A fresh controversy started at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in Delhi as a newly-erected road sign named after Savarkar was seen in the Purvanchal area of the campus. The signboard which appeared on the campus on Sunday was vandalized by Monday and renamed as B.R Ambedkar road.
Savarkar who is hailed as “Veer” or brave, was a politician who formulated the Hindu nationalist philosophy of Hindutva and is known for begging the mercy of the British when he was arrested.
A shame to the legacy of JNU
It is generally the executive council that names the roads. The decision to name the road ‘VD Savarkar Marg’ was taken on November 13 last year. The executive meeting held outside the campus had already turned controversial for the increase in the hostel fee of the students.
It is known that the other proposed names for the road were Guru Ravidas Marg; Rani Abbaka Marg; Abdul Hamid Marg; Maharishi Valmiki Marg; Rani Jhansi Marg; Veer Shivaji Marg; Maharana Pratap Marg, Lokmanya Tilak Marg; Dayanand Saraswati Marg; Gopinath Bordoloi Marg; Gargi Vachaknavi Marg and Dara Shikoh Marg.
JNUSU leader Aishe Ghosh tweeted a picture of the sign board as soon as it was put up.
“It’s a shame to the legacy of JNU that this man’s name has been put in this university. Never did the university had space for Savarkar and his stooges and never will it have,” she tweeted.
General Secretary Satish Chandra Yadav also condemned the move. He said that this was an attempt to tame the character of JNU.“The people who joined with colonial powers at the time of freedom movement are being given this treatment in JNU. We won’t accept it,” he said.
And now it’s BR Ambedkar Marg
The students, however, is seen to have renamed it as BR Ambedkar marg now.
“We can never ever accept apologists and stooges of the British who undermined our secular fabric. Let’s respect those who gave us our constitution,” Aishee Ghosh tweeted along with the new picture from the site.
— Aishe (???) (@aishe_ghosh) March 16, 2020
The controversy did not end there. What have lastly made it to news is that the sign-board was vandalized further and a poster of Jinnah has appeared on it now. Students fear that it is an organized attempt by ABVP themselves to aggravate the issue further.
After all, What’s in a name?
The name politics of BJP goes way back. To sight recent examples, the central government had been trying to erase those names that have a slight Urdu/Arabic tinge to it. That is exactly how Mughalsarai Junction became Deen Dayal Upadhyay Junction, Allahabad became Prayagraj and Faizabad became Ayodhya.
Last year in August, ahead of the Delhi University student union polls, DUSU President Shakti Singh had installed statues of Veer Savarkar, Subhash Chandra Bose and Bhagat Singh outside the gate of the varsity’s Arts Faculty in north campus.