Students Federation of India (SFI) is one of the major student organisations in India. Founded in 1970, it is the students’ wing of the Communist Party of India (Marxist). As of 2012, it claims a membership strength of nearly 40 lakhs school and university students.  SFI is currently led at the All India level by Ritabrata Banrjee, General Secretary and V. Sivadassan, President.
Being the students wing of the , the Students’ Federation of India, abbreviated SFI, carries forward the heritage of the progressive student movement of our country, which has always considered itself an inseparable part of the broader struggle for social transformation. It is this legacy that the Students’ Federation of India holds aloft in its slogan of “Independence, Democracy, and Socialism! ”
The SFI believes that education is a major tool of social transformation and that this concept is especially relevant in a country like India, where regressive forces still prevail. Proper education, they believe, will counteract such forces and will help to build a new society based on rationality and justice. The SFI is an organization of students which is ever aware of its role in society. It identifies with a society’s progressive forces and is totally committed to the idea of independence, democracy, and socialism.
The following has been stated as the objective of the SFI in its Political program 1. The Students’ Federation of India takes upon itself the task of organizing the students in schools, colleges, universities and other educational institutions of the country and also Indian students studying abroad under its banner to build a powerful and well-knit student movement for the upliftment and betterment of the student community 2.
The Students’ Federation of India fights for the realisation of its aim to establish a democratic, scientific, secular and progressive educational system ensuring education and job for all that calls for the implementation of comprehensive land reforms, elimination of the stranglehold of international finance capital and indigenous monopoly capitalism. The Students’ Federation of India aims to accomplish this by organizing the student community in the struggles of the wider democratic movement of the workers, peasants, and other progressive forces . The Students’ Federation of India as a forward-looking and progressive student organization shall inscribe on its banner, “Independence, Democracy and Socialism”. It is with this perspective that Students’ Federation of India is committed to strive for a society free from all exploitation. It shall fight all such alien trends and tendencies that are disruptive of our struggle for the emancipation of our people and country 4.
The Students’ Federation of India will continuously work to ensure all necessary facilities for complete and meaningful education – hostel, library and laboratory, sports and games, athletics and physical training, culture and entertainment, and other educative and social activities – that will be adequate and within the reach of all students. The Students’ Federation of India will continuously fight for the attainment of all just and democratic rights of students.
It will fight and work for the right of students to democratic and independent expression and conduct, to form unions and associations, to assemble, to participate in the management of educational institutions and in all activities connected with the academic and other aspects of student life. The Students’ Federation of India will strive to develop the Students’ urge for more and more knowledge and to inculcate among students the practice of self-education and self-discipline.
The Students’ Federation of India will further strive to develop close-knit relations between teachers, non-teaching staff, guardians, students and the rest of the academic community, and foster mutual respect and regard between them. The Students’ Federation of India will untiringly resist any attempt to drive a wedge between the students and the rest of the academic community. It will also oppose all attempts to alienate the student community from other democratic and toiling sections of our people. 5.
The Students’ Federation of India, while stressing the duty and necessity of the student community for diligent and industrious study of the humanities and the sciences to equip themselves with adequate knowledge and enlightenment, simultaneously seeks to encourage and promote their thirst for political and social knowledge and consciousness. The students should thus be adequately prepared, on leaving school or college, to play their rightful role as conscious citizens of this fast changing society of our times. 6.
The Students’ Federation of India pledges to fight for equality of all, irrespective of religion, caste, gender, language, and race and as part of this struggle, commits to fight for the empowerment of the disadvantaged classes, castes, tribes and communities, the women, and other marginalized sections of the society and for the protection of the rights of the linguistic, ethnic, racial, religious and other minorities. The Students’ Federation of India upholds the constitutionally guaranteed rights for minorities to run and manage educational institutions in the country.
However it should be ensured that these institutions are not run with a commercial motive to earn profits and misutilised for spreading irrational and fundamentalist ideology. 7. The Students’ Federation of India stands firmly in defense of secularism, the complete separation of state and polity from religion. The Students’ Federation of India declares its uncompromising opposition to all forms of religious fundamentalism, bigotry and communalism, and pledges to fight against all forms of communal violence, terror, and in particular communal fascism.
The communal forces divide the student community thus weakening their struggles for educational and employment rights. The Students’ Federation of India unflinchingly confronts all attempts to destroy the unity of the students and the people at large on religious and communal lines and with unfailing sincerity addresses itself to the task of promoting communal harmony and patriotic unity of the people against the anti-national forces of communalism. 8.
Students Federation of India is strongly opposed to all forms of gender discrimination and oppression in every sphere of life. The prevalence of age-old evil traditions like sati and dowry portray the deplorable condition of women in our country. It commits to fight all patriarchal values and practices which draw their basis both from the remnants of feudal relations, outmoded ways of thought, and from the commodification of women under capitalism. SFI shall fight for the emancipation of women and demands equality of access to education for girls.
SFI stands and strives for a progressive and gender sensitive ethos and curriculum. 9. The Students’ Federation of India is vehemently opposed to all forms of caste discrimination and oppression. SFI strives to eradicate the inhuman practice of untouchability, all forms of social oppression and fights for the abolition of caste system. It supports reservations for the dalits, the adivasis and other backward castes and communities in the area of education and employment, and demands its extension to the private sector too.
The Students’ Federation of India is of the considered opinion that other forms of deprivation like economic, regional, and gender-wise backwardness should also be taken into account in providing reservations. It also raises its voice for the fulfillment of the existing stipulation of reservations and new provisions wherever required for all other disadvantaged categories (physically challenged, etc. ). 10.
The Students’ Federation of India staunchly opposes all kinds of narrow, separatist parochialism and chauvinism, be it on linguistic, provincial, regional, or ethnic lines. The Students’ Federation of India strives for a democratic realignment of power between the Union and the state governments with emphasis on decentralization of power to strengthen the federal character of the nation in order to safeguard national unity and to ensure balanced development.
The Students’ Federation of India fully supports the developmental aspirations, both material and cultural, of the various nationalities in the Indian Union within the territorial integrity of the country and extends full cooperation to their legitimate and democratic struggles against the oppressive and authoritarian policies of the State. 11. The socially unplanned and uncontrolled capitalist path of development with the sole objective of reckless profiteering has precipitated dangerous environmental degradation.
The Students’ Federation of India is committed to environment-friendly development and will strive along with progressive peoples’ movements for protection and sustenance of environment. 12. The cultural diversity of our country is facing multi-pronged attacks. On one hand the onslaught of market-oriented consumerist values is deforming our cultural foundations while on the other hand aggressive communalism is seeking to impose a Manuvadi cultural hierarchy in the name of ‘cultural nationalism’.
The Students’ Federation of India firmly resists all attempts to mutilate the mosaic of our varied and pluralistic culture while firmly rejecting the influence of the colonial-feudal culture. It stands committed to steadfastly promote development of people’s culture based on modern, scientific progressive and humanitarian values. 13. The Students’ Federation of India works towards protecting identity, languages and culture of indigenous, tribal communities while fighting against their exploitation and dispossession for their overall development and helping them to integrate with the mainstream social life.
At the same time, the Students’ Federation of India struggles for the development of education, welfare and integrity of tribes by defending their rights. The rights of the tribal people should be protected according to the Schedules V and VI of the Constitution of India, especially at a time of intensifying attack of imperialist globalisation. 14. The Students’ Federation of India is committed to strengthen the mass democratic movement in our country in order to advance the struggle for socio-economic emancipation of the people.
The Students’ Federation of India, along with other progressive forces, stands committed to fight against the stranglehold of feudal and casteist values and rituals that severely impair the advancement of democratic consciousness among the masses. A radical social reform movement together with the fight against feudal land relations along with other democratic and progressive forces is an important part of Students’ Federation of India’s agenda to develop democratic consciousness among the vast toiling sections. 15.
The Students’ Federation of India as an organization and movement inspired by anti-imperialist, democratic, and socialist ideas, is pledged to combat the onslaught of imperialist globalization and domination in all areas of student and public life. The Students’ Federation of India simultaneously is pledged to protect the unity and integrity of our country from the onslaught of communal and separatist forces. It extends its solidarity to all the progressive forces of the world fighting for freedom, independence, territorial integrity, democracy, and socialism against imperialist aggression.
The Students’ Federation of India is committed to work in close coordination with all the progressive, democratic, and socialist forces around the world and earnestly work for building a powerful international Student movement in defense of world peace, independence, democracy and socialism against imperialism. 16. The Students’ Federation of India seeks to establish warm and friendly relations with all other organizations and associations of students, youth and the academic community, which are pledged to work for independence, secularism, democracy, peace, and socialism.
It is prepared to unite with all those who are willing to join hands with it on specific issues and demands, and jointly act with them for the redress of the Students’ grievances. 17. The Students’ Federation of India places this programme before the student community and calls upon the students, youth, women, middle classes, peasants, workers and all other forces interested in the democratic advancement of our country to unite for the fulfillment of these tasks and join hands to build a prosperous life for all our people.