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

Controversy over Urdu University continues

By Masood Hasan

Lucknow: The controversy over the establishment of Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar Urdu University in Rampur and appointment of the Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mohammad Azam Khan as its pro-chancellor for life refuses to die down. Religious leaders (ulama) marched to the Raj Bhawan where they submitted a memorandum to the principal secretary to the Governor urging him to sign immediately the draft proposal sent by the Uttar Pradesh cabinet because it was the only such gift being given after Independence. The protest march to the Raj Bhawan was held under the banner of the All India Tahafuz-e-Madaris Council led by Shaikh Sulaiman who is a close confidant of Azam Khan and also the chairman of the State Commission for Minorities.

The All-India Tahafuz-e-Madaris Council organized a function before the march to the Raj Bhawan. The Council discussed at length the problems and hurdles being faced by the minority community. The function was attended by the chairman of the Uttar Pradesh Development Council Amar Singh, member of the Lok Sabha from Rampur Jaya Prada and a galaxy of ulama, including the vice-chairman of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board Maulana Kalbe Sadiq and Maulana Syed Mohammad Hashmi Miyan.

The chairman of the Uttar Pradesh Development Council Amar Singh lambasted the Congress leadership for placing hurdles in the establishment of the Urdu University in Rampur. He made it clear that the Urdu university would be set up at all costs and Azam Khan would be its pro-chancellor for life. He announced at the function that if the Government does not sanction grants for it, he would work untiringly to collect rupees one crore for the establishment of the proposed university in Rampur. Amar Singh, in his speech, tried to put the Congress in the dock by blaming it for placing hurdles in the setting up of the university.

BJP leaders had already made a fervent appeal to the Uttar Pradesh governor not to sanction the draft ordinance for the university to be set up in Rampur. 
It may be recalled here that the UP cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav had approved the draft ordinance without any amendment for the proposed Urdu university. Despite objections raised by the Congress, a coalition partner of the ruling Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh, over the proposal of Azam Khan as the pro-chancellor of the University for life, the state cabinet approved the draft Ordinance.

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