9th All India Students’ Conference of AIDSO against Fee Hike, Privatization, Commerciali-zation, Communalization and Centralization of education was held at Hyderabad on 26-29 November 2019. This conference was a unique one in many aspects. To organize such a national conference in the city like Hyderabad was a big challenge before us. But the impossible became possible. This was achieved due to the tireless work of thousands of AIDSO activists and leaders imbued with the noblest ideology of this era i.e. Marxism-Leninism-Shibdas Ghosh Thought. This ideology is our strength and source of inspiration. Toiling people need this ideology. For them our organization is the only alternative, only hope in utter darkness of frustration and deprivation. So, from Uttarakhand to Tamil Nadu, even the small state like Puducherry, the peoples’ response was overwhelming. They came forward, contributed generously and provided all type of support that we sought from them. Students, teachers, education community, even common people listened to our deliberations attentively, read our printed materials seriously and extended their support to the just demands of the conference. Hundreds of eminent personalities of the country appealed to the students in particular and the people in general to make this conference a grand success.
On the other hand, the TRS-led Telangana state government and administration betrayed an autocratic and arrogant attitude and tried in many ways to act as a spoilsport. To get permission for various works related to the conference including campaigning proved extremely difficult. Even permission for campaigning with auto-rickshaws was denied. Still the message of the programme reached all. The whole city’s main thoroughfare and important spots dazzled with attractive and artistic wall writings. AIDSO volunteers worked day and night to do the job. In the wee hours of 25 November, the authorities cancelled permission for holding a rally on 26 November on the plea of disruption of law and order and peoples’ inconvenience. State administration was reported to have issued whip to all educational institutions to see that their students did not join the conference. But defying all such whips, hundreds of students from Hyderabad city itself participated in the programme.
The open session held on 26 November 2019 at Exhibition Ground was dedicated to Shri Kandukuri Veeresalingam, an eminent social reformer. Even being denied permission, a short but well decorated and dignified procession was organized from Exhibition Ground to Nampally Railway Station before commencement of the open session. A photo and quotation exhibition was inaugurated after the procession. The open session was presided over by Comrade Kamal Sain, President, AIDSO while Prof. Ravi Kumar Verma, former Advocate General of Karnataka and Mr. Kanan Gopinanthan, Former IAS Officer, who resigned from service in protest against the policies of the BJP government graced the occasion. Distinguished guests and speakers including Justice B Chandrakumar, Former Judge, High Court of erstwhile Andhra Pradesh; Prof. P.L Visweshwar Rao, Former Dean, Osmania University, Comrades K Sridhar, member, Central Committee, SUCI(C) and Ashok Mishra, General Secretary, AIDSO addressed the gathering. All the speakers criticized the anti-education policies of the central government and stressed on the need for developing protest agitations. Mr Kanan Gopinathan observing this tweeted that ‘if there is an undeclared emergency, let there be an undeclared resistance.’ Comrades Sridhar and Ashok Misra gave a call for developing countrywide students’ movement against the anti-education policies.
In the afternoon, a discussion session on ‘Present Situation and Prospects of Left Students’ Movement in India’ was organized. Representatives of AISA and AISF stressed on strengthening left-democratic students’ movement while AISB sent a message wishing success to the conference. Comrade Rashed-ul-Islam of Samajtantrik Students’ Front of Bangladesh also spoke on the occasion.
On 27 November, a Seminar against Draft NEP – 2019 was conducted by Comrade V. N Rajashekhar, the Vice-President of AIDSO. In the seminar, Prof. Dhrubajyoti Mukhopadhyay, retd. Prof, Calcutta University; Prof. R. Manivannan, Madras University; Prof. Ram Punyani, retd. Prof, Bombay-IIT and Dr. Sattar Khan, social activist, renowned physician and chairman, NAF-NMC (National Action Forum against National Medical Commission) and Mr Zaheeruddin Ali Khan, managing editor, SIASAT Urdu daily discussed on the educational problems of our country. Justice J Chelameswar, Former Judge of Supreme Court of India; Prof. Faizan Mustafa, Vice-chancellor, NALSAR Law University; Prof. S Irfan Habib, Former Professor, Delhi University; Prof. K.M Srimali, Former professor of History, Delhi University; Prof. J V Narlikar, Emeritus Professor, Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics; Prof. Rajan Gurukkal, Former Vice-Chancellor, Mahatma Gandhi University; Prof. Alladi Sitaram, Emeritus Prof., Division of Theoretical Statistics and Mathematics, Indian Statistical Institute and Prof. G N Devy, Chairman, Peoples Linguistic Survey of India had sent their video messages/written messages wishing all success to the conference. Just after the conference, Justice Chandra Kumar invited the AIDSO leaders for a round table meeting.
Delegate session was held from 27 November afternoon to 29 November forenoon. First session was dedicated to Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar, leading light of Indian Renaissance and a pioneer of secular, scientific and democratic education. The second session on 28 November started with the garlanding of the portraits of Jyotibarao Phule, another eminent social reformer and Frederick Engels, the great leader of the proletariat. Thirteen resolutions on various educational and social problems were moved in this session. Hundreds of delegates spoke and moved valuable amendments to the main resolution placed in first session. Incorporating all these suggestions, all the resolutions were passed unanimously. The Korean Committee for Afro-Asian Solidarity, Students Wing of the Ceylon Communist Unity Centre, All Nepal National Independent Students’ Union, Communist Youth Organization of MLKP/KGÖ, Turkey/Kurdistan and Democratic Students’ Federation of Pakistan also sent their messages to the conference.
Comrade Provash Ghosh, General Secretary, SUCI(C), addressed the delegates on the concluding session as the chief guest. Finally, a 46-member strong All India Executive Committee and 142-membered All India Council of AIDSO were elected with Comrades V. N Rajashekar as the President and Sourav Ghosh as the General Secretary to lead the revolutionary students’ movement in the country.