As the students’ wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) is supposed to work on issues that concern students on the campus of educational institutions. However, with the formation of Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the Centre last year, the ABVP in UP has turned aggressive on other issues like law and order in the state– the strongest anti-incumbency factor for the Akhilesh Yadav government.
At the state convention of the organisation being held since Sunday in Sitapur, the ABVP has passed two resolutions— the first related to the problems student face in the educational institutions; the second was on the law and order situation of UP and especially crime against women.
ABVP’s Awadh Prant organisation secretary Satyabhan Bhadauriya said that only these two resolutions had been passed. Sources said that the ABVP dropped the proposal to discuss terrorism, Muslim appeasement and the Dadri incident of lynching of Akhlaq by Hindu group, after top RSS bearers objected following an The Indian Express report last week.
Still, the Sitapur meeting is significant because it raised the issue of law and order which the BJP has decided to use it as sharpest weapon against the Akhilesh Yadav government in the next assembly polls scheduled in 2017. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had targeted Akhilesh government on the law and order issue during campaigning for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
The ABVP is going from strength to strength. At the Sitapur meeting, ABVP reviewed the membership situation and found that number has increased to 75,791 in the state and office bearers reported that ABVP now has an organisation in every university and higher-education institutions in the state. ABVP had organisations in nearly 2,000 of the 4,400 degree colleges in UP in January this year.
In a bid to create teams in other colleges, ABVP held six “Chhatra Samvad” meetings (interaction with students) to communicate the ‘nationalist’ ideology of RSS in the youths. These events were organised in Fatehpur, Lucknow, Gorakhpur, Meerut, Agra and Allahabad.
After the Lok Sabha polls, the ABVP had restructured its setup from three regional units (west, central and eastern UP) to six, these being Gorakhpur, Kashi, Awadh, Kanpur, Braj and Meerut.
It was also first time that the ABVP decided to run membership campaign in schools to make students of Intermediate (Classes XI and XII) part of its cadre, from the current academic session.
ABVP’ other accent is on women’s issues. In a national meet of women members in Lucknow in September last year, it formed groups of girls on university campuses and educational institutions to curb incidents of ‘love jihad’ in which Muslim youths allegedly lure Hindu girls into marriage and convert them. These vigilante groups have to counsel girls against ‘love jihad’ and approach the authorities, including principals and proctors of educational institutions, if they came across any instance where a Muslim youth was trying to lure a Hindu girl posing as a Hindu.