They have vested political interests: Why the ABVP believes their protest for campus reopening is more legit than the JNUSU's

The students demanded that the phase-wise reopening be resumed and the students be brought back on campus as soon as possible
ABVP students during the protest (Pic: ABVP)
ABVP students during the protest (Pic: ABVP)

The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad's (ABVP) Jawaharlal Nehru University unit has been protesting for the past week to reopen the campus and bring the students back with proper hostel accommodation. While their demands are similar to the protesting left organisations led by the JNU Students' Union (JNUSU) the ABVP has not joined the same protest and have instead been on a Satyagraha Andolan (Gandhi Jayanti is just two weeks away) in front of the Sabarmati T-Point on campus. Not only that, but they have also alleged that the left-leaning student groups have vested political interest and are just using the protest to fulfil those.

ABVP-JNU unit President Shivam Chaurasia said that even though these are issues that affect every student and should be held above all political differences, the JNUSU is diverting the issue. He pointed out that posters appealing for the release of former JNU student and activist Umar Khalid and other political prisoners have been put up along with posters to reopen campus. These posters were from AISA. "They always utilise student mobilisation for their vested interest and this time too they are doing the same. We are solution orientated while they are diverting the issues," said Shivam.

He added that even the freshers who have not been on campus are in support of their movement as they have not had the chance to come on campus yet. "Freshers are participating in this movement in direct and indirect ways and students staying on campus are supporting us for infrastructure-related issues," he added.

The students presented a memorandum with their demands to the Vice-Chancellor and his office received it. The students demanded that the phase-wise reopening be resumed and the students be brought back on campus as soon as possible. They also asked the administration to allot hostels beforehand. The other demands included repairing hostels and giving ID cards to students. While the ABVP asked for the reopening of libraries on September 16, a notice on September 13 had already ordered reopening of the libraries with 50 per cent capacity.

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