Published: 02nd October 2021
I never believed in Hindutva, more students will quit ABVP soon: Former DU ABVP leader who joined NSUI
An Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad member from the University of Delhi moved to the National Students' Union of India (Congress' student wing) on Friday, creating much uproar
Political ideologies are often quite fluid, especially in the polity of India in 2021. While Kanhaiya Kumar moving to Congress from the Communist Party of India made news a couple of days back, an Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) leader from the University of Delhi moved to the National Students' Union of India (Congress' student wing) on Friday, creating much uproar in his former organisation and the student-political circle in the country.
It all began when Ram Niwas Bishnoi, a recent graduate from DU joined NSUI in a public event and openly proceeded to criticise the RSS' student wing and its activities. The ABVP was soon to respond, calling him a nobody, who held no significant position. But the 24-year-old Bishnoi says that he had been associated with the organisation since 2014, which is the year he joined the University of Rajasthan to pursue his bachelor's degree.
Later, in 2018, he moved to the University of Delhi to pursue his master's and was later elevated as the ABVP DU Unit President. "I was the ABVP DU Unit President until the day I joined the NSUI. You can check the tweets from the ABVP's official Twitter handle to verify that. However, they do not give you anything written on a letterhead," he says.
'I never believed in Hindutva. I just wanted to serve the people'
Bishnoi hails from a family of farmers in Rajasthan's Bikaner. "My family has no political background. Student politics was completely my choice and my parents never opposed it," he says. In 2014, he moved to Jaipur for education. Coincidentally, that was the year in which the Narendra Modi-led BJP government came to power in the country. "The ABVP was quite strong in the university and spoke of student welfare. I thought that it was the right call to join them," he says.
However, he says that he never agreed with the Hindutva ideology that the organisation followed. "I always believed in secularism. Ours is a secular country and we need to work for the welfare of people for the country's development," he says. Even though Bishnoi says that there was no single incident that fuelled his quitting, he says that he was particularly sad when the organisation was mum during the price hike of commodities. "The organisation was all talk and no work. They only take credit for things but do not work towards them. If something is wrong, you have to speak up, disregarding the colour of the flag that you hold," he says.
'More students will follow'
Bishnoi says that more members of the ABVP are set to join the NSUI. "A number of activists are unhappy with what the ABVP has been doing, especially during the pandemic. They are too scared to voice their opinions. I know a lot of them and I am sure that they too will quit the Parishad soon. I am trying to get them on board," he says. He particularly criticised the ABVP-led Delhi University Students' Union for not joining the students when they raised their voices against online classes and online examinations. "It is a Central Government-run University and the DUSU only worked for its members' personal favours. The organisation has been doing it for years now," he says.
He also said that he was against the organisation worshipping VD Savarkar. "How can you put Savarkar on the same pedestal as Bhagat Singh and Subhas Chandra Bose? In fact, I think that the ABVP hails Savarkar because that benefits them in the current scenario," he says.
When asked why he chose to join the NSUI, disregarding the left parties, Bishnoi said that he doesn't find any difference between them and his former organisation. "The left parties are all about violence, unlike the NSUI. I have seen how NSUI as an organisation worked for students during the pandemic," he says, adding that the organisation welcomed him without any hesitance when he approached them. "They have seen me work and they know who I am. I will continue to work for the welfare of students," says Bishnoi, who is currently preparing to pursue a PhD from DU's Law Faculty.