Coronavirus is spreading across India. Under these grim circumstances, different organisations are coming forward to help people. One such organisation is Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) which is the student wing of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Journalist Anurag Sason has an in-depth conversation with ABVP’s national president Dr S Subbiah. During the interview, the veteran cancer specialist touched a wide range of issues.
Here are important excerpts from the exclusive interview. (Scroll down to watch the complete interview)
Q1) ABVP is the world’s largest student organisation. How it is helping people in this tough Coronavirus pandemic time?
Dr S Subbiah: Namaste. First I want to clarify that ABVP is not the student wing of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. Whenever the country faces any challenge, ABVP comes forward to help the people. In the present scenario also immediately after the lockdown ABVP started working for society. ABVP’s girl students stitched cloth masks and distributed them to the people. We helped north-east students. Many of our students helped migrant workers with food and water. Our students also worked in red zones of Thane in Mumbai.
ABVP is also helping those students who are in stress.
We believe in quality education. We emphasized that students shall not be promoted from one class to another without exams. ABVP aims to inculcate a sense of social responsibility, a sense of national pride.
Q2) How do you see Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s handling of Coronavirus pandemic?
Dr S Subbiah: From the very beginning whenever any government has taken the right step, ABVP has welcomed it. We have seen how the entire country has responded to the charisma of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He has proved that he is an extremely popular, effective and good leader.
Q3) How do you see the political situation in JNU?
Dr S Subbiah: ABVP is not a political organisation, we do not believe in party politics and we never consider politics as the only means of national reconstruction.
We encourage students to participate in student union elections. ABVP considers student union elections as part of training to the students who, in the future, will going to play a constructive role in all aspects of the nation’s life including politics. We want to impart leadership qualities in the students, expose students to democratic behaviour. ABVP doesn’t believe in politics at the campuses. But at the same time, if there will be any anti-national activities by some students in any of the campuses, ABVP will never accept it.
ABVP will never tolerate slogans like “Bharat Tere Tukde Tukde Honge”. ABVP will demand the law to take its course. The organisation will not take law in its own hands.
ABVP is not doing any politics in JNU. I feel with time, our efforts situation in JNU will improve and everybody will understand.
Q4) Do you think that there is an increase of the leftist mindset in JNU?
Dr S Subbiah: I don’t think there is any drastic increase. Probably they are exposing themselves more because they are marginalised. Most of the countries have discarded communalism. We never prevent anyone from following any ideology. Our only stand is no ideology should go against society, against the country. Our aim is nation-building but whenever there will be anti-national activities in the campuses we will oppose it.
Q5) Universities are meant to impart education. Do you think that they should encourage politics?
Dr S Subbiah: You are absolutely correct. Education institutions are meant for imparting knowledge so that in the future students will be successful in any of the fields including politics.
Q6) Job opportunities are going down in the country. Your comment on this?
Dr S Subbiah: I am telling you there is no dearth of jobs in this country. There is a lot of job opportunities present in India. The problem is we are lacking skills. Along with education, our educational institutes should also impart skills.
The aim of education is not only to give a degree but also to educate our souls. I used to walk 3 km up and 3 km down to help patients at the primary centers.
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About the author: Anurag Sason is journalist with more than 7 years of experience in mainstream journalism. He has worked in newspaper, news agency, TV and digital media. Presently, he is working as Senior Editor-News in Likee app. He tweets at @AnuragSason
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Disclaimer: Interview is taken in the personal capacity