DU’s Udaan Utsav to instill nationalism in students draws flak from Left-wing groups
The dust has hardly settled in the Delhi University with the students’ union elections coming to an end but the issue of ‘nationalism vs anti-nationalism’ has raised its serpent hood again in the campus.
This time, it was sparked by an ongoing event, a street play competition, organised by UDAAN: Unfolding Drama and Acts to Awaken Nation in the Faculty of Arts. The aim of the event, being held from September 20-22, named Udaan Utsav, is to instill a feeling of patriotism in the college students. The Left-alligned All India Students’ Association AISA, however, claims that the event is being held to propagate a particular brand of nationalism.
Udaan is reportedly a brainchild of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) that marks the foray of the Right-wing organisation in the field of art and theatre and to use it as a medium to “promote the spirit of nationalism among the youth”.
Interestingly, the RSS is trying to alienate itself from Udaan, possibly to undercut a political colour that may be painted by Oppositions in the campus.
In the campus, nukkad nataks or street plays, as a medium of communication is primarily associated with the Left-leaning organisations like AISA. Sources in the ABVP said the Utsav is intended to change this perception. “The Left organisations only paint a gloomy picture of our country. If you watch their plays you would feel that Doom’s Day is upon the country. They only highlight the problems and give no solutions. The street plays which are slated to be performed here will talk about solutions along with, instilling love for the country. Through this mega nukkad natak competition we are initiating to use plays to convey positive and nationalist themes,” an ABVP member said.
“The nationalism which the Udaan claims to instill is a particular strand of Rightist nationalism which is fed by the RSS. Moreover, we were trying to get permission from the university to organise such an event from the last two years but have been denied outrightly. How they got permission so easily I don’t understand,” said Aman, a member of AISA.
The event saw huge numbers of participation from various colleges. On Tuesday, the Bharti College’s nukkad natak group presented a play based on environment while the Zakir Husain College’s play was based on swadeshi products. Bollywood celebrities like Anupam Kher, Manoj Tiwari, Ravi Kishan and others are a part of this initiative.