Mumbai: ABVP claims apolitical Ruia as its 'stronghold'

However, college principal still maintains the notion is misinformed and that his college remains as politically neutral as ever

The Ruia College in Matunga seems to be heading into a political fray it has otherwise stayed away from. “Ruia is our stronghold,” claims Rohit Chandode, organisation secretary of the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), Mumbai University. Countering his claims, Dr Suhas Pednekar, Ruia’s principal maintains that his institution is apolitical.

A poster of Friday’s event
A poster of Friday’s event

Two weeks ago, ABVP’s Mumbai wing had invited a JNU ABVP leader, Lalit Pandey to speak at the MU campus, but was denied permission. ABVP then claimed they held the event at the university’s gate.

Photo posted on the ABVP page about Pandey’s visit to Ruia
Photo posted on the ABVP page about Pandey’s visit to Ruia

Another venue happened to be Ruia College. They even posted pictures of the event on the Facebook wall.

Following that event, the ABVP is holding another event at Ruia today evening. The event will have ABVP’s organisation secretary Sunil Ambekar, and also Dr Vijay Pawar, former senate member of the Mumbai University. The topic they will be speaking on is Babasaheb Ambedkar and nationalism.

ABVP activists say the issues of JNU, Hyderabad University and others will also come up during this seminar.

According to Chandode, he and his students’ wing does not discriminate when it comes to colleges, but in the same breath agrees to Ruia being their stronghold.

“We are holding an important event on the occasion of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar’s 125th birth anniversary at Ruia College, where our speakers will speak on Nationalism and how Ambedkar is being shown in the red colour, while he never endorsed the Leftist ideology. Our speakers will speak on various issues, which will even include the incidents of JNU and Hyderabad University,” Chandode said.

On being asked, whether Ruia is becoming their favourite place now, as they had earlier taken Pandey to Ruia, Chandode said, “Ruia is our stronghold, but we do not mind going to any college, may it be St. Xavier’s or TISS, if they are ready to accept our views.”

'Do not let politics enter our premises'
Ruia College’s principal Dr Suhas Pednekar has a different story to tell. He said, “What students see is different than what actually happens. The earlier incident, in which people are claiming that a JNU student visited our campus, is misinformed. It did not happen here. However, we gave permission for Friday’s event, only because it is for the celebration of the 125th birth anniversary of Babasaheb Ambedkar. The college remains apolitical and we do not let politics enter our college premises.”

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