ChhatraSangram : Keeping A Diary of the Studentsí Movement

A newspaper is not only a collective propagandist and a collective agitator, it is also a collective organiser. - Lenin

The student’s movement in India has evolved through some vehemently contended debates and some passionately waged movements. Through all the turbulence, bringing the revolutionary ideology to the student community at large remained one of the central tasks of the organisation. Interestingly the first pitch at devising an organ which would serve as the mouth-piece of the organisation was made in 1965, a privately published magazine called “Chhatra-Chatri”, in the midst of great political turmoil, when many students’ federation leaders were working underground, if they were not in jail already. Our comrades were under a ruthless attack jointly concerted by the state machinery and the congress’ goons. Then amidst great economic crisis and other difficulties “Chhatra Sangram” was first published on the 15th of June 1966, with Anil Biswas as the first editor, and Subinoy Ghosh the president of the editorial board. From that date till this, the Chhatra Sangram, has been a steady champion in the battle of ideas, playing a vital role in ensuring the dissipation of idealogically sound interpretations of the past, the present and the movement, among students of the state. While it has spread word and fire of movements from campus to campus the Chhatra Sangram has also kept a meticulous diary of the students’ struggle, from the Khadya Andolan (Movement for Food), to the Vietnam protests, from the vehement opposition to the liberalisation of the economy, the commercialisation and commodification of education, the uncompromising opposition to communalism and right down to the movement against RUSA, and the united consolidation supporting Marathwada today.

 

The Chhatra Sangram today brings out a bimonthly journal. It has undergone a major facelift this January, with a change in the magazine’s size, style and the decision to incorporate some English and Hindi articles, to reach out to a larger audience. In every odd month the Chhatra Sangram publishes another bulletin by the name of “Sudipto”. Through the years the Chhatra Sangram has also to its credit the publication of many texts, books, and booklets, aimed at garnering interest in the study of leftist ideology among students and giving direction to the students’ struggle. The last few publications include Panchash (50) which is a collection of essays and articles published in the CS over its 50 years, Ebong Sudipto (And Sudipto), a collection of articles written about Sudipto Gupta, and most recently two booklets “Paro Laro Paltao” (Study, Struggle, Change – an expansion of the ten fold demands listed in the membership foil of the SFI West Bengal State Committee) and “Ardhek Akasher Khoje” (In Search of Half the Sky – a collection of articles on the Women’s struggle).

On this 15th of June Chhatra Sangram completes its’ fiftieth year. The Anil Biswas Memorial Lecture held to mark the occasion every year will be taken by Dr. Surya Kanta Mishra, leader of the Communist Movement in this state. He will be speaking on the relevance of Leftism in contemporary times. The programme will begin at 2:30PM at Moulali Yuba Kendra. Students’ from across the state will assemble to honour this old comrade in arms, who has stood strong through storm and calm at the helm of their struggle. The leadership of the students’ movement, past and present, will be present, and there will be some cultural performances will celebrate another year gone by. The book “Panchash”, published to mark the 50th year, will be available at the venue.