The Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) is planning to create a separate electorate of girl students who will elect their own union. The move,termed retrograde by many,will segregate the Womens College students from the AMU Students Union (AMUSU) in the main campus.
Former vice-chancellor P K Abdul Azis had allowed the Womens College to be part of AMUSU with girl students having participated in the elections and also winning handsomely for the past two years.
The new V-C,Lt Gen (retd) Zamiruddin Shah,however,has plans to revert to the old practice of two unions that were formed on gender lines.
AMUSUs Public Relations Officer (PRO) Rahat Abrar said the proposal was under active consideration It has been proposed to have a separate students union for girls. It is still under consideration and a final decision is awaited, said Abrar.
Justifying the move,the PRO said the issue of girl students were different from those of boys. Their problems are different and they cannot be clubbed with the problems of boys. Previously,we had a separate union for them,now the same is being considered again, he said. Abrar also cited the distance between the main campus and Womens College. The college is situated at quite a distance and thus it is better if they have separate unions.
Most students,including girls,are opposed to the proposal. In the last presidential elections of AMUSU,a substantial section of the student community rose above the narrow regional lines and voted for me for the presidents post. This step will have adverse effect,as girls will be confined to the four walls of their college. There will be no mingling with the mainstream, said Iram Khan,who lost the election but polled 2,752 votes,the highest by any girl candidate in AMU. Another girl,Wajiha Fatima Mehdi,was elected Executive Committee member of AMUSU.
The move to exclude Womens College from AMUSU is an attempt to stop an enlightened female leadership from gaining hold on the campus, said Anam Rais Khan,another student.
Nahid Mustafa,who contested for the post of secretary in AMUSU in 2011 and polled 370 votes,plans to meet the V-C and request him to drop the idea. It is discrimination against the girls. We do not want to be segregated just because we are girls. Some students said the move was meant to appease a particular lobby and reactionary groups in lieu of their cooperation in peaceful functioning of the university.