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Posted at: Nov 21, 2017, 12:56 AM; last updated: Nov 21, 2017, 12:56 AM (IST)RENAMING ROW

Amid uproar, old Dyal college files scoured

Parveen Arora

Tribune News Service

Karnal, November 20

Amid uproar over the renaming of Dyal Singh Evening College, Delhi, as Vande Mataram Mahavidyalaya, old files dating back to the time of handing over of the college to the government are reportedly being reviewed by the authorities in a bid to explore options to retain the college name. The college is named after philanthropist and educationist Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia.

While officials of Dyal Singh College Trust Society are mum, sources say the trust procured the land for the college and made it operational. The college was later handed over to the government.

Retired professors of Dyal Singh College, Karnal, have already raised their objection to the move, calling it a step towards “bhagwakaran” (saffronisation) of the educational institute.

Upset at the move, serving faculty and staff have urged the Union and Delhi governments besides the University of Delhi not to change the name as it would hurt their sentiments.

A serving professor said it was a surprise move for all those associated with the college. “The land on which the college was established in Delhi was procured by the trust. How can its name be changed by some individuals? They should not forget Sardar Dyal Singh’s contribution to society.”

“When the Pakistan government did not change the name of Dyal Singh College, Lahore, and only prefixed it with ‘government’, why is the government here trying to change it? The college is dedicated to a philanthropist who devoted his life to the welfare of society,” he said.

Raghujeet Singh Virk, a former senior vice-president of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), said instead of focusing on development works, the government was busy changing names of institutions.

Instead of renaming the existing college, the government should have opened a new one and called it “Vande Mataram”. “We will not tolerate this,” he said.

The Tribune Employees Union, Chandigarh, also condemned the move, saying it was aimed at destroying the legacy of Sadar Dyal Singh, who dedicated his life to fighting social evils through education.

Dyal Singh College, Lahore, was established in 1910 after Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia willed his estate for setting up an educational trust for a secular college. After Partition, two colleges were set up — one each in Karnal and Delhi. In 1978, the Delhi college was taken over by the University of Delhi.

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