ABVP leaders deliver speeches from DDU R-Day stage, spark row
GORAKHPUR A controversy erupted after two top ABVP leaders shared the stage with Deen Dayal Updhyay Gorakhpur University vice-chancellor Vijay Krishna Singh during the Republic Day celebration and delivered speeches after the ceremonial flag-hoisting and address by the V-C at the administrative building on Sunday morning.
Calling the move as an “unacceptable” act which maligned the image of the university and the state, several student outfits including NSUI, and Samajwadi Chatra Sabha (SWCS) have criticised the university administration and has called for the resignation of dean students’ welfare (DSW) Ravi Shankar Singh, who while hosting the event, had invited ABVP president S Subbiah and general secretary Nidhi Tripathi, to deliver speeches soon after V-C Vijay Krishna Singh concluded his Republic Day address.
The two leaders were in the city to attend a two-day central working committee organised at DDU’s Amrit Kala Vithika between January 24 to 26. The official Facebook page of ABVP (Goraksh Prant) also shared photographs of the two leaders addressing the crowd in presence of the V-C and other dignitaries.
SWCS leader Shiv Shankar Gaud, who led the group of students in protest seeking the dean students’ welfare’s removal, said, “By inviting ABVP leaders to deliver speeches from stage, Ravi Shankar Singh has played with the dignity of the university. He converted the Republic Day programme into an ABVP programme, which is an insult to a national festival and a temple of education. Also, the teachers, students and university officials witnessed how DSW breached the V-C’s protocol by calling ABVP leaders on stage to deliver speeches,” Gaud said.
Through a press statement, the NSUI also condemned the university administration for “converting a Republic Day programme into a RSS programme”. Former vice-chancellor Radha Mohan Mishra also dubbed the move as a serious violation of rules.
Defending the ABVP, media in-charge Navneet Sharma said, “As all top leaders including president and general secretary had gathered to attend the executive council meeting on the university campus, we decided to join the flag-hoisting programme by the V-C, instead of holding a separate Republic Day programme. There is no reason for a controversy. ”
When contacted for comments DSW Ravi Shankar Singh said, “I just followed the instruction of the V-C”.
V-C Vijay Kishna Singh rejected the charges. “This is nothing but a myopic view of things. For the university, all student wings, including NSUI or Chhatra sabha or ABVP are equal and we treat them as non-political despite their respective political affiliations. All of them are allowed to hold their programmes on the university campus from time to time and so is the ABVP’s S Subbiah, who also spoke as a cancer surgeon. I think the University must be a platform for all students to express their views. So I think there must be no controversy over it as some people are unnecessarily trying to give it a political hue.” He said that the university was mulling holding healthy debates between different student outfits in the days to come.