Published: 09th February 2024
DU: ABVP allegedly attempted to disrupt AISA’s Young India Referendum campaign
In videos shared by AISA, members of ABVP were seen trying to break the human chain, chanting “Jai Shree Ram”, and tearing a flag from the campaign
The Young India Referendum campaign, conducted by the All India Students’ Association (AISA), was allegedly interrupted by members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) at the North Campus of the Delhi University (DU) today, February 9.
In videos shared on the student group’s social media profiles, a few students, seemingly from ABVP, can be seen trying to break through a human chain formed by members of AISA and participants of the campaign, in an attempt to seemingly disrupt the ballot votes conducted as part of the referendum.
A member of ABVP was even captured tearing down a flag from the campaign, followed by chants of “Jai Shree Ram” (Glory to Lord Ram). This was countered with slogans such as “Inqilab Zindabad” (Long live the revolution) and “Samvidhan Zindabad” (Long live the Constitution).
Sharing these videos, AISA condemned ABVP’s attack, saying that the latter has yet again turned up “to prove its anti-student, undemocratic credentials.”
Akhil Bhartiya Violence Parishad attacked Public Hearing of #YoungIndiaReferendum2024 in DU North Campus!#ABVP again turns up to prove its anti-student, undemocratic credentials! pic.twitter.com/xmJf2mkjiv— AISA Delhi (@aisa_delhi) February 9, 2024
Further, AISA alleged that the group of ABVP students even attacked faculty members who were a part of the public hearing of the referendum, such as former Math professor at St Stephen’s College Prof Nandita Narain, and assistant professor at DU Dr Jitendra Meena.
Speaking to EdexLive, Prof Narain revealed that ABVP members were waiting for an opportunity for provocation, as well as a way into the ballot boxes.
“They started creating a ruckus during my speech, where I condemned the DU’s celebration of the Ram Mandir consecration ceremony. I termed it a divisive and political event, and not a religious event. This is when we were attacked,” the professor says.
She narrates that she was attacked for being anti-Hindu, and mocked by ABVP members when she tried to explain that she has a different way of worshipping Lord Ram. “I tried to tell them that my religious practice is personal, and not based on oppressing another community, but to no avail,” she says.
While most of the members of ABVP seemed to be students whom Prof Narain termed as “misguided”, she alleges that there was an older, burlier man among them, who was provoking the students and verbally attacking the faculty members and students at the hearing with expletives.
“To prevent these people from reaching the ballots and sabotaging the voting, we even formed a human chain. Some of these people tried to break the chain but with no success. Even when they grabbed hold of a water pipe from the campus to spray water on the ballot box, we managed to nip that attempt as well,” Prof Narain says, describing various ways in which ABVP allegedly tried to disrupt the campaign.
She revealed that eventually, the members of ABVP retreated, being outnumbered by AISA and the supporters of the Young India Referendum Campaign.
“Later in the day, I was informed that the voting concluded successfully and that the mandate was in line with the campaign,” confirmed Prof Narain.
In a press release, AISA stated that the Young India Referendum “exposed the BJP Government’s empty rhetoric”, and that “universities and Jobs, Not Bigotry and Hate Mobs will Be Young India's Agenda In the Elections.”
According to the organisation, 3,048 students cast their votes in DU, 1,300 students cast their votes in Jamia Millia Islamia and 893 students cast their votes in Ambedkar University Delhi.
“An overwhelming 91 per cent of DU's students, 90 per cent of Jamians and 79per cent of AUD voted against the trend of yearly fee hikes, 88per cent of DU's students, 92per cent of Jamians and 60per cent of students in AUD feel that the Modi government has failed to provide adequate hostel and scholarship facilities to students in the last ten years…” revealed AISA.
It further added that 83.5 per cent of students in DU and 75 per cent of AUD's students were against the Four Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP) and that 91 per cent of DU's students, 97per cent of Jamia’s students and 75 per cent of students in Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD) thought that the BJP’s promise of two crore jobs was a “failure” and a “jumla”.