(I Have The Minister On My Side)
Just like at HCU, the ABVP has been blatantly using its connections with the RSS-BJP and the Modi government in campuses across the country. It has been indulging in this arrogant Mere Paas Mantra Hai syndrome, in the confidence that it will receive full and complete support from the local RSS machinery and the Modi government. A quick look at what the ABVP-RSS has been doing in just the past few weeks will tell us that HCU is unfortunately no aberration.
- Recently, well-known activist Sandeep Pandey was removed from his visiting faculty post at the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) after a complaint about his classes being “against national interest”, at the insistence of the BHU Vice Chancellor Girish Chandra Tripathi who is a self-proclaimed RSS member.
- In Allahabad, the ABVP prevented noted journalist Siddharth Varadarajan from addressing a symposium in the university, and even gheraoed him inside the VC’s office. Varadarajan too was accused by the ABVP of being ‘anti-national’ and a ‘supporter of terrorists.’
- The students’ union of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) is also being targeted – ABVP has written to the MHRD demanding action against the AMUSU for opposing the Modi government!
- At the Haryana Central University in Mahendragarh, some faculty members and around 30 students held a candlelight march seeking justice for Vemula. The ABVP unit there circulated photos of the march, claiming it was for the Pathankot militants and filed a police complaint seeking action against the “anti-nationals”. Their complaint claimed, among other things, that it was anti-national to raise slogans against Brahminism and saffron terrorism.
- The ABVP-RSS’s habitual campaign of hooliganism and attacks on political of course continue unabated. Just last week, ABVP led by DUSU Vice President Sunny Dedha vandalised the office of the principal of the Kirorimal College, simply because KMC refused to grant permission to the DUSU for using the college grounds for a cultural festival (the grounds are being renovated).
- In Mumbai, people protesting against Rohith’s institutional murder were beaten with lathis and sticks
Even as Modi sheds crocodile years for Rohith, the RSS foot soldiers expose the real hatred and hostility of the BJP and RSS for everything Rohith represented.
Symbols of Caste Discrimination
“The government can make a beginning by sending out a strong message by removing two symbols of inequality and exclusion. One is a fresco on the wall of the waiting room of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), by a painter from Maharashtra in 1924, depicting the caste system. On the 125th birth anniversary of B.R. Ambedkar, the PMO should do something to replace it. The government must also shift the statue of Manu in front of the Rajasthan High Court to a museum. The fresco and the statue can hardly be presented as symbols of equality, fraternity, justice and democracy.” - Sukhadeo Thorat, Professor Emeritus, JNU, and Chairman, ICHR, ‘Discrimination on the Campus’, The Hindu, 26 January, 2016)