CPI Criticizes SFI, Warns of Challenges for Left Front in Kerala

“The SFI is following a barbaric culture, which does not go with the style of functioning of a student outfit," CPI state secretary Binoy Viswam said.
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Following a series of tumultuous events on college campuses allegedly involving the Students’ Federation of India (SFI), the Communist Party of India (CPI) has voiced strong criticism against its ally, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPI(M).

Turmoil Within the Left Front

In the wake of electoral setbacks for the Left Democratic Front (LDF) in Kerala, particularly in the recent Lok Sabha polls where the CPI drew a blank for the second consecutive time, tensions have surfaced within the alliance. The CPI has openly rebuked the SFI, the youth wing of CPI(M), accusing it of adopting aggressive and inappropriate tactics.

CPI state secretary Binoy Viswam condemned the SFI’s behavior, labeling it as “barbaric” and incompatible with the principles of a leftist student organization. He warned that unless the SFI reforms its approach, it could prove to be a liability for the broader Left movement in Kerala.

Incidents Triggering Criticism

The CPI’s criticism stemmed from recent incidents, including an alleged assault on the principal of Gurudev College, Kozhikode, by SFI members. The principal had raised objections to outsiders at the SFI’s helpdesk for new students, sparking a contentious confrontation.

Another incident at Kerala University in Thiruvananthapuram involved SFI activists allegedly assaulting a member of the Kerala Students’ Union, the student wing of the Congress party. These incidents have reignited concerns about the SFI’s methods, reminiscent of past controversies, such as the symbolic “grave” prepared for a retiring college principal in 2016.

Political Fallout and Responses

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan of CPI(M) addressed the allegations of “gunda raj” (hooliganism) on campuses, attributing them to attempts to undermine the government’s achievements in higher education. However, opposition leaders like V D Satheesan of the Congress criticized the CPI(M), accusing it of harboring criminals and failing to address the issues within its youth wing.

Looking Ahead

As tensions escalate within the LDF coalition in Kerala, the CPI’s public criticism underscores deeper fissures and challenges facing the Left front. The party’s call for introspection and reform within the SFI reflects broader concerns about maintaining ideological integrity and public perception in the state.

In conclusion, the CPI’s stance highlights ongoing debates within Kerala’s political landscape, where coalition dynamics and internal discipline are under scrutiny amidst electoral setbacks and internal strife.

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