In what is seen as yet another attack on the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), a proposal to set up a study centre in the name of Hindutva ideologue, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar has been put forth by the Savarkar Rashtriya Smarak (SRS) and Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).
Working president of the Swatantryaveer Savarkar Rashtriya Smarak, Ranjit Savarkar confirmed to National Herald that a proposal to set up Savarkar Adhyayan Kendra (Savarkar Study Centre) has been submitted to the Vice-Chancellor office on March 14. “And the discussion is on the final stage,” he revealed.
However, when asked the same, the JNU administration feigned ignorance. We called Vice-Chancellor, Jagadesh Kumar at his mobile number but he did not answer.
Registrar of the University, Pramod Kumar, also denied having received any such proposal. Talking to NH he said, “We have not received any proposal about setting up of a Centre in the name of Savarkar. As far as ABVP is concerned, being a student organisation, they are free to propose anything.”
When contacted, president of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU), N Sai Balaji downplayed the report saying, they (ABVP and the BJP government or any Right-wing organisation) would not dare to put forth such proposal till election is over.
When asked why only JNU has been selected to put forth the proposal, Ranjit said, “University has been a sanctuary of anti-national elements. Tukde-Tukde gang chanted anti-India slogans here. It would be good for the university and the younger generations if ideas of Savarkar are taught in JNU.”
Ranjit claimed that he, along with two student leaders associated with AVBP - Saurabh Sharma and Durgesh went to submit the proposal to the VC office. To add authenticity to his claims, Ranjit also told NH that the controversial JNU professor, Dr Atul Johri who faced allegation of sexual harassment, had also accompanied them.
The idea was jointly mooted by the Savarkar Rashtriya Smarak and the ABVP, claimed Ranjit adding that Dr Johri liked the idea. According to Ranjit, many myths have been created about the life and ideology of Savarkar “who was an ideologue, but he had nothing to do with the religion.”
It is important to mention here that a few years ago, such a centre was started in Pune University. However, it was closed in a few years.