NSUI alleges permission for launch was cancelled last minute after ABVP intervention. ABVP says it’s a political event, which has nothing to do with DUSU.
New Delhi: Delhi University’s first-ever magazine spearheaded by students was launched on campus Tuesday.
However, the release took on political colours as RSS affiliate Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) took exception to the magazine, which is an initiative of the Delhi University Student Union (DUSU), currently led by Congress student wing National Students Union of India (NSUI).
The first edition of the magazine, D YOUTH, dwells on a range of current issues, such as the Rafale deal, the National Register of Citizens, demonetisation, homosexuality, Hindutva, and features articles written by students as well as political leaders. There are also interviews with senior politicians, including former finance minister P. Chidambaram and BJP MP Subramanian Swamy.
In his interview, Chidambaram talks about demonetisation among other policies of the NDA government.
“I think a large section of people was indeed made to believe that some good will come out of demonetisation. Today, if you make demonetisation a referendum, I am absolutely sure that 75 per cent will say it’s bad,” he said.
Swamy, meanwhile, states that the land where the Taj Mahal stands actually belongs to Hindus.
“Shah Jahan declared a royal order and took the land (on which Taj Mahal is built) from the king of Jaipur. In compensation, he only gave him 10-15 houses and nothing else. And he destroyed the Shiv Mandir that used to stand there,” he added.
The launch was supposed to be held at the university’s conference centre, but a row ensued as the administration reportedly revoked permission at the last minute without offering any valid reasons.
Members of the NSUI later alleged the ABVP’s role in the cancellation.
“Till Monday we had the permission to launch the magazine at the conference centre of the university, but just one hour before the launch, we were told that permission has been denied,” said Ruchi Gupta, NSUI national in-charge.
“It is the handwork of the ABVP. They do not want any progressive discussions to happen on the campus,” she added.
ABVP members called the launch a political event. Mahamedha, the secretary of DUSU and ABVP member, said the NSUI was misusing the student union’s name for its own ends. She said the ABVP was protesting because DUSU did not have anything to do with the magazine, which she described as an NSUI initiative.
The charge was, however, denied by people associated with the magazine who said they had tried to accommodate all views.
“The magazine has an interview of former Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit, BJP MP Udit Raj and Subramanian Swamy, who are talking about the current and past situation in the country. It does not favour a particular party, as some people are claiming it does,” said Chandan, D YOUTH editor.
“In fact the theme of the magazine is just freedom of expression. We don’t understand what kind of threat the ABVP saw in this,” he said.
Officials from Delhi University could not be contacted for comment.
Amid the ABVP’s opposition, NSUI members finally decided to launch the magazine outside the venue. The launch was attended, among others, by Delhi University professor and columnist Apoorvanand and senior journalist Siddharth Varadarajan.