Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad

Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) (transl.All Indian Student Council) is a right-wing all India student organisation affiliated to the Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).[3][4][5] They claim themselves to be India's largest student organisation with more than three million members.[6]

Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP)
All Indian Student Council
Formation9 July 1949 (71 years ago) (1949-07-09)
TypeStudent wing
Legal statusActive
HeadquartersMumbai, Maharashtra, India
Region served
Membership (2014-2015)
3.2 million[1]
National Organising Secretary
Ashish Chauhan
National President
Chhaganbhai Patel[2]
National General Secretary
Nidhi Tripathi
Parent organization
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh


The ABVP, founded in 1948 with the initiative of the RSS activist Balraj Madhok, was formally registered on 9 July 1949.[7] Its primary purpose was to counter communist influences on university campuses.[8] Yashwant Rao 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'.[9]

Various branches of the ABVP have been involved in Hindu-Muslim communal riots since 1961.[10][11] However, in the 1970s, the ABVP also increasingly took on issues concerning the lower middle classes like corruption and government inertia that were also being taken on by communist student groups.[10] The ABVP played a leading role in the agitational politics of the 1970s during the JP 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.[12]

By 1974, the ABVP had 160,000 members across 790 campuses and had gained control over several prominent universities, including University of Delhi via student elections. By 1983, the organisation had 250,000 members and 1,100 branches.[10] 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. Narasimharao 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.[13] It claims to be India's largest student organisation.[6]

Links to the Bharatiya Janata Party

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.[14] However, both the BJP and the ABVP are members of the Sangh Parivar, the RSS's "family of (affiliated) organisations".[15] The BJP is said to gain handsomely from the ABVP's support base and several politicians of the BJP, including the former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, had their ideological foundation in the ABVP.[16] 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.[17][18][19][20]

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 Allahabad University and Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth 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.[16][21] 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.[22] ABVP won all the six seats in the Hyderabad Central University students union polls after eight years[23]


The ABVP's manifesto includes agendas such as educational and university reforms.[24] 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.[25] The official ABVP magazine is Rashtriya Chhatrashakti, which is published monthly in Hindi in New Delhi.[26]


ABVP has been attributed to multiple violent incidents on university and college campuses, like the 2020 Jawaharlal Nehru University attack.[27][28] In some cases, members of the ABVP have been behind property destruction,[29][30][31][32][33][34] while they were involved in violence in other cases,[35][36][37][38][39] even leading to the victims' deaths in some cases.[40][41]


Mission Sahasi

ABVP conducted self-defense training program for girls titled "Mission Sahasi" at Vijayawada.[48][49]


  1. ^ "Enrolled 10 lakh new members in last one year: ABVP". The Indian Express. 3 June 2015. Retrieved 15 July 2019.
  2. ^ "ABVP finds new president in Chhaganbhai Patel; Nidhi Tripathi re-elected general secretary". Hindustan Times. 16 December 2020. Retrieved 4 February 2021.
  3. ^ Nilanjana Bhowmick, India’s crackdown at college campuses is a threat to democracy, The Washington Post, 21 June 2017.
  4. ^ "Protests by BJYM, ABVP mar ICET counselling". The Hindu. 17 July 2007.
  5. ^ Dubey, Priyanka (October 2017). "The age of ABVP". The Caravan. Retrieved 30 December 2019.
  6. ^ a b "Controversial student activists turn India's universities into ideological battlegrounds". LA Times. 24 February 2016. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  7. ^ Christophe Jaffrelot (2010). Religion, Caste, and Politics in India. Primus Books. p. 193. ISBN 978-93-80607-04-7.
  8. ^ Christophe Jaffrelot (1 January 2010). Religion, Caste, and Politics in India. Primus Books. p. 47. ISBN 9789380607047.
  9. ^ "About". Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ Jaffrelot, Christophe (1 January 2010). Religion, Caste, and Politics in India. Primus Books. p. 193. ISBN 9789380607047.
  13. ^ Tiwary, Deeptiman (24 February 2016). "JNU row: Behind ABVP's confidence, govt and growth". The Indian Express. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  14. ^ Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad is not the students' wing of BJP: Shreehari Borikar, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad web site, retrieved 22 April 2018.
  15. ^ 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
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ 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."
  18. ^ 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."
  19. ^ 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."
  20. ^ 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."
  21. ^ ABVP loses student union polls on PM Modi turf, The Times of India, 5 November 2017.
  22. ^ "ABVP wins president's, two other posts in DUSU polls, NSUI one". The Economic Times. 14 September 2018.
  23. ^ "ABVP sweeps Hyderabad University students' union polls after 8 years". India Today. Ist. 7 October 2018. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
  24. ^ "ABVP educational reforms". The Hindu. Thehindu.com. 11 September 2012. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  25. ^ "SFD". Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  26. ^ "Обновление FLV Player". Abvp.org. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  27. ^ a b "As it happened: Masked goons strike terror in JNU, none arrested". The Hindu. 5 January 2020. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
  28. ^ a b "ABVP members barged into JNU hostels, attacked students with sticks, claims JNUSU". India Today. 5 January 2020. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
  29. ^ "ABVP activists go on the rampage on college premises". The Hindu. 25 May 2007. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  30. ^ "ABVP activists vandalise DU History Department". The Hindu. 26 February 2008. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  31. ^ "Jharkhand: ABVP cadres ransack missionary school over Anna protest". India Today. 19 August 2011. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  32. ^ "Right wing activists target Kashmiri film fest in Hyderabad". IBN-Live. 7 September 2013. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  33. ^ "ABVP 'activists' ransack Narayana college". The Hindu. Special Correspondent. 3 November 2017. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 10 November 2017.CS1 maint: others (link)
  34. ^ 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.
  35. ^ "The Hindu : ABVP activists turn violent at CET Cell". The Hindu. 11 July 2003. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  36. ^ "Stone throwing during protest by ABVP in Hubli; 20 arrested". The Hindu. 15 May 2007. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  37. ^ Byatnal, Amruta (24 August 2013). "ABVP thrashes FTII student for not saying 'Jai Narendra Modi'". The Hindu. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  38. ^ "Right-wing hooligans and a complicit State". The Sunday Guardian. 24 August 2013. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  39. ^ "Protesting ABVP Students Lathicharged Outside Amnesty Office". The Wire.
  40. ^ "Prof murder: two ABVP men arrested". The Times of India. 1 September 2006. Retrieved 27 September 2018.
  41. ^ "Khandwa prof dies after ABVP assault". Hindustan Times. 12 March 2011. Retrieved 27 September 2018.
  42. ^ "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.
  43. ^ "'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.
  44. ^ "Akshat Awasthi not our member, claims ABVP after India Today sting exposes JNU violence". The India Today. 10 January 2020. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  45. ^ Sharma, Pratik (10 January 2020). "Investigating the masked woman photographed during JNU violence". AltNews.in. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  46. ^ Malik, Anukriti (7 January 2020). "JNU violence: Masked girl in viral picture of mob attack is Delhi University student Komal Sharma?". Newslaundry. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  47. ^ "JNU Attack: Delhi Police Confirm Masked Woman Is ABVP Member Komal Sharma". The Wire. 15 January 2020. Retrieved 2 February 2020.
  48. ^ "Vijayawada girls showcase skills post martial arts workshop". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 16 April 2020.
  49. ^ "ABVP starts 'Mission Sahasi' for safety of girls". Tribuneindia News Service. Retrieved 16 April 2020.

Further reading

External links