The full form of SFI is the Students’ Federation of India. The Students’ Federation of India (SFI) is a student organization in India that leans towards left-wing politics and aligns with the principles of independence, democracy, and socialism. Presently, V. P. Sanu serves as the All India President, while Mayukh Biswas holds the position of General Secretary.
The flag of the SFI consists of a red five-pointed star in the upper left corner, reminiscent of socialist symbolism, set against a white backdrop. At the bottom right of the flag, the words “Independence,” “Democracy,” and “Socialism” are inscribed, either in English or in a local language, arranged vertically in red text. The flag’s dimensions follow a ratio of 3:2, with the length being three units and the breadth being two units.
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Origin of SFI
The organized form of the Indian student movement can be traced back to the establishment of the All India Students’ Federation (AISF) on August 12, 1936, with the aim of promoting anti-imperialist politics. From the 1940s to the 1950s, the AISF witnessed various ideological debates regarding the analysis of Indian society, the nature of the Indian state, and its approach towards students.
A group emerged within the AISF that opposed the prevailing view of cooperating and compromising with the ruling classes in pursuit of a supposedly progressive outcome. They advocated for a militant approach in student movements to bring about a progressive transformation of the education system. As political differences and neglect of student issues grew, the AISF split into several independent local organizations.
In 1970, representatives from these organizations convened a conference in Thiruvananthapuram to establish a new national student organization. The All India Conference took place from December 27 to 30 and resulted in the formation of the Students’ Federation of India. The inaugural leadership elected during this conference included C. Baskaran as the first President, Biman Bose as the first General Secretary, Baldev Singh, Babu Bharadwaj, Shyamal Chakraborty, Ranjan Goswami, Manik Sarkar, N. Ram, Subhash Chakraborty, Upendra Prasad Singh, P Madhu and Shaktidhar Das.
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Have a look at some of the crucial activities SFI has conducted:
- SFI has actively voiced its opposition to the National Education Policy, 2019, as well as protested against fee hikes and the under-representation of reserved students in IITs.
- The organization played a significant role in organizing and participating in multiple Citizenship Amendment Act protests in 2019, including a march to the Parliament.
- SFI even approached the Supreme Court to challenge the act.
- During the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in India, SFI distributed sanitary napkins to female students in West Bengal and advocated for their inclusion as essential commodities in Himachal Pradesh.
- They set up COVID-19 helpline numbers in various states to assist stranded students and launched the “My dear friend” campaign to combat misinformation among migrant laborers, providing verified information in different Indian languages through social media.
- SFI also organized online art festivals, lecture series, and classes, while producing face masks and hand sanitizers.
- The organization has been successful in court cases aimed at regulating private coaching centers.
- Additionally, SFI and DYFI activists jointly sent 1.5 lakh letters to the Prime Minister’s office urging the lodging of FIRs against 49 artists who condemned acts of lynching and activities of cow vigilantes.
- SFI approached the Supreme Court seeking directives for universal free vaccination for all citizens of India and the waiver of goods and service tax on the import of oxygen concentrators used for personal use during the Covid-19 pandemic.
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