AISA is a revolutionary, democratic students’ organization. We have led struggles for the democratization of campus life, for a pro-people and scientific education system and for the right to education and employment. Through mobilizing the revolutionary, left, democratic and liberal sections of the student community, we are committed to organizing a broad-based students’ movement as an important organ in the revolutionary transformation of Indian society.
AISA derives it’s ideological path from the progressive ideologies of democratic movements. We believe that Marxism is the science of revolutionary change and human emancipation. Through waging a relentless struggle against reactionary ideologies and cultural values, we are committed towards a creative and popular propagation of scientific culture, democracy and modern thought.
AISA integrates itself with all democratic movements of the Indian people. In giving them a coherent, democratic ideological and political line, we accept the role of CPI-ML as the true communist party. We emphasize the solidarity of the students’ movement with struggles of the working class, especially with revolutionary peasant struggles in our country.
The formation of AISA in 1990 came about through the integration of student movements inspired by the ideological line of the Naxalbari peasant revolt as well as those who derived their understanding from the 1974 peoples’ movement in Bihar.
Over the years, AISA has emerged as a popular left students’ organization struggling against the anti-student, anti-people right-wing organization like NSUI and ABVP, exposing at the same time opportunist and semi-anarchist trends in the left democratic movement. The hollow “left” rhetoric and ritual activities of SFI and AISF have become completely disconnected with the democratic aspirations of students and the dynamic student movement. Through following an opportunist ideological- political line, they have gradually declined and become marginalized forces in the student movement. Especially in the Hindi-Urdu speaking areas they could never become the representative forces of the aspirations of the student community. Similarly, AISA has provided a positive negation of the semi-anarchist tendencies of those organizations which identify with the Naxalbari movement but fail to distinguish the difference between the mass organization and the party. Failing to build a broad based student movement addressing the popular aspirations of the larger student community they have been reduced to many fighting sects. Ultimately, trapped in endless left “phrase mongering” they are gradually disintegrating as a force of the student movement. As opposed to this, AISA has led the struggle for a radical democratization of education, culture, society and politics.
AISA wages a firm and uncompromising struggle against all reactionary organizations and lumpen leaders within the student movement. At each step, we have upheld the dignity and equality of women and stood for their participation and leadership in both the student movement and social life.
In this light, as a successor and student of the glorious legacy of student struggles, AISA commits itself to stand against the prevailing backwardness of our country and its dependence on external powers, which has provided a fertile ground for fundamentalism, medieval barbarism, casteism and communal frenzy, causing a gradual erosion of our national sovereignty and subjecting India to the threat of neocolonialism.
The alarming rise of communal fascism is not only a threat for our rich cultural legacy of communal harmony but has also posed a grave threat to nation building and the very foundations of democratic politics. To counter the monster of communal fascism and uphold a secular politics, AISA holds that religion is primarily an individual concern and should be completely separated from politics and from the institutions of governance. We struggle to carry forward the modern idea of secularism– “Sarva Dharma Varjate” as against the conventional notion of “Sarva Dharma Sambhav.”
We are committed to defending national sovereignty and revolutionary democracy. We also extend our solidarity to ongoing people’s movements against imperialism in Third World countries, just as we support democratic movements within these imperialist countries. As a leading force of the anti-imperialist democratic front of Asian students, the Asian Students Association (ASA), AISA endeavours to consolidate the unity and fraternity of the people of south Asia against the onslaught of imperialism.