Being a student, politics may fascinate some while some may find it to be a distasteful dinner conversation. So, if you have even the slightest interest in politics, this blog is for you to read.
The feeling to find adequate representation and say has resulted in various rebellions all over the world. People of all castes, creeds and age groups crave for it and students are no exception. Additionally, since the present young students will be running the country in future, their say matters.
This is exactly why the student organizations are formed. Student organizations are formed not only to teach students to fight for their rights but they are also the breeding grounds of future policymakers. One such student organization is Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) with its motto, Gyan, Sheel aur Ekta (Knowledge, Character and Unity).
Affiliated to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), this right-winged student organization is said to be India’s largest student organization with more than three million member students.
For those of us who follow news and media must have heard the name of ABVP lately, for all the wrong reasons. However, this enormous organization which turns 70 today has a notable history which should be mentioned.
The Birth of ABVP
ABVP was born on 9th July 1949. With the increasing influence of communism in Indian colleges and universities, RSS activist Balraj Madhok and Professor Yeshwantrao Kelkar joined hands to form a right-winged student organization. The brainchild of Madhok was carefully architected by Kelkar making it a known household name.
ABVP’s name and ideology spread through the country only after its involvement in some of the famous strikes and movements, including the JP Andolan. After Indira Gandhi imposed emergency in India, there was plenty of hue and cry.
While some of the ABVP leaders went underground and stayed in disguise, the others were caught by police and imprisoned. There are some stories which indicate that young student leaders from ABVP were brutally tortured during the time of emergency.
As the emergency was lifted, the young blood was boiling and this turned out to be a lucrative opportunity for ABVP. They found themselves winning student union elections in prestigious universities, one of which was the Delhi University and with this; their membership base was expanding to most parts of India.
Though ABVP denies any direct connection with BJP, it is no lie that BJP has benefitted itself with many competent politicians, thanks to ABVP’s upbringing. Both these organizations belong to the Sangh Parivar and hence, the ideological influence of the latter on the former cannot be denied.
Alumnini of ABVP
The earlier young leaders of ABVP are now holding powerful and influential places in Indian politics. BJP has been in a habit of pushing young blood to the political arena and ABVP plays an instrumental part in this strategy. ABVP has nurtured politicians such as Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah, Arun Jaitley, Prakash Javdekar, Devendra Pradhan, Nitin Gadkari, Radha Mohan Singh, Ravishankar Prasad and JP Nadda. All these politicians hold key portfolios in the present government or in BJP.
They have found their place in the highest echelon of BJP, thanks to their grooming by ABVP and RSS.
ABVP has a glorious past. It was ruling hearts of students until recently when it started making headlines for all the wrong reasons. With the name of ABVP getting associated with violent clashes in university and college campuses and even outside it, there was an undercurrent against the way of working of ABVP which is coming to surface now.
The mute disapproval of ABVP by students no more remained a rumour when ABVP started losing important student union elections at various universities.
The fact that ABVP lost its place in Kashi Vidyapeeth came as a shock to the leaders for two reasons, first being the fact that Kashi Vidyapeeth has been an age-old sanctuary of ABVP and second being the fact that Varanasi is the constituency of PM Modi yet ABVP failed to triumph the university elections.
To access these failures and the reason behind it, a committee has been set up.
I personally believe that a student organization which gave a strong voice to students in past, most importantly during the time of emergency should not die at the hands of some careless and violent leaders.
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