National Sections of the L5I:

Solidarity with student struggles in India

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Revolution, the international Communist youth organisation, declares its complete solidarity with students at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), against the arrest of JNU Student Union President Kanhaiya Kumar on 12 February and the entry of the police onto the JNU Campus on the orders of the BJP Government of Narendra Modi. We condemn the police action against students on campus, and demand an immediate withdrawal of all charges against Kanhaiya Kumar.

The goons of the RSS (a far right Hindu chauvinist organisation) have physically beaten students and intimidated them, journalists have also faced a similar situation when covering this incident. The students of JNU, who are predominantly left and left liberal, have been the target of repeated attacks by the media. The media have been spreading a false propaganda and fabrications against the students, presenting them as “anti-Indian”. This is a response to the strong student movement that is developing inside India, demonstrating the will and courage of the students to fight for their rights, which are under attack by the Modi government.

The protest was organised against the judicial killing of Afzal Guru, who was convicted of an attack on the Indian parliament. This also raises the question of the oppressed Kashmir nation, fighting for independence. It was a peaceful protest, but the neoliberal Modi government is frightened of any oppositional movement because it is increasingly attacking the rights of working class, the poor and oppressed. Last year, we already saw the biggest working class strike in the history of India.

Other institutions, such as the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) and Hyderabad University, have been subject to similar kinds of violence and intimidation. The same is true of the harassment of Dalit students, which led to the tragic suicide of Rohith Vemula, an activist of the Ambedkar Students' Association.

We strongly condemn the Indian government’s response to the students’ protests and call on the trade unions, workers' parties and peasant organisations to defend democratic rights and to support the student movement.

The vicious attack by the state and RSS goons demonstrates the reality of what lies behind the institutions of bourgeois democracy when students, democratic and working class forces try to fight for their own demands. They need to fight even for those rights that are formally guaranteed to them. They face repression and slander by the bosses' media not only because of the democratic issues they take up, but because the ruling class of India and the Hindu chauvinist government fear that the students could link up with millions and millions of workers and peasants as well as oppressed sections such as the Dalit, the oppressed nationalities and with women fighting for their rights.

What they fear actually shows us the way forward – a united struggle of all the oppressed, bringing the working class to the head of a movement that fights for democratic rights, against capitalist exploitation and for a different society, a socialist society.

* Immediate release of Kanhaiya Kumar and all other arrested students!
* Police and security out of the campuses and universities!
* Defend democratic rights! Freedom of assembly, protest, strike and occupation!
* Organised, mass self defence against repression from the police, RSS goons and other right wing and chauvinist forces!
* Link the struggles of the students with the struggles of working class people, peasants, the Dalit and nationally oppressed!

In their courageous struggles, the students, workers and poor of India deserve, and need, the solidarity of the working class movement all over the world. We call on all trade unions, working class parties and organisations, student unions and associations as well as the whole left to come out in their support; send statements of solidarity to the student movement of India, send protests to the Indian authorities and organise rallies in front of Indian embassies all over the world. The heroic fight of the Indian students should be an inspiration for all of us, a living example of the struggle against “our” governments, against imperialism, exploitation and oppression.