After 18 long years, the Kerala Students Union (KSU), the studentâ€™s wing of the Congress party in Kerala has set up their unit at the famed University College in Thiruvananthapuram. The college is a fortress of the Students Federation of India (SFI), the student outfit of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).
The decision by KSU was made public on Monday morning, outside the Kerala Secretariat, where members of the KSU have been on a hunger strike for more than a week demanding a judicial probe into the stabbing of a student by the SFI unit president of the University College.
KSUâ€™s seven member unit in the college will be headed by Amal Chandran, who is the president of the unit, along with Arya S Nair, who is the vice president of the unit. Speaking to TNM, Amal Chandran said that although an official decision to form a unit was made a couple of days back, the groundwork to establish a unit including scouting for members had began way before.
This move by KSU comes in the backdrop of mounting protest by students of the college accusing SFI of being authoritarian in the University College. At least three instances have been reported in the recent past that exposed the rot within the SFI unit.
Amal is of the opinion that all student political outfits should be able to form units in all colleges. When asked as to what was stopping them from forming units in the college, Amal replied, â€śWe were not given any opportunity to grow here. SFI was carrying out a dictator-like rule here. Right from admissions to extra curricular activities, they decide everything in college. Anyone opposing them, were silenced in different ways.â€ť
The KSU was unable to form a unit in the college that is situated in the heart of the capital city, very close to the secretariat and despite the Congress ruling the state in alternate terms.
Amal, says that he is a classmate of Akhil, the final year undergraduate student who was stabbed during the clash on July 12.
The KSU unit president states that the stabbing incident had turned many of the SFI members itself against their unit. â€śThis also gave courage to members of other student political outfits to start their units.â€ť
Itâ€™s not just KSU that had been planning to form a unit in University College. AIl India Students Federation (AISF), the studentâ€™s wing of the CPI has also been planning on forming a unit in the college.