Richa Singh: A Dynamic Student Leader | Shamenaz Shaikh

Richa Singh, the President of Allahabad University Students’ Union (AUSU), came into news recently for her silent protest against Yogi Adityanath’s programme in Allahabad University. She is the first ‘elected’ female President of Allahabad University Students’ Union in 127 years, though S. K. Nehru was appointed as President some 88 years ago by the university authorities. She has a simple, humble yet a dynamic personality who is always ready to face challenges in odd and adverse situations. Her victory in AUSU elections largely is due to her firm stand on increasing “intolerance” in the university campus for which she is committed to stop as much as she can.

A PhD Candidate in Globalization, she has a Post-graduate degree in Economics from Allahabad University. She has a Gold medal in Economics in M. Phil from Wardha Central University. She is an active social activist with a membership of many organizations. In 2007, she joined ‘Stree Mukti Sangathan’ of which she is a core member. The organization works for the emancipation of women in all the fields, creating awareness among them regarding their rights on issues relating them. It raises voice against all kinds of inequalities and injustice prevailing in the society against women. Also, she is an active member of ‘Friend Union’, a group formed on 12 Dec 2012 mainly by Abay Raj Singh which has a motive to help students by all means, from providing books to hostel rooms. The slogan of the group is, “Don’t be a member, but be a friend.” Many students have been benefitted by the group in some way or another. Besides, she divides her time in many other noble deeds helping people and society.

It is her courage and self- determination that she didn’t step down on her stand against Yogi Adityanath’s visit to Allahabad University on 20th November 2015, though many were against her trying to dissuade her. Even some of the teachers and officials of the University were against her and for this she had to face many problems but she was firm on her decision. She had earlier stated her firm resolution that she is not against any kind of ideology but she is against a person like Yogi Adityanath who is famous for delivering hate speeches against other communities, particularly Muslims.

Richa Singh led the peaceful protest from the front sitting on hunger strike. She was supported by a large number of students which shows that majority of the people in the city believe in Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb, and are against communalism. They want a society which rests on the principle of love, brotherhood and mutual co-operation. They were carrying their protest in peaceful way but the members of other radical groups were creating chaos in the University by abusing girls, harassing students because they wanted Yogi Adityanath to come at any cost.

These groups who call themselves ‘nationalist’ are hypocrites using violence as a means to impose their will. Finally, Richa Singh was successful in her attempt and Yogi Adityanath was stopped at Mirzapur, further he was denied entry into Allahabad University by the city administration. Indeed this is not victory only for Richa Singh but for that spirit of India which believes in the virtues of love, peace and mutual co-operation.


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Shamenaz Shaikh

Shamenaz Shaikh

Shamenaz Sheikh is Associate Professor of English in an Engineering College-AIET, Allahabad. She completed Phd in English Literature at University of Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh.