Ahead of the upcoming elections of the Delhi University Students' Union (DUSU), the RSS-affiliated ABVP on Wednesday installed the busts of freedom fighters VD Savarkar, Subhash Chandra Bose, and Bhagat Singh overnight, right outside the gate of the Art Faculty on the North Campus of the Delhi University. However, present DUSU Shakti Singh admitted that the busts were installed 'without due permission', which sparked controversy. The two-feet long busts in white marble were placed on a 6.5-feet-long red pillar.
Amid the objections to the installment of the busts, the DUSU president has instructed its office bearers to shift the busts to the DUSU office till the time permission is taken from the authorities. Meanwhile, ABVP's state media in-charge Ashutosh Singh said that installation of the busts was an initiative of the DUSU. Speaking in the matter, Shakti Singh, who is also an ABVP leader, said that talks were held with the university administration over the issue but no immediate reaction was available from the varsity.
"All these leaders -- Savarkar, Bose, and Bhagat Singh -- had made great contributions in the freedom struggle. Youth should take inspiration from them," Shakti Singh said speaking to ANI.
A senior ABVP functionary added that the students' union of the Delhi University had been demanding to install the statues from the administration for a long time, but when their demands were not met, he said that the students' union had to take such a stand in protest.
"It (ABVP) has a clear view that the statues should be installed on the DU campus with the permission of the varsity administration and other concerned authorities," he said.
Meanwhile, as per news agency PTI, the move to install the busts has been criticised by the Congress-affiliated NSUI (National Students' Union of India) and Left-backed AISA (All India Students Association) which have questioned the placement of bust of Savarkar with Subhash Chandra Bose and Bhagat Singh. They said that Savarkar cannot be kept on the same pedestal as Bose and Singh. NSUI's national in-charge Ruchi Gupta took to Twitter and condemned the move by ABVP, asking Delhi University to remove the unauthorised busts. In the tweet, she also said that she strongly condemns the move.
Putting up his bust along with Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose, courageous freedom fighters cannot make Gaddar Savarkar into Veer Savarkar. We strongly condemn this move and demand that #DelhiUniversity Admin immediately take down this unauthorised bust— Ruchi Gupta (@guptar) August 21, 2019
(With agency inputs)