THE over-a-century old Darul Muasannefin Shibli Academy in Azamgarh Saturday refused to accept Rs 5 lakh grant announced by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav terming it as “inadequate” and one that “has hurt the feelings of the institution”.
Akhilesh had announced the grant in his budget speech in the state Assembly Friday stating that the fund was for the construction of a library at the Shibli Academy campus.
“We never sought government aid. After Chief Minister, during his Azamgarh visit, announced to take care of Academy’s need, we presented a proposal. But we are deeply anguished over the way a meagre Rs 5 lakh has been announced,” Prof Ishtiyaq Zilli, director of the Shibli Academy told The Sunday Express.
The academy had presented a proposal to the state government seeking a grant of Rs 22 crore. “Perhaps the present state government is not aware of the illustrious past of our institution. Mahatma Gandhi, Jawahar Lal Nehru and other luminaries were associated with it. We played a distinguished role in freedom movement,” Zilli said.
He said, the Academy decided to approach the state government when “they asked for” the proposal. “Since we are a taxpayer and have full right for the (financial) aid, we forwarded our proposal but are deeply hurt by the amount sanctioned. With this amount, we cannot do anything. It is not a small institution. We will not accept it,” Zilli added.
The Academy, based in the parliamentary constituency of SP president Mulayam Singh Yadav, is revered by the Muslim community. It completed 100 years in November 2014 and marked it with three-day long events, inaugurated by Vice-President of India Hamid Ansari and attended by scholars from several countries. The Academy also opened its doors for Hindus with a special session —- Hindustani Sanjhi Sanskriti aur Allama Shibli.
SP president Mulayam Singh Yadav could not attend that event. Established by eminent Islamic scholar Allama Shibli Nomani with an aim to promote research, the Academy is considered an abode to litterateurs. It publishes books in field of Islamic learning, medieval Indian history and oriental studies. Lately, the Academy has fallen on hard times and has issued an appeal for donations for its library, publication of books, renovation of its building and adding new infrastructure.