Chancellor.
Finding no resort the students started protesting the VC’s stand and then waiting a handful of time they intensified their struggle. A peaceful dharna, which lasted for about 150 hours, seemed to have offended their VC that he insisted on calling the police aided by Trinamool goons to crackdown the protest.
SFI CEC congratulates the SFI activists of Jadavpur University for continuing their struggle united with the activists other students’ organisations and further congratulates the West Bengal State unit, for its timely and precise intervention to take the struggle on to the streets state-wide. The rally which held on 18th of September immediately the day after the police beaten up the JU students had the message of intensifying the united struggle in coming days.
The afternoon of 20th September students’ reclaimed Kolkata streets from the authoritarian state ruling order. United in purpose, every voice of the tens of thousands cried out for the resignation of the VC of Jadavpur University, the man who had ordered for his students to be beaten up at midnight, and even ensured that the lights were turned off.
The alleged VC has established and very public links with the TMC. This march was not afraid to ask these questions directly. Students from across the political spectrum, as well as thousands not involved with organised students' movements, had joined in. This rally was demanding justice for a girl who allegedly got molested, for those 36 students who got beaten up by the police and the goons and was rejecting aloud the state ruling order and the anarchy they are trying to install in the educational campuses. The rally rejected the Kolkata Commissioner of Police issuing clean-cheat to the JU VC by legitimizing the victimization of the students. The rally was in all means directed against the ruling order and demanded restoration of campus democracy. There was a calculated trial by some specific agents to call this assembly 'apolitical', the entire student mass was unified in their dissent towards those in power and their minions.
The spirit that made the rally to end up being a historic one is the spirit of unity. The call of the hour and the message of the historic rally thus conclude into the same, and that is of unified struggle. Serious efforts have to bewaged by the leaderships of all democratic and progressive students’ organisations to agree into some sort of a common minimum agenda for inspiring the students to join hands for a cause and to fight relentlessly to ensure all democratic rights of the students and a peaceful campus. The need of the hour is to consolidate for the greater cause of safeguarding the society from the intrusion of extreme right wing forces from cracking into the campuses to promote their communal and other divisive agenda and that too in the midst of an authoritarian regime in the state of West Bengal.
Precisely on the Jadavpur University issue, SFI demands immediate resignation of the Vice Chancellor and the Kolkata commissioner of police must withdraw his illegitimate statement which is proven to be divorced from being a fact. SFI demands proper and immediate investigation of the alleged molestation of the girl and an investigation probing the VC for finding his compulsion to act such heinously with the students.
To conclude SFI once again congratulates the students and vows to carry forward the united struggle in and out of the campus against the authoritarian and repressive Vice Chancellor and the undemocratic state administration.
El Pueblo Unido Jamas Sera Vencido!!!
The People United Shall Always Be Victorious!!!
Ritabrata Banerjee, Dr V Sivadasan,
MP, General Secretary President