Students' Federation of India

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Students' Federation of India
Students Federation of India.jpg
AbbreviationSFI
Formation1970
TypeStudent Organisation
Legal statusActive
HeadquartersIndia
Membership
4,300,405 (2014-15)
President
V. P. Sanu
General Secretary
Mayukh Biswas
Websitesficec.org

The Students' Federation of India is an Indian left-wing student organisation affiliated to the Communist Party of India (Marxist).[1] Currently, V. P. Sanu and Mayukh Biswas are elected as the All India President and general secretary respectively.[2][3]

History[edit]

The origin of Indian students movement in its organised form can be traced to the formation of All India Students’ Federation (AISF) on 12 August 1936 to further anti-imperialist politics. After India gained Independence, the question of tailing the policies and politics of Congress party found vehement opposition within AISF and it paved thoughts for a new students organisation. Therefore, an all India conference was held at Thiruvananthapuram from 27–30 December 1970 to form Students' Federation of India.[4][5]

Following is a list of former office bearers at the national level.[6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19]

Former National Office Bearers
No. Year Place of Conference President general secretary
1 1970 Trivandrum C Bhaskaran Biman Bose
2 1973 Delhi (CEC Meeting) Prakash Karat Biman Bose
3 1974 Kolkata Prakash Karat Biman Bose
4 1976 Kolkata (CEC Meeting) Prakash Karat Subhas Chakraborty
5 1978 Patna M. A. Baby Nepaldeb Bhattacharya
6 1981 Bombay M.A. Baby Nepaldeb Bhattacharya
7 1984 Dumdum Sitaram Yechury Nepaldeb Bhattacharya
8 1986 Vijayawada A. Vijayaraghavan Nilotpal Basu
9 1989 Kolkata A. Vijayaraghavan Nilotpal Basu
10 1993 Trivandrum Y B Rao Sujan Chakraborty
11 1997 Midnapore K. N. Balagopal Bratin Sengupta
12 2000 Chennai P Krishna Prasad Samik Lahiri
13 2003 Kozhikode K. K. Ragesh Kallol Roy
14 2005 Hyderabad R Arun Kumar K. K. Ragesh
15 2008 Salt Lake P. K. Biju Ritabrata Banerjee
16 2012 Madurai V. Sivadasan Ritabrata Banerjee
17 2016 Sikar V. P. Sanu Vikram Singh
18 2018 Shimla V. P. Sanu Mayukh Biswas

Flag[edit]

The SFI's flag has a red five-pointed, socialist-style star in the top left corners, on a white background and the words "Independence", "Democracy" and "Socialism" are written, in English or in a local language, one beneath the other, at the bottom right of the flag, also in red. The ratio of length and breadth of the flag is 3:2.[20]

Membership[edit]

The Students' Federation of India in 2020-21 has 24 functioning state committee's. Gujarat, Sikkim, Chhattisgarh and a unit in Central University of Jammu[21] are newly formed committees. SFI is leading several student unions of universities in Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat, West Bengal, Tripura, Assam, Odisha, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu,Bihar and Kerala.[22][23][24] In 2014-15, its total membership was 4,300,405.[25]

Activities[edit]

  • SFI has protested against the National Education Policy, 2019,[26] hike in fees,[27][28][29] and under-representation of reserved students in IITs.[30]
  • SFI members took part and organised multiple Citizenship Amendment Act protests in 2019.[31][32][33] The SFI marched to the Parliament in one such protest.[34] Further, the SFI even approached the Supreme Court against the act.[35][36][37]
  • During the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in India,[38] SFI distributed sanitary napkins to female students in West Bengal[39] and demanded their inclusion in essential commodities in Himachal Pradesh. SFI set up COVID-19 helpline numbers in various states to help stranded students.[40] To combat misinformation and reach out to the migrant labourers in various places, SFI launched a campaign named "My dear friend" where verified information from government sources are translated into various Indian languages and circulated through social media.[40] Online art festivals, lecture series and online classes were also organised by various SFI committee's.[41][42][43] SFI also produced face masks and hand sanitisers.[44]
  • SFI had won court cases for regulating private coaching centres in India.[45] SFI and DYFI activists jointly posted 1.5 lakh letters to the Prime Minister's office for lodged FIR against 49 artists who condemned the lynching of people and the activities of cow vigilantes.[46]

Women in SFI[edit]

From 27–29 January 2017, the 5th All India Girls Convention was held at Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh and it elected a 23 member team of girls’ sub-committee.[47]

Bleed Without Fear, Bleed Without Tax[edit]

Protesting against the imposition of 12% tax on sanitary napkins, the women sub-committee of SFI protested nationwide in July 2017.[48] The campaign was named "Bleed Without Fear, Bleed Without Tax". Petitions were submitted to the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for revoking the government decision.[49][50] Thousands of girl students mailed sanitary napkins with protest slogans to Arun Jaitley's office.[51][49][52] This campaign was similar to that of the Pink Chaddi Campaign in 2009.[51] The campaign also demanded the installation of adequate sanitary napkin vending machines in schools and colleges and providing six packets of sanitary napkins for one rupee to the women below poverty line.[51]

All-women panels[edit]

Female candidates of the SFI won all seats in a mixed college by fielding an all-women panel for students union elections[53] in Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, Kalady in 2017.[53][54][55] An SFI member became the first Dalit woman to be elected as the chairperson in Maharaja's College, Ernakulam in 2017.[56][57]

In 2018, all-women SFI panels won in CMS College Kottayam[58] and contested in Government Victoria College, Palakkad.[59]

In 2019, SFI members were elected as the first female chairpersons in Sacred Heart College, Thevara, Kochi,[60] and the College of Engineering, Trivandrum (CET).[61][62] Earlier, the SFI had organised protests of the female hostelites of CET in February 2019 for extending the curfew timings for girls' hostels. This movement forced the government to accept the demands and Dr Usha Titus, the Higher Education Secretary of Kerala Government issued orders to enforce them.[62]

GSCASH[edit]

The idea of GSCASH (Gender Sensitisation Committee Against Sexual Harassment) was first experimented in Jawaharlal Nehru University by SFI's students union headed by Vijoo Krishnan in 1998–99.[63][64] In September 2013, after the harassment of two women students of Pondicherry University, the SFI initiated a movement for GSCASH in the university and the activists approached Madras High Court for redressal.[65] The movement later ended successfully with the High Court ordering university to constitute institutional mechanisms for grievances.[65] In Assam, the Directorate of Higher Education (DHE) in 2018 ordered all colleges to set up GSCASH after the SFI's intervention.[66]

Reception[edit]

In 2019, an informal probe by retired Justice PK Shamsudin, appointed to look into the discrepancies in college campus politics noted the anti-democratic activities of SFI in Kerala.[67][68] However, the SFI denied these claims.[69]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Banerjie, Monideepa (16 January 2015). "Violence Plagues College Union Elections in West Bengal". NDTV.com. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  2. ^ Benu, Parvathi (13 July 2019). "'I apologise to people of Kerala': Why SFI's V P Sanu disbanded University College Unit after comrade stabs comrade". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  3. ^ Das, Gaurav (13 March 2020). "Assam Police Doesn't Want Aishe Ghosh to Address Anti-CAA Meet, Alleges SFI". The Wire. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  4. ^ "History_of_SFI" (PDF).
  5. ^ "Programme of Students' Federation of India". 11 January 2015. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
  6. ^ "Know Sitaram Yechury, the Man who Heads Indian Communism". The Quint. 19 April 2015. Retrieved 10 May 2020.
  7. ^ Apr 3, Akshaya Mukul / TNN /; 2006. "CPM witnesses 'generational change' | India News - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 10 May 2020.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  8. ^ "Prakash Karat: A leader from his student days - Indian Express". The Indian Express. Retrieved 10 May 2020.
  9. ^ "SIT to interrogate former SFI President K K Ragesh". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 10 May 2020.
  10. ^ November 1, Romita Datta; November 11, 2019 ISSUE DATE; November 1, 2019UPDATED; Ist, 2019 14:44. "Calling the Youth". India Today. Retrieved 10 May 2020.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
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  12. ^ "SFI National President V Sivadasan: Latest News & Videos, Photos about SFI National President V Sivadasan | The Economic Times". The Economic Times. Retrieved 10 May 2020.
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  16. ^ Narayanan, Nitheesh (10 December 2018). "16th All India Conference of Students Federation of India Concludes". Student Struggle. Retrieved 10 May 2020.
  17. ^ Jul 11, PTI |; 2003; Ist, 00:03. "SFI protests against govt's education policy | Thiruvananthapuram News - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 10 May 2020.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  18. ^ "Campus agitations in Bengal a sign of rising movement, feel stakeholders". Hindustan Times. 9 January 2020. Retrieved 10 May 2020.
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  20. ^ User, Super. "Constitution". sficec.org. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
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  22. ^ "State Committees". sficec.org. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
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  25. ^ "Membership". Official Website :: Students' Federation of India. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
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  27. ^ "Pondicherry University students go on indefinite hunger strike demanding rollback of fee hike". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  28. ^ "SFI activists protest in support of JNU students". The Hindu. Special Correspondent. 20 November 2019. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 7 May 2020.CS1 maint: others (link)
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  30. ^ "Fewer number of SC/ST scholars in IITs: SFI calls for study". The Times of India. 15 December 2019. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
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  34. ^ "SFI march against CAA tomorrow". The Hindu. 14 December 2019. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  35. ^ "Students Federation of India moves SC over Citizenship Act". Deccan Herald. 18 January 2020. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  36. ^ "Students federation moves SC challenging Citizenship (Amendment) Act". ANN. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  37. ^ "SFI moves Supreme Court challenging Citizenship Amendment Act". The Hindu. PTI. 19 January 2020. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 7 May 2020.CS1 maint: others (link)
  38. ^ "Student Body Demands Suspension Of Room Rents During Lockdown". NDTV.com. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  39. ^ "Bengal: Stores running out of stock, online services hit, SFI cushions sanitary pad scarcity". The Indian Express. 6 April 2020. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  40. ^ a b "SFI activists sent vital COVID-19 alerts to migrant labourers as WhatsApp messages in their native tongues". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  41. ^ "Coronavirus: Online art festival, another lockdown innovation in Kerala". Deccan Herald. 10 April 2020. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  42. ^ "Games, contests galore in Kerala to cheer people up during COVID-19 lockdown". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  43. ^ "COVID-19: How Students and Youths in Kerala Are Doing Their Share". NewsClick. 21 March 2020. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  44. ^ "COVID-19: How Students and Youths in Kerala Are Doing Their Share". NewsClick. 21 March 2020. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  45. ^ Network, LiveLaw News (4 February 2017). "Regulation Of Private Coaching Centres: SC Asks Petitioner To Approach Authorities [Read Order]". livelaw.in. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  46. ^ "SFI, DYFI bombard PMO with 1.5 lakh posted letters protesting FIR against 49 'seditious' artists". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  47. ^ "All India Girls' Convention of SFI Held in Vijayawada | Peoples Democracy". peoplesdemocracy.in. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  48. ^ Reporter, Staff (14 July 2017). "Protest against GST on sanitary napkins". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  49. ^ a b Balan, Saritha S (12 July 2017). "Bleed without tax: SFI sends sanitary napkins to Arun Jaitley". The News Minute. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  50. ^ Dhar, Dipsita. "SFI activists send sanitary napkins to Arun Jaitley in response to GST on pads". Newslaundry. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  51. ^ a b c "SFI has 'bloody' good idea: Asks students to send pads to Finance ministry to protest GST on sanitary napkins". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  52. ^ "GST: SFI activists post sanitary pads to Arun Jaitely". The Economic Times. 12 July 2017. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  53. ^ a b "Women to lead at Sree Sankaracharya Sanskrit University". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  54. ^ "These Kerala colleges' all-woman unions strive to break gender stereotypes". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  55. ^ "വനിതാദിനത്തില്‍ വിപ്ലവം രചിച്ച് സംസ്കൃത സര്‍വകലാശാലയിലെ പെണ്‍കരുത്ത്; ഭാരവാഹികള്‍ ചുമതലയേറ്റു". Asianet News Network Pvt Ltd (in Malayalam). Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  56. ^ Jayaram, Deepika (24 August 2017). "First woman chairperson: Women's issues will be my priority: says Mridhula Gopi, the first girl to become chairperson of Maharaja's College in 70 years". The Times of India. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  57. ^ "Women power boosts SFI win Students' Federation of India". Deccan Chronicle. 23 August 2017. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  58. ^ "These Kerala colleges' all-woman unions strive to break gender stereotypes". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  59. ^ "SFI makes history, contests women in full panel for union elections at Victoria college". Mathrubhumi. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  60. ^ "SFI recaptures Sacred Heart College union". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  61. ^ "Student votes will not go in vain: CET's first woman chairperson Anjuradh TR". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  62. ^ a b "How curfew-killer Anjuradh TR became the first woman to lead the Union at College of Engineering, Trivandrum". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  63. ^ "Kanhaiya's predecessors: Where they are, what they do". The Indian Express. 22 February 2016. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  64. ^ "Meet JNU Alumnus Vijoo Krishnan, Man Who Inspired 50,000 Farmers to March 180-km". News18. 13 March 2018. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  65. ^ a b "M.Kavya vs The Chairman". indiankanoon.org. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  66. ^ "Colleges told to form committee against sexual harassment". The Assam Tribune Online. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  67. ^ Philip, Shaju (4 August 2019). "Kerala: A campus with a 'torture room'". The Indian Express. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
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External links[edit]