Sparking a religious controversy at Aligarh Muslim University, an advocate at Delhi High Court made a rather controversial statement on Twitter about the availability of food in the hostel during Ramadan. Making serious allegations against the mess at the university, Prashant Patel Umrao’s tweet read: “In Aligarh muslim university hostels, Lunch, Breakfast is not being served to Hindu students due to
Just as he posted it, his tweet attracted a lot of eyeballs and left many baffled. Some expressed their shock, and others went on to divulge how the allegation is totally incorrect.
— Prashant Patel Umrao (@ippatel) May 29, 2017
Here are all the reactions to his tweet.
— NEHA SINGH (@nehasinghjazz) May 30, 2017
@ippatel I have worked in OMAN
Even in that country non-muslims were served food in mess during ramzan
— ABHISHEK TIWARI (@er08abhi) May 29, 2017
@ippatel Why? This is as uncalled for as the beef ban. Can’t we just leave whether to eat or not to eat, what to & not to eat, to individuals?
— Rakshith Ponnathpur (@rsponnathpur) May 29, 2017
@ippatel AMU provides a packet of milk, 4 slices of bread, butter & a banana and keep that in every room. U can use them for breakfast if not fasting
— Fahad (@rjfahad) May 29, 2017
@ippatel Fake news. Arrest this trouble maker.
PS: I’m a student at AMU
— Mohit ^.^ (@youngwriterms) May 30, 2017
When we asked Patel why he had put such allegations on the university, he told indianexpress.com: “I know a few students there and the same thing happens every year. Hindu students do not want to come in public.” When asked what the officials said (in case they complained about the issue), he said: “You should talk to the AMU administration.”
Amid all the ruckus, an AMU alumnus said, “I really don’t know what this tweet is all about because I have been a student at the university. When I was a student, I didn’t used to fast during Ramadan because I wasn’t so religious. But, I used to get food at the university and I never had a problem.” He also went on to say that “we always have canteens” and “food is always available on demand — even for the Muslim students who are not fasting… they can go and ask for lunch and it will be served.”
Prof Shafey Kidwai, member in-charge of the public relations office for AMU, told indianexpress.com: “Since the 1920s when the university was formed, at the time of Sehri, when Muslims used to pray, breakfast was served but they used to take it later in the day. However, that was the practise for many, many years as an unwritten rule. And so, in the hostels, food was not served during Ramadan owing to the age-old practice. Even though many Hindus and non Muslims were here, they never demanded due to ‘tolerance’ or ‘mutual respect’. Now, that the students have demanded, we are ready to provide. So if the students demand for it, breakfast and lunch will be served, otherwise, everywhere in the canteens, it is available.”
So, before the tweet was put out, was there any demand in the hostel or the mess? “No, there wasn’t any demand directly, some students tweeted it and put it out on social media, so we have now told them that we will provide food — on demand.”
Is it only on demand or will it be served regularly? “Yes, and it is not just for Hindus but even if the Muslim students are suffering from fever or if there is any kind of need, then it will be served on demand. Also, we have another hostel — Adi Hasan hall, where MBBS students live — food is available for 24 hours over there,” said Kidwai.
He also added that the students will be going back home for summer vacations on June 5, so it is only a matter of a few days.
Meanwhile, there was another Facebook post that refuted the claims made in Patel’s tweet.
In her post, Rashmi Singh said that they are getting breakfast as well as lunch at the Begam Sultan hall. She also explained that since the strength of students coming for lunch is less, it is light but sufficient to satiate hunger pangs.
Take a look at a few comments on her post.