Protests Over Move To Rename Delhi College As Vande Mataram College

A day after Education Minister Prakash Javadekar had said the government will not allow the renaming, the institution's chairman virtually threw a challenge to the centre saying "any legal action on the move is welcome".

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Protests Over Move To Rename Delhi College As Vande Mataram College

The Dyal Singh College Teachers Association (DSCTA) reiterated its stand against renaming the college.


New Delhi:  The controversy over renaming of a Delhi University college appeared headed for a face-off today with the institution's chairman Amitabh Sinha asserting that the government cannot interfere in such matters and the change in name to Dyal Singh Vande Matram College was within the law.

A day after Education Minister Prakash Javadekar had said the government will not allow the renaming, Mr Sinha virtually threw a challenge to the centre saying "any legal action on the move is welcome".

"The DU is an autonomous university and therefore, the government cannot have a say in its administrative matters. The HRD Minister should have spoken to me first to know the exact status before making such a statement. We have not done anything wrong or anything outside the law, we have done whatever is necessary," Mr Sinha said during a press conference.

Mr Javadekar had said the government would not allow the renaming and take action against the management committee of the college for going ahead with it without the ministry's consent. The minister's comments came after reports that the management had quietly renamed the college while banners of 'Vande Mataram Dyal Singh College' were put up too.

A controversy had erupted last year with various sections vehemently opposing the move to rename the college as "Vanade Matram Mahavidyalaya".

"When the first time I had a meeting with him (Prakash Javadekar), I had insisted that the issue be resolved by the vice chancellor and the governing body and he had shown interest then. We found a middle way and named it Vandemataram Dyal Singh College. I don't know whether he is under some pressure or (it is) some arm-twisting tactics," he said.

"Students had put up banners with the new name in an annual function. Though, the Delhi University is yet to take a final decision on it, the Governing Body is entirely capable of looking after the administrative duties and if the HRD minister believes a legal action can be taken for that then I welcome such a step," he added.

Mr Javadekar had yesterday said, "We had earlier also asked them (the university administration) to reconsider the move. We will not allow the college to be renamed. If there are two Dyal Singh colleges, they can call them A and B or 1 and 2 to differentiate but the original name cannot be changed".

Union Food Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal had also taken up the issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

She said she had briefed the prime minister and "requested" that the college's governing body chairman Amitabh Sinha be sacked and action taken against Delhi University Vice Chancellor Yogesh Tyagi for hurting the sentiments of the Sikh community.

"A lobby of the Dyal Singh College staff members had roped in the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) to cry foul over hurt Sikh sentiments' when they failed to think of no other way to halt the educational reform measures of the new governing body," Mr Sinha said.

The Dyal Singh College Teachers Association (DSCTA) reiterated its stand against renaming the college and demanded Governing Body Chairman Amitabh Sinha's removal for allegedly "denigrating" the glorious educational legacy of Sardar Dayal Singh.

"The authorities are not paying any attention. Rather in order to legitimize this illegal bifurcation, the College Governing Body(GB) and its Chairman Amitabh Sinha went ahead and renamed the Evening College as Vande Mataram College.

"By this blatant act of renaming they not only denigrated the glorious educational legacy of Sardar Dyal Singh, but also wilfully violated the terms of the transfer deed which insist upon status-quo on the name of the institution," DSCTA President P K Parihar said in a statement.


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