WITH AN eye on the UP polls next year, the Sangh Parivar is ramping up its campaign on reservation for SC, ST and OBC students in Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).
Following the recent release of a book explaining the Sangh’s stand on the issue, “SC, ST and OBC commissions will be flooded with representations for reservation in AMU” leading to the Parliament’s monsoon session starting July 18, said Sangh sources.
The NDA government had told the Supreme Court in April that it would withdraw the appeal filed by the UPA regime challenging the Allahabad High Court verdict classifying AMU as a non-minority institution. The Centre stated in court that AMU was set up by the central Act and that a five-judge Constitution bench of the apex court had in 1967 deemed it a “central university” and not a minority institution. The Sangh’s stand, said sources, is that AMU is not a minority institution and hence must give reservation to SC, ST and OBC students.
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Significantly, the Sangh-backed book — Rashtriya Arakshan Neeti aur Aligarh Muslim Vishwavidyalaya (National Reservation Policy and AMU)— was circulated during a meeting on June 18 presided over by the RSS’s joint general secretary Dr Krishna Gopal in Delhi, in the presence of many SC, ST and OBC MPs and MLAs from UP. Sources said Gopal had “advised and guided” the authors, Prof Rajkumar Falwaria of Delhi University and Prof Ishwar Sharan Vishwakarma of Deendayal Upadhyay Gorakhpur University. On June 28, a closed-door meeting was held on the issue at RSS headquarters in Keshav Kunj; Gopal and Falwaria were present.
“Our next strategy is to make several representations before SC, ST and OBC commissions on AMU. To begin with, a representation will be submitted by the Rashtriya Arakshan Bachao Manch,” said Falwaria.
Some MPs and other organisations too are expected to submit such representations, said sources. They added the MPs have also been told to be prepared on what to say in Parliament and to the media on the issue.
“The BSP and the Samajwadi Party benefit from Muslim votes, apart from their core votebank. On the AMU issue, it will be difficult for them to face their core voters. That was the purpose of bringing out the book at this stage,” an MP from an SC community from eastern UP told The Indian Express.
During the daylong meeting on June 18 at Patel Chest Institute in Delhi, a presentation on the legal and constitutional aspects of the AMU issue was made by Additional Solicitor General Ashok Mehta. “This is going to be a big issue in the polls,” said Mehta.
Co-author of the book Prof Vishwakarma, associated with RSS affiliate Akhil Bharatiya Itihas Sankalan Yojna, said, “This book is to make people aware about the AMU issue because it is killing the reservation policy.”
In the book’s three-page “conclusion”, the authors write: “Thousands of students from deprived sections have been deprived of their rights in the last 65 years. Thousands of competent persons of deprived sections have been deprived from employment at AMU. To woo Muslim votes, this inhuman, unconstitutional conspiracy is going on.”
It also quotes Dr Ambedkar, “Sangathit ho jao, shikshit ho aur sangarsh karo (Get organised, get educated and fight)”, and appeals for “implementation of a National Reservation Policy” in AMU.
Sources said a similar daylong meeting of teachers, advocates and intellectuals will be held in Lucknow over the next few weeks.