New Delhi : After recent violence at Ramjas college in New Delhi, We learned the ABVP is so violent that they never allow anyone to speak against their saffron ideology.
However, this is not the first time that ABVP activists have gone on the rampage. The RSS student wing has resorted to violence several times in the past. Here’s a recap of its long – and frequent – trysts with violence and controversy.
Let me share with you an objective fact: the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) has used violence as a means of thought-control since time immemorial. In other words, academic institutions in the country have capitulated to the ABVP from long ago. What happened in Ramjas College has happened before. It’s just that we have more cameras now. Here are three instances of brazen violence perpetrated by the ABVP in the past:
1. In February 2008, ABVP activists went on the rampage and vandalised Delhi University’s history department. The provocation: Inclusion of an essay titled ‘Three Hundred Ramayanas’ by AK Ramanujan in the recommended reading list for second year BA English Honours students. ABVP claimed that the essay “hurt Hindu sentiments”. Are they students or Politicians?
The following is an excerpt from the essay: “Obviously, these hundreds of tellings differ from one another. I have come to prefer the world tellings to the usual terms versions or variants because the latter terms can and typically do imply that there is an invariant, an original or Ur-text – usually Valmiki’s Sanskrit Ramayana, the earliest and most prestigious of them all. But as we shall see, it is not always Valmiki’s narrative that is carried from one language to another.”
Post the introduction of the essay, ABVP filed a writ petition in the Delhi High Court calling for its discontinuance in the teaching curriculum because it ‘deeply hurt Hindu sentiments’ and religious beliefs. ABVP activists even ransacked Prof. S.Z.H. Jafri’s office in 2008 to protest the teaching of the essay. He was the head of Delhi University’s History Department at that time.
Later on, four-member panel which was set up on the proposal of the Supreme Court recommended that it should be a part of the course. Only one member opposed it on account of the essay being ‘complex’.
Yet, only nine members out of the 120-member DU Academic Council dissented when the essay was being scrapped. The Vice Chancellor and one of the ‘best’ universities in India meekly surrendered to the ABVP mob.
2. In November 2008, ABVP again flexed its collective muscle. This was when Delhi University had organised a seminar titled ‘Communalism: Fascism and Democracy, Rhetoric and Reality’.
3. In October 2011, bowing to the ABVP’s diktats, the Academic Council of DU voted 111-9 in favour of removing “Three Hundred Ramayana’s: Five Examples and Three Thoughts on Translations” from the BA course. The essay was introduced in 2006 and faced protest and Court intervention in 2008. It consisted of 300 different interpretations and retellings of the Ramayana from all over the world.
4. In 2012, the ABVP succeeded in forcing the screening of Sanjay Kak’s “Jashn-e-Azadi” at Symbiosis University to be cancelled. They also attempted to disrupt its screening at Delhi University. Their reasons: its anti-army and separatist nature. They always get succeed because they have support from Political leaders.
I don’t think that they had even seen the documentary. But yet again, the mob bested the republic.
5. In 2013, ABVP activists attacked students from The Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) for inviting the Kabir Kala Manch (KKM) to perform at an event. The programme was meant to be a tribute to the rationalist Narendra Dabholkar. According to news reports, the ABVP members thrashed one of the students for his refusal to say, “Jai Narendra Modi”. The AVBP also accused FTII students of having Naxalite links for their collaboration with the KKM.
That’s different story few BJP karyakarta are now arrested with the link with ISI.
6. In 2015, the ABVP stopped the screening of the documentary, “Muzaffarnagar Abhi Baki Hai”, at Kirori Mal College, just because they thought it was ‘anti-national’. Oh, they are so nationalist..
7. In August 2015, PhD researcher Rohith Vemula and other members of the Ambedkar Students’ Association held a protest against the hanging of 1993 Mumbai blasts convict Yakub Menon. A scuffle then broke out between ABVP and ASA members on the University of Hyderabad campus.
Susheel Kumar, an ABVP leader, made an “exaggerated” complaint of assault against Rohith, which eventually led to his suspension. On 17 January 2016, Rohith committed suicide as a result, triggering massive protests across India.
8.In September 2016, Central University of Haryana, Mahendragarh staged a dramatised adaptation of Mahasweta Devi’s story Draupadi. ABVP members promptly held a protest, branding the play ‘anti-national’ for allegedly projecting Indian soldiers in a negative light. They also demanded the arrest of the teachers and students involved on the charges of sedition.
9. In 2016, a protest was held on the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus in Delhi to mark the hanging of 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru. Members of the ABVP and leftist outfits – who had organised the event – clashed at the venue. The ABVP later also alleged that anti-national slogans were chanted at the event. They demanded the arrest of the organisers, and cases of sedition were filed against them later.
10. In 2017, Now they opposed the seminar on “Culture of Protest” organised by Wordcraft, Ramjas college’s Literary Society. They spread voilance and platted stones on AISA students.
And there are many more such instances. They have this habit of accusing the dissent voices as ‘anti-national’ so that when they unleash their hooliganism on the opponents, many Pseudo-Nationalist sheep like them comes to support. Remember, India is a democratic country, dissent is legal and violence is not.