AMU: Glorious past-bright future

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By M J Warsi

Aligarh Muslim University established in 1877 by secularist and nationalist leader Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, which became university in 1920. Now it has around 28,000 students, around 2,000 faculty members and around 6000 non-teaching members. The numbers of non-Muslims among these employees have a very viable presence. AMU is one of the most prominent residential universities in the subcontinent and receives students from all walks of life. It has an eminent history, which is intricately linked with the freedom struggle and the formulation of the Indian education system. People across all communities have contributed to making it what it is today. It is necessary that the minority character of AMU must be protected in the national interest which has been established and administered by the minority community which enjoys protection under Article 30 of the Constitution.

As we all know 2019 is the year of general election in India. Students’ Union of any University in India plays a vital role in raising issues of local and national importance. Students at AMU have always raised their voices on several occasions in the past in an efficient manner. However, it has been observed in the recent past that AMU has become the soft target and centre for polarization by the right wing group. One incident after another clearly indicates the intention of a group of students belonging to a political outfit for creating the nuisance in the peaceful campus. Whether it is matter of serving food in the dining hall, or taking the “tiranga yaatra” without permission or unauthorized entry of a TV reporter to the campus to cover an event organized by AMU Students’ Union, all these sequence of events were seems to be preplanned to disturb the peaceful academic atmosphere of the campus. It clearly shows that a group of students following a certain political ideology try to distract attention from unemployment and corruption in the government before the 2019 general election.

There is no denying that the Aligarh Muslim University since its inception has succeeded in maintaining a cordial atmosphere for students and faculty of all religious affiliations to live and work together. The Government of India must see to it that this delicate balance is not disturbed by the communalists of either kind. Likewise, our educationists should consider the cause of the AMU as their own cause, and seek to preserve its autonomy as well as its residential character. In his less than two years of tenure, vice chancellor Prof. Tariq Mansoor has taken many initiatives, whether it is matter of smart classroom, or developing infrastructure in the campus or maintaining the academic standard of the University or to revive the “tahzeeb” among students and faculty to make this great seat of learning unique and great, must be complemented by one and all.

Without any exaggeration, I would like to appreciate the effort of the Vice Chancellor Professor Tariq Mansoor in resolving the recent incident very amicably and efficiently at a time when he was under pressure to go for a sine die closure. Professor Mansoor believes that “talking with students and their representatives on regular basis, making them feel comfortable and easy, is very important in resolving the crisis.  Students always want administration to reach them and get their attention. As a vice chancellor, I always behave like a fatherly figure and keep the communication going with students so as they may feel connected, help us resolving the matter smoothly”.

Referring to the recent incident ShashiBhushan Roy, an Alumnus of AMU recently was in campus for a Corporate meet clearly said that “ I have been here for around 15 years and received all my education from this great seat of learning has never been discriminated on the basis of my religion or cast. In fact I want my son to get admission in AMU.He has already applied for admission this year and AMU. He further said, AMUwould be his first choice, if selected”.

In an appeal to the students’ community the vice chancellor Professor Tariq Mansoor said the “Our glorious institution, the Aligarh Muslim University has been passing through challenging times. Our resilience and spirit has been and remains our biggest strength. During the recent past, I and my team have been making best possible efforts to resolve the situation, which we have successfully overcome”.  He further said that “I will continue to see that innocent students are honourably exonerated, and no injustice is done to any student because of false accusation”.This appeal boost the morale of students and they feel very much safe and connected.

It is a matter of great satisfaction that Aligarh Muslim University is being ranked among top Universities at national as well as global level. AMU has successfully reaching to accomplish the top academic place in the world like any other excellent university should be doing. Academic standards are constantly on the rise, with sincere effort by the vice chancellor Prof. Tariq Mansoor, curriculum are being upgraded and enriched on regular basis in every department so as to make sure the education and training is provided must be relevant to the need of the times. His goal is to preserve the Aligarh “tahzeeb” so he is making sure that faculty-student relations are to be cordial, respectful and beneficial to each other.  With the help of Alumni and well-wishers of the AMU, Prof. Tariq Mansoor is trying his level best to make the University serve its basic purpose which is to provide good and relevant education so as after graduating students can easily get placed in the global market.

Sir Syed Ahmad Khan dedicated his life for the Hindu-Muslim unity in the country and worked all his life for the educational upliftment of the community and to strengthen a pluralistic society of a modern India. He stressed on making education a medium to transform people into good human beings. AMU represents the secular “ganga-jamuni tehzeeb” and AMU community is committed to preserve this identity of this great seat of learning. To carry the legacy of the great reformer Sir Syed, Prof. Tariq Mansoor main goal is to spread the message of brotherhood throughout the globe and to make this University a world class seat of learning. Nobody can understand this great seat of learning better than him as he has been associated with the university for more than three decades. Mansoor was the principal of JN Medical College since 2013. He had been the secretary of the University Games Committee for about seven years. Besides being president of the Association of Surgeons, he has been a member of the Medical Council of India since 2015 and that of the AMU Executive Council for 12 years.One may observe a big change during last two years that vice chancellor Prof Tariq Mansoor, to some extent, has succeeded in eliminating the factionalism and groupism from the campus.

The way vice chancellor, Prof. Tariq Mansoor has taken the initiatives so far clearly shows his vision and plan for the betterment of the university. As he is entering in his third year of his tenure, his biggest challenge would be maintaining law and order situation in the campus. His long association with AMU would certainly be helpful in understanding the dynamics of the campus and in maintaining law and order situation.It is high time for the community worldwide to support the vice chancellor in making the university as one of the best universities of the country.

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(The writer is a well-known linguist, author and columnist. He may be reached at: warsimj@gmail.com)

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