President: Ashutosh Kumar
Currently a Ph.D student in JNU, Ashutosh came to JNU in 2009 for an MA in International Studies, after completing a BA in political science from the Banaras Hindu University. His family is based in Barh, Bihar and his father is a station master with the Indian railways. Joining AISA has meant for Ashutosh, like for so many other AISA leaders, a way to collectively battle the casteist, feudal and patriarchal society he saw up close.
Anant, who is from Chandauli, is a trained lawyer and studied law in Banaras before coming to JNU to pursue an M.Phil degree, which he has just completed. Anant joined AISA in BHU, and was involved in working for AISA in Banaras in the very difficult political conditions that Banaras offers.
Chintu is from Ara – the epicentre of CPI(ML)’s anti-feudal struggles in Bhojpur. She comes from a family that has been a part of CPI(ML)’s struggles. Her father Comrade Lalji is a whole-time party activist, and her mother sells bangles door to door for a living. Her younger brother Sandeep is a student in Ara, and also an AISA activist. Her parents sent her to Delhi to study. Her childhood was spent between the hostel of the Kasturba Balika Vidyalaya and the CPI(ML)’s central office in Delhi which was her second home. After a BA in Delhi’s Indraprastha College, she came to JNU to become the first in her family to get a Masters’ degree. Chintu is now an M.Phil research scholar in political science. JNU students also know Chintu for her moving rendering of Bhojpur’s revolutionary songs.
Shafqat comes from Kishtwar in Jammu and Kashmir. A Times of India report quotes Shafqat’s reasons for joining AISA: “The kind of democratic space you find in JNU is non-existent there…I joined AISA because of its struggle for the oppressed. And we are oppressed.” Shafqat is a research scholar of the Persian language.