New Delhi: The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) has sacrificed its members to silence those who want to bring revolution out of the barrel of a gun, its parent Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s Sarkaryavah (general secretary) Dattatreya Hosabale said Friday.
“Today, if those voices wanting to break the nation have been silenced, it’s because of the ABVP,” Dattatreya said at a book launch of ‘Dhyey-Yatra’.
For context, “political power grows out of a barrel of a gun” is a phrase coined by Communist leader Mao Zedong to say that force was necessary for political power.
Dattatreya’s statement was significant given that it came less than a week after the ABVP was accused of barging into a hostel at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and physically assaulting students over chicken being made on Ram Navami. Among those injured were several members of the All India Students Association (AISA), the student wing of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation.
Written by three senior ABVP members — Manojkant, Pradeep Rao, and Umendra Dutt, ‘Dhyey-Yatra’ is a two-volume book that chronicles the history and journey of the student wing of the RSS — the ideological mentor of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
ABVP, Hosabale claimed at the launch — where former chief election commissioner Sunil Arora was a special invitee — has been misrepresented and misunderstood: The organisation was working only to strengthen democracy, he claimed.
“This book is a testimony to the work that ABVP workers have tirelessly done with the aim of rebuilding the nation and protecting its democracy,” Hosabale said. “The ABVP has done the historical work of preparing a whole generation of youth to work for the nation.”
It pained him, he claimed, to see the organisation painted “in poor light”.
“In the last one month, I have gone through more than a hundred articles that show ABVP in a poor light,” he said. “They haven’t done justice to the work it has done. It happened because some only see history through their own ideological lens. It especially began in the 90s and has continued till today.”
Hosabale credited the ABVP with “fuelling the movement” that finally culminated in the reading down of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. For context, the Modi government read down Article 370 of the Indian Constitution in August 2019 and divided the state into two union territories — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. The provision, read in conjunction with Article 35A, permitted the state to draft its own Constitution and restricted Parliament’s legislative powers in respect of the state.
“In 1970, ABVP demanded voting rights for 18-year-olds. It also ran a campaign against Article 370 in 1981 and actively participated in many such public movements,” he claimed. The ABVP, he said, had “national interest” at its core.
“Any student organisation by nature is anti-establishment, but that should not be used to break up the country, hate our own culture, and bring about a bloody revolution. Will they bring revolution by killing their own countrymen?”
(Edited By Uttara Ramaswamy)