‘Dyal Singh col­lege new name means salu­ta­tion to mother’

‘I thought that if we name the new col­lege after any other fa­mous per­son­al­ity, it would hurt the sen­ti­ments of Dyal Singh Ma­jithia and the Dyal Singh Trust.’

The Sunday Guardian - - Front Page -

The re­nam­ing of Dyal Singh Evening Col­lege into Vande Mataram Ma­havidyalaya at the col­lege’s gov­ern­ing body meet­ing ear­lier this week, has led to protests within a section of stu­dents and teach­ers. The Sun­day Guardian spoke ex­clu­sively to Amitabh Sinha, chair­man of the gov­ern­ing body, on the con­tro­versy and the ra­tio­nale be­hind re­nam­ing the col­lege. Ex­cerpts: Q. What was the need to re­name Dyal Singh Evening Col­lege? A. Dyal Singh Col­lege was be­ing run as both morn­ing and evening col­leges since its in­cep­tion. How­ever, what I re­alised is that stu­dents study­ing at the evening col­lege were fac­ing a stigma in the out­side world, even when the evening col­lege tim­ings had changed be­tween 1 pm and 7 pm. So, in a true sense, the evening col­lege did not ex­ist in modern times. Even then, stu­dents study­ing in the so- called evening col­lege were fac­ing so­ci­etal stigma and were be­ing treated as sec­ond-class stu­dents, with lit­tle or no place­ment. This is when I de­cided to change the evening col­lege into a full-fledged morn­ing col­lege. It took me a lot of time and hard work to get the eve- ning col­lege con­verted into a morn­ing col­lege and after one year and three months, I got the ap­proval from Delhi Univer­sity (DU) to run it as a full-fledged col­lege in Septem­ber this year. Now, both the morn­ing col­leges can­not run si­mul­ta­ne­ously with the same name and that is when we de­cided to change the name of the evening col­lege... There are many ex­am­ples of evening col­leges be­ing con­verted into day col­leges. Desh­bandhu evening col­lege was con­verted into Ra­manu­jan Col­lege, Ram Lal Anand evening col­lege was turned into Aryab­hatta Col­lege, so on and so forth. Q. What was the ra­tio­nale be- hind nam­ing of the col­lege as “Vande Mataram” col­lege? A. On 17 Novem­ber, I con­vened the Gov­ern­ing Body meet­ing, as per pro­ce­dural and tech­ni­cal re­quire­ments to look into sev­eral mat­ters and one was re­nam­ing the evening col­lege. Since the evening col­lege be­came non-ex­is­tent, a new name was there­fore re­quired for the new day col­lege. We de­lib­er­ated on names and I thought that if we name the “new” col­lege after any other fa­mous per­son­al­ity, it would hurt the sen­ti­ments of Dyal Singh Ma­jithia and the Dyal Singh Trust. Which name can be big­ger than per­son­al­ity? It is the mother­land and mother has an un­par­al­leled po­si­tion in any so­ci­ety. There­fore, we came up with the name “Vande Mataram Ma­havidyalaya” and the name means salu­ta­tion to the mother. Q. Stu­dents, teach­ers and for­mer prin­ci­pals of the col­lege have ques­tioned the name change, say­ing it is “il­le­gal” since the land on which the col­lege was built was do­nated by Dyal Singh. A. Have you seen that agree­ment? There is no agree­ment as such. Th­ese are fac­tu­ally in­cor­rect state­ments. This Trust was not started by Dyal Singh Ma­jithi­aji in Delhi, but was started in La­hore in 1910. After par­ti­tion, the gov­ern­ment gave them land al­most free of cost in Delhi, in 1956 and in 1958, the Dyal Singh Ed­u­ca­tional Trust So­ci­ety started run­ning a col­lege here. In 1960, DU gave af­fil­i­a­tion to this col­lege. But since the Trust failed to main­tain the stan­dard of education, the Trust re­quested the Univer­sity to take over the col­lege and in 1974, the Univer­sity took over the en­tire col­lege, its cour­ses, the build­ing, the land and ev­ery­thing with no terms and con­di­tions put be­fore the Univer­sity and the res­o­lu­tion passed then. Q. You think you are fac­ing flak be­cause of your af­fil­i­a­tion with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)? A. BJP is my po­lit­i­cal af­fil­i­a­tion. But this name came from within me and has noth­ing to do with my party. I am not am­bi­tious in pol­i­tics or else I would have be­come an MP or MLA. Q. What about in­fra­struc­ture? How would you man­age with stu­dents from both shifts in the ex­ist­ing in­fra­struc­ture? A. I an­tic­i­pated that this prob­lem would oc­cur when we run both the col­leges in the same shift. I asked the prin­ci­pal of both the col­leges for a re­port and we saw that we needed 22 more class­rooms for first and sec­ond year stu­dents. So, we got 29 more class­rooms made and the pro­ject for in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment is still go­ing on. By March 2018, an­other 25 class rooms will be made avail­able to the col­lege. Now the au­di­to­rium, play­ground and the can­teen are still com­mon. But th­ese were com­mon for the past 60 years. How­ever, we will grad­u­ally get all the fa­cil­i­ties for both wings of this col­lege sep­a­rately.

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