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Published in the 1-15 Jan 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

AMU in danger again

Aligarh: The Government's recent decision to conduct all competitive exams under one banner at All India level has created a stir in certain quarters particularly among the minorities and minority-run institutions. On the face of it, the so-called Muslim leaders seem justly perturbed by the turn of events but by and large the common Muslim masses sincerely believe that the so-called Muslim leaders have time and again proved to be no more than self-centered people engaged in propping up their own interests at the community’s peril. 

Recently, the AMU staff association, held a meeting and unanimously rejected the government decision to debar Madrasah graduates from taking admission in courses like Arts and Social Sciences except Urdu, Arabic, Persian, Theology and Islamic Studies. They cited the government decision as anti-minority and an infringement of their right to education.

At present the government is too concerned about the fate of madrasah education and is trying to modernise it. One of the important constituents of government's policy in this regard is to introduce some other popular courses like Maths, Sciences, English and Social Sciences in madarsah curricula so that the students are in a better position to comprehend the concerned issues.

However, whatever is happening at the AMU presently is in contrast to the aforementioned objectives of the government and against the interest of Muslims. AMU administration in its recent decision (Consultative meeting of 15-16 July, 2003), has debarred all the madarsah graduates from being admitted to any of the courses of Arts and Social Sciences except Urdu, Arabic, Persian, Theology and Islamic Studies. All the previous conventions and laws of the university were put on hold and the decision was implemented secretly. Merit lists already appeared in several departments were cancelled and the students were asked either to change their choices or go back home. 

The aggrieved students of several madrasahs formed a union and ran from pillar to post and met everybody they could think of who would be of some help but to no avail as if they were never a part of the Muslim community or their perceived interest!.
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- Shariq Nisar

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