By Abdul Bari Masoud
New Delhi: Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH), one of the largest Muslim socio-religious groups, on Thursday demanded the special packages from the central and state governments for the iconic Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) for its expansion and to scale up its research facilities. Former MP and former AMU Students Union president Mohammad Adeeb also said the university needs a special package as its three outside campuses namely Kishanganj, Khuldabad (Aurangabad) and Malappuram are on the verge of collapse due to financial crunch.
Jamaat Chief Husaini wrote a letter to the AMU Vice-Chancellor, congratulating its students, faculty, administration and the alumni of AMU on the occasion of the centenary celebrations and hoped for further progress of the university. He prayed that AMU will rank among the top ten universities of the world. He said, “AMU has completed the proud journey of 100 years of valuable contribution to education and research. I express heartiest greetings to the Management, the students, the alumni and all countrymen. We expect and pray for the next leg of its academic journey to be more impressive and path-breaking.”
Reacting to the Muslim Mirror report on centenary celebration event addressed by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, JIH President Syed Sadatullah Husaini said that Aligarh Muslim University achieved global acclamation and its needs more funds to expand its educational activities. He hailed the contributions and role played by the University in nation building.
In his speech, the PM did not announce any financial package and uttered a single word on AMU’s minority character as highlighted by the Muslim Mirror report.
JIH President said, “The University deserves special packages from the central and state governments for its expansion and to scale up its research facilities. The minority status of AMU and its status as the bastion of Muslim culture needs careful nurturing and preservation.” He demanded the government to establish more campuses of the university in various cities across the country.
He also raised the minority status issue saying, “The constitutional guarantee of the educational advancement of minorities and their cultural rights requires that the government should pay attention to the institutions, which have minority characters. The government should also shield firmly against the assault or move, which is committed to abolish the minority character of the AMU, from time to time.”
Echoing his demand, former MP Adeeb told Muslim Mirror that the three off-campus of the AMU have been facing severe financial crunch ever since this government came to power in 2014. Adeeb, who opposed the invitation to the PM on the centenary event, said the university did not get anything out of it.
“May be some individuals get personal benefits at the cost of this historic institution, three off-campuses namely Kishanganj, Khuldabad and Malappuram have been on the verge of collapse as the central government stopped grant to these centers,” he added.
He underlined that the AMU was facing acute financial problems as shortage of funds reached to the extent that University has not been able to pay retirement dues to old staff.
One expected that the PM would announce any package for the university during his speech but this hope was dashed, he said.It is to mention that just a few days before the centenary event, the AMU Teachers Association had sought President Ram Nath Kovind’s intervention as the varsity’s visitor to mitigate its unprecedented financial crunch.
In a letter to the President, the AMUTA said thousands of university pensioners have “received only half of their pension money this month causing severe financial crisis and hardships to them”.
Jamaat President Husaini also reminded the government of India of its responsibility of educational advancement of minorities.