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Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad

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Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad
Formation9 July 1949 (75 years ago) (1949-07-09)
TypeStudent wing
Legal statusActive
HeadquartersMumbai, Maharashtra, India
Region served
National General Secretary
Yagywalkya Shukla
Parent organization
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)

Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) (transl.All India Students' Council) is a right-wing and a independent all India student organisation affiliated to the Bharatiya nationalist organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).[1][2][3]


The ABVP, founded in 1948 with the initiative of the RSS activist Balraj Madhok, was formally registered on 9 July 1949.[4][5] Its purpose when founded was to counter communist influence on university campuses.[6] Yashwantrao Kelkar, a lecturer in Bombay, became its main organiser in 1958. According to the ABVP website, he built the organisation into what it is now and is considered to be 'the real architect of the ABVP'.[4]

Various branches of the ABVP have been involved in Hindu-Muslim communal riots since 1961.[7][8] However, in the 1970s, the ABVP also increasingly took on issues concerning the lower middle classes like corruption and government inertia.[7] The ABVP played a leading role in the agitational politics of the 1970s during the Bihar Movement. This led to collaboration among student activists in Gujarat and Bihar. The ABVP gained significantly from such efforts after the Emergency and experienced a growth in membership.[9]

By 1974, the ABVP had 160,000 members across 790 campuses and had gained control over several prominent universities, including Delhi University via student elections. By 1983, the organisation had 250,000 members and 1,100 branches.[7] ABVP grew during the 1990s, receiving more support as a result of the Babri Masjid demolition and the economic liberalisation pursued by the P. V. Narasimha Rao government. It continued to grow after the United Progressive Alliance came to power in 2003, trebling in membership to 3.175 million members as of 2016.[10] It claims to be India's largest student organisation.[11]

Links to the BJP[edit]

The ABVP spokesmen insist that the ABVP is not affiliated to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). They describe it the "student wing" of the RSS.[12] However, both the BJP and the ABVP are members of the Sangh Parivar, the RSS's "family of (affiliated) organisations".[13] The BJP is said to gain handsomely from the ABVP's support base and several politicians of the BJP, including the current Home Minister Amit Shah and former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, had their ideological foundation in the ABVP.[14] Several scholars make no distinction between the RSS and the BJP, and regard the ABVP as a student wing of both of them or either of them.[15][16][17][18]

In 2017, the ABVP faced a string of losses in student body elections. They included not only Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University and Delhi University, but also the University of Allahabad and Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapith in Uttar Pradesh, the Gujarat University and the Gauhati University. The loss in the Kashi Vidyapeeth was considered especially significant since it is in Varanasi, the prime minister Narendra Modi's home constituency. This is said to have caused alarm in the BJP, which set up a committee to study the issues causing the ABVP's decline.[14][19] ABVP was able to resurge in the year 2018 by winning the key posts of president, vice-president and joint secretary of students polls of Delhi University.[20] ABVP won all the six seats in the Hyderabad Central University students union polls after eight years.[21]


The ABVP's manifesto includes agendas such as educational and university reforms.[22] It competes in student-body elections in colleges and universities. Students for Development (SFD) is an initiative by the ABVP to promote "right perspective towards the need of holistic and sustainable development" in students.[23] The official ABVP magazine is Rashtriya Chhatrashakti, which is published monthly in Hindi in New Delhi.[24]

ABVP conducts self-defense training program for girls titled "Mission Sahasi" all over India.[25][26][27]

ABVP conducted door-to-door screening in more than 100 slums of Delhi for Covid-19 symptoms and encouraged people to register for vaccination.[28][29][30]


ABVP has been accused to multiple violent incidents, including stone pelting,[31][32] arson,[33][34] vandalism[35] and physical assault,[36] on college[37][38] and school campuses[39] and elsewhere,.[40][41][42][43] Most notably, on 5 January 2020, according to the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union, masked ABVP members attacked JNU students, smashing cars and pelted stones, while ABVP accused left wing organisations. ABVP later confessed the same on national media[44][45] and in a sting operation,[46] and the veracity of ABVP's involvement was also found out through investigative journalism which was later confirmed by Delhi Police.[47][48][49] A total of 28 people were injured, including students and teachers.[40][41]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bhowmick, Nilanjana (21 June 2017). "India's crackdown at college campuses is a threat to democracy". The Washington Post. Retrieved 24 March 2024.
  2. ^ "Protests by BJYM, ABVP mar ICET counselling". The Hindu. 17 July 2007. Retrieved 24 March 2024.
  3. ^ Dubey, Priyanka (October 2017). "The age of ABVP". The Caravan. Retrieved 30 December 2019.
  4. ^ a b "About". Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad. Archived from the original on 16 June 2017. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  5. ^ Christophe Jaffrelot (2010). Religion, Caste, and Politics in India. Primus Books. p. 193. ISBN 978-93-80607-04-7.
  6. ^ Christophe Jaffrelot (1 January 2010). Religion, Caste, and Politics in India. Primus Books. p. 47. ISBN 9789380607047.
  7. ^ a b c Mazumdar, Sucheta (21 April 2003). "Politics of religion and national origin". In Vasant Kaiwar; Sucheta Mazumdar (eds.). Antinomies of Modernity: Essays on Race, Orient, Nation. Duke University Press. p. 239. ISBN 0822330466.
  8. ^ Graff, Violette; Galonnier, Juliette (2013). Hindu-Muslim Communal Riots in India I (1947-1986), Online Encyclopedia of Mass Violence (PDF). Sciences Po. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 August 2013.
  9. ^ Jaffrelot, Christophe (1 January 2010). Religion, Caste, and Politics in India. Primus Books. p. 193. ISBN 9789380607047.
  10. ^ Tiwary, Deeptiman (24 February 2016). "JNU row: Behind ABVP's confidence, govt and growth". The Indian Express. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  11. ^ "Controversial student activists turn India's universities into ideological battlegrounds". LA Times. 24 February 2016. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  12. ^ Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad is not the students' wing of BJP: Shreehari Borikar, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad web site, retrieved 22 April 2018.
  13. ^ Spitz, Douglas (1993), "Cultural Pluralism, Revivalism, and Modernity in South Asia: The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh", in Crawford Young (ed.), The Rising Tide of Cultural Pluralism: The Nation-state at Bay?, Univ of Wisconsin Press, pp. 242–264, ISBN 978-0-299-13884-4.
  14. ^ a b Atul Chandra, A string of losses on campuses across India: Is the ABVP losing its appeal among students?, Catch News, 29 November 2017.
  15. ^ Sonntag, Selma K. (1996). "The political saliency of language in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh". The Journal of Commonwealth & Comparative Politics. 34 (2): 1–18. doi:10.1080/14662049608447722.: "Protests and lathi-charges continued throughout January, the former organised by a transitory student organisation...although the role of the BJP-affiliated ABVP student union seems to have been more conspicuous."
  16. ^ Thapar, Romila (2014). "Banning Books". India Review. 13 (3): 283–286. doi:10.1080/14736489.2014.937277. S2CID 214654999.: "Thus, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), currently in power in India, demanded the removal of an essay by A. K. Ramanujan from the reading-list of the History syllabus for the BA Degree at Delhi University."
  17. ^ Amaresh Misra, Growing Social Unrest, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 32, No. 12 ( 22–28 Mar 1997), pp. 571-573, JSTOR 4405193: "To pre-empt this, the ABVP (the student wing of the RSS and the BJP) and allied forces let loose the spectre of violence which the administration, instead of controlling, instigated further."
  18. ^ Navneet Sharma and Anamica, "Imbecility and Impudence: The Emergency and RSS", Mainstream Weekly, VOL LV, No 30, 16 July 2017: "The ideological parent of the BJP, the RSS, and its student wing, the ABVP, have their own crucial role in the BJP's anti-democratic-secular India agenda."
  19. ^ ABVP loses student union polls on PM Modi turf, The Times of India, 5 November 2017.
  20. ^ "ABVP wins president's, two other posts in DUSU polls, NSUI one". The Economic Times. 14 September 2018.
  21. ^ "ABVP sweeps Hyderabad University students' union polls after 8 years". India Today. Ist. 7 October 2018. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
  22. ^ "ABVP educational reforms". The Hindu. Thehindu.com. 11 September 2012. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  23. ^ "SFD". Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  24. ^ "Обновление FLV Player". Abvp.org. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  25. ^ "Over 3,000 girls participate in ABVP's 'Mission Sahasi'". State Times. 30 October 2018. Retrieved 20 May 2021.
  26. ^ "Vijayawada girls showcase skills post martial arts workshop". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 16 April 2020.
  27. ^ "ABVP starts 'Mission Sahasi' for safety of girls". Tribuneindia News Service. Retrieved 16 April 2020.
  28. ^ "ABVP plans drive to help slum residents". The Times of India. 16 May 2021. Retrieved 20 May 2021.
  29. ^ "ABVP to start COVID-19 screening in 100 Delhi slums from May 16, asks 'neutral' students to join in". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 20 May 2021.
  30. ^ "Delhi: ABVP to conduct mass screening to trace coronavirus cases in slum areas". The New Indian Express. 15 May 2021. Retrieved 20 May 2021.
  31. ^ "Stone throwing during protest by ABVP in Hubli; 20 arrested". The Hindu. 15 May 2007. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  32. ^ "ABVP activists turn violent at CET Cell". The Hindu. 11 July 2003. Archived from the original on 2 September 2003. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  33. ^ Banerjee, Tamaghna (20 September 2019). "ABVP supporters commit arson at Jadavpur University gate, ransack rooms on campus". The Times of India. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  34. ^ "Protesting ABVP Students Lathicharged Outside Amnesty Office". The Wire.
  35. ^ "ABVP activists vandalise DU History Department". The Hindu. 26 February 2008. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  36. ^ Byatnal, Amruta (24 August 2013). "ABVP thrashes FTII student for not saying 'Jai Narendra Modi'". The Hindu. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  37. ^ "ABVP 'activists' ransack Narayana college". The Hindu. 3 November 2017. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  38. ^ "ABVP activists go on the rampage on college premises". The Hindu. 25 May 2007. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  39. ^ "Jharkhand: ABVP cadres ransack missionary school over Anna protest". India Today. 19 August 2011. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  40. ^ a b "As it happened: Masked goons strike terror in JNU, none arrested". The Hindu. 5 January 2020. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
  41. ^ a b "ABVP members barged into JNU hostels, attacked students with sticks, claims JNUSU". India Today. 5 January 2020. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
  42. ^ "Right wing activists target Kashmiri film fest in Hyderabad". IBN-Live. 7 September 2013. Archived from the original on 11 September 2013. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  43. ^ "Right-wing hooligans and a complicit State". The Sunday Guardian. 24 August 2013. Archived from the original on 4 March 2014. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  44. ^ "Listen in: ABVP Delhi State Jt Secretary 'explains' the video of alleged ABVP violence in JNU". Times Now. Twitter. 6 January 2020. Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  45. ^ "'Asked to Step Out With Rods, Acid': ABVP Delhi Joint Secretary Admits Its Men Were Armed in JNU". News18. 7 January 2020. Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  46. ^ "Akshat Awasthi not our member, claims ABVP after India Today sting exposes JNU violence". The India Today. 10 January 2020. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  47. ^ Sharma, Pratik (10 January 2020). "Investigating the masked woman photographed during JNU violence". AltNews.in. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  48. ^ Malik, Anukriti (7 January 2020). Newslaundry https://www.newslaundry.com/. Retrieved 11 January 2020. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  49. ^ "JNU Attack: Delhi Police Confirm Masked Woman Is ABVP Member Komal Sharma". The Wire. 15 January 2020. Retrieved 2 February 2020.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]