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Posted Online on Sunday 12,
February 2006 01:45 IST
All India Muslim Forum
Alleged sexual harassment: A conspiracy to malign AMU
Milli Gazette Online
10 February 2006
I was deeply anguished to read the mails and news regarding the alleged incident of sexual
harassment of one lady Farah within the AMU campus on February 2, and also the subsequent developments, which speak of the alleged threats by the AMU Students General Secretary, Mr. Farrukh to one Mr. Nadeem. After going through the whole story, as also getting the details from my own sources, I can summarize my conclusions as follows.
1. That possibly some students raised serious objections against the obscene and seductive dress-up of a female student Farah, which must have included some lewd comments.
2. This incident was termed by the said female student as something amounting to sexual assault and harassment, but despite all persuasive means by the university authorities, she was not prepared to change her dress code.
3. This episode was exploited by one student Nadeem, a self-styled journalist Mr. Naseeruddin Hiader Khan, and some organization known as Struggle against Discrimination and Alienation (SADA) - all with the apparent motive to come into limelight through the cheapest method of launching a vilification campaign against the University Administration and the Students Union at the time when they all are struggling hard for the restoration of the Minority character.
4. The whole story has been projected in such a manner as if the Vice-Chancellor, Mr. Naseem Ahmed, the Proctor Prof. Akhlaq Ahmed (who has been my teacher and is well-known for his rectitude and uprightness), the Students Union President, Mr. Abdul Hafeez Gandhi, the General Secretary, Mr. Farrukh and the entire university are an embodiment of villainy and evil forces, while this one girl Farah is a paragon of virtue and chastity.
5. The alleged occurrences, if they have at all happened, have been blown out of proportion, and narrated in such an exaggerated manner that at the first glance they appear to be highly improbable, incredible and totally fabricated. They smack of a deliberate conspiracy to calumniate the reputation of the university and these young student leaders who are making relentless efforts for the cause of the University through various means, such as mobilizing public opinion and seeking the support of the student leaders of different university in a bid to pressurize the Union Government.
The most relevant and remarkable central point of the whole controversy is the obscenity of the dress of a female, which despite all the pressures and persuasions of the University authorities , she is not willing to change. Every right-thinking person is fully aware that the root cause behind the growing incidents of sexual harassment is the sexually offensive dress. While on the streets, it may the private affair, falling within the realm of personal freedom, but this vulgar notion of individual domain cannot be asserted within the premises of educational institutions which have their own code of decency, discipline and civility. Besides, cutting across all cultural and religious barriers , India enjoys a long historical legacy of feminism and public morals which have been ruthlessly trampled down by the onslaught of Western culture. However, in the midst of the prevailing gloomy scenario, it is most heartening to note that all sections of Indian society are fast developing a deep sense of consciousness towards the pernicious effects of moral degeneration and public nudity. I may be opposed to the RSS and Shiv Sena on many counts, but I appreciate their endeavour in putting the country's cultural ethos back on the track when they seek to check the obscenity and vulgarity on the Valentine Day and such other similar occasions by force. It is the collective responsibility of the entire moral majority to come forward to check this serious erosion in public morals as a sacred obligation to the country's rich cultural heritage. Those who are spearheading the nude cultural traditions must jettison their myopic visions and think for a moment about the future of their own progeny, mothers, sisters and daughters. They may be having inveterate prejudices against Aligarh Muslim University and try to damage it in all possible manners, but they must not stoop so low as to become the champions of those vices which are detested and hated by all right-thinking vast multitudes of the country, irrespective of religion, caste and creed.
Dr. Mustafa Kamal Sherwani LL.M.( Alig.) LL.D. (Lucknow)
All India Muslim Forum