The ideas of freedom, democracy and socialism are defined in new ways inside the University campus. Only the rule and tactics of the SFI form such ideals. The politics of muscle power, the ‘red fascism’ of suppressing any voice that is not their own, has been continuing in the campus for ages. Students, whose own rights are constantly violated, are reduced to fight for the rights of somebody else, are dragged to the secretariat and the legislative assembly to hold protest marches!
They have a “beating cell” prepared inside the campus to deal with the people who speak out against them. Naming another organization, failing to show up for SFI events, display scepticism about their ideas- these are “horrific crimes” inside the University College, Trivandrum. For ages, they have been recruiting a bunch of unresponsive “slaves”, who can dance to their tunes.
In reality, they are scared. The fear that the monopoly of their “red fort” would come to nothing. The fear turns into shameless politics, where the pauperism of ideas gives way to politics of muscle power. It is a sad state of affairs where they have to threaten students into even subscribing to their college magazine. It is a students’ organization that is forced to stand guard outside the college gates so they can get people for their protest marches!
While other student organizations have hesitated to even raise a hand, SIO has been carrying on a brave fight against this red fascism. Despite the threats and the beatings, SIO activists have not backed out on their ideology. And the SIO cadres still continue their battle. In 2013, they raised a huge challenge when they put up a candidate for the UUC (University Union Chairman) position against the SFI. And amidst threats, 167 students were brave enough to come out in support of ten SIO workers. The SIO activists have not buckled under the injustice to which they were put to. Many of the students who voted for the SIO candidate were cruelly beaten up. The party raised its voice inside the campus for the ones who had been subjected to beating.
The SIO cadres, who do not falter under the blows or utter an unnecessary word despite being showered with abuses but passes a quiet smile, and who firmly stand up for truth, have become subjects of fascination not just for the SFI, but the entire student community of the college. The SFI cadres have realized that the “beating cells” would only imbibe them with greater energy. Luqman, whom they had beaten up on the charges that he had voted for SIO, was the latter party’s candidate in the 2014 elections.
SFI’s rowdy tactics had no effect on SIO workers. More students have now started voicing out against the injustice perpetrated by SFI, and the “guantanamo” inside the college has now come out in the open before the people of Kerala. The media too, has taken up this issue, and discussions and democratic gatherings were held. The fight begun by SIO has given strength to an entire society.
In the last elections, for the first time in the history of the college, six candidates were lined up against SFI. And despite huge threats, at least 500 people came out of the “red fort” in support of the SIO candidates. One independent candidate, who was told that he would be hacked to pieces and whose nomination papers were forcefully withdrawn, has filed a case against SFI. The student community has definitely woken up.
A rainbow community of students, who want to create a campus where everyone can speak and act, agree and disagree, have joined forces with SIO. The SIO slogan “njangalalla, nammalaan campus”(Us, not We, make the campus) have been taken up by the students. The red fort has begun to crumble. A fight begun by just 10 people is set to make history. The students have finally learned to point their fingers, and ask questions.
Translated from Malayalam by Zayan Asif