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Why object to President’s visit!

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Unnecessary controversies are being raised over the proposed visit of President Ram Nath Kovind to Aligarh Muslim University. It has been given a political colour which is unfortunate. President Kovind in his capacity of being Chancellor of the AMU will visit Aligarh on March 7 to participate in the Convocation. But much before his visit, objections have been raised by a section of students of the University. The Students Union of Aligarh Muslim University has threatened to protest against the President in case any functionary of the RSS accompanies him during the visit.

When opposition to the Students Union move to protest against the President started coming in, the Union seems to have changed its track. Now the Students Union of AMU has issued statement saying that the Union has no objection to the President’s visit to the University; rather it is opposed to the very mindset of the Sangh which is against humanity. If a Sangh Parivar member directly or indirectly linked to the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi or demolition of the Babri Masjid, is present at the Convocation everybody knows what treatment should be meted out to such elements.

The question here is who has given the permission to students union to indulge in intimidating and bullish tactics. What kind of behaviour it is? How can Students Union decide who should come and who should not. If the President who is Chancellor of the University will not come whom they will invite? Will somebody would come from Mars or do they want someone from Pakistan. In a democracy everybody has the right to express his views but does it mean that you can compare the Sangh with ISI? What the students of AMU know about the sacrifices of the Sangh for the nation. You are like a frog in the well. The AMU students will have to understand that we Indians live under a democratic framework and we have to respect the views and the faith of all others. If people of the country have elected a particular party and a government then this is the mandate.

A friend rightly commented that these students of AMU deliberately create a situation to invite criticism and ridicule to get some publicity. Go to the campus of AMU, you will find that these students still live in the age of 1947. The AMU students have no right to insult the President of India. If this not treason what is this? Such act can’t be justified at any cost.

No doubt, some brilliant persons have come out from AMU like Rahi Masoom Raza, Irfan Habib and Ali Sardar Jafri, to name a few. But students of the University are not ready to mend their ways. The students of the University are protesting against President Ram Nath Kovind for his one statement that he made in the year 2010. Kovind reportedly had said that the Muslims and the Christians are like aliens. Kovind had made this remark in the context of alien cult in India and in foreign land. I am surprised why the administration of the University is not taking action against the defiant students.

It is also being said by the Students Union leaders that the President is visiting Aligarh on March 7 to attend the wedding ceremony of daughter of BJP Member of Parliament Rajveer Singh. The date was decided to suit the presence of the President at the wedding as first priority. The University convocation is secondary. The students say that they respect the office of the President of India. But at present the face of the President is “Sanghi”. The students have threatened that they will not tolerate presence of any other Sanghi at the Convocation. Note the pedestrian statement of these students. By sporting ‘chudidar paijamas and shervanis” the students of AMU consider themselves like Maulana Azad and Dr Zakir Hussain. Don’t live in illusion students of AMU. On February 19 the Vice Chancellor of AMU Tariq Manoor announced that the President has accepted the invitation of the University for the Convocation. This is going to happen after 32 years when President of India is participation in the Convocation ceremony of the University. Before this, the then President Gyani Zail Singh had attended the Convocation in 1986. As a matter of fact the students of AMU should take this occasion as an opportunity to meet and interact with the President Kovind rather than opposing his presence without any reason or rhyme.

My question to these leaders of students of AMU is have they ever raised their voice against irregularities in admission to the MBBS course in the University. Have they ever raised the issue of Pasmanda Muslims? The answer is no.

The great grandson of Maulana Azad, Feroz Bakht Ahmed once informed me that 26 out of 70 MBBS seats that qualified for admission to the course came from a particular coaching institute of Kozikode in Kerala. It is a big racket. There are allegations that huge amount is taken as a bribe for admission into the MBBS course. The entrance examination is manipulated by the AMU. Bring reforms and changes in the University since AMU has a long history and has a place in the academic world of India. Don’t indulge in petty politics of opposing the President.

R K Sinha

(The writer is a Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha)

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  1. In a democracy, people have a right to live free from insults, the Indian idea of freedom of speech means that the majority will hurl abuses at the minority, Kovind needs to apologise for his insulting remark about Muslims and Christians.

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