The Mumbai Youth Congress on Wednesday submitted a letter to the Vice Chancellor of Mumbai University, Dr. Suhas Pednekar, objecting to the naming of the new residence hall for international students after Vinayak Damodar Savarkar. The name was suggested by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, who inaugurated the new building earlier this month.
“Savarkar is mythologized in the popular imagination as ‘Veer Savarkar’ – he refrained from participating in the freedom struggle and the British released him from prison because of his relentless appeal for clemency. He pushed his communal ideology, which led to communal division as a time when a united front against colonial rule was needed,” reads the letter from Hargun Singh, general secretary of the Mumbai Youth Congress, which suggests that the new facility is expected to be named after Chhattrapati Rajarshi Shahu Maharaj.
After Chatra Bharati Vidyarthi Sangathana and All India Federation of Students (AISF), it was the third student organization to recommend that the hostel be named after Chhattrapati Rajarshi Shahu Maharaj. The Mumbai Youth Congress declared 2022 the centenary year of Chhattrapati Shahu Maharaj, who died in Mumbai in 1922, making it the perfect time to name the hostel after him.
Koshyari had said that it was Veer Savarkar who described the 1857 uprising as the “first war of independence”, and naming the hostel after Veer Savarkar will build respect for India in the hearts of students.