Rakesh Singha’s Speech at the Inaugural Session of SFI’s National Conference
Socialist India is publishing the speech of Rakesh Singha, the tallest mass leader of the red flag in Himachal Pradesh; MLA from Theog and the Chairman of the Reception Committee for the All India Conference of the Students’ Federation of India, which started today in Shimla.
I welcome all the comrade delegates from different parts of the country who have converged here in Shimla for the 16th All Indian Conference of the Students’ Federation of India. I welcome comrades from the west, the east and the south, and the central parts of India, where the temperatures are right now around 30 degree centigrade. In 2 days from now, the Indian Meteorological Department has predicted a western disturbance due to which temperatures are going to dip further. However, I’m confident that the deliberations of your conference will reverberate with heat and energy that will beat this cold. Your slogan of Independence, Democracy and Socialism , that challenges the status quo will also beat the challenges of the weather.
It was 40 years ago, in the year 1978, that I joined the Students’ Federation of India and since then there has been no retreat. I owe everything to it. I am indebted to it and the debt is so huge that I can never pay it back. My scientific temper, secular-democratic vision, concern for the downtrodden and the poor, the dalits and adivasis, eagerness for the hard work and above all the revolutionary zeal- SFI has given me it all. I don’t wish to deviate from the my subject, that is to bestow my best wishes to your conference on behalf of the reception committee. I will be a making a passing reference to the challenges that you are facing today.
Never before in the history of the independent India, intolerance and mobocracy have been the motto of the ruling government. People are being lynched on the streets and when the whereabouts of the person killed is found, it comes to light that he/she was the sole bread earner of his/her family and was killed only because of his muslim identity. RSS is teaching daily in its shakhas that Muslims are traitors and they should be thrown out of this country. It is teaching the saying of Manusmriti which make women and dalits the second class citizens. The National President of BJP, Amit Shah has the guts to travel all the way to Kerala and tell that the decision of the Supreme Court on the entry of women to the Sabarimala Temple should not be followed.
Constitution is nothing for them. It is just a piece of paper for them. Their vision of India was rightly rejected by the freedom movement. Their ideology doesn’t have a single martyr in the freedom struggle. They have for their credit Godse- the killer of Mahatma Gandhi. Remember their India is not the India of Bhagat Singh, Shivaram Rajguru and Sukhdev Thapar. Their India is not the India for which Asfaqullah Khan and Ram Prasad Bismil gave the supreme sacrifice of their life. This is not the India of Aruna Asaf Ali and Lakshmi Sehgal who carried forward the red flag to fulfill the dreams of Bhagat Singh and his comrades. They can not erase the memory of Khudiram Bose, Chandrashekhar Azad and Rajendra Lahiri who fought to free the country from the shackles of British rule. It is the life and struggles of people these and many others, from which we draw our inspiration. It is this inspiration that drives us to build the India of their dreams.
Shimla was the summer capital of the British. Our movement is weak here. Yes, the SFI has been present in the university since 1980s and no other ideology has been able to take the place which the SFI has been able to build for itself. We also have to our credit , first and last elected mayor and deputy mayor in this city. Yes, Our movement is weak and we are trying to develop it. We are facing lack of resources due to weak democratic movement; however, with sheer determination we are working hard to makes conference a big success and also your stay here comfortable. Excuse us, if you face any difficulties here. With this I wish all success to your conference.
March Forward, Comrades!
Tomorrow Will Be Yours!
SFI Zindabaad! Lone Live Independence, Democracy, Socialism!