It was founded by students on 12 August 1936 with the banner Freedom Peace Progress, with the guidance of Nehru. At that time, it worked for the independence of India. The organisation now works for the betterment of students. It believes in peace, progress and scientific socialism. The AISF has state committees in several states in India.
It sought to provide a unified voice to student protesters coming out of the civil disobedience movement of 1930. It not 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.
It is associated with the Communist Party of India (CPI)
The students in India have been in the front ranks of those who fought for the freedom of this country. Inspired by the call of nation to rise against British imperialism and liberate the country from the colonial yoke, the students plunged headlong into the freedom struggle. In the heroic battles for independence glorious chapters were written the young blood of student martyrs. And in the furnace of this anti-colonial struggle was born the All India Students Federation at Lucknow in August 1936.
The Indian students did not see their struggle for independence in isolation from the worldwide struggle against imperialism and colonialism. Even in its formative stages the AISF was part of the entire strength was behind the mighty war of the patriotic forces, with the Soviet Union in its lead, against, the demon of fascism. After the defeat of fascism, the AISF joined other anti-fascist student and youth organisations all over the world in founding the International Union of Students and the World Federation of Democratic Youth to carry forward the struggle against imperialism, for a better life for the young people.
The actual development following the achievement of freedom belied these fond dreams of the young people. The new state power which emerged after independence was that of the bourgeois class with all its limitations. They set out to build capitalism in the country even while exhorting the students to shun politics and take to the road of constructive activities in the name of nation-building. Careerism was encouraged and a section of the students fell into this trap, forgetting the ideals for which their elders in their student days had so valiantly fought.
But this phase was not to last long. The student community as a whole began to see the evils of the capitalist system from its own experience. Growing unemployment, rising cost of living, spiraling prices, misery of the people, hunger, starvation, famine deaths-all these forced open the eyes of the students, as of other sections of the people. Struggle broke out. The students were drawn into many of these battles, because they too are part of the society and as much victims of the capitalist economy as any other section of the society. Students also waged mighty battle, strikes and other actions over other actions over their specific demand: Democratisation and reforms in education, democratic and political rights, jobs, better cultural, sports and other recreational facilities. The students have been waging incessant battles on all these issues.
Today the AISF stands in the vanguard of this movement of the progressive sections of the students. To broaden its mass base, the AISF is working ceaselessly to unite and lead the student towards their cherished goals. AISF believes that only the socialism can bring about the basic changes in the society desired by the vast majority of our students - new system of education which will prepare the students for their creative role in society, jobs for all so that the vast manpower of the country is usefully employed, democratic and political rights so that the young may contribute to the building of a SOCIALIST INDIA.