New Delhi: Last week, Ramjas college had witnessed large-scale violence between members of the All India Students Association (AISA) and the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) here in national capital.
The root cause of the clash was an invite to JNU students Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid to address a seminar on 'Culture of Protests' which was withdrawn by the college authorities following opposition by the ABVP.
However, since then the ABVP, an all India student organisation affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is in the headlines.
To shed light on the entire issue ABVP's National President Nagesh Thakur has an in-depth, exclusive conversation with ABP Live's Anurag Kumar. Read on:
Image: ABVP logo
Q1) Do you think anti-national activities in university campuses justified?
Nagesh Thakur: Not at all. Universities and colleges are created to generate young minds to serve the nation and human beings. Universities are the highest study institution and if students studying there will raise the anti-national slogans then it is unfortunate and anti-national.
Q2) Your take on Gurmehar Kaur’s campaign.
Nagesh Thakur: This is an unfortunate campaign. We have filed a FIR in her support. To blame ABVP is also very unfortunate. I can say with full confidence that even a very small ABVP worker can't do such type of things. If somebody has done such type of act, we have filed a FIR and the person should be punished.
She shouldn't be afraid of ABVP because it is a national organisation and even a very small party worker can't harm any female or anyone.
We have filed a complaint in support of her. It may be a conspiracy to damage the image of ABVP.
Q3) Do you think Gurmehar Kaur is being used as a political pawn?
Nagesh Thakur: It seems like this. She might have been misguided by ABVP opponents.
Q4) There are allegations that ABVP is issuing rape threats to Gurmehar Kaur. Do you think it is the way of treating a young female student?
Nagesh Thakur: No ABVP worker can do like this. ABVP itself has filed a FIR in her support. We want action against the culprits.
Q5) Is politics in educational institutions, which are the center for study, justified?
Nagesh Thakur: You see the student studying in the universities should have knowledge about all walks of life including politics. But the politics in the universities should not be party politics. It should be ideological, on student related issues and on important national issues... Healthy politics, issue-based politics.
Q6) Should elections take place in educational institutions?
Nagesh Thakur: Definitely, elections should take place. Universities are learning institutions. They helps budding young politicians to learn many things. If some university administration takes some decision against students like fee hike, if they harass a girl student, then who will raise the voice?
Even in the decision-making body, there should be the participation of students.
Q7) What do you think, why anti-national activities/sloganeering in educational institution increased recently?
Nagesh Thakur: This is unfortunate. Those people who don't want the nation to grow, some anti-national elements are doing this. The ideologies which does not want this country to be strong, they are doing this.
And also these anti-national elements are misguiding the young minds.
Q8) CM of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal said it's BJP, ABVP who organise anti-India sloganeering. Your take.
Nagesh Thakur: It is very sad that the Chief Minister of Delhi is making such comments. Opposition for the sake of opposition and it is dangerous.
How ABVP/BJP which loves the nation can we do such a thing?
Arvind Kejriwal is doing notorious politics.
Q9) What reforms ABVP wants in the educational system?
Nagesh Thakur: There are many, to mention a few-We have demanded that Indian educational system, from primary to university level, should be such that it should be India centric. There must be moral values so that students don't raise slogans against the country.
Secondly, education is becoming commercial activity. We want education, from primary to top level, to be accessible and affordable to all. Commercialisation of education should stop.
Q10) ABVP is known for using physical force, many times, in the name of protecting anti-nationalism. Do you think it's right?
Nagesh Thakur: ABVP never believes in violence and we demand through the democratic process. ABVP base is increasing day by day and our opponents are trying to malign the organisation's image.
Q11) You concluding words.
Nagesh Thakur: My message to all students is, every student being a citizen of this country must respect the nation and he should serve the humanity and do constructive activity.