Men and women from the four Left groups that fought the polls together, and won:
N Sai Balaji, AISA
From Hyderabad, Balaji (26) is a first-year PhD student at the Centre for International Politics, Organisation and Disarmament. His mother runs a small school, and is helped by his father, a civil engineer. Son of a backward caste father and an upper caste mother, he said: “People were taken aback by my inter-caste identity, or considered me impure because of it… That’s what brought me closer to the Left ideology. JNU gave me the courage to celebrate my identity.
“JNU is a model of democracy, hence, it is facing such an attack. In four years, we have seen seats cut, reservations scuttled and fee hiked. Our struggle to reverse these will continue. We will also fight to reinstate Gender Sensitisation Committee Against Sexual Harassment (GSCASH).”
Sarika Chaudhary, DSF
An MPhil student at the Centre for the Study of Regional Development, Chaudhary (24) has been in JNU since her graduation days, when she enrolled in BA German.
From Bihar’s Muzaffarpur, her father runs a PDS shop and her mother is a homemaker. While she had little inclination towards Left politics, she joined DSF when she applied to JNU in 2012. “The December 16 gangrape movement was on… JNU students played a huge role… Plus this campus made it possible for people like me to study by paying Rs 283 per semester, and the Left has had a huge role in making it what it is,” she said.
On her agenda is to reinstate GSCASH, roll back seat cuts and ensure deprivation points are implemented during admissions for MPhil/PhD students.
From Sopat Tengpora village in J&K’s Kulgam, the 29-year-old did his graduation from Anantnag and MA in History from Kashmir University. His father is a retired government teacher and his mother a homemaker. His association with SFI began when he joined Jamia Millia Islamia for MPhil in History.
“Left is the only ideology which talks of peasants, workers and the most marginalised.”
Currently, a third-year PhD student at the Centre for Historical Studies, he said his “vision is to undo all anti-student policies this administration has adopted”.
Amutha Jayadeep, AISF
From Kozhikode, Kerala, the 28-year-old did her graduation in social work from Rajagiri School of Social Sciences, Ernakulam before moving to JNU for MA in Sociology.
A third-year PhD student at the Centre for Social Medicine and Community Health, she said: “My college in Ernakulam was not conducive to politics. They would dissuade us and did not recognise student organisations. But I was exposed to Left politics through my parents, who were associated with AISF and later CPI.”
Her father is a journalist, and her mother a homemaker. “The biggest task ahead”, she said, “is reinstatement of GSCASH”.