Youth and students have significant contributions to the building of any nation. Marvellous stories of change have been scripted by youth in every phase. In India, many such stories have been written by Indian youth right from the freedom movement to the JP movement, Assam movement, Kashmir movement, Agitation for Teen Bigha, and anti-corruption movements. The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) is the students’ movement in India that has engaged the country’s students in constructive change since its inception in 1949. The stories of this change have been documented in two volumes of a book, ‘Dhyey Yatra’ by Prabhat Prakashan, New Delhi.
The book acquaints the readers not only with the history and progress of the ABVP but also simultaneously apprises the history of independent India. The country has witnessed numerous agitations since 1947 to highlight the dreams of the nation, aspirations of the countrymen and needs of the youth. The ABVP, by joining many of those movements and agitations, has been influencing society with its nation-first approach. Today, ABVP is the largest students’ organisation, with ‘national reconstruction’ as the prime objective. It is a student organisation that is not associated with any political party but has been influencing contemporary politics with a nationalist outlook. That is why the documentation of such an organisation’s history is a timely and welcome step.
The book is to be released by RSS Sarkaryavah Shri Dattatreya Hosabale in New Delhi on April 15, 2022. Former Election Commissioner of India Shri Sunil Arora, RSS Akhil Bharatiya Prachar Pramukh Shri Sunil Ambekar, national president of ABVP Dr Chhaganbhai Patel and national general secretary Nidhi Tripathi will also join the function. The book has been edited by three former ABVP workers, Manojkant, Pradip Rao and Umendra Dutt, in two volumes, which have been priced at Rs 699 (combined price for both volumes).
The Vidyarthi Parishad believes that students are not tomorrow’s but today’s citizens. This spirit is instilled in all the workers right from day one. They are educated not just about their rights but duties too. Normally, the organisations indulging in agitations believe in the concept that “whatever is the compulsion, fulfil our demands”, but the ABVP underlines the concept of ‘duty towards nation’. Instead of only struggle, it focuses on dialogue and suggestions. Therefore, educationists, teachers, and students are all part of a single ‘education family’ which works together through dialogue.
The ABVP does not hit the streets only with the student demands, for it, the nation is supreme. Instead of capturing student bodies and working as agents of political parties, the ABVP workers work for positive change in society. “This book does not glorify or explain the work of ABVP, but explains the stories of the youth-students in independent India that are connected to their future and tell how a country connects to its young generation and the dreams as well as aspirations of the country,” writes RSS Akhil Bharatiya Prachar Pramukh Shri Sunil Ambekar in Preface of the book.
In this context, the working style of ABVP is extraordinary. It is a different organisation, where the education family is at the centre, but at the same time, cooperation and social acceptability are also there. That is why constructive activities are an integral part of ABVP’s working style. ABVP has earned high respect and admiration through its constructive activities, educational projects, free coaching classes, blood donation campaigns, tree-plantation and various sewa activities across the country. The work that has been done by ABVP through Students’ Experience in Interstate Living (SEIL) to integrate the youth of North East with the society of the rest of Bharat is an inspiring history. It attracted the attention of the entire country to illegal infiltration in Assam through agitations. Equally, the ABVP’s reactions to different other issues have been cautioning the nation. The work of ABVP on the front of strengthening social harmony and mobilisation of women’s force too is unparalleled. The ABVP has also mobilised the students globally through the World Organisation of Students and Youth (WOSY) with a high notion of ‘Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam’, which means the whole world is a family.
The book acquaints the readers with many such activities initiated by ABVP. The book is a live history of our times. RSS Sarkaryavah Shri Dattatreya Hosabale rightly underlines in the Foreword of the book, “The ABVP activities have a distinguished place in the history of independent India in the context of social organisations’ contribution. It has followed the mantra of nation-first and is to follow the same mantra in future too.”
The first volume explains the background of the formation, ideological base and expansion of the organisation. The chapter ‘Chhatra Andolan ki Rachnatmak Disha’ (Constructive Path of the Student Movement) offers an overview of different activities by ABVP. Similarly, the activities carried out in the educational sector have also been documented. The chapter ‘Sahasik Prayas’ explains the agitations carried out by ABVP.
The second volume of the book briefs ABVP’s efforts for the development of students’ leadership. This volume also has information on the activities carried out at the global level, resolutions passed by it in different conventions, and also the organisational stand on various national, social and educational issues. This volume also has details about various other activities of the organisation. The book reflects the tireless efforts of editors and seems to be doing justice to history. It is not an easy task to compile the history of a national level organisation like ABVP, which has been carrying out different activities touching different segments of the society for over seven decades. Both these volumes help us to realise the constructive youth power of India. I hope the book will inspire more youth to join the reconstruction of India in the coming days. Good work has been done by the editors.
(The author is Director General of the Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi)
Book: ‘Dhyey Yatra’ (Two Volumes)
Editors: Manojkant, Pradip Rao, Umendra Datt
Price: Rs 699 (both volumes)
Publisher: Prabhat Prakashan, New Delhi