By Mohd Mudassir Alam,
The legendary Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) in its history has witnessed many ups and downs including the illogical and irrelevant activities from some sections of students, teaching and non-teaching staff. In fact, the massive campus of AMU is fondly referred as the hub of ‘afwah’ (rumor), ‘byanbazi’ (tall claims), gossiping etc. Such things have been noticed time-and-again in the university campus since its inception. The rumor and tall claims are tolerable up to certain extent but if it harms the university and dream of Great Sir Syed Ahmad Khan hardly a true Alig would ever encourage such irrelevant acts.
Sadly since the university is established, some groups and sections active inside the university also try to put a break in the development of the university giving lame explanations just for ‘namesake’. One of such group is Aligarh Muslim University Teachers’ Association (AMUTA), which just for showing it existence within the campus use to give irrelevant statements against the Vice Chancellor and the plans related to the university. The recent in this series is the unanimous resolutions passed by the Executive Committee at AMUTA meeting held on April 13 at the AMU Staff Club.
The AMUTA has slammed the recent visit of the Vice-Chancellor, AMU, Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Zameeruddin Shah to the proposed AMU Center at Kishanganj. The association in a very sad note has claimed the proposed Special Centres outside Aligarh are illegal. AMUTA has tried to justify its concern with points like sharing of resources of AMU and utilization of funds meant for the main campus. Further the association has highlighted the issue of minority education in the proposed centres and many other points including appointment of Officer on Special Duty (OSD) and Nodal Officers for the outside centres.
An emotional person without any logical bent of mind would appreciate the concerns raised by them. However, one who truly loves AMU, the dream of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan and plight of Muslim minority would never accept the explanations given by the AMUTA in its resolution.
Starting with the legal aspect, let me clarify to office bearers of AMUTA that opening the campuses (centres) of AMU outside Aligarh nowhere is illegal as per Section 12(2) of the AMU Act. So, restrain yourself and your association from saying AMU centres illegal unless you may face defamation.
Next, does AMUTA really respect the dreams, mission and vision of AMU’s founder Sir Syed Ahmad Khan? Hope you know Sir Syed was dreaming of seeing AMU in every part of the nation so that the Muslims can get contemporary education. Sir Syed has sown the seed / laid the foundation of AMU model in Aligarh so that the generations to come can replicate the model in other parts of nation.
Thanks to former HRD Minister Arjun Singh and the then Vice Chancellor Prof. P K Abdul Azis for taking ahead the mission and vision of Sir Syed ahead. Taking into consideration all the legal aspects Prof Azis conceptualized the plan of opening five centres in Muslim dominated areas of the country namely Murshidabad (West Bengal), Mallapuram (Kerala), Katihar (Bihar) later changed to Kishanganj, Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh) and Aurangabad (Maharashtra). The time too AMUTA issued irrelevant statements and tried to pressurize Prof Azis for withdrawing the proposal. However, Prof Azis with his adamant approach established two centres in Murshidabad and Mallapuram, which are serving to the needy students.
Taking a leap ahead the current Vice Chancellor visited Kishanganj in last week of March to give a physical shape to the proposal. The AMUTA continuing its old trend is again giving irrelevant statements against the Centres. Before judging the centres as ‘illegal’ they must visit the areas where the campuses are functioning and planned to be open. The condition of Muslims is worst and they are far behind in almost all areas of development. The AMU centre proposal has come as a big ray of hope for them as it would bring multi-faceted development for them. Kishanganj in Bihar is having second biggest Muslim dominated district in India after Kashmir valley, here the situation is very bad and the 17 lakh people of the area is seeing a bright future ahead with the establishment of AMU in the district. Development of Muslims through AMU centre can’t be an illegal step of Vice Chancellor.
Does AMUTA support the mission or vision of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan or not? This is a big question as AMUTA without understanding the sensitivity of the proposal of AMU centres is giving statements just for personal gain. If AMUTA is really concerned about Aligarh Muslim University it must focus on other issues that need attention of the administration. Why AMUTA is not guiding students for giving proper focus in studies, attending classes properly, organizing career workshops and suggesting the teaching fraternity itself to shape-up the career of students? Stop giving irrelevant statements about AMU centres unless the teachers associated with the association may face outcast from the lakhs of concerned Alig residing across the globe.
The author is an AMU alumnus living in Delhi.