On Saturday, Uttar Pradesh’s Bareilly College witnessed the members of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) threaten to burn a van carrying Urdu literature books. This incident stands testimony to the general atmosphere in the country where there is a constant attempt to create hatred in the name of religion, caste and regionalism.
The said incident occurred when National Council For Promotion of Urdu Language (NCPUL), which is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD), had gone to the college to promote Urdu language. Suddenly, a group of ABVP members reached there demanding to know what kind of books they are selling. On being informed that they were carrying Urdu literature, they were asked to vacate the campus immediately, or face dire consequences.
According to a local Hindi newspaper, the ABVP members claimed that they will allow Urdu books for selling in the college if there will be a Sanskrit department in Aligarh Muslim University. However, they are ignoring the fact that there is a separate department for Sanskrit already in the University.
Speaking with Newsclick, Shaibya Tripathi who teaches Urdu in the Bareilly college and was on duty that day, helping them as a member of the Proctorial board, said, “The book van of NCPUL visits every city, and as a part of this they were on a Bareilly tour. They had taken proper permission from the college administration, but in between some students came and threatened the bus driver to stop the sale of books inside the campus premises. Fearful of a violent turn, the bus driver left the city as he was coming from Delhi. It was with the Proctor’s knowledge that the NCPUL van was visiting the college. Despite all this, such an incident is very unfortunate.”
Students lost Opportunity to Buy Discounted Books
She further added, “Bareilly college is affiliated to the Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Rohilkhand University, Bareilly. The main campus of the University does not have an Urdu department but our college has six language departments- Urdu, Hindi, English, Persian, Arabic and Sanskrit. In a small city, it is very tough to get all the books of Urdu according to the syllabus, in this situation, such book vans help the students to get all the necessary books in a discounted price.”
Highlighting the problem of mixing religion with language, she said, “Today we have created an atmosphere where people generalise that Urdu is only associated with a particular religion which is not true. We can not judge Urdu on the basis of lipi (script) and if we will continue doing so, there will be communication gap between communities. Munshi Premchand, Daya Shankar Kaul Nasim, Brij Narayan Chakbast, these people were not Muslims yet they are renowned for Urdu literature.”
Another student pursuing Urdu studies, who witnessed the chaos, on condition of anonymity said, “They (ABVP members) were telling the students and the bus driver that they will not let turn Bareilly College into Aligarh Muslim University (AMU). These people even got involved in an argument with our teacher Shaibya Tripathi, who had given permission to the book van to come to our college. We were very happy that we were getting books at 25 per cent discount but unfortunately we have lost this opportunity. In Bareilly, we hardly get Urdu books for MA course, so we get books from AMU or such book vans which rarely come to our city.”
Imran Khan, a post graduate student of the college told Newsclick, “Few people from Delhi came to our college in a van carrying Urdu books. There were different kinds of books related to Urdu literature, history, etc. Suddenly, at least eight members of ABVP reached the spot, and following an argument with the book-seller, asked them to vacate the college otherwise they will burn the van. They did this despite knowing that those people were working under the HRD Ministry.”