BJP, Congress Lock Horns Over VD Savarkar's Bust in Delhi University
New Delhi: The BJP on Friday termed the blackening of VD Savarkar's bust in the Delhi University (DU) a "cowardly act", drawing a sharp reaction from the Congress which said it would not allow saffronisation of educational institutions.
Savarkar's bust, along with those of Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose, was installed by the RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP)-led Delhi University Students' Union (DUSU) on Tuesday without taking permission from the varsity authorities.
The Congress-affiliated National Students' Union of India (NSUI) had blackened Savarkar's bust on Thursday while garlanding those of Singh and Bose. "It was a cowardly act," Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari said in a statement.
"Veer Savarkar was unique among revolutionaries around the world. He was a great revolutionary, historian, social reformer, thinker and litterateur. His books were similar to the Gita for revolutionaries," he said. By insulting Savarkar, the Congress has once again proved how it is against strong nationalism, he added.
Working president of Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee Rajesh Lilothia, who held a meeting with NSUI representatives to chalk out a plan for the September 12 DUSU elections, said his party would not allow saffronisation of educational institutions.
He said the student community is agitated that the bust of Savarkar, who had sided with the British during the independence movement, has been placed alongside those of great freedom fighters like Singh and Bose. Sarvarkar had apologised to the British rulers 16 times in writing and had worked against the freedom struggle. Singh and Bose sacrificed their lives to liberate the country from the foreign rulers, he added.
Lilothia said it was "shocking" that a great learning institution like the DU was party to the insult of the great freedom fighters by allowing the ABVP to install Savarkar's bust on the sly overnight. He said the NSUI's election plank would be to rise above narrow political agenda and issues which would benefit the student community as a whole.
A meeting between outgoing DUSU president Shakti Singh and DU proctor Neeta Sehgal over the issue on Friday remained inconclusive. Sources in the ABVP said the busts will be shifted to another location in a day or two.
Earlier, the ABVP had said it had instructed its DUSU office-bearers to shift the busts from outside the Arts Faculty to the latter's office till the time the varsity gives permission.
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