Thursday, November 27, 2014

AMU VC writes to Irani: save University from political adventurism of BJP

AMU VC Lt Gen (r) Zameeruddin Shah) send following letter to UM of HRD

Nov 27, 2014
Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani, 
Union Minister of Human Resource Development, Government of India, Shastri Bhawan, C-Wing, Dr. Rajendra Prasad Road, New Delhi - 110 001. 
1. I am writing to the HRD Minister to apprise her that the plans of certain elements at Aligarh to celebrate “Raja Mahendra Pratap Day” inside AMU Campus on 01 December 2014 (his anniversary) has potential of leading to massive student unrest on the AMU campus. 
2. The reason advanced by these elements is that Raja Mahendra Pratap donated large tracts of land for the establishment of AMU and that he should be honoured accordingly. We acknowledge that Raja Mahendra Pratap did lease 1.221 hectares (3.04 acres) of land in 1929 at Rs.2/- per annum to AMU. Moreover, we are proud of the fact that this freedom fighter was our alumnus. Besides, him however, there were a large number of other donors. The bulk of the land was procured from the British Government which was in the process of closing down the Aligarh “Chhawani” (Cantonment) from which Sir Syed got 74 acres. The list of other donors is at Appendix. 
3. In view of the threat of disturbance from these people, claiming to be affiliated to various political party / outfits, another political outfit opposing them joined the fray and announced that they would not allow the rally to be held. 
4. This political gamesmanship, if allowed to proceed, has potential for serious trouble. The Ex Servicemen Leage of Aligarh District were requested by me and offered their help to resolve the problem. A meeting with these people, who threatened to hold the celebrations on AMU campus, was arranged on 25 November 2014 at Vice-Chancellor’s Lodge with a representative each of the various outfits making the demand. The Registrar, Proctor, Controller of Examinations and the President, Vice-President and Secretary of the Students’ Union attended the meeting. 
5. We had a cordial meeting of 1½ hours in which we decided that:- 
(a) There was a need to diffuse the tense situation.
(b) There would be a joint celebration at the “Tikonia Ground” of 1.221 hectares (3.04 acres) leased by Raja Mahendra Pratap to AMU on 01 December 2014.
6. Next morning the newspapers carried stories of the meeting and senior functionaries of the parties / outfits voiced their objections. The top brass of the outfits concerned have stated to the press that the meeting was held without their authorization. They now want to change the venue and demand that the meeting be held inside the AMU City High School. This will lead to a confrontation. The majority of AMU students therefore are annoyed with this intransigence.
  7. In addition to the above, the families of other donors (what to say of those who have given land on lease) have jumped into the fray and also want celebrations for their ancestors, who were donors. We celebrate only the Sir Syed (founder’s) Day and cannot have a myriad of celebrations, although we do acknowledge generosity of donors.
  8. Under these circumstances it is unwise to hold any meeting on 01 December 2014. It is requested that Hon’ble MPs who are issuing statements be advised to exercise a sobering influence. A similar request is being made to opposing parties. 9. AMU does not want to get involved in politics and the University needs your earnest support urgently as there is a serious threat to law and order. 
(Lt. Gen. Zameer Uddin Shah) Vice Chancellor

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