Why comrades need to listen to this Lenin: Left’s not growing

From his ‘office’ in Room 154 of Kaveri hostel,25-year-old Lenin Kumar,studying for a PhD at the School of International Studies,told Newsline that he believes the SFI paid the price for the “undemocratic position taken by the CPM,be it the issue of Nandigram or backing the candidature of Pranab Mukherjee as President”.

Written by Geeta Gupta | New Delhi | Published: September 18, 2012 1:13 am

A day after he stunned his former comrades with his election to the top post in the JNU Students’ Union,SFI rebel V Lenin Kumar said the “fundamental problem with the CPM-SFI” is that the combine now functions like a “dictatorship” with “no room for debate” and represents all that is “unprincipled and undemocratic”.

From his ‘office’ in Room 154 of Kaveri hostel,25-year-old Lenin Kumar,studying for a PhD at the School of International Studies,told Newsline that he believes the SFI paid the price for the “undemocratic position taken by the CPM,be it the issue of Nandigram or backing the candidature of Pranab Mukherjee as President”.

In July this year,the CPM’s Delhi state committee of SFI dissolved its JNU unit and expelled its four leaders,including Lenin Kumar,after they protested the decision of the party on backing Mukherjee. Thrown out,this group formed the rebel SFI-JNU. On Sunday,Lenin Kumar was elected president while the AISA bagged the remaining three posts.

“We project principled Left politics… There can be political differences (with the AISA) but we have all been elected by the students and it is their issues we have to fight for,” he said.

He believes the Left has been reduced to a “derogatory” term,and that’s the reason why independent social movements are picking up.

“What the SFI and CPM need to do is some serious introspection. In the absence of a common linking point,the Left is not growing. The fact is that the Left has allowed the historical role of a radical students’ movement to die. There are no young political leaders to lead,student politics has lost all meaning,and the progressive students’ movement is gone… It is disappointing that SFI officials are not introspecting. Abusing us is abusing the students’ mandate. They have lost everywhere.”

He joined the SFI in 1999 when he was in Class VIII. His father,a trade unionist in Chennai,was already associated with the CPM. In 2004,Lenin became joint secretary of the Chennai SFI,and a state committee member in 2005. He came to JNU in 2007,and became an executive committee member the next year.

His comrades in the new union think he is different from the SFI. Meenakshi Buragohain,who has been elected vice-president,said: “Lenin’s victory is clearly the victory of the political position and decision he took,as also the sympathy that came with the interventions and questions raised by this SFI rebel faction.” Joint secretary Piyush Raj said Lenin Kumar did get some “sympathy vote” but “being a CPM rebel is something”.

Lenin Kumar is already listing his priorities. “Over 1,000 students do not have hostels this year,the number will grow to 3,000 in next two years. Getting more hostels is going to be my primary issue this semester.”

JNU poll fixed: SFI

Kolkata: Stung by the victory of a rebel leader the party ousted in July,the SFI on Monday termed the JNUSU elections as an “arrangement” between AISA and the expelled members of SFI,who formed SFI-JNU.

“The SFI-JNU is like a B team of AISA. We are of the firm conviction that there has been an arrangement between AISA and its B Team.Unlike the history of the election,where the winner got all the four seats,this time the president’s seat has been won by SFI-JNU while AISA has won the other three seats,” said Ritabrata Banerjee,all-India general secretary of SFI.

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