Days after the Governing Body (GB) of Dyal Singh College (DSC) decided that Dyal Singh (Evening) College would be renamed as ‘Vande Mataram Mahavidyalaya’. HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar today said the decision to change the name of the college was not the government’s decision and has been put on hold. The move by the government is seen as a bid to pacify Shiromani Akali Dal, an ally of BJP in Punjab. SAD was agitated by the decision. One of SAD member Naresh Gujral said the words Vande Mataram evoked patriotic fervour in every Indian and the government should set up Vande Mataram universities all over the country. “But to change the name of a minority institution is a direct assault on the feelings of Sikhs…I feel this is something to be condemned,” Gujral added.
Responding to his question, Javadekar replied, “Is not a government’s decision and the government does not like it. That’s why we have asked that the decision be withheld forthwith and an immediate meeting be convened … we don’t like it and such a thing will not happen.” He added that creating unnecessary controversies by playing with
emotions are wrong.
Principal of Dyal Singh had earlier said that the name has inspired many during the freedom struggle and will inspire the students as well. Those who are opposing it have not understood it. He further said that they will no scope for reconsideration and that the name is final. Earlier, on 21 Septemeber, a notification was received by Pawan K Sharma, Principal of Dayal Singh college.
The notification was an approval from Executive Council to convert evening college into full-fledged day college. However, the timings have been shifted to the morning one for both official work and classes. Further, a committee has been appointed to work on demarcating and sharing physical assets of the two colleges, as reported by The Indian Express. Vande Mataram Mahavidyalaya was not the only name put under consideration. Another name, Madan Mohan Malviya college was also considered but couldn’t qualify. The college was named after Dyal Singh Majithia. Majithia was the founder of Tribune newspaper in 1881 and the Punjab National Bank in 1984. Few students and teachers also protest outside the GB meeting venue against the name change.