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Students' Federation of India Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Students'_Federation_of_India

Students Federation of India
SFI-flag.svg
AbbreviationSFI
Formation1970; 52 years ago (1970)
TypeStudent Organisation
Legal statusActive
HeadquartersIndia
President
V. P. Sanu
General Secretary
Mayukh Biswas
Joint Secretary
Dipsita Dhar, Dinit Denta
Main organ
Student Struggle (studentstruggle.in)
Websitesficec.org

The Students' Federation of India (abbreviated as SFI) is an Indian left-wing student organisation, politically aligned to the ideology and political views of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).[2] Currently, V. P. Sanu and Mayukh Biswas are elected as the All India President and General Secretary respectively.[3][4]

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.[5] AISF was aligned to the Communist Party of India.[6][7] In 1964 CPI(M) broke up from CPI. AISF was also affected with this split due to their negligence on students issues. Several local organizations previously affiliated to AISF started working independently. In 1970, delegates from such organizations held a conference in Thiruvananthapuram to form a new national students organisation. The all India conference was held from 27 to 30 December, and resulted in formation of Students' Federation of India.[8][9] The elected leaderships from the first conference included C. Baskaran, (first President), Biman Bose (first General Secretary), Shyamal Chakraborty, Baldev Singh, Babu Bharadwaj, Ranjan Goswami, Manik Sarkar, N Ram, Subhash Chakraborty, Umendra prasad Singh, P Madhu and Shaktidhar Das.[citation needed]

Former national office bearers[10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22]
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 Calcutta Prakash Karat Biman Bose
4 1976 Calcutta (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 Calcutta 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

Presence and structure[edit]

The Students' Federation of India in 2020–21 has 24 functioning state committees. SFI has strong presence in few states like Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal, Tripura, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Assam, Odisha, Maharashtra and New Delhi and in many universities in the country. Since 2012, SFI is one of the major left force in Delhi University Students Union elections. [23][24][25] In 2014–15, its total membership was 4,300,405.[26] SFI has won numerous student union elections in Universities and colleges.[27]

SFI leads the student unions in various notable universities across India, including the University of Hyderabad, Pondicherry University,[28] Jadavpur University,[29] Presidency University,[30] Ambedkar University Delhi, Jawaharlal Nehru University,[31] Madhya Pradesh State Universities, Kurukshetra University, Cochin University of Science and Technology, Central University of Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh University, Central University of Jammu,[32] University of Calicut, Central University of Gujarat,[33][34] Doon University[35][36] etc.

Activities[edit]

Protest and demands[edit]

  • SFI has protested against the National Education Policy, 2019,[37] hike in fees,[38][39][40] and under-representation of reserved students in IITs.[41]
  • SFI members took part and organised multiple Citizenship Amendment Act protests in 2019.[42][43][44] The SFI marched to the Parliament in one such protest.[45] Further, the SFI even approached the Supreme Court against the act.[46][47][48]
  • During the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in India,[49] SFI distributed sanitary napkins to female students in West Bengal[50] and demanded their inclusion in essential commodities in Himachal Pradesh. SFI set up COVID-19 helpline numbers in various states to help stranded students.[51] 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.[51] Online art festivals, lecture series and online classes were also organised by various SFI committee's.[52][53][54] SFI also produced face masks and hand sanitisers.[54]
  • SFI had won court cases for regulating private coaching centres in India.[55]
  • 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.[56]
  • SFI approached Supreme Court seeking directions to provide universal free vaccination to all citizens of India and to waive off the goods and service tax levied on the import of the oxygen concentrators used for personal use during the COVID-19 pandemic.[57][58]

Red Volunteers and other social works[edit]

SFI along with DYFI, the youth wing of Communist Party of India (Marxist), runs Red Volunteers, Sramajibi Canteen and involves in various social works.[59][60]

Women in SFI[edit]

From 27 to 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.[61]

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.[62] 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.[63][64] Thousands of girl students mailed sanitary napkins with protest slogans to Arun Jaitley's office.[63][65][66] This campaign was similar to that of the Pink Chaddi Campaign in 2009.[65] 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.[65]

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[67] in Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, Kalady in 2017.[67][68][69] An SFI member became the first Dalit woman to be elected as the chairperson in Maharaja's College, Ernakulam in 2017.[70][71]

In 2018, all-women SFI panels won in CMS College Kottayam[68] and contested in Government Victoria College, Palakkad.[72]

In 2019, SFI members were elected as the first female chairpersons in Sacred Heart College, Thevara, Kochi,[73] and the College of Engineering, Trivandrum (CET).[74][75] 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.[75]

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.[76][77] 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.[78] The movement later ended successfully with the High Court ordering university to constitute institutional mechanisms for grievances.[78] In Assam, the Directorate of Higher Education (DHE) in 2018 ordered all colleges to set up GSCASH after the SFI's intervention.[79]

LGBTQIA+ issues[edit]

SFI has actively supported LGBTQIA+ rights. SFI was the first student organization in India to nominate an openly gay person for a Student Union election as they nominated Gourab Ghosh for Jawaharlal Nehru University Student Union elections held in 2013 as its candidate for the General Secretary position.[80][81][82] SFI has campaigned for LGBTQIA+ rights in college campuses, and has held conventions.[83][84] In 2016, SFI decided to include the ‘others’ gender option in its membership forms.[85] SFI has supported the scrapping of section 377 and opposes the Transgender Persons Act, 2019 commenting that the Act "infringes on the rights and dignity of transpersons"[1]. Prominent LGBTQIA+ persons in SFI include Apratim Roy (first trans SFI West Bengal State committee member),[86] Nandhana (first Transgender member of Thrissur District committee, Kerala), Adam Harry (first transman to become a pilot in India), Muhammed Zuhrabi (queer activist, ex-General Secretary, Pondicherry University Students' Council).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]