Biju Mathew and his fellow comrade in the Forum of Indian Leftist (Communist) (FOIL) started Youth Solidarity Summer (YSS) to indoctrinate Indian/Hindu youths, mainly Gay/Lesbians and those who think they are “progressive” or “radical”.
For the past 2-3 years, FOIL and YSS have been so short of man power that they weren’t even able to organize single events in past 2 years. Most of their other organizations such as RadDesi in Texas and OY! in California have fallen flat on their faces as well. So, this conference was a desperate attempt by comrades in FOIL to refill their roster by fresh new blood to counter the growing support of Hindu organization worldwide.
Many of the conference participants didn’t even have clue what “progressive” or “radical” means. A girl even asked this same question twice during various panels, but they went largely unanswered by the esteemed fellow comrades of Biju Mathew and Vijay Prasad.
More to come soon …
Filed under: communism, communists, desi, india, indians, progressive | 8 Comments
Comrade Biju Mathew was the brain of this conference. About 3-4 alumni of YSS assisted Biju Mathew.
About 60 people registered for the conference online.
It seems, through this conference, Biju Mathew (FOIL) tried to revitalize the “progressive” and “radical” youth moment in US. For past 2 – 3 years, they have been stagnant due to the exodus of previous members from college age group to working professionals. Youth Solidarity Summer (YSS)’s, youth wing of FOIL, main and sole objective is to organize 1 week summer camp in NYC in order to indoctrinate outcast Indian youths into communist ideology, misnomerly labeled Leftist. YSS organized last camp in the summer of 2005.
From talking to attendees, I found that they were mostly new recruits who considered themselves “progressive” or “radical”. Majority of them had Hindu names but they despised Hinduism. As the main aim of the conference is to re-organize Desi Left in US, this new fodder of students would probably become foot soldiers of the communist “collective”.
This conference had representation from about 10-15 various communist organizations. Most of these organizations have members in single digit and they work unregistered to remain unnoticed from US Government. Their official reason for working unregistered is that they don’t want the hassle of maintaining paperwork required for a registered organization. I talked to one guy, who told me that they send money to Calcutta through Hawala Channels … not through Official channels like Banks etc. According to him, they do it save overhead. My guess is that they do it to avoid detection by India Gov’t for cases such as Nandigram.
In my opinion, they have done very little actual work. Rather, they keep repeating their infinitismal success story, like organizing a camp of 10 high school students in Austin by Radical Desi (RadDesi), to give it larger than life image.
Most of attendees (> 90%) were college students. Majority of them are pursuing masters degree, while couple were still working on Bachelors. Majority of them are poor and the conference organizers do provide stipend for some of them. Many of these attendees didn’t have jobs, probably because they do majors like “Kali Temples in Bengal” or because they go to colleges (Sarah Lawrence in Yonkers, NY) where don’t even have majors!
Many of them appeared very stupid to me. Many couldn’t even find the conference event venue, for some it took a hour or they had to ask 20 people for directions!
Most of these students were second generation and they are excellent communicators. They are using internet to discuss their issues, get more understanding through blogs like Sepia Mutiny ( http://www.sepiamutiny.com). According to them, one of their challenges has been involve “low income” people in their fold. All they are able to find are “privileged classes”.
In addition, many of them are artists, musicians or performers and they do use the word Comrade to refer to others in the group.
Most of these youths seem to have been attracted by a single cause then sucked into the ideology. Most of the Left organizations are issue-focused e.g, Gay/Lesbian, Women Rights, Protesting against anything, fighting for poor or undocumented immigrants, fighting the system etc. Then these issues are supported by Communist ideology. So, the issue attracts people and then people learn about ideology.
These guys handed out the printed list of 60 people with their e-mail and phone #s. I will publish it online soon.
Here are some documents that YSS handed out … schedule, organizations, and people.
Filed under: communism, communists, desi, hindu, hinduism, india, indians, progressive | 19 Comments