After Criticism, ABVP-led DUSU Removes Bust of Savarkar, Others
Busts of Subhash Chandra Bose, Bhagat Singh and VD Savarkar were installed outside the Arts Faculty of Delhi University.
Busts of Subhash Chandra Bose, Bhagat Singh and VD Savarkar were installed outside the Arts Faculty of Delhi University.(Photo: PTI)

After Criticism, ABVP-led DUSU Removes Bust of Savarkar, Others

The ABVP-led Delhi University Students' Union has removed the busts of V D Savarkar, Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose from the campus, the student outfit said in a statement on Saturday, 24 August.

The ABVP, however, claimed that the Delhi University has assured them that the busts will be reinstalled in accordance with the procedure after the DUSU polls are concluded. The busts of the trio were installed on 20 August by outgoing DUSU president Shakti Singh without taking permission from the varsity authorities. They were removed on the intervening night of Friday and Saturday.

“ABVP-led DUSU has removed the busts of Veer Savarkar, Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose till permission is obtained from the DU Administration. The busts have been kept (at a) safe (place) by the varsity.”
ABVP statement.

Earlier, the ABVP had asked DUSU office-bearers to install the statues as per the procedure, it claimed.

The students' body also demanded "stringent legal action" against members of the Congress-affiliated National Students' Union of India (NSUI) for allegedly blackening the bust of Savarkar on Thursday. The ABVP claimed left-affiliated student organisations along with AAP's CYSS and the NSUI had "stooped to a low level" and were harming the "the culture of debate and discussion, prevalent in the university".

"ABVP strongly believes that the Left, AAP and the student organisations affiliated to the Congress should stop insulting freedom fighters to meet their trivial political interests," it said.

Caught on Camera

The Congress-affiliated NSUI was caught on camera putting a shoe garland on Savarkar's bust and blackening it in the wee hours of Thursday, 22 August.

Visuals from the spot showed NSUI's Delhi state president Akshay Lakra garlanding the busts of Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with flowers, before going on to use a shoe garland for Savarkar.

The busts of Savarkar, Bose and Singh were installed by the DUSU “without due permission” outside the Arts Faculty in Delhi University's north campus on Tuesday.

(Photo: The Quint)

Also Read : ABVP Is a Cultural Body: Tripura VC on Hoisting Its Flag on Campus

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ABVP Then Took a Step Back

DUSU President Shakti Singh had said on Tuesday that they had approached the university administration and civic authorities repeatedly for permission to install the busts, but there was no response from it.

"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, but to no avail. Their silence forced us to take the step," he had said.

Till now, no action has been taken against Singh and the busts were still in place till early on Thursday.

However, the ABVP took a step back on Wednesday when it said that it "clarified to DUSU 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."

"With regard to the establishment of statues of freedom fighters outside the Art Faculty by DUSU, ABVP is of the clear view that the busts should be installed in DU campus only with the permission of the Delhi University Administration and other concerned authorities. DUSU had been demanding for a long time for the installation of busts and the administration completely ignored the same demand of the student union," ABVP national media convener Monika Chaudhary said.

Attracting Criticism

The initial move to install the busts had attracted criticism from the NSUI andthe Left-backed AISA, which said that Savarkar cannot be kept on the same pedestal as Bose and Singh.

NSUI national secretary Saimon Farooqui had said, "ABVP has always considered VD Savarkar as their hero. Inspite of him begging for mercy in front of the English (Colonial) government, the ABVP wants to promote his agenda... Comparing Savarkar to Shaheed Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose is an insult to our martyrs and their freedom struggle."

Kawalpreet Kaur, Delhi president of All India Students' Association (AISA), also slammed the ABVP.

“Installing statue of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar is an attempt by ABVP/RSS to paint him as a prominent freedom fighter and to rewrite history. While Bhagat Singh stood against imperialism, communal politics and gave up his life for building a socialist, democratic and secular India. Savarkar on the other side wrote mercy petitions to Britishers.”
Kawalpreet Kaur, AISA

Also Read : Savarkar No More ‘Veer’ as Rajasthan Govt Alters School Textbooks

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