Student banned from DU suddenly becomes 'hero'

Student banned from DU suddenly becomes 'hero'

Smears ink on dean's face, turns anti-FYUP icon of sorts

 The posters of former Delhi University Students’ Union joint secretary Raju Rawat, accused of smearing shoe polish on the face of South Campus dean Umesh Rai, are everywhere to be seen.

The student leader, however, said the court granted him bail on the condition that he would not “enter the university premises”.

Rawat, who is a member of the BJP backed Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), is being touted by the student group as a beleaguered campaigner against the university’s controversial four-year undergraduate programme.

In the posters on the university campus and DU colleges, he shares space with Union Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani. Rawat said the BJP state unit had featured scrapping of the FYUP in their manifesto, after which he had gone to discuss his party’s stance with Rai. 

“My method could be wrong, but not the issue,” he said, adding that he faced rustication after he smeared show polish on Rai’s face.

Rawat was barred from the university for four years. But he insists that he is one of the “misunderstood” people.

“The DU VC has made it an ego issue. They first removed me from my post, and then barred me from the university. My political career comes later. What is more important is my education,” he said, adding that he has moved the Delhi High Court to allow him to continue as a student of MA in Buddhist Studies.

He accused Rai of insinuating by speaking against the then BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and the RSS.

“I have always spoken against FYUP. That is how we won the DUSU elections. I have also been filing RTIs in the interest of students,” Rawat said, adding that he has busted many financial irregularities committed by the university, including the purchase of laptops for FYUP students from the Other Backward Classes expansion fund.

He said he has six FIRs against him, and expressed hope in the judiciary. “I am from a middle class family. My father is a security guard at the Delhi Assembly,” he said.
Rawat said he had spent a lot of time preparing the ground for contesting the DUSU elections.

“I have always stood for the cause of students, that is why I have so many FIRs against me,” he added.