New Delhi, Nov 24 (IANS) Dismissing the opposition against the renaming of Dyal Singh College (Evening), the institution’s chairman on Friday said there wasn’t anything illegal about it and that there couldn’t be a better name than Vande Mataram.
Amitabh Sinha also said that some opposition parties were misleading the people in general and the fraternity of teachers and students in particular by propping up the Akali Dal in order to make it appear like an issue concerning the Sikh community.
The General Body of Dyal Singh College on November 17 decided to change the evening college’s name to Vande Mataram Mahavidyalaya after turning it into a day college.
“This decision of renaming the college was passed unanimously by the entire governing body. There is nothing legally or ethically wrong about it… Couldn’t be a better name than Vande Mataram,” Sinha told media here.
“Akalis have been hoodwinked by a lobby in the college to make them believe it was a Sikh issue,” he said.
Noting that Akali Dal President Sukhbir Singh Badal asked for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention in the matter, Sinha invited him to come ahead and debate on a neutral forum.
“Sukhbir Singh Badal has been misled. Either he convinces me and I reverse the decision to rename the new college, or I convince him and he issues a statement clarifying that he was misled,” he said.
Delhi BJP legislator Manjinder Singh Sirsa had on Monday filed a police complaint against the college’s principal and chairman over the name change.
The Congress’ student wing NSUI criticised the move, saying the governing board should have focused on improving the college infrastructure rather than changing its name.
But Sinha asked why a hymn dedicated to the country and every mother should disturb anybody if the detractors do not have an anti-national agenda.
“There have been attempts to create a misunderstanding between different communities in addressing Dyal Singh as a Sikh or Punjabi,” he said, adding that he was a nationalist.
He added that Vande Mataram is not just any other name but a “clarion call to nationalism”.
“I am ready to sacrifice anything for it. If anybody has any problem with it, come speak with me individually. Convince me I am wrong, otherwise why should I change the decision?” he asked.
Set up in 1958, the college was named after Dyal Singh Majithia, who established The Tribune newspaper in Lahore in 1881, and was also the founder chairman of the Punjab National Bank established in 1894.