Delhi: ABVP Installs Statues Of Savarkar, Bhagat Singh & Bose On A Single Pillar In DU's North Campus
Ahead of the Delhi University Students’ Union elections, the incumbent Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) on Tuesday, August 20 installed statues of VD Savarkar, Subhas Chandra Bose and Bhagat Singh on a single pillar outside the Arts Faculty in Delhi University’s north campus.
‘Aazadi Ke Naayak Veer Savarkar’
“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. Their silence forced us to take the step,” ABVP-led Delhi University Students’ Union President Shakti Singh said.
The plaque on the statue reads “Aazadi ke naayak Veer Savarkar, Bhagat Singh, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose ki moorti sthaapna 20 August 2019 ko ki gayi,” referring to the three as ‘heroes of freedom’.
The pillar was installed overnight without permission from university authorities. A guard who was on duty at the gates said that a mini-truck came carrying the statues around 2 am and two-feet-long statues were installed on a 6.5 ft long pillar outside the Arts Faculty in Delhi University’s north campus.
Talking about the statue, Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) president Shakti Singh, whose name has been laid down as the “establisher” on the pillar said: “All three had taken different paths, but they had the same destination, and there has been a lot of slander against all three. We wanted to do this so that young people learn about them and their contributions.”
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
The students have claimed that students collected the funds for the statue and not from the university. The union threatens to protest if the administration attempts to remove the statues.
“DUSU had been demanding for a long time for the installation of statues and the administration completely ignored the same demand of the student union,” said, ABVP national media convenor Monika Chaudhary.
Earlier this month, DUSU demanded their office be renamed after freedom fighter Veer Savarkar. During a street-play titled ‘Hey Mrituanjay’ in North Campus, DUSU President Shakti Singh made the demand highlighting the time spent by Veer Savarkar in jail during the pre-independence era.
National Students’ Union Oppose The Move
The installation of the pillar was criticised by both the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) and the All India Students’ Association (AISA), particularly for the installation of Savarkar’s statue.
Did VD Savarkar sacrifice his life like Bhagat Singh for the sake of country? Or did he raise army like Subhash Chandra Bose to fight British? Bringing the busts of three together in DU by ABVP is to blur the history of freedom struggle. NSUI will fight it out. #GaddarSavarkar
— NSUI (@nsui) August 21, 2019
AISA criticised the move as “an attempt by ABVP/RSS to paint him (Savarkar) as a prominent freedom fighter and to rewrite history”.
VD Savarkar had pleaded for mercy to the British and thus worked against freedom struggle. Putting his bust in DU by ABVP is an attempt to distort history. #Savarkar cannot match Subhash Chandra Bose & Bhagat Singh by being put on the same pedestal by the ABVP. pic.twitter.com/Zrjg9RGjYR
— NSUI (@nsui) August 21, 2019
Speaking to The Logical Indian, Rini Basumatary, a Jawaharlal Nehru University student, said: “It’s just these radicals mocking what these institutions have stood for in all these years. It’s like they are ‘marking their territory’ by putting up such symbols.”
Speaking about a similar attempt in JNU, Rinni said: “Our new chairperson is affiliated to the right. He has always been a person who throws these derogatory statements so casually. On the first day of his post as a chairperson, he installed this statue. All these changes have been carried out by the administration. Our voices get suppressed.”
“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,” said Delhi AISA president Kawalpreet Kaur.
NSUI’s Delhi Unit President Akshay Lakra criticised the move, saying, “You cannot put Savarkar on the same pedestal as Bhagat Singh and Subhas Chandra Bose.”