National

Zafar Sareshwala & Jamia Urdu: Dying for acceptance

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But Aligarh has its share of Ibnul Waqts, time-servers. They are shameless opportunists ready to worship any rising Sun. You never know to what levels they can stoop. They will always surprise you.

ZAFAR SARESHWALA has been trying to sneak into Jamia Millia Islamia in New Delhi and Aligarh Muslim University in Aligarh. Without a students' union for a long time, Jamia Millia Islamia seldom sees any Student-Administration conflict emerging as a big protest or strike. So, for Sareshwala and his admirers, Jamia Millia Islamia was a cake-walk.

But students of AMU are different. They were able to cancel his proposed lecture in their university. A few days back students stopped and searched each car entering the campus as BJP’s controversial Bijnor MP Kunwar Bhartendra Singh, an accused in the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots, was supposed to participate in the AMU court meeting as a member.  Earlier this year, the BJP chose such a controversial person to nominate him from the Parliament quota as a members of the AMU Court.  

But Aligarh has its share of Ibnul Waqts, time-servers. They are shameless opportunists ready to worship any rising Sun. You never know to what levels they can stoop. They will always surprise you.

Jamia Urdu, a private society in Aligarh, is neither associated with Jamia Millia Islamia as the name might suggest, nor is part of Aligarh Muslim University. It is infamous for the way it is run like a family fiefdom ever since a clerk, late Anwar Saeed, managed to become its “registrar’ some two decades ago. He slowly took over the institution and hired local goons to protect him. These goons later took over the institution and one of them is now its “Officer On Special Duty”  (OSD) who was once externed by the local administration from the limits of Aligarh. This OSD appointed his wife in 2005 as “registrar” and the duo now run the institution as private property, without any chancellor, vice chancellor or pro-vice chancellor as used to be the case earlier. They have hired some local faces for public relations and to gain acceptability. Once respected, the institution’s diplomas have now lost their sheen and have even been derecognized by some institutions and states due to rampant corruption in award of diplomas and appointment/sale of examination centres which are infamous for rampant copying by students during exams, surrogate writing of exam papers and self-assessment by centres as a result of which illiterates now hold Jamia Urdu certificates.

 A “Jamia Urdu Bazyabi Committee” committee, headed by Saiyid Hamid, was formed in 2001 to salvage the institution  but it failed to bring about any change.

To cover up their sins, Jamia Urdu usurpers keep on aligning with the ruling powers. This includes hosting fabulous parties, holding conferences and offering honorary doctorate degrees which have no value since this private institution is not authorized to issue them. Their welcome to Zafar Sareshwala is part of this strategy to keep on the right side, especially in view of his alleged proximity to the Prime Minister which is much publicized by his hangers-on.

According to a Times of India report, Sareshwala will be conferred an “honorary doctorate” on 17 April by this private society which in its current state is nothing but a questionable institute mired by litigation and enquiries about misuse of funds. But birds of a feather fly together, as they say. Modi’s Muslim face from Gujarat is an investment crook whose company, Parsoli Investments which was delisted by Bombay Stock Exchange in 2010. Once a sharp critic of Modi, he later joined the winning bandwagon and became a great apologist for the Hindutva icon. He was lately made  MANUU Chancellor, a ceremonial post which bestows respectability on him. He is ever on the move from institutions to TV channels to defend his master.

It is time U.P. and Union governments took note of the state of affairs at the Jamia Urdu. A national asset has been reduced to a private fief by an OSD and his wife.

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