EVER since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power at the Centre in 2014 the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) has been continuously on its target on one pretext or another. The BJP and its ideological mentor the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) drag the name of AMU every now and then generating unwanted controversies and public attention.
The most recent remark was that of Uttar Pradesh (UP) Chief Minister and BJP leader Yogi Adityanath on 11 April while addressing a public rally in
In the same public
Tringa Yatra’s communal flare-up
In the month of
Though the charges were dropped by police citing ‘lack of evidence’ but the incident had snowballed into a major political controversy.
Earlier in December 2014 soon after its victory in the Lok Sabha elections, the BJP leaders had announced that they would forcefully celebrate the birth anniversary of Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh, a Jat ruler, within the AMU campus arguing that he had donated the land for the university but was never
Strangely for almost more than a century the BJP or its predecessor Jan Sangh had never ever raised the issue of celebrating Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh’s birth anniversary because of his
But now BJP has no hesitation in appropriating even icons opposed to their ideology provided they fit into their caste arithmetic and help
After coming into power the BJP-led government at the Centre had appointed an academic audit committee that going beyond the mandate and completely ignoring the long history of the establishment of the university, had recommended dropping of the word “Muslim” from its name which snowballed into another controversy.
In 2016 the BJP-led government at the
Keeping AMU on boil due to its Muslim character
We must interrogate as to why BJP wants to keep AMU on
The BJP is constantly raising the AMU issue to counter the new poll arithmetic which has emerged after the Bahujan Samaj
The BJP wants to convey the message that the rights of Dalits and Backwards have been denied in AMU by falsely claiming minority status in connivance with the
The BJP further wants to drive a wedge between Dalits and Muslims as any formidable alliance between them would cost BJP hugely which is looming large after SP- BSP alliance in UP.
The controversies over
For BJP the AMU’s Muslim character makes it a natural target after JNU —- a bastion of the left. The BJP tries to falsely propagate that in AMU the founder of Pakistan is still
Quality higher education at AMU
The AMU is considered as Mecca of Muslim education in India which has for long provided intellectual and political leadership to the community. Since almost a century it has been doing yeoman’s service by providing quality higher education to Muslims, who have the lowest rate of enrolment in higher education even worse-off than scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, in an atmosphere congenial to the growth of their culture, religion
The Chief Justice S. Das of the Supreme Court in Kerala Education Bill case way back in 1958 had aptly stated that the distinct language, script or culture of a minority community could best be conserved by and through educational institutions, for it is by education that their culture can be inculcated into the impressionable minds of the children of their community. It is through educational institutions that the language and script of the minority community can be preserved, improved and strengthened.
The idea of a Muslim minority central university is neither averse to the constitutional principle of secularism nor against the law of the land. Former President of India Dr. Zakir Hussain once rightly remarked that a secular republic “will have a Hindu
The venomous vilification of AMU is thus nothing but part of BJP’s
[ Aftab Alam is Professor of Political Science at the Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India.]