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Don’t allow AMU to turn into JNU: BJP MP to V-C

Satish Gautam says people with ‘divisive mindset’ are invited to AMU for conferences, which become a tool for opposing ‘Centre, Sangh and BJP’

Written by Manish Sahu | Lucknow |
Updated: October 18, 2016 1:13:10 pm
satish gautamfb In a letter to VC Lt Gen (Retd) Zameer Uddin Shah, Satish Gautam, the Aligarh MP, has said that in recent weeks the AMU has witnessed several events, which were “anti-government and anti-BJP” in their content. Express photo

A BJP MP has asked the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) not to allow its students to follow in the footsteps of their JNU counterparts or give permission to them to hold any “anti-BJP” or “anti-national” function on the campus. In a letter to Vice-Chancellor Lt Gen (Retd) Zameer Uddin Shah, Satish Gautam, the Aligarh MP, has said that in recent weeks the AMU has witnessed several events, which were “anti-government and anti-BJP” in their content.

WATCH VIDEO: President Pranab Mukherjee Gives Nod To Hold Inquiry Against AMU VC Zameeruddin Shah

“Recently the university had been inviting only those personalities to the campus for conferences and seminars who are known for their anti-BJP views,” reads the letter signed by Gautam, who is also a member of the AMU Court – the supreme governing body of the University.

The letter states that such guests had “divisive mindset” and discussions in such events get diverted from the “original subject and turn into a stage for opposing the Centre, Sangh and BJP”.

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“If the subject is found to be anti-national and anti-government, the University administration should turn down the permission for holding such programme,” the letter read. It claimed that “everybody knows that the recent agitation at JNU” was at the behest of “anti-national” elements and people were also aware of the attempts being made to spread “similar sentiments” in other universities of the country.

Gautam, who had in 2014, led a protest demanding celebration of Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh’s birth anniversary on AMU campus, has asked the V-C to ensure that politicisation of the University is not done. “You have served on senior position in the Indian Army and you know better the importance of the country and the government. Your responsibility increases because after learning discipline from the Army you have become V-C,” he said in the letter.

The MP also asked the V-C to take the suggestions seriously and inform him after necessary follow up administrative action.

The V-C, however, said he does not think anything new has taken place in the campus and “none of the protests which took place had any anti-national connotation to them”.

In a statement issued in the evening, Shah emphasized that as a proud army man who served his country for more than 40 years, he is well aware of his responsibilities and he will not tolerate or allow any anti—national activities. “I have no idea whatsoever of the so-called anti-national activity, which was referred to by the MP. I will reply to him in detail once I examine the contents of his letter,” the V-C said.

Shah added that he “hoped” that as people’s representative and a member of the AMU Court, it will be better if Gautam discussed any university related matter with him before making it public.

The MP’s letter was widely circulated on social media before it was received by the V-C’s office, the statement said.

Reassuring the MP, the V-C said AMU respects the government of the day. “AMU is an autonomous institution and there is no prohibition on discussion on any topic within the framework of the Constitution. We have several fora for debate, where divergent views are expressed freely and different shades of opinion are respected. There has always been criticism of various political parties and government policies. This should not be viewed as being anti-national,” Shah said in the statement.

He further said that “we have our differences on the ‘Minority Status’ issue, but we are trying to bridge the gap and are trying to explain our stand, which we hope the government will accept. AMU has always espoused nationalism and pluralism.”

The letter, which has sparked another controversy at AMU, comes in the wake of an uproar over the alleged serving of beef biryani in the canteen AMU’s Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College. The controversy had erupted after a photograph was circulated on WhatsApp showing a board displaying the menu at the canteen, which included the item “beaf biryani”. AMU rejected the allegations as “vicious” and an “attempt to whip up communal passion”and said the biryani contained only buffalo meat. Aligarh police is conducting an inquiry into the allegations on a complaint filed by local mayor who belongs to BJP.

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First published on: 25-02-2016 at 03:46:53 am

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