Past controversies of Aligarh Muslim University
Educational institutions and the Gurukuls that is the universities have been of great importance in our Indian culture since time immemorial. ’सा विद्या या विमुक्तये’ which means that which liberates (mankind) is knowledge is found only in Indian culture and thus our culture has considered education through Guru Shishya Parampara is the most important aspect for a holistic growth of humans, which is beneficial for the development of the country, human being and for the overall welfare of the planet, from ancient times.
India has a rich history in education and universities. The history of universities dates back to the 5th century. Taxila and Nalanda were world-class reputed universities in ancient times. Nalanda University was an important center of higher education in ancient India
It is indeed disheartening that today, India has universities that run their hidden agenda of radicalization and anti-India sentiments. The Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) has fast become one such hub. It has been into controversies for its anti-India stand on various occasions.
Its founder was a proponent of the two-nation theory. The university has failed its founder’s vision of providing Indian Muslims with modern education. It’s doomed beyond repair. Now, the only certainty is that it’s walking a thin line.
The latest controversy erupted over objectionable comments about Hindu deities and history during a class by an assistant professor Dr. Jitendra Kumar made derogatory references to Hindu deities. Summarizing a brief history of rape, he linked rape to Hindu deities. After much furore, the university administration suspended the professor.
The AMU’s student union hall has Jinnah’s portrait hanging since 1938. AMU students are adamant that the portrait would not be removed. “The portrait came up as part of a protocol that the AMU students’ union accorded to all great leaders of the then undivided India who had visited the campus,” Mashkoor Ahmad Usmani, chief of the union had said.
In 2018, a video of students of AMU raising slogans of “Aazadi” (freedom) went viral on social media. In visuals from outside AMU, which can be seen in the video above, a huge group of students can be seen clapping and chanting ‘Azaadi’ .
A video of AMU students sloganeering against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) went viral on social media in which they raised slogans about eradicating Hindus while protesting. Multiple verified handles have shared the 20-second long clip accusing AMU students of anti-Hindu hate speech.
A set of two videos of sloganeering students from AMU and Delhi’s Jamia Milia Islamia University is seen in which the students raised a ‘clarion call for the ethnic cleansing of Hindus’ on their varsity premises.
In another incidence, the controversial ‘doctor’ Kafeel Khan was arrested in Mumbai on January 30, 2020, for making a provocative speech at the Aligarh Muslim University campus, inciting people against the CAA and attempting to vitiate the peaceful atmosphere and disturb communal harmony.
In May 2020, a case was registered against two Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) students Sheikh Arfat and Shakib Rasool Bhat at Atrauli police station, Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh for sharing anti-India posts on Facebook. Both these students have described Pakistan as their ‘own country’. During the course of their conversation, the two students expressed their desire to celebrate Pakistan’s Eid saying: “Eid means happiness and happiness in Pak”. In one of his posts, Sheikh Arfat speaks of wanting Kashmir to be a part of Pakistan.
Prior to this too, an FIR was registered against Basim Hilal, a student of the AMU, for his tweet over the Pulwama attack. Hilal was later suspended by the university.
The action against Hilal was taken over a distasteful tweet he posted soon after the Jaish-e-Mohammad suicide bomber blew up a Central Reserve Police Force bus in Jammu and Kashmir, killing at least 40 jawans. AMU’s Basim Hilal had tweeted, “How’s the Jaish? Great Sir.” His tweet was a twist on the catchphrase used in the Bollywood movie ‘Uri: The Surgical Strike.’
In January 2020, over two dozen unidentified students of Aligarh Muslim University were booked for raising inappropriate slogans against U.P. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The students had formed a human chain in solidarity with JNU students and teachers.
On completion of two months of anti-CAA protests, a march was carried out on the AMU campus where poet Munawwar Rana’s daughter, Sumaiya Rana urged the protestors to not give up on their Muslim identity. Sumaiya had said, “We need to be careful that we should not become that ‘neutral’ that we lose our identity. We are Muslims first then anything else.” She further said that the Muslims should not forget their ideology such that they can’t even show their face to Allah.
A video had gone viral in which students from the AMU raised certain slogans that were chanted against Yogi Adityanath in Aligarh Muslim University. The shocking slogan in the video from AMU says ‘Yogi teri kabar khudegi, AMU ki dharti par’.
Earlier, the students and the mob associated with the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) had unleashed violent riots against the Citizenship Amendment Act. The ‘students’ of AMU had clashed with UP Police on December 15. The violent rioters had broken a police cordon and fought pitched battle with the security personnel.
The AMU became the subject of social media controversy after one of its student was denied a PhD degree for praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the media.
In 2011, the AMU was shut down indefinitely following violent clashes between two rival groups of students that left around 12 of them injured. One group belonging to Bihar and eastern UP and the other to western UP and some other parts opened fire and indulged in brick-batting on the university campus.
Universities transform people’s lives through education and through the wider impact of their research. Universities help students to develop the skills and knowledge which grooms them for the future as well as for the country’s development. The universities are powerful institution that grooms the next generation of agricultural scientists, social scientists, policy-makers, business leaders and entrepreneurs, public servants, and other professionals.
But as the scope of universities in India is widening, there are questions arising that create doubts, confusion and compels a nation to ponder over.
The University should work as an institution cum organization and contribute as a strong foundation for the nation’s development.
The reasons why universities like AMU should be shut are loud and clear. We have to wait till the government takes cognizance of the anti-India elements that are on a rise in these universities.
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