NEW DELHI (IANS) — Members of the National Students Union of India put a shoe garland around Vinayak Damodar Savarkar’s bust and tarred it with the Congress’ student wing on Thursday calling him a traitor and accusing the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the RSS’ student wing, of trying to ‘saffronise’ the Delhi University.
Justifying its actions, the NSUI claimed installation of Savarkar’s bust without the university’s permission was the ABVP’s attempt to ‘saffronise’ the campus.
“Savarkar was not a freedom fighter. He was a traitor who filled multiple mercy petition and opposed the ‘Quit India’ movement. His bust with the likes of Bhagat Singh and Subhas Chandra Bose can never be accepted,” state NSUI chief Akshay Lakhra told IANS.
Lakhra was among NSUI members who put the shoe garland and tarred Savarkar’s bust on Wednesday night.
Earlier in the day, former Delhi University Student Union (DUSU) president Shakti Singh said, “Their (NSUI) tradition has been to defame freedom fighters. The recent event where it tarred Savarkar’s bust and put a shoe garland around it shows that they respect no freedom fighter.”
Echoing Singh, ABVP State Secretary Siddharth Yadav said installation of statues might be debatable, but the NSUI’s act was condemnable.
Savarkar’s bust was installed outside the Arts Faculty’s gate in North campus of the Delhi University on Tuesday by Singh on his last day in office, without the permission of the administration.
Singh said they had approached the administration several times for permission, but there was no response. “I know the process of installing the bust might be debatable, but we, at the ABVP, follow nationalism and Savarkar was one of the biggest freedom fighters,” he said.