SFI former members tell CPM to change stance on JNU unit

Former members of the Students’ Federation of India want the CPM to revoke its decision to dissolve the Jawaharlal Nehru University unit of the SFI.

According to former JNU-SFI members, the party takes an independent stand on political issues, keeping in mind the interests of the Left movement in India, though some decisions taken by the CPM are often accepted by SFI.

JNU-SFI was dissolved on Tuesday after it opposed the CPM for supporting the presidential candidature of Pranab Mukherjee. Former JNU-SFI members will meet on Thursday to discuss how to persuade CPM to revoke its decision.

“There have been times when a few SFI members had opposed the CPM’s position on some issues. But until now the SFI as a whole has never been able to denounce a CPM decision. Having said that, several SFI units have had taken a stand different from the CPM’s,” said Arnab Das, SFI member in the 1990s.

Ex-SFI members say the student body not taking a stand against violence in Nandigram and Singur during the CPM’s rule in West Bengal took away a section of JNU-SFI supporters.

Land issues ignored

“In those days, SFI kept quiet on important issues. Being a Left party and not coming out with a strong statement against what was going on in Nandigram and Singur was one of the reasons that defeated SFI in the 2007 JNU elections,” said former SFI member Sonali Banerjee (name changed).

Zico Dasgupta, one of four SFI members who were expelled, said the SFI and the CPM had divergent views over the decision of the party’s Kerela unit to expel T P Chandrasekharan.

“It is clearly written in the SFI Constitution that we are not affiliated to any party. We will take a position on issues depending on the interest of the Left democratic movement,” said Dasgupta.
Meanwhile; two members of JNU-SFI resigned on Wednesday, saying the CPM’s decision to expel four members on Tuesday was not taken when all members were present.

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