New Delhi: Ahead of the Delhi University students' union polls, the RSS-affiliated ABVP on Tuesday installed busts of VD Savarkar, Subhash Chandra Bose, and Bhagat Singh 'without due permission' outside the gate of Arts Faculty in north campus.
The move has been criticised by the Congress-affiliated NSUI and Left-backed AISA which said Savarkar cannot be kept on the same pedestal as Bose and Singh. The two-foot long busts in white marble have been placed on a 6.5-foot-long pillar which is red in colour.
ABVP-led Delhi University Students' Union president Shakti Singh said they had approached the university administration and civic authorities repeatedly for permission to install the busts, but there was no response from it.
Delhi: A pillar,with busts of VD Savarkar, Bhagat Singh&SC Bose atop it, was installed by Delhi University Students’ Union(DUSU)outside Faculty of Arts on campus, y'day. DUSU pres says "They had made great contributions in freedom struggle.Youth should take inspiration from them" pic.twitter.com/nFzL7Xc6S1
— ANI (@ANI) August 21, 2019
"We had been approaching the administration for permission since November last year but there has been no response. I requested them for permission again on 9 August but to no avail. Their silence forced us to take the step," he said. Singh said they will protest if the administration tries to remove the statues.
"The students' union pleas and demands for everything have fallen on deaf ears. We had requested that a cell where Bhagat Singh was kept for nine days which is in the building which houses the vice-chancellor's office be thrown open for the public but there was no response," he claimed.
He also said the trio contributed in the freedom struggle but history was unjust to them and it is important that students learn about them and their contribution.
"Today, there are leftist forces that are talking about breaking up this nation. These freedom fighters will inspire students. In our country, if you want to start a debate or discussion, installing a statue or naming a road after someone is the best way to do that," he said
Singh added that funds for the busts were collected from students and money was not used from DUSU funds. He said if a proposal is made to shift the busts to DUSU office, they will think about it.
Earlier, the ABVP had also demanded that the DUSU office be named after Savarkar. NSUI's Delhi unit president Akshay Lakra criticised the ABVP move, saying, "You cannot put Savarkar on the same pedestal as Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose."
"If the statues are not removed within 24 hours, we will launch a strong protest," he added. The NSUI also said Savarkar had no connection with the Delhi University.
It has written a petition to the Delhi University administration to not allow ABVP's divisive renaming plan which is done only to polarise DUSU elections, Lakra said.
NSUI demands that the DUSU building should be named after freedom fighters who have immediate connections with the Delhi University, he said.
"Instead, it should be named "Azad Building after Chandrasekhar Azad who has popularity amongst all circles of student community. Politics and nationalism should not be mixed, especially when freedom fighters like Subhash Chandra Bose have criticised and denounced right-wing Hindu nationalism as the worst form of enemy to his idea of modern Indian state," he said.
Kawalpreet Kaur, Delhi president of All India Students' Association, also slammed the ABVP.
"Installing a statue of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar is an attempt by ABVP/RSS to paint him as a prominent freedom fighter and to rewrite history. While Bhagat Singh stood against imperialism, communal politics and gave up his life for building a socialist, democratic and secular India
“Savarkar on the other side wrote mercy petitions to Britishers," Kaur said. Savarkar was the first person who had proposed a separate Hindu nation and Muslim nation in the Hindu Mahasabha conference held in Ahmedabad.
"This clubbing of Savarkar along with Bhagat Singh and Bose shows the desperation on the part of ABVP which wants to give legitimacy to Savarkar's vision of Hindu Rashtra. It shows the need on their part to create fake ‘icons' so to cover up the betrayal of RSS in the freedom movement," she said.
She claimed that the ABVP was trying to cover up its failures before DUSU elections behind the charade of 'nationalism'. The land where the statues have been installed falls under the jurisdiction of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC).
Sources from the NDMC said there was no permission as it needs to be cleared by the House. Delhi University officials did not respond to calls. The DU students' union polls will be held next month though the dates for the same have not yet been announced.
Updated Date: Aug 21, 2019 13:22:24 IST