JNU: Ambedkar Vs Left; but opposite in Panjab University, Why?

BAPSA (Birsa-Ambedkar-Phule Student Association) challenging the Left Unity in JNU


JNU, the land of ideological battles, is well-known place for intellectual potential and dominance of Stalinist left. With the rise of right wing forces after Modi became P.M. in 2014, from Rohith Vemula to Una incident dalits are being attacked ruthlessly. Consequently, dalits who were cunningly communalized by RSS during Lok Sabha election are now coming out of Hindutva fold. After the march of cultural Hindutva of right wing conservative, the left politics which claims to be pro-dalits in its popular rhetoric of Bolshevik revolution, obviously has found some space in political discourse. Though, the JNU’s campus culture and its students’ verdict is not always the real reflection of society but the recent sedition row and overwhelming attempts of Modi government to haunt left hegemony have  pulled the attention of whole nation to link up with JNU. Interestingly, in present scenario, dalits are being lured by all political groups evidently under the banner of ‘annihilation of caste’. Even P.M. Modi warned his party to convince dalits and said that Nationalists are with us, let’s reach out to Dalits, backwards.

Courtesy  Kractivism

Kractivism -Bridge the Gap Bring the Change

JNU campus has been a hub of Stalinist left and Marxist bastions since its foundation. AISA, a student wing of CPI (ML) Liberation had been winning mandate in student elections for many years. In 2015, Kanhiya, a leader of AISF (the student wing of CPI) fought against AISA and became president of JNUSU. And for now, the JNU bears very different kind of contest where the right wing ABVP has been completely swept away and BAPSA(Birsa-Ambedkar-Phule Student Association) came as strong contender against Left Unity (AISA-SFI). BAPSA, which started just two years ago, chased the Left Unity and lost with a small margin of 409 votes.  Aftermath, the political thinkers are forced to interpret the political contours of newly emerged scenario in JNU. Clearly, the mandate of JNU student election is a synthesis of national political environment and inherent Ambedkar-Marxian contradictions. The nature of right and left politics is complementary, unconstitutional and absolutely hegemonic. Right wing relies on cultural hegemony while spreading false version of history or endorsing hegemonic phase of Manu-Samriti and similarly Left considers its philosophy ultimate champion of all oppressed sections asserting its ‘intellectual’ hegemony while imposing economic interpretation of history.

B.R. Ambedkar, the icon of constitutional democracy, had always motivated downtrodden and socially oppressed people for education, saying knowledge as one of major premises in power sharing. In 1970s, the Naxalite movement under the slogan ‘land to tiller’ and big ill-literacy in dalits (landless) brought them in leftist outfits. Moreover, dalit intellectuals also became dependent on leftist ideology while being far away from Ambedkar’s constitutionalism. Later on, the Bahujanvad of Kanshiram and Janata Politics gave a new independent voice to dalits, minorities and backward classes of India strengthening constitutional democracy. The JNU’s mandate reflects that dalits who are the product Ambedkar’s reservation policy, now following his slogan of  Educate, Agitate, Organize are struggling for independent platform rejecting Left politics, understanding the real difference between the Ambedkarism and Leftism as suggested by Ambedkar :

my party would not align with Communist Party for the plain reason that I do not believe in Communism”.

Instead, the mandate of student election in Panajb University, Chandigarh is surprisingly different. Students preferred ‘non-political’ group PUSU over mainstream parties like NSUI,SOI,ABVP etc. Secondly, the election mandate also brings Marx-Ambedkar ties in question. The extreme left outfit, Students for Society (SFS) got 2494 votes with small margin of 11 votes from second contender SOI and scored third position. Ironically, the Ambedkar Students Association (ASA) again lacked in representing dalits independently and overtly supported SFS. When will dalits, OBC and all the anti-casteism students of Panajb University understand that there cannot be ideological unity between Ambedkar and Marx?

                -Eklavya Editorial Committee



Finally, Lyngdoh Instructions and Campus democracy won!!! (Analysis of PU campus election,2014)

Finally, Lyngdoh Instructions and Campus democracy won!!!

(Analysis of PU campus election,2014)

Indian society is embracing many diversities having unity in its collective political conscience with constitutional values developed over considerable period of history. The representatives and electoral system are supposed to be dominating instrument of any democracy. The degree of fairness and transparency in election affirms the maturity of democratic institutions. Recently, the scenario in PU was full of excitements for celebrating occasion of democracy- the electoral mechanism. To assure peaceful and fair environment the authorities were deeply concerned. The Lyngdoh recommendations were followed sincerely to involve educated people with good academic qualifications to participate in electoral arena. There may perhaps be some ‘debates’ in these instructions but still this approach definitely teaches leadership qualities to high merit students and also compels poor merit students with good leadership qualities to establish them in academic life.

The campus election in PU ended with NSUI victory recording the second time lead in history. Firstly, we ESYA congratulate the NSUI (student wing of Congress Party), NSO & HIMSU workers and leaders to continue their success in field of student politics of PU campus. Dalvir Goldy, Brinder Dhillon, Sunny Mehta, Manoj Lubana Mauji, Chandan Rana etc as the leaders behind the campaign are also rightful identities to be congratulated. This election has gone leaving behind many experiences and memories with us. We ESYA have tried to put a general review and analysis of this election to draw outlining of students issues that were focused during campaigns and of influences of national or state mainstream parties over the election results. As per Lyngdoh guidelines election contending students are not supposed to mention the party or union name along with his/ her name on the ballot paper. Consequently, this entire phenomenon has enhanced the quantity of students with notion that student’ union not linked to political parties must be given preference because that would deal with student problems exclusively. Hence a politics of pretending to be from non-political background have strengthened at certain level.

This victory of NSUI has far reaching effect at local and even national level. 1stly that Modi wave is derailed and the idea floated that a student organization should not belong to any political party has yet again failed. Hence the obvious factors remained as excellent performance of last year PU council under the leadership of NSUI, Charisma & experience of leaders (Mr. Dalvir Goldy, Mr. Brinder Dhillon) behind the campaign , Properly addressing the issue of girls’ rights and problems, Correct handling of issues of Engineering students [ UIET ], Call of Ex-CM of Punjab Capitan Amarinder Singh to poll fearlessly ensuring the goon free environment while the silence of CM – Badal served the opposite. Like the democratic and secular agenda of Congress party at national, NSUI embraced whole variety of mind sets and communities.

PUSU, SFI, HSA alliance:-In PU students this is very common argument that the student unions are mouthpiece of main political parties. And students show behavior full of hatred toward such student unions. The very neutral image of PUSU & HSA was preached successfully among students. The main ally SFI being very opportunistic became successful to hide its left background (CPI-M) inside this alliance. This was major reason of having such huge support and won the post of joint secretary. No doubt untiring efforts and being old party PUSU got good amount of votes.             

INSO & SOI and allies:- The actual basis of alliance of INSO (INLO, Haryana) and SOI (Akali Dal Badal, Punjab) was well known to all students. The Akali Dal Badal party was very eager to join INLO as alliance to BJP during Lok Sabha election which never materialized but same reflected in INSO and SOI during PU campus election. Workers of all these student unions are very sincere and worked very hard but to us natural alliance of SOI should have been ABVP but it seems that because of their internal tension Akalis and BJP regarding the alliance politics in Haryana in coming Vidhan Sabha election. The Anti-drug campaign of AAP M.P. Bhagwant Mann against Akali Dal Badal also restricted the Punjabi students to vote SOI condemning the sectarian regional politics. Hence, due to confusions going on in these parties at state and national level, their respective student unions have suffered dearly.

ABVP  a flop showdownfall Modi Wave–  As per national scenario ABVP must be leader of alliance with INSO & SOI but it could not happen. All this shows the unethical and unprincipled alliance of BJP at national politics. The sincere efforts of student leaders of these unions were in ineffective just because of communal image of BJP and sectarian regional approach of SAD & INLO. In our opinion they should better join RSS rather than trying luck in University elections.

Finally, during all this electoral scenario, a leftist petty student group SFS (political party not sure & pretend to be non-political) which used to be non-participant in campus panel election for last three years just because of dissent with Lyngdoh instructions by saying it anti-students, undemocratic and merit based or Brahamnical norms suddenly jumped into panel election to show itself the main trustworthy of Lyngdoh. This was obviously an opportunistic or self-contradicting attitude. SFS played every hook and crook card to win election.  SFS preached about the president candidate as scholar and emphasized on the just academic merit of candidate and whole campaign was so intense which made feel students that every activist of SFS is research scholar. This was basic achievement to hide the blamed faces and cases registered against them. Next, SFS was successful in hiding its leftist face and projecting itself as non-political party. They asked voters just for vote to one post (presidential) and remaining three votes to any other student party. What a cheap and cunning tactics!  Furthermore girl candidate chosen to contest at presidential post while observing the majority of girls is a good tactical step and should be appreciated. But in campaign SFS just incited and exaggerated the issues of eve teasing and maligning the character of student leaders of other parties. Consequently their left politics degraded into electoral/tactical feminism among female students, which is again appreciable from the point of view of having votes. Whereas issues picked by NSUI regarding girls like timings of the library/hostel is worth mentioning as the step towards gender equality. Besides this, SFS relied on leadership of ASA (student wing of BSP) for dalit’s votes to hide their anti-dalit faces. ASA proved to be the master of drama of being non-political by rejecting the electoral politics in campus. And they pushed their workers to vote SFS indirectly. Hence it seems ASA not to be true representative of dalits but only the controller of their minds. ASA must represent itself in elections with wider agenda and their own potential.  Moreover, the sympathy for cases against SFS members by preaching themselves innocent is major factor for their votes whereas the case trail is going on in court. This is very unconstitutional and shows no-faith in judiciary. They succeeded in manipulating the fund resources by taking symbolic fund campaign but this is fact that all left background rich people sponsored SFS. In nutshell SFS tried to satisfy all Lyngdoh norms clarifying its own dilemma.  We, the ESYA, appreciate the efforts of the PU management, Chandigarh Administration and police department that contributed to the peaceful and unbiased conduct of elections.

Appeal:- 1. Almost all student unions are composed of two agendas one relating with students and other with national issues. No student unions can win elections without serving students because students are very aware and educated section of society but we must interfere and understand the national agendas of their respective political parties.

  1. Investigate the ‘neutrals’ while voting them if you sincerely believe in neutrals. Please do not fund the unions without knowing their sprit and mode of expenditure.
  2. This process of upholding the constitutional principles and values should continue in the future as well.


President ESYA  : Vikramjeet Vick                                                          Contact:  9988846069

 on 7 September,2014