Center for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy, University of Mysore is scheduled to host a
National Policy Conference on
‘Social Exclusion in India: Self Governance, Developmental Politics and Autonomy Movements’
on August 22 & 23, 2012.
For this Conference, the following Paper of mine is selected.
I would be presenting this paper under the sub-theme ‘Student Movements and Autonomy Movements’
Emergence of ‘SC/ST/OBC/Religious Minority’ Student Organisations and the Myth of Unity among them at University of Hyderabad:
An Analysis of Heterogeneous Polarization
Student organizations reflect the aspirations and ideologies spread in the wider society. In fact, usually, they emerge on the educational spaces to perpetuate the already existing organizations and their ideologies. India has a long tradition of student political activism, especially starting from the National Movement prior to 1947. After independence Congress Party observed that since independence was achieved students should concentrate upon only social service, but not on political activism, drawing narrow sense. On the other hand, the left oriented student organisations were active for a long duration; but, in due course of time they too lost ground due to various reasons; like ideological fragmentation within the left ideology and growth of other ideologies among the student sections like Hindu rightist orientated student organisations on unprecedented scale like Akil Bharatiya Vidarthi Parishad (ABVP) and Caste based student organisations growth claiming Social Justice, etc. In-fact, left organisations were late in responding to various issues, like recognition of caste as a crucial factor in India, etc, led to loose of their base. This paper traces out the emergence of Student organisations at the University of Hyderabad and stratifies them under four categories namely; one – Politically affiliated student organisations, two – Caste-based student organisations, three – Region-based student organisations and at last fourth – Interest-based student organisations. But, again specially looks at ‘Caste based student organisations’ under their rhetoric slogan ‘Unity of SC/ST/OBC/Religious Minority’ and subsequent fragmentation on internal identity. Various activities and functioning styles of these organisations and their common features and competitive aspects would be analysed to present an overview of their working style. Their relations with other student organisations like Politically affiliated student organisations, Region based student organisations, etc, would also be synthesised on ideological lines. The sustenance of SC/ST/OBC/Religious Minority Student organisations on educational institutions is basically a big challenge, amidst of other student organisations, which are at the disposal of huge resources, like from Political parties, etc. The successful continuation of SC/ST/OBC/Religious Minority student organisations are seen as a big threat to the other well established student organisations, like politically affiliated ones. This threat is further more vibrant at University of Hyderabad, where annual Students’ Union elections take place; which is a place of huge contestation, primarily, to the politically interested student organisations. Above all, the responses of these organisations towards political aspects and the existing nexus between these sections will certainly throw a light, to understand ideological nexus. Thus, the paper attempts to prove that the ‘Unity of SC/ST/OBC/Religious Minorities’ is a myth, and short lived.
S Swaroop Sirapangi,
Ph. D., Political Science Scholar,
University of Hyderabad.