THE JAMIA Millia Islamia University administration Wednesday said it would not comment on the Centre’s decision to oppose its minority status in the Delhi High Court as the matter was “sub judice”. However, the Jamia Teachers’ Association (JTA) said the move was “highly condemnable”.
The Indian Express had first reported the issue on March 21. “The matter is sub judice, so the court will decide the constitutional merit of the whole case. Let us wait and watch. Whatever the court decides, we’ll have to decide how to deal with that,” said Jamia Media Coordinator Saima Saeed.
A university official, however, said Constitutional promises had to be upheld. “This is not a new issue, it has been going on for sometime. It’s not about Jamia alone; minorities are protected under Article 31. There’s also
St Stephen’s College, and minority institutions of all hues and shades — linguistic, geographical etc. The changing stand of the Centre doesn’t change the original promise of the Constitution; safeguards to minorities have always been there. So those Constitutional promises have to be upheld at all times. You can’t turn around and say — no more,” the official told The Indian Express.
JTA secretary S M Mahmood said the government affidavit was “not in good taste”. “The court has already said that simply by changing the colour of the government, the position or affidavit of the government should not change… However, the new government has filed a counter affidavit to their earlier stated position. This is highly condemnable. We are prepared to fight the case in court and are in favour of the minority character. Jamia has been established by Muslims and managed by Muslims. Whatever position the government is taking, they may have reasons for it, other than academic and legal reasons,” he said.