Two groups of students – one belonging to Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and the other to University Community for Democracy and Equality (UCDE) - took to streets on Wednesday outside the University of Mumbai’s Kalina campus.
While members of ABVP were discussing the “truth about JNU” with collegians, their slogans were countered by members of UCDE. With no permission from the university to conduct the meet inside the campus, both groups raised slogans outside the campus.
“The entire issue at JNU has brought much negative light on the university and our aim is to clear the air. Just because some people are anti-national doesn’t mean the entire system is the same,” said Lalit Pandey, ABVP head from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, who was in the city for this meet.
Pandey and Aniket Ovhal, the Mumbai secretary of ABVP, gave an hour-long speech outside the Kalina campus and were cheered by students and other party members with slogans such as ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’.
“We have nothing against the students but we have noticed that there are many Leftists, Marxists and Maoists in educational institutes. We are only trying to make other students aware of the same,” said Ovhal.
However, members of UCDE gathered in the same area and shouted counter-slogans including ‘RSS Murdabad’ and ‘ABVP Murdabad’.
“This group calls itself nationalist but its work has always been anti-national. Even in the incident where JNU Student Union president was arrested, it has been proved now that the videos were doctored but ABVP has nothing to say about this,” said Nagesh Dhurve, a UCDE member.
Since ABVP members had announced their plans of a discussion a day in advance, university officials had called the police. All vehicles entering the campus were being checked by officials. “The security arrangements were to avoid any altercation between students,” said a university official.
ABVP has been conducting similar discussions in city colleges and on Tuesday members had interacted with students of Mithibai College in Vile Parle as well as Ruia College in Matunga.