Student orgs protest move to name Delhi University colleges after Savarkar, Sushma Swaraj

Sushma Swaraj paying floral tributes at the portrait of Swatantryaveer Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, on his birth anniversary, at Parliament House, in New Delhi on May 28,

Student organisations National Students Union of India, Fraternity Movement, Students Federation of India, and Campus Front of India protest Delhi University’s decision to name the upcoming colleges after Hindu nationalist leader Savarkar and the saffron party leader and former Union minister Sushma Swaraj.

NSUI warned of “stopping the functioning of the university” if the decision was not withdrawn.

“I give an open warning to the Delhi University administration that NSUI will not remain silent if they do not withdraw the decision to open the college in the name of Mafiveer Savarkar,” NSUI’s Delhi unit president Kunal Sehrawat said.

For Fraternity Movement, both Swaraj and Savarkar are “Hindutva icons” and the university move is “highly contemptible.”

“Saffronization of academic spaces must be opposed at any cost. Using irrelevant persons to name educational institutions as part of the RSS agenda is harmful to the very idea of education. This should be considered as another face of the RSS propaganda of portraying Savarkar from a bootlicker to a nationalist hero which is of utmost disgust,” read the student body’s statement.

Fraternity demanded that Institutions must be named after preceptors who certainly stand a chance in holding up educational values.

The left student wing SFI called the new move “an attempt to distort history.”

“SFI strongly opposes this proposal to name DU’s college after Savarkar and Will continue to expose the hypocrisy of the RSS-BJP and their false rhetoric of nationalism to hide their failures and betrayals in front of the student community,” SFI Delhi University office-bearers said.

DU colleges to name after Savarkar and Swaraj is a deplorable act of saffronisation, Campus Front of India alleged.

“Delhi University executive council under the Vice-Chancellor must mandatorily abandon this decision and name the two upcoming colleges under eminent educationists who contributed immensely to the educational development in India,” it demanded.

On Monday, Delhi University vice-chancellor Yogesh Singh had selected the names of Savarkar and Swaraj for two upcoming colleges of the university.

“The VC was supposed to finalise some names from the pool. During the meeting on Friday, when a member sought an update on the development, we were told that these two names were finalised,” Seema Das, an executive council member told Hindustan Times.