Vandemataram College chairman challenges Sukhbir Badal

New Delhi: Chairman of the governing body of Dyal Singh College (Morning & Evening) and Supreme Court lawyer Amitabh Sinha held a press conference on Friday to inform the people via fourth estate that the lobby inside the college forged by some opposition parties are misleading the people in general and the fraternity of teachers and students in particular by propping up the Shiromani Akali Dal in order to make it appear like an issue concerning the Sikh community. Sinha cited rules, precedents and orders of the University of Delhi to establish how this was not the first occasion when an evening college was given the morning slot and renamed.

Sukhbir Singh Badal has been misled, Sinha said and invited the former deputy chief minister of Punjab for a discussion or debate to clear the air over the renaming exercise. “Either he convinces me and I reverse the decision to rename the new college, or I convince him and he issues a statement clarifying that he was misled,” Sinha said.

Giving the examples of Deshbandhu College and Ram Lal Anand College, which were renamed as Ramanujan College and Aryabhatta College respectively, Sinha asked why there was no controversy over those exercises. “Are Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das and Ram Lal Anand not respectable figures?” Sinha asked, adding, “When those colleges were renamed, were the legacies of CR Das and RL Anand insulted?”

The college’s governing body chairman related the history of Dyal Singh College, wherein the trust that ran it failed to pay its measly dues, following which the control of the college was transferred wholly to the University of Delhi. Thereafter, he said, the university was free to take all decisions for the said college.

Dyal Singh Majithia, who was born in a Sikh family, who also managed the affairs of Harmandir Sahib also known as the Golden Temple, later embraced the Brahmo Samaj. While the college in question is named after him, it was established by a trust as mentioned above.

Technically, Sinha explained, the morning and evening colleges are separate institutions. “What is more important,” he said, “students of an evening college are unfortunately looked down upon in society and unduly stigmatised.”

“We wanted to remove that undue stigma from the careers of these future citizens of the country,” Sinha said.

“When it came to giving the new morning college a new name, we thought nothing could be better and superior than an invocation of the motherland. Hence Vandemataram!” Sinha asserted.

The Supreme Court lawyer wondered why a hymn dedicated to the country — and every mother — should disturb anybody if not the detractors have an anti-national agenda. He said that the Akalis have been hoodwinked by a lobby in the college to make them believe it was a Sikh issue.

“I have immense respect for Guru Nanak Dev ji, Guru Teg Bahadur ji, Guru Gobind Singh ji and I believe the nation shall forever remain indebted to all the Sikh gurus for their teachings, sacrifice as well as fight to preserve the culture and civilisation of our beloved nation,” Sinha said.

Sinha explained that separate and sufficient resources have been allocated to both Dyal Singh College and Vandemataram College. He said it was a mischievous campaign to incite our dear Sikh brethren that a college named after a Sikh social reformer was being renamed. “The Dyal Singh College remains Dyal Singh College and will remain so forever,” he said, adding, “What has been named Vandemataram Mahavidyalaya is a separate college.”

Sinha said it shocked him that, while the members of the governing body had adopted the resolution of naming the morning-turned-evening unanimously, a few of them reached out to some politicians and provoked them to stall the process.

The lawyer also alleged that he had received threats to his life during a debate on a television channel as well as through his sources. Sinha said he has registered a complaint with the Commissioner of Police, Delhi, about the alleged death threat.

If hundreds of our great freedom fighters like Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Vipin Chandra Pal, Lala Lajpat Rai, Ram Prasad Bismil and Dyal Singh himself can sacrifice their lives in the name of Vandemataram for our Motherland, Why can’t we dedicate one college in the name of Vandemataram?, Sinha asked adding I am ready to sacrifice my life for Vandemataram.

“Vandemataram is an effort to promote nationalism and no country has risen without having strong national ethos” Sinha said.He added, national pride is a must factor for emergence of new India.

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