Student Days

The age of ABVP

01 October 2017
The Bharatiya Janata Party’s electoral victory in 2014, and the tide of Hindutva that accompanied it, gave the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad extraordinary licence to exercise its politics. The results of that have since been clear to see.
adnan abidi / reuters


SUR SADAN IS THE CULTURAL EPICENTRE OF AGRA. The auditorium hosts many of the city’s most significant cultural events, and stands in a compound along one of the main roads through the city centre. Potted plants, arrayed a few paces from each other, form a ring around the auditorium building, and manicured shrubs and small trees line the roads and walkways. On the morning of 10 July, every pot had a saffron flag planted in its soil, and every shrub and tree within easy reach had one dangling from its branches. The flags bore a circular logo of a flaming torch held aloft against a silhouette of the Indian subcontinent. Four bold letters above it announced “ABVP.”

Every year, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, a student group affiliated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, celebrates the anniversary of its founding, on 9 July 1949, as rashtriya chhatra diwas, or national students day. As part of this year’s anniversary proceedings, the ABVP’s Agra unit held a two-week plantation drive across the city. Sur Sadan had been chosen to mark its conclusion.

Priyanka Dubey is a correspondent at BBC. She was formerly a staff writer at The Caravan.

Keywords: BJP Arun Jaitley RSS education Jawaharlal Nehru University Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad JNU ABVP student politics Ramjas Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh universities Banaras Hindu University BHU Sunil Ambekar