ABVP plans to make inroads in Kerala
THE STUDENT OUTFIT CALLED FOR A RALLY IN THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ON NOV 11 TO HIGHLIGHT ATTACKS ON RSS CADRE ‘BY LEFT ACTIVISTS’
Stepping up its offensive against Kerala’s Left government, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is pushing its students’ wing, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), to the front lines of its campaign in the state.
The ABVP has called for a rally in Thiruvananthapuram on November 11 to highlight the attacks on the right-wing cadre in the coastal state, allegedly by their left-wing counterparts.
Equating ‘Marxism with terrorism and anti-nationalism’ is a leitmotif of the rally, which the right-wing outfit hopes would be attended by students from across the country, including those who do not subscribe to the ABVP ideology.
ABVP is following in the footsteps of the BJP and the RSS by highlighting the alleged violence by Left cadres in the state and offering itself as an alternative to other student bodies.
In the last year’s state election, after the BJP won its first ever seat in Kerala assembly, attributed largely to the groundwork of the RSS cadre, the ABVP too saw a change in its fortune on college campuses; particularly in the northern part of Kannur, which has been a hotbed of leftright wing clashes.
After a decade of no-show, the ABVP won 11 of the 16 seats in the Kannur University union elections.
Despite these electoral gains, the organisation does not have the same following has left-wing student bodies do, which is perhaps a reason why the ABVP is banking on students from other states to lend support to its show of strength.
“Our membership is growing...we will soon have over one lakh members in the state. We are fighting for the ‘pride of Kerala’ and even those students who were not affiliated to any faction are willing to join us,” said Ashwin Radhakrishnan, the joint organsing secretary of the ABVP in Kerala.
As the RSS sets about expanding its footprint across the coun- try, especially in regions where its ideology faces unbending opposition, it has charted a course for the student’s wing to supplement its efforts by breaking into the stronghold of the Left, the academe.
Concerted drives, riding on the theme of nationalism are being planned in states where the ABVP has a limited presence, such as Tamil Nadu, and in the north-eastern region. Plans are also afoot to woo students in the poll-bound Tripura where ABVP 27 seats in the student council for the first time and in West Bengal.
“ABVP’s strength has crosses 5 lakh in Karnataka. We have at least over two lakh members in Uttar Pradesh, and little over a lakh in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Delhi and Maharashtra,” said organisations media convener Saket Bahuguna.