Lt Gen (retd) Zameer Uddin Shah, Vice-Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University, said Muslims lagged behind in the development race because they kept their women enslaved.
“You have not utilised half of your population. Women remained enslaved. They remained inside home. Muslims have no one else to blame. You enslaved women and the result is you are enslaved,” Shah said during a felicitation function of AMU Old Boys at Lucknow on Sunday.
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“I stayed in Saudi Arabia, the situation remains the same. Women are confined. Except Turkey and Iran, women remained enslaved in all Muslim world. That is the reason they are backward,” he added.
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Shah also lashed out Muslims for not working during the month of Ramazan. “Muslims work for 11 months in a year. During Ramazan they do not work. Also, in any normal week, they do not work for two-and-a-half days. On Friday, they make preparations for Namaaz. This is followed by the weekend,” he added.
Referring to the Muslims, he said: “You left education. There is infighting among the community. There is division on regional lines too. This is also destroying AMU,” he said.
Shah also stated that there is no discrimination on religious grounds.
“What matters is only qualification and ability. I started as a madrasa student and reached here. The community just rues about discrimination which is non-existent,” he said.
Referring to his tenure as V-C, he said: “I may be the most unpopular V-C but I am not concerned. I did my bit to change the institution. Things like indefinite closure are past now,” he said.
Shah claimed that his decision to appoint nearly 400 competent teachers in AMU through proper general selection committee has rattled many senior faculty who earlier hired their relatives.
“For appointing 400 teachers, I made 4,000 enemies. Earlier the AMU schools were third-rated. We made the appointments only on the basis of competency. Many disliked it,” he said.
Shah also spoke about AMU’s plan to establish schools through Sir Syed Education Foundation in other cities. Proposal for 30 cities have been received with people agreeing to donate two acres of land for setting up schools. AMU has approached the Ministry of Minority Affairs for a corpus of Rs 10 crore to make these schools function. The institution also has decided to set up its own solar power plant at the cost of Rs 20 crore for cutting the huge electricity bill which amounts to nearly Rs 26 crore.