Resignation from the Primary Membership of AISF and CPI, and renunciation of the post of Secretary-JNU Unit
Sudhakar Reddy ji,
Communist Party of India.
The foundation of our organisation AISF and the Communist Party of India are based on certain core values and people-centric policies. It is our fundamental duty to address the expectations, apprehensions and agony of the people. In times of this global conundrum when capitalism is at its peak, Universities are being tacitly destroyed, reservation—the constitutional right of the oppressed—is blatantly attacked through the thirteen-point roster, the constitutional infrastructure is jeopardised, and when the Socialist values need to be asserted, we are instead asserting individual and individualistic agenda. The structural demolition of our organisation is not spontaneous. It is systematic, and is a result of the rising upper-caste hegemony in our organisational structure.
Comrade, a pattern can be observed in the organisation and the party to treat the oppressed section like bondage labour. The flag is fetched up by someone, and the fame by someone else. Having observed things from the closest quarters, I disclose that no matter how hard you work, mediocre sleeper cells are always on guard to take you down. The oppressed and the minorities are ready to work under any leadership, but the oppressor class is reluctant to accept the leadership of oppressed and the minorities. The humiliation-mechanism is so intricate that it is hard to escape. It’s suffocating to work in such a humiliating environment.
It is disgustingly mocked when the JNU unit Secretary is a distant, oppressed class villager from the extremely backward region of Farkiya, and when the president is from the minority section from Seemanchal; a ‘non-cooperation movement’ is launched against them. It is hard to construe why such lowlife lobbying is wired against someone who has worked tirelessly for the organisation for the last three years. In our organization there are people of right-wing tendency, suffering from ‘Attention Seeking Syndrome’, who are vehemently opposed to bahujan leadership, and therefore are debasing the organisational infrastructure. All that is legit to them is a puppet running the organisation—that, too, from the oppressor class!
Comrade, I find it relevant to what Lenin said, “All our lives we fought against exalting the individual, against the elevation of the single person, and long ago we were over and done with the business of a hero, and here it comes up again: the glorification of one personality. This is not good at all. I am just like everybody else”.
Interestingly, whosoever contests a JNU election mysteriously sidelines himself or herself from the organisational activities. In my opinion, it is either due to caste-arrogance or class-arrogance. I fondly remember a meeting, in which you too were present, where Comrade Kanhaiya promulgated that he isn’t a part of the JNU unit of AISF. How can someone be a part of the national council without being a member of the university unit while being still enrolled? To my surprise, you obscurely remained silent on this. This is not a personal grievance, but a theoratical objection. Since when did an individual overshadowed our core values?
As the then incumbent JNUSU president, Kanhaiya used his discretionary powers to prevent the tabling of the resolution in the University General Body Meeting which mandated OBC reservation in hostel allotment. This attracted a lot of criticism and later Kanhaiya had to resort to his lucid vocabulary to avert the situation. Kanhaiya and I had a late-night heated debate on this where I was assured that the resolution had already been passed in the Union Council meeting and thus, need not to be passed separately in the UGBM i.e. University General Body Meeting. I opposed his use of the word ‘veto’ when we traveled to Kerala to campaign for the assembly elections. Comrade Vishwajeet, too, concurred me and admonished Kanhaiya that he shouldn’t have used the word ‘veto’ and should have instead told about the council meeting. I was taken aback by surprise when a few months ago Deelip Kumar, a Councillor in the Union of 2015-16, told me that no such resolution was ever tabled or passed in the council meeting. I feel betrayed, comrade! You may even cross-check this allegation. The fault lies in his commitment and intentions. He was overheard saying, “Will we give them reservation from our own pockets?” This has brought in a lot of disgrace to our party and projected us as hypocrites. We have been tainted as anti-reservation and we, the honest workers have been time and again abashed. This only confirms that he is one of the many people who are ‘Red from outside but saffron from inside.’
Comrade, whether you took cognisance of this or not is not known to me, but Kanhaiya Kumar, the man with whom every liberal and nonpartisan held sympathy, betrayed the entire JNU community. When the entire University was struggling against the draconian orders of mandatory attendance and boycotting it, he was one of the very first person to sign the attendance sheet. This is palpable treachery to the movement that skyrocketed him into the national discourse from where he claims to be Modi’s biggest critique. This demeaning act of his was condemned by everyone, including former JNUSU president Lenin. Again, I had no choice but to remain silent when mocked on this.
You must also be aware that just a day after their ‘closed-door meeting’, Begusarai MP Bhola Singh entitled him as Bhagat Singh. Since when did we need a certificate from the BJP? This is just a blatant display of opportunism and casteist alliance. Also, this is sheer disrespect of the great Bhagat Singh. Is this our legacy, comrade? Also surprising is the declaration of Kanhaiya’s candidature by Comrade K. Narayan without any decision of the district committee. How was Comrade K. Narayan beleaguered into doing this or was this an attempt to hijack the organisational structure needs to be enquired. I am not against someone’s candidature, but the core democratic values of the party needs to respected. Here, I find Jonathan Swift very relevant: “Laws are like cobwebs, which may catch small flies, but let wasps and hornets break through.”
Comrade, do you agree with Kanhaiya calling CPI as ‘Confused Party of India’ at the party congress? Such irresponsible statements have besmirched the party at multiple fora. But little do I hope for any dissent, for the party has itself agreed to be duped by an individual. Suddenly, individualistic values have gained more importance than our core values. The all important issues of reservation and other people-friendly policies are dodged to satisfy individuals. This ‘if-but-although-however’ approach disgusts me.
Comrade, democracy is democracy because it respects every voice of dissent, even if in the same organisation. There might be diverse opinions on the same issue, and this is the beauty of democracy. Allow me to quote Voltaire, “I may disagree with everything that you say, but I will defend, to the last drop of my blood, your right to say so.” On women reservation, I hold the opinion that intra-quota must be mandated. OBC women must be given reservation within the womb reservation. Leaders like Lalu, Sharad and Mulayam Singh Yadav aren’t against this bill. They just don’t want the bill to be passed in its current, regressive form. The party’s vague stand on this troubles me. It’s not just the aristocratic women like Sushma Swaraj and Smriti Irani that should enter ‘The Well’, but also stone crushers like Bhagwati Devi, and a victim of the twin evils of casteism and patriarchy, and the incomparable and unprecedented voice of resistance like Phoolan Devi.
Comrade, we disparage the same labourers, farmers and the youth with whom we claim to stand by; our actions don’t complement our words! Even in our party head office, the cleaners’ wages are abysmally low. One can’t even educate their children with such low income. We reiterate Lohia at length, but how can an egalitarian society be established without ensuring societal respect and economic justice?
“राष्ट्रपति का बेटा हो या चपरासी की हो संतान/ बिड़ला या ग़रीब का बेटा, सबको शिक्षा एक समान” (Education is for all, whether it is the son of the President or the son of a peon) has been reduced to just a hackneyed phrase.
Also beyond my thinking capacities is fact that why the party is still uncomfortable to let a dalit hold its baton? It won’t be wrong if I call it a mystery that even though Comrade D Raja leads the party at every important conference, all-party meet and opposition meeting, he isn’t allowed to run it. Even the party Dais is captured by a selected caste group. Only that group has the right to voice out its opinion, while the oppressed class is only there to listen. When will this brahminical structure be dismantled, or will it continue till eternity? Will we be always so prejudiced and consider only a selected caste group as intellectual? How many more years will it take to hand over the leadership to the ones who have been deprived of the social capital, or any capital for that matter, for ages? For how many more years will they be strategically pushed away from the mainstream? Comrade, no pro-people policies can be devised without considering the rights of the Dalits, backwards, pasmandas and the minorities. Time is the greatest teacher, and it will compel this 93-year old party to utter ‘Jai Mandal’ just like it compelled it to shout ‘Jai Bhim’. If the party really respects the idea of peaceful coexistence and proportionate representation, it must ensure that the habitual speakers listen and the habitual listeners speak. Also, the former must welcome the latter on the Dias and listen to them patiently, even if half-heartedly.
Organisational expansion has been put on the back burners, while expelling honest and diligent workers has become the top priority. In the last few years, many districts secretaries of the party in Bihar resigned along side several national-level resignations from AISF, and not to forget the complete disbanding of the Delhi state leadership. This raises an eyebrow on party’s organisational structure where dissenting voices are not tolerated. What irks me even more is the constant patting and pampering of the people behind this downfall. Also to mention, we were left barefaced when our popular student leader, ‘Mr Primetime’ abused two female workers—Rahila Parveen and Ruby Singh—in 2016. This incident shook our core values and exposed the party’s hypocrisy on gender justice.
Comrade, in the prevailing times when the entire structure is hijacked by ‘wise people’, the organisation has been reduced to a ‘one-man show’, and I am being threatened in the name of establishing a ‘power balance’, I feel strangled. I fear for my life from these hooligans. The situation here is very chaotic. Decisions are being made individually, bypassing the secretariat; participation of Dalits, backwards and minorities is almost nil and upper-caste hegemony is dominant. The upper-caste is reluctant to bahujan leadership and looks down on them. In such a dystopian environment, I don’t wish to hold any position in the organisation. Neither can I compromise with my self-respect, nor will I tolerate brahminical tantrums. Therefore, I resign from the Primary Membership of AISF and CPI, and renunciate the post of Secretary-JNU Unit.
National General Secretary/President, AISF
National In-charge, Student Branch, CPI
State Secretary/President, AISF, Delhi
State Secretary, CPI, Delhi
Branch Secretary, JNU
Jayant Jigyasu is Research Scholar in JNU. He has been active in student politics, committed to the cause of social justice and communal harmony. He has been writing articles on socio-political issues for different magazines, newspapers and websites.