Shakti Singh


Shakti Singh, former President, Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU), has joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Singh, who contested the Student Elections through the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) is likely being involved in the BJP to reach out to the youth regarding the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). One of the top BJP leaders commented to The Daily Pioneer, “Singh is very likely to contest Delhi Assembly elections from Timarpur Vidhan Sabha constituency.”

Amidst massive student protests around University campuses, Singh’s association with the BJP comes along as a rather significant move to student bodies. Confirming his joining in BJP, Singh says, “University campus has taken different shape nowadays, it is required to convey that youth is not standing with Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Congress only, but with BJP also.” He also claimed that youth were contributing to the process of the Country under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

As reported by Outlook, Manoj Tiwari, Minister of Parliament (MP), BJP, welcomed Singh, and said that the resolve of a new India was to be realised through young leaders like him.

As the Delhi Legislative Assembly Elections approach, the conflict amongst political identities flourishes. Singh congratulated and applauded BJP MP’s effort in installing the first air purifier in Delhi, and also questioned the AAP’s failure for public health in lieu of emergency every winter season. He stated, “Delhi people have faced a lot under the tenure of Arvind Kejriwal. Why the public is bound to inhale polluted air and drinking polluted water.”He furthr added, “Before free water and electricity  providing clean air should be the genuine effort of any ruling regime.”

Singh had won the post of Vice President in DUSU Elections 2018, and was later promoted to the post of President after the Presidential candidate Ankiv Basoiya resigned over a fake degree row. He then presided as the President for year 2018-19.

Feature Image Source: Shakti Singh

Anandi Sen

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Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) has called for renaming the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) Office after the progenitor of Hindutva – VD Savarkar.

“Our University has forgotten the heroes of our freedom struggle. The place where Bhagat Singh was kept doesn’t even have a statue of him in the entire complex. I don’t even think half of the students even know of the Bhagat Singh jail below Vice Regal Lodge. Same is with Veer Savarkar. If studied thoroughly, he is the true inspiration for youngsters,” says Siddharth Yadav, the ABVP Delhi State Secretary, explaining why the DUSU Office should be renamed after Savarkar.

As reported by Outlook, Shakti Singh, President of the ABVP-led DUSU, had demanded that the DUSU Office be named ‘Veer Savarkar Bhawan’. The demand was made during the staging of the play ‘Hey Mrityunjay’, which is ‘based on time spent by Savarkar in the Andaman jail’ on 12th August.

An atheist, Vinayak Damodar ‘Veer’ Savarkar is credited as being the father of the Hindutva thought. Even though he did not coin the term ‘Hindutva’ – or “Hinduness” as he explained it – he theorised it as a cultural and political ideology. An advocate of acquiring independence from the British through revolutionary means, he was imprisoned due to his anti-British activities. A failed attempt to escape from prison landed him at the Cellular Jail or Kala Pani  in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. During this time, Savarkar wrote ‘Hindutva’, laying out an ideology that is at centre stage of contemporary Indian politics.

Perhaps even the admirers of Savarkar would agree that he is not an uncontroversial figure. Not every party holds him in the same high regard as the Hindutva parties do. Asaduddin Owaisi in a speech had questioned the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) by alleging that Savarkar had claimed that the tricolour could never be India’s national flag. Rahul Gandhi had in Parliament contrasted the Congress and the BJP’s ideologies by evoking the contrast between MK Gandhi and Savarkar; a row had followed. Savarkar was also tried, though acquitted for involvement in Gandhi’s murder.

The legitimacy of numerous claims can be discussed separately. Similarly, debating Savarkar’s political philosophy here would be futile; quoting a phrase or two from a whole body of work does not do justice to the writer or their thought – both the critique and the approbation remain shallow in that case. Yet, the point remains that Savarkar is a polarising figure.

So is it justified for the ABVP to demand that a student union office be named after a figure so controversial, especially when many parties would probably not consent? Mr. Yadav comments, “It is a demand and we have all the right to do so. Surely if discussions are done the so-called controversy would also be cleared. That was also one of the purpose[s] of the play where this demand was raised, to bring out the truth.”

Perhaps Savarkar deserves more attention, as do many other Indian revolutionaries in the historiography of the colonial period. Hindutva is a fascinating read, despite its holes and problems. Given today’s reality, it would only be wise to better understand the fountainhead of this ideology.

Yet, why should a university student union office be named after a political figure? Why can’t the name of the office remain apolitical, in spite of all the student politics around it? Moreover, why only Savarkar? What will the ABVP’s reaction be if the Left parties demand that the Office be named after, say, M.N. Roy?


Feature Image Credits: DU Beat Archives

Prateek Pankaj

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ABVP bigshot Shakti Singh who served as the Vice President of DUSU assumed the powers of the Presidential office now. Here’s a look at whether this decision is just or unfair.

A fake degree row involving ex-Delhi University Students Union President and Akhil Bhartiya Vidhya Parishad (ABVP) titan, Ankiv Basoiya had showed the first signs of drama after the results of this year’s DUSU elections; a matter that DU Beat covered extensively for the past few months. After Basoiya was removed from the organisation, the top seat of the Union was left empty. To this, representatives of the National Students Union of India (NSUI) had expressed their displeasure on Ankiv Basoiya’s ascendancy to power by crafting a fake degree to get admission in the University of Delhi. The matter was dragged to the High Court which took some time to investigate but eventually dismissed NSUI’s petition. This was followed by the incident in focus which happened day before yesterday. Shakti Singh, the DUSU Vice President from ABVP, took over the President’s office and assumed his powers. However just like every student’s politics issue, this has two narratives.
The Lyndoh Committee and Delhi University Constitution both state in clear terms that re-elections are to be conducted if any such seat of power is left vacant. However, they also state that of re-elections don’t take place, then automatically the Vice President gets the green light to rise in power. Stating this as their justification, Shakti Singh entered the President’s office. Saimon Farooqi, National Secretary of NSUI alleged Shakti and his comrades to have used force to break in and exercise their dominance, without any proper court order. He admits that even after the HC rejected their plea, they accepted the decision and waited for re-elections or appointment of a new candidate.
ABVP however claims that it has not violated any rule and not involved in contempt of court. The High Court order and the Lyngdoh Committee seems to be in favour of their argument. ‘No re-elections had taken place in the last two months. One whole semester had ended and the students of University still had no President. Someone had to come to power and we have done this through democratic means. Now after the present incident, we are waiting for a notice showing the approval from the University administration. The administration has anyway been really lazy in such matters be it with Ankiv or Shakti.’ Monika Chaudhary, the National Media in-charge of the ABVP commented on the statements of NSUI which called Shakti Singh’s methods ‘undemocratic’. She added that it was a planned coming to power and no violence and unfair means were used. ‘If day before yesterday would have been violent, the ABVP itself would have condemned Shakti Singh.’, she said.
So as of now, Shakti Singh still sits in power as President. The administration’s response is yet to be seen. NSUI and their presidential candidate Sunny Chillar are still fuming but it needs to be seen whether the odds will be in their favour or ABVP will exercise its full control over the Union without any obstacles.


Feature Image Credits: The Asian Age

Shaurya Singh Thapa 

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