Censorship, moral policing and more: ABVP emerges as the big bad campus bully

The BJP's student wing ABVP has turned into a big campus bully. Not only has it campaigned against the “forced conversion of Hindu girls”, but it is also against live-in relationships, worked to stop a beer festival in Chennai and raised a number of other 'serious' moral issues in Delhi University.

And now they may be dictating what kinds of talks and lectures can be held inside universities.

According to an Indian Express report, possibly under pressure from the ABVP, Lucknow University authorities have expelled the Uttar Pradesh president of rival student body All India Student’s Association (AISA) — the youth wing of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) for organising a discussion on 'Love Jihad' in the the University in November.

According to the report, the ABVP disrupted the talk and even manhandled CPI(ML) Politburo member Kavita Krishnan while she was delivering her address.

AISA activists said the permission to hold the talk was cancelled at the last moment under pressure from ABVP. They were also denied security.

“It is atrocious and shocking that a student has been penalised for holding a seminar inside a university. The administration is claiming that they never gave the permission while in reality, they withdrew it at the last moment,” Kavita Krishnan told The Indian Express.

 Censorship, moral policing and more: ABVP emerges as the big bad campus bully


The report also noted that in a video posted online, ABVP workers can be heard threatening AISA workers with “desh hai pukarta, pukarti hai Bharati; khoon se tilak karo, goliyon se aarti.

This is not the first time ABVP has acted like a bully.

In April last year, before the Lok Sabha Elections, an ABVP member, Raju Rawat roughed up a  professor of Zoology at Delhi University for purportedly making derogatory remarks against BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. "He made fun of me and said, ‘chaiwallas are not equipped to come and take university decisions’. I lost my temper and hit him," Raju told The Hindu , justifying his actions.

In 2011, a Professor of Bhagwant Rao Mandloi Agriculture College in Madhya Pradesh's Khandwa district died of shock after witnessing members of the ABVP beating up a fellow teacher.

According to India Today reports, ABVP members barged into college dean P P Shastri's office claiming one professor, Choudhary was seeking sexual favours from female students in return for giving good marks. But the dean denied receiving any such complaint. ABVP members then lost their cool and attacked Choudhary and smeared his face with black paint. Professor Sunder Singh Thakur,  who was present on the scene, tried to intervene but was allegedly manhandled. He suffered a heartattack after witnessing the incident.

Then Prof Sabharwal of Madhav College in Ujjain died after a beating by people believed to be from the student wing on August 26, 2006. ABVP state president (Madhya Pradesh) Shashi Ranjan Singh Akela and organising secretary Vimal Tomar were leading an agitation against cancellation of the college union polls that day.

"In an attempt to save his colleague Prof M L Nath from rampaging activists, Prof Sabharwal took the worst of the blows and died in the brawl. Over a thousand persons were at the spot when the alleged murder took place. Akela, Tomar, Vishal Rajoria, Pankaj Mishra, Sudhir Yadav and Hemant Dubey were the ABVP activists arrested for the alleged murder by Devas Gate police in Ujjain," reported ToI.

However in 2009, almost three years after the death of professor Harbhajan Singh Sabharwal in Ujjain, a district and additional sessions court in Nagpur acquitted all six accused. The judge observed that 'justice could not be done to Sabharwal' as the prosecution 'miserably failed' to prove the charges against the accused, reported Times of India.

Updated Date: Jan 12, 2015 15:59:44 IST