National Executive meeting of NSUI
The National Executive meeting of NSUI comprising its National Office Bearers, State Presidents and special delegates was held on 10th-11th February 2016. The venue of the meeting at Angamaly, Kerala was named “Rohith Vemula Nagar” after the University of Hyderabad dalit scholar who was forced to commit suicide earlier this year. Hon’ble AICC Vice President Shri Rahul Gandhi paid floral tributes to the deceased PhD scholar before he addressed the meeting on 10th February. The 2-day conclave was chaired by Shri Roji M John, National President NSUI. Several senior party leaders including Shri Mukul Wasnik, General Secretary, AICC; Shri Girish Chodankar, Secretary AICC incharge of NSUI; Shri V.M. Sudheeran, President, Kerala PCC; Shri Ramesh Chennithala, Home Minister, Government of Kerala; Shri Hibi Eden, MLA and others attended the meeting. The chair, Shri Roji M John, highlighted the last one year’s activities of the NSUI emphasising on the student union election victories in Varanasi, Meerut, Agra, Rajasthan, Assam, Gujarat, Kerala, Chhattisgarh etc.
Thanking Shri Gandhi for his faith in NSUI while distributing election tickets, Shri Roji John said, “Wherever you have given tickets to our cadres, they have performed exceptionally well by defeating their nearest rivals with huge margins, be it in Gujarat, Chhattisgarh or Kerala. We have amongst us today the youngest mayor in India, Shri Devendra Yadav who defeated a sitting BJP MLA by 45,000 votes in Chhattisgarh.” Shri John also expressed deep commitment towards fighting the current dispensation that is throttling voices of dissent, infringing upon the autonomy of our educational institutions, selecting people of mediocrity in positions of excellence, communalizing the education system and crushing the voices of the marginalised sections. He said, “We will be holding a national conclave with representatives from educational A Report National Executive meeting of NSUI VP's Visi t institutions across the country to ensure that our campuses remain spaces that promotes critical and rational thinking where students aren’t punished for exercising their right to freedom of expression and dissent.
We call upon all progressive student organisations to join us in this endeavour.” AICC Secretary in charge of NSUI, Shri Girish Chodankar said, “Today there is a systematic attack on the marginalised sections of the society. Ambedkar Periyar Study circle in IIT Chennai was banned last year, and then in Hyderabad Central University, dalit students were suspended and ostracised. Having stood with them throughout, we realize how important it is to give them a voice. We are striving hard to get maximum representation of students from the SC, ST, OBC communities. We are also working on programmes to get more girl students join the system, one of which is waiving off membership and nomination fees.” Shri Rahul Gandhi in his address congratulated the Office Bearers who have won elections at various levels. Referring to the name of the venue, he said Rohith Vemula was a victim of institutional murder. He said, “It has come to a stage for the first time that the Minister of Education was reporting to RSS chief. Though Rohit committed suicide, he was actually killed by the RSS and the government which tried to impose its will on him. No Rohith Vemula should be created in this country anymore.” He also took a jibe at the left front saying, “the Left front and RSS are two sides of the same coin. Both impose one idea upon everyone.
Those that disagree are not given any space. The Left’s belief is that one man knew everything and anyone who questions it or says otherwise is thrown out. In the states where they are in power, they are violent and politically intolerant.” He also urged the NSUI to combat “anti-poor” policies of the Modi government. Finding faults with policies and programmes of the BJP government, he said while the annual railway budget stands at Rs 140,000 crore, the government has decided to spend Rs 98,000 crore for setting up bullet train network. He lamented that two-third of the budget is spent on a train that will be used by only thousands of people in the country when it could have been used to enhance the services beneficial to millions of citizens. Shri Gandhi also said “the RSS is making efforts to post its men in all the universities in the country.
And the Prime Minister is nothing but a puppet at the hands of the RSS. A spirit of dissent is emerging among the youth of the country and the BJP, run by RSS, realises this and hence is trying hard to crush it.” He urged NSUI to become a part of the dissenting voices and “continue creating chaos, as the BJP hates chaos and challenge.” He urged members of the National Students Union of India (NSUI) to fight for protecting the interests of Indian students and their right to ask questions. About coming assembly polls, he acknowledged that wherever the youth have been given an opportunity, they have performed tremendously and proved themselves. He emphasised the need for giving more youth representation in the party as well as the electoral system. The meeting was also joined by activists from FTII-Pune.
Yashasvi Misra, who was among the torch-bearers of the FTII strike, shared the journey of the 139-day long strike against the appointment of not only Gajendra Chauhan as Chairman but other incompetent people in the governing council who were selected solely for their affiliation with the RSS. Activists from Joint Action Committee for Justice for Rohith Vemula, University of Hyderabad also joined the meet and talked about the circumstances which led Rohith Vemula to commit suicide. They also highlighted their future course of action to ensure Rohith Vemula gets justice.
Former Ambassador of India to Austria, Shri T.P. Srinivasan who is currently adviser to the Kerala Government on higher education also joined the meeting and talked about the challenges in the current education system. Narrating the recent violent attack on him by SFI activists while on his way to address a global education forum, Ambassador Srinivasan said, “Such violence was a sign of intolerance by people who accuse others of intolerance.” He talked about the need to increase the education budget and research spending. The executive meeting also laid out plans for the 125th Birth Anniversary of B.R. Ambedkar, the upcoming assembly elections, 10th anniversary of the RTI Act among other things.