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All India Students Federation


All India Students Federation was organised in 1936 to provide a forum for the student protestors to raise a limited voice. civil disobedience movement of 1930 t only boosted India's struggle for freedom, but also intensified the Indian student movement by involving an unprecedented number of students in it. Colleges were closed, movements launched and illegal publications distributed. Many students were dismissed from their colleges or were sent behind bars. The Civil Disobedience Movement died down after a year, but the student movement continued.

From its very inception the All India Student Federation (AISF), was strongly nationalist and radical in its political views. At the inaugural conference at Luckw on 19 August 1936, mohammed ali jinnah, the muslim league president, presided over AISF deliberations and Jawaharlal Nehru addressed it. Since then, the annual AISF conferences, held at the same time as the sessions of the indian national congress, attracted over 3000 delegates. Top national leaders addressed the students. From that time student leaders attempted to develop provincial affiliates all over the country. But members of the AISF were divided in their loyalties between the Congress and its various leftist affiliates like the Congress Socialist Party, the forward bloc, and the outlawed Communist Party of India.

The most marked division in AISF was, however, its split into nationalist and pro-Communist groups. The first open rift took place at the Madras Session of the AISF (1939), where having failed to carry a resolution in respect of the newly promulgated Soviet Constitution, the pro-Communist group organised a separate conference. At the AISF session in Calcutta in 1940, the pro-Communist group made an unsuccessful attempt to pack the executive committee of the AISF with students who had communist leanings.

The split finally occurred in 1940 at the Nagpur Session, but both factions continued to use the original party name. In 1945, the nationalist group formed its independent organisation, the All India Students' Congress. AISF then became fully a communist student front. Their study groups trained students in communist ideology and organisational tactics. With the passage of time, many committed student leaders became active in the growing trade union movement or in cultural organisations sponsored by the Leftists. [Ranjit Roy]