Published: 21st August 2019
DUSU puts up Savarkar statue sans anyone's permission. Even the ABVP wants them to pull it down
The busts were installed in the university on Tuesday without necessary permissions. DUSU says that it will protest if the university takes it down
The students of Delhi University's Arts Faculty were in for a surprise when they walked into the campus on August 20. There was a platform with the busts of Subhas Chandra Bose, Bhagat Singh and Veer Savarkar installed in the premises overnight, courtesy the ABVP-dominated DU Students' Union.
Why is a statue installation such a big deal, especially in a country like India, one may wonder. Here's the catch: the DUSU does not have the required permissions from the university administration to install the statue. The left-leaning All India Students' Association views this is as part of an attempt to saffronise the campus and to glorify Savarkar and issued a strong condemnation in this regard.
Naturally, one would expect the ABVP to support this act. However, this time, the ABVP Delhi State Committee is against the statue installation, as the DUSU hadn't obtained permissions even from them to put up the statue. "ABVP is of the clear view that the busts should be installed in Delhi University campus only with the permission of the Delhi University Administration and other concerned authorities," says Siddharth Yadav, ABVP Delhi State Secretary in a statement. "ABVP has clarified to the Delhi University Students' Union that the busts should be kept in the DUSU office till the permission is granted and the busts should be installed only after the due permission of the administration," he says.
The DUSU at the same time says that the university's ABVP unit is in support of the statue installation. "We have been running from pillar to post to procure the necessary permissions to install the statue for a while now, but the administration is turning a blind eye towards us," says Shakti Singh, President, DUSU. "We hope that the administration grants us permission soon. We will launch a protest in case they remove the statue," he adds.
He also tells us why the busts of these three leaders were installed. "Bhagat Singh, Veer Savarkar and Subhas Chandra Bose were instrumental in granting us freedom from the British. I respect them a lot. I thought it was important to install this statue at a time like this when Savarkar is called a terrorist and British sympathiser repeatedly," says Shakti.
The left unions don't see it that way. "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," says Kawalpreet Kaur, Delhi AISA President. "We appeal to the students' community to reject the Savarkar Model of DUSU. Delhi University administration must take immediate action against those students who had illegally installed the statue in the university premises," she adds.