The JNU Students Union (JNUSU) Elections 2014-15 are being held at time when a communal, far right force has come into power at the Centre in India. We have been witness, in the recent months, to a spate of assaults on people’s rights and livelihoods, and on the secular fabric of our society in a number of ways, including unrelenting price rise, increasing communal violence and efforts to communalise education. The Union which will be elected in the upcoming elections will have to rise up to the challenges thrown up by the new situation, especially given the experience that the last BJP-led government had made every effort to introduce obscurantist, communal curriculum (in the form of courses like ‘human consciousness’) even in JNU, which was defeated by the united resistance of students under the leadership of the SFI-led JNUSU of 2001-02.
In the JNU campus, however, there is tremendous discontent and anger today among the students against the previous AISA-led Union which did nothing with regard to the most important students’ demands on hostels and scholarships. The students of JNU have been hit hard by the most severe shortage of hostel rooms that JNU has experienced in the recent decades, and the Unions in the recent years, led by DSF and AISA, have responded with callousness, inaction and false claims. Similarly on the demand to increase Merit-Cum-Means (MCM) scholarships for BA/MA students from Rs. 2000 to Rs. 3000, the last Union refused to stage even a single protest. We have also seen a tremendous setback to the gender-just ethos of JNU in the recent weeks, with the JNUSU President and Joint Secretary (both from AISA) resigning after they violated the rules and procedures of the Gender Sensitisation Committee Against Sexual Harassment (GSCASH) by bringing out a public statement on a GSCASH case against themselves. The urgent task of the Union which will be elected in the upcoming elections, therefore, would be to revive the legacy of the JNU students’ movement, which has historically been known for its relentless and sincere struggles to concretely advance students’ rights and contribute to the larger struggle for radical social transformation.
It is with this perspective of reinvigorating the JNUSU, and foregrounding an agenda of ensuring accommodation facilities for students (including expansion of hostel facilities and alternative accommodation for all students until new hostels are constructed), enhancement of scholarships, further democratization of the admission policy by eliminating the scope for all kinds of discrimination in the admission process and ensuring gender justice through unyielding struggle and vigorous sensitisation, that SFI is facing the JNUSU Elections 2014-15.
Our central panel for the election is as follows:
For President – Pindiga Ambedkar
For Vice-President - Salini LR
For General Secretary – Najeeb VR
For Joint Secretary – Dinesh Kataria.
School of Social Sciences – Balu Raj, Dipsita Dhar, Manish Kumar, Satarupa Chakraborty, Twinkle Siwach
School of International Studies – Amal Pullarkat, Prasanta Kumar Sahu, Sanjukta Nath, Shibin Xavier, Sudeep Kumar Jaiswal
School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies – Adarsh MV , Akshat Seth, Kumari Anjali, Md Amir Malik, Sruti Md
School of Arts and Aesthetics – Nisam Asaf K J
Centre for the Study of Law and Governance – Jeemut Pratim Das.
School of Biotechnology- Aparna C R
We appeal to the students of JNU to rally behind the SFI to revitalise the students’ movement and to take our struggle for a more egalitarian and just society forward.