Student groups from IITs, BHU condemn the state targeting one of their own as "Maoists"

Written by Sabrangindia | Published on: September 6, 2018

Coordination of Science and Technology Institutes’ Student Associations (COSTISA), an umbrella organisation of students’ groups from institutions such as IIT Bombay and IMS BHU, has issued a statement after one of COSTISA’s constituent organisations appears to have been targeted.


Urban Naxals

The statement explains that on Tuesday, September 4, in Bengali newspaper Anandabazar Patrika, "it was declared that the Central Intelligence has marked some organizations in West Bengal which reportedly act as a frontal organization of the 'Maoists'. In the list of organizations, a constituent organization of COSTISA, Ambedkar Bhagat Singh Study Circle (ABSC) has been named." Other than ABSC, COSTISA is comprised of Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle (APSC) at IIT Madras, Ambedkar Periyar Phule Study Circle (APPSC) at IIT Bombay, Students For Chnage (SFC) at IIT BHU, Students For Change (SFC) at IMS BHU, and Forum For Critical Thinking (FCT) at IIT Kanpur.

COSTISA emphasises that this instance "has to be looked at in connection with the nationwide crackdown on" human rights activists, professors, lawyers and poet "as a drive to 'clear' 'Urban Naxals'". It notes that such "sensational news" indicates that the "central government is utterly desperate to curb and silence any voices that are raised against them." The statement details the ABSC’s work, saying the organisation "has been active in raising voices against the commercialization and saffronization of education and condemning nationwide brahminical fascist attacks on Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims, and other minorities." Moreover, ABSC students also played a key role in the fee hike movement at IIT Kharagpur in 2016, "which compelled the administration for a partial rollback of the semester fees". ABSC has stood with those demanding "better democracy and student rights" on campus, per COSTISA.

In light of this, the statement says that "the reason behind ABSC becoming an eyesore of the government is clear," as "they have stood for justice and constitutional rights of our people." It notes that the state "has been using the tactic of labeling the pro-people organizations in an attempt to mobilize public sentiment against them and other activists." Also, it says that the resulting "sensation" works to divert attention from actual problems plaguing the country, such as unemployment, rising costs of education, health and livelihood, increasing attacks against Dalits, Muslims, and Adivasis by "Hindutva fascists," as well as anti-people measures such as "demonization and GST".

COSTISA says it condemns this act of witch hunting and "false sentimentalization by the state," and appeals to all "patriotic, democratic pro-people students and intellectuals to stand and raise your voice against it." 

The complete statement may be read here: 

PRESS RELEASE – 5th September, 2018
Condemn the conspiracy of Hindutva fascist forces against democratic
students organization!
Long Live the dream of a casteless and a classless India!

On September 4th, 2018 in an important Bengali newspaper Anandabazar Patrika, it was declared that the Central Intelligence has marked some organizations in West Bengal which reportedly act as a frontal organization of the “Maoists”. In the list of organizations, a constituent  organization of COSTISA, Ambedkar Bhagat Singh Study Circle (ABSC) has been named. This event has to be looked at in connection with the nationwide crackdown on Human Right activists, Professors, lawyers and poet as a drive to "clear" "Urban Naxals". This kind of sensational news shows that the central government is utterly desperate to curb and silence any voices that are raised against them. ABSC has been active in raising voices against the commercialization and saffronization of education and condemning nationwide brahminical fascist attacks on Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims, and other minorities. The students involved in ABSC have also been an important part of the fee hike movement at 2016 in IIT Kharagpur which compelled the administration for a partial rollback of the semester fees and have stood with all students issues which demanded better democracy and proper student rights in the campus.

With all these facts in mind, the reason behind ABSC becoming an eyesore of the government is clear that they have stood for justice and constitutional rights of our people. The state has been using the tactic of labeling the pro-people organizations in an attempt to mobilize public sentiment against them and other activists. Moreover, the sensation created by these announcements serves the purpose of diverting the people's attention from the real problems of our nation like unemployment, increasing costs of education, health and livelihood, increasing of attacks on Dalits, Adivasis, and Muslims by the Hindutva fascists, anti-people steps like demonetization and GST etc. COSTISA condemns this act of which hunting and false sentimentalization by the state. We appeal all the patriotic, democratic, pro-people students and intellectuals to stand and raise your voice against it. Let us not let our country lose all of the democratic ethos it has!

Coordination of Science and Technology Institutes’ Student Associations (COSTISA) (www.facebook.com/supportcostisa)
Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle (APSC), IIT Madras
Ambedkar Periyar Phule Study Circle (APPSC), IIT Bombay
Students For Change (SFC), IIT BHU
Students For Change (SFC), IMS BHU
Ambedkar Bhagat Singh Study Circle (ABSC), IIT Kharagpur
Forum For Critical Thinking (FCT), IIT Kanpur