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Modi salute to Sangh for help

- 4000 delegates attend ABVP ceremony

Patna, Dec. 26: Deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi today said the contribution of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in his life has been “immense” over the years.

Modi also ruled out the allegations that the ABVP’s 58th national convention, inaugurated at Jai Prabha Blood Bank ground today, was an attempt to “saffronise” Bihar, with such parties trying to overshadow the JD(U) here. Modi added that the ABVP is not a students’ wing of the BJP as none of the ABVP members is accommodated in the BJP core committee. “The only similarity between the ABVP and the BJP is that both the organisations have same ideology.”

The convention, being attended by 4,000 delegates from all states besides some from Nepal, witnessed all BJP ministers in the Nitish Kumar cabinet attending the function on its first day. However, none of the ministers was sitting at the dais. An ABVP official said: “The function is of the ABVP and not that of the BJP. So the dais is reserved for the ABVP organisational members.”

Chief guest and former foreign secretary J.C. Sharma said education is the main benchmark of any society and till the period when India was known as knowledge centre of world it was superpower. The world’s first university in Taxila was in India and the Nalanda University had many students from foreign countries. However, Nalanda was violently destroyed in an Afghan attack, led by Bakhtiyar Khilji in 1193, the period thereafter saw India degrading as knowledge centre of world.

Sharma said: “As Swami Vivekananda kept knowledge above rituals, India can grow only if we are educationally superpower.”

ABVP president P. Murali Manohar said: “It is a great privilege for us that the national convention is being held in Bihar, which is the source of inspiration for students’ movements.”

Manohar added that commercialisation of education is the biggest challenge for students and the ABVP has always stood against the commercialisation of education.