The CPI (M) candidate list for Kerala have several candidates with an SFI and DYFI background. So, there was criticism within the party that it had gone for a “campus recruitment” ignoring other feeder organisations. There is allegation that the choice of the new faces were intended to sideline those belonging to the Achuthanandan group.
Half of the 14 candidates are new faces and most of them are in their thirties. What should get special attention is educational qualification of several of the new comers. Sindhu Joy, the SFI national vice president, who is to contest from Ernakulam, holds M. A., M. Phil and B. Ed. degrees. P. K. Biju, SFI national president who is being fielded from Alathur, is a research student at M. G. University. M. B. Rajesh, who is State president of the DYFI and candidate designate for Palakkad, is an M. A. in Economics with degree in Law. Candidate for Kannur K. K. Ragesh, who is the All India Secretary of SFI, is a degree holder in Law. U. P. Joseph, who was SFI State president, holds degrees in Politics, Philosophy and Law. Mr. Joseph is currently the Thrissur unit manager of Desabhimani, is the candidate designate for Chalakudy.
Prolonged studies and student leadership had taken their toll in years. Sindhu is 32 years, Biju is 34, Rajesh is 37, Ragesh is 38 and Joseph is 43 years of age. Critics allege that some of them had gone for multiple degrees just to keep their positions as student leaders a la Youth Congress men who never aged. We do not have data about the academic brilliance of these candidates. But at least one of them is pursuing research. You cannot call them dishonest or manipulative. They are just being career politicians unlike their predecessors who emerged through party work and service to the workers and the downtrodden.
It has become a general practice in Western democracies to look for qualified persons to occupy important positions. Illiterates normally cannot get to any positions of power in those countries. If present crops of SFI/DYFI leaders win the elections, that would make a difference to Left politics in the country. However, time only can tell whether the result could be positive or negative.
People with high educational qualification need not necessarily be better leaders, administrators or less-corrupt. But it is becoming imperative in modern society that our leaders have good educational background.