Backdrop:Aligarh Muslim University

Backdrop:Aligarh Muslim University

Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) is a Residential Academic Institution located in the city of Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, India. It was established in 1875 by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and in 1920 it was granted a status of Central University by an Act of Indian Parliament. It is one of the premier central universities in India. Aligarh Muslim University offers more than 250 Courses in traditional and modern branch of Education. This is a premier Central University with several faculties and maintained institutions and draws students from all corners of the world, especially Africa, West Asia and South East Asia. In some courses, seats are reserved for students from SAARC and Commonwealth countries. The University is open to all irrespective of caste, creed, religion or gender. It is ranked 8th best (2009 ranking) of all research universities in India by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) of India. There are 16 Halls of residence comprising 69 hostels

The Aligarh Muslim University is in the middle of many controversies. These controversies stem from the university’s dual status as a central institution and as a body established by the Muslims. The former necessarily involves state responsibility in respect of finance and ensuring its secular character consistent with the Constitution. The latter raises fundamental questions concerning minority rights.

Specifically, three student upsurges have to mentioned in this context. In, 1965, Ali Yawar Jung, AMU VC, brought a law declaring 50% reservation for internal students and a ruckus broke in campus and police fired on students, injuring three. The Students Union Hall was fired at the time when a University Court meeting was being held. Congress government cancelled the autonomy of the university.

Later, in 1971, an act was introduced through which the minority character of the university was scrapped. Congress is being accused by Pro Muslim for crushing AMU’s Islamic character in one form or the other by diluting the Students Union or resurrecting a parallel Student Council or trying to belittle the autonomous character of the university.

In 2007, three students were murdered in a row and students initiated protests. They had burnt down many important buildings of the university, including V.C Lodge. Arson and looting had forced the authorities to declare sine die.

In 2009, On Oct 30, Shahnawaz Alam, a B.Sc final year student of the varsity – was shot dead by assailants. Around 600 students had blocked Delhi-Howrah rail route for hours, demanding action against those involved in the murder. Protesting students had also disrupted the academic and official work in the varsity and also manhandled some university employees.

The tenures of Vice Chancellors (VCs) at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) in the last couple of decades ran into substantial problems of indiscipline, students’ strikes, violence, arson, forced shutdown of university, indifferent academic achievement, lack of pursuit of excellence and discontent in the community that AMU serves. Most of these Vice Chancellors were distinguished and competent managers. The student upsurges in AMU are invariably engineered/sustained by some lobbies to incapacitate the VC, who will in turn depend upon these lobbies, who will consequently extract favours of lucrative/ powerful positions of academic administration, promotion, contracts/ kickbacks.

It is observed that AMU is sustaining an environment which is not suitable for social harmony and integration of Muslims with the mainstream. The university (AMU) Tarana (song) does not contain a single word in praise of India but it glorifies such things as the evenings of Egypt and the mornings of Shiraj. The university flag has greater resemblance with the flags of Muslim countries, with moon and palm tree stamped on it, than with that of India”. In stead of pursuing the academic goal of the university its authorities are mostly engaged in arousing the religious sentiments of Muslims with a view to keep alive the bogey of its minority character

SIMI has its roots in the Aligarh Muslim University. It was officially established on April 25, 1977 that SIMI was slowly spreading its roots across Uttar Pradesh and then establishing outposts in Maharashtra,Kerala and West Bengal.

Recently, the university is is also trying to establish its branches in other parts of the country. An Off-Campus Centre of the Aligarh Muslim Universty is being setup in Kerala state.

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