The party members of Prime Minister Narendra Modi could do well by keeping his list of contentious issues short. While there has already been a lot of controversy surrounding the changes which the government proposes to bring in the fields of higher education and culture, fomenting a controversy around Aligarh Muslim University could have been avoided. Hindu Yuva Vahini, an organisation headed by BJP MP Mahant Aditya Nath recently called the AMU a nursery for terrorism. It also accused AMU students of having links with the Islamic State (IS). These allegations were leveled without any basis and the AMU administration has done well to rebut the charges immediately and also file an FIR in the matter. AMU Vice-Chancellor (V-C) Lt Gen (<g data-gr-id="29">retd</g>.) Zameer Uddin Shah took a serious note of the baseless allegations and rightly said that it was a deliberate attempt to tarnish the University’s image and defame its students.
AMU is still carrying the cross of being a supporter of the idea for a separate nation for <g data-gr-id="25">Muslim in</g> the beginning of the last century. Though the campus was initially votary for <g data-gr-id="24">formation</g> of Pakistan, it later came to reject the concept as the new nation degraded into a degenerative fundamentalist anarchy.
<g data-gr-id="23">Unfortunately</g> a larger section of Indian intelligentsia has not yet been able to exonerate Aligarh of its intellectual complicity in the formation of Pakistan. They continue to look at the campus as Centre of conservatism bordering fundamentalism and issues needing no cognizance are blown out of proportion.
Whenever Aligarh makes an appearance in the headlines it pains those who know the campus to see a picture which is not the true image of either the university or the community. AMU represents an intellectual movement grounded in academic rigour, scholastic culture, and pedagogic debate. The campus has taken <g data-gr-id="31">scholarship</g> to even the womenfolk who are ordinarily identified with the “hijab” which covers their face. Aligarh’s cultural integration will happen only with intelligentsia allowing accommodation and accomplishments to the contribution made by the hoary university in spreading education, if not more certainly not less than any other campus in the country.
Thus, it’s for the government to snuff out any baseless charges brought out against the prestigious campus for extremism one kind sows seeds for the fanaticism of another kind.