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Students cheer Dhruv Goyal’s humility and commitment as he responds to students complain at Thakur College even as opposition uses edited clip to target him

This humble response by Dhruv Goyal was met with loud claps and cheers by the students who were present there.

On the 23rd of March 2024, Shiv Sena (UBT) decided to target the son of Piyush Goyal, Dhruv Goyal, with a ‘manipulated video’. Sharing a 30 second video, the Shiv Sena (UBT) accused BJP of “strangling democracy” and “confiscating the ID cards” of students of Thakur College, in an attempt to force their attendance to a program where Dhruv Goyal was interacting with first time voters.

The post by Shiv Sena (UBT) handle was soon picked up by other MPs and leaders of the party, targeting Dhruv Goyal and the BJP.

Priyanka Chaturvedi, the party MP, tweeted the video saying, “Students of Thakur College in Mumbai were forced to attend Dhruv Goyal, son of Union Minister Piyush Goyal session. The students say their ids were confiscated to ensure that they are compulsorily present when he speaks. What a shame!”.

Aditya Thackeray, who is one of the poster boys of “parivar-vaad” in politics tweeted, “The regime is sending out a message to the world on a daily basis, that they don’t wish the country to be a democracy anymore. Here, the IDs of the students were confiscated to force them to attend a talk by the son of a bjp candidate in North Mumbai… a day before their exams. Because obviously even on passing, under this govt, where are the jobs? Rather waste their time on lectures taken by sons of candidates… Will the principal be suspended for such a horrible act? Do watch the video!”.

While it is interesting that Aditya Thackeray, who is in politics only because he has successfully used his grandfather and father’s family-run party emphasised that Dhruv Goyal was the “son of a BJP candidate”, it is also important to understand the genesis of the controversy and the truth.

The controversy was started when Free Press Journal shared the clipped video from their Twitter handle on the 23rd of March 2024. The tweet by the media outlet now stands deleted, even as Shiv Sena (UBT) politicians continue to spread fake news.

Further, Thakur College has categorically stated that the complain of the student is under investigation by the college. They have also come on record to state that Priyanka Chaturvedi and other politicians have used a manipulated video to gain political mileage from the event.

An official press release from the institution stated, “Thakur College recently hosted an event aimed at encouraging our students, particularly first-time voters, to actively participate in the upcoming general elections. As part of this initiative. We were honoured to welcome Mr Dhruv Goyal for a meaningful dialogue with these first-time voters.”

It further noted, “We have been made aware of a situation involving Ms Priyanka Chaturvedi, who has disseminated a manipulated video pertaining to this interaction, seemingly with political motivations. This has led to an unwarranted controversy, overshadowing what was an otherwise successful and well-received event. The engagement and dialogue with Mr Dhruv Goyal were positively received by our students, and it is regrettable that Ms Chaturvedi’s actions have introduced unnecessary discord into our college environment, unfairly involving our students in a dispute that was uncalled for.”

The letter added, “Furthermore, we wish to clarify that during the post-event interaction, a query was raised by a student on a topic that Mr. Dhruv Goyal was not previously acquainted with. This matter is currently under review by our institution. It is our belief that educational settings should remain apolitical, focused on the enrichment and empowerment of our students rather than becoming arenas for political contention.” It was signed by the college’s principal CT Chakraborty. 

Responding to the controversy created by Shiv Sena (UBT), Piyush Goyal said that this was the parties tactic to deal with their dwindling popularity among the people.

He further said that Dhruv Goyal was there as a speaker and he categorically said that he was not there canvassing for votes for any party, but that first time voters should go out to vote. Further, Goyal said that Dhruv responded humbly to the complaint raised by the student, saying that he will tell the college to investigate. “He even apologised, though he had nothing to do with it. He did not need to be tutored to do it unlike others”, Goyal said talking about dynasts like Rahul Gandhi and Aditya Thackeray.

What the real footage of the event shows about the response of Dhruv Goyal

OpIndia got a hold of a longer video which shows the humility displayed by Dhruv Goyal and the cheer that his response received from the students of Thakur College, contrary to the perception being created by Shiv Sena (UBT) politicians.

In the video, a student can be heard asking, “Sir, first of all, all the best to you for the upcoming election. Sir my question was do you think this system is democratic enough where the Thakur College administration has confiscated the IDs of students and made them visit here compulsorily,” amidst loud cheer and clapping. He added, “If this system exists and they can abuse us, then anyone can abuse us on national and international level.

After the complain was raised by the student, Dhruv Goyal responded by first congratulating the student for displaying the courage to ask the question. “I am actually disheartened by hearing that…” said Dhruv Goyal, upon hearing the alleged complaint from a student of Thakur College of Science and Commerce at an event on Saturday. Further, taking cognisance, he said, “I promise that it will not happen again, if it does, come and tell me.”

This humble response by Dhruv Goyal was met with loud claps and cheers by the students who were present there.

The response by Dhruv Goyal, which only goes to show his commitment towards engaging with first time voters in good faith, was cropped by FPJ. Politicians like Priyanka Chaturvedi, Aditya Thackeray and others have been replying on a tweet and article by FPJ which now stands withdrawn, given the response of the college which rightly points out that the video was manipulated.

With Lok Sabha elections upcoming, political attacks are usually par for the course. However, the tactics employed by the Shiv Sena (UBT) in this case seems to be transparently malicious. First and foremost, Dhruv Goyal is not a politician himself and has no say in the elections per se. This was an interaction merely meant to encourage first time voters to take part in the democratic process of the country. Secondly, for politicians like Aditya Thackeray, whose only claim to fame is his family lineage, to attack Dhruv Goyal for being the son of Piyush Goyal reeks of double standards.

Perhaps Aditya Thackeray should recall the time in 2023 when his own close aide accused him of arrogance while quitting the party. In June 2023, Rahul Kanal, Yuva Sena leader and close aide of Aaditya Thackeray, had been expelled from Shiv Sena (UBT) and he had accused Aditya Thackeray of arrogance.

In fact, the very Free Press Journal that he is now quoting to attack Dhruv Goyal had reported that several Yuva Sena members had quit at that time because they were unhappy with internal differences, while Kanal had indicated that those internal differences were because of the arrogance of Aditya Thackeray.

In this instance, while Aditya Thackeray is attacking Goyal, it becomes apparent that Goyal has no arrogance about being the son of Piyush Goyal and handled the complaint of the students sensitively.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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