The recent protest that happened in Ramjas College reflects yet another imposition of forced ideology in our country. On 21 and 22 Feb Ramjas college was to organise a seminar called ‘Culture of Protest’. This seminar was to explore the representation of dissent in the country. Speakers like Umar Khalid, Shehla Rashid were invited to speak at the event. This infuriated the ABVP student’s union and they entered the ongoing seminar hall and started throwing stones at the audience and the speakers. Nevertheless the invitation to both the Jawaharlal Nehru students was cancelled; the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, ABVP still continued to engage in stone pelting and protesting against the event.
This is yet another attempt on the long going efforts of the ABVP to saffronise the Indian education system. It appears to be the sole aim of this student’s union, in which they have been indulged in since the BJP government came into power. Last year JNU was ruling the controversy when the students organised a cultural program against the hanging of Afzal Guru. Hyderabad University came into limelight when a Dalit student Rohit Vemula was reduced to a state where he was forced to commit suicide. The government wanted to change the minority status of Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University. Faculties are being expelled if they are not working according to the government’s ideology. Recently a professor from Jodhpur University was expelled after he invited Nivedita Menon to address an event in his college. These instances justify that the ABVP has emboldened under the present power. Anything that goes against their ‘hindutva’ ideology is blatantly declared as ‘anti-national’. They don’t mind getting into violence to preserve their so called nationalist sentiments.
The ABVP abide by the Hindu nationalism that was introduced by Vinayak Damodar Savarkar in 1923 and was later adopted by BJP in 1989. According to Savarkar’s ‘Essentials of Hindutva’ a Hindu is one who was born of Hindu parents and regarded India as his motherland and holy land. His idea of a nation included every ‘Indian’ religion including Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism but excluded ‘Foreign’ religions such as Islam, Judaism, Zoroastrianism and Christianity. It will not be fair if the student union continues with the similar ideology and views ‘Indian’ on the spectrum of religion.
Also ABVP is affiliated to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh which was founded by K.B Hedgewar in 1925 with the aim of constructing a Hindu society. He was worried on the growing weakness of the Hindutva society. His idea of Hindu Rashtriya is what the RSS student wing is trying to propagate. Golwalkar who succeeded Hedgewar as the chief of the RSS said that only the ones who aspire to glorify the Hindu race and nation are true nationalist. He does not even hesitate in calling the rest others as traitors and enemies of the national cause. It is extremely dangerous for the country if its student’s union is following the steps of such religious fundamentalism.
Universities and schools are considered as a place where young minds bloom and emerge with new and progressive ideas. They should work together to establish harmony in the society. Hedgewar whose only concern was the weakening of hindu forces and Golwalkar who had his own definition of true nationalist should not be considered by the new generation. A country can not progress if its young minds are fed with such radical believes.