Dr. Hans Raj Bhardwaj, Former Union Law Minister and Governor of Kerala and Karnataka was the Chief Guest. Mr. K.T.S. Tulsi, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court and Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) was the guest of Honour. Dr. Chaudhary Shamsuddi, Former Secretary, Supreme Court Bar Association and noted journalist Mr. Qurban Ali also graced the function.
Addressing the convention, Dr. H.R. Bhardwaj said that the Aligarh Muslim University is greater than Cambridge, Oxford and Harvard. He said that this university was established by the Muslims of India for their educational and cultural upgfradation, and this unique cultural centre has to be preserved. He said that AMU should get unilateral support from the Government of India.
Former Union Law Minister, Dr. Bhardwaj pointed out that in the AMU Act 1920 clearly defined this as a minority Institution and it was not restricted to provide education to Muslims only. He further said that AMU has a brilliant history. He said that the Judgment of the Supreme Court in Aziz Basha case was an ex-party judgment as AMU was not a party to this case.
Mr. K.T.S. Tulsi, Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court and Member, Rajya Sabha said that there is no doubt that AMU is a minority university. He said that the judgment of the Supreme Court on Aziz Basha case is complete denial of the rights of the minorities vested in the constitution of India.
Mr. Tulsi said that the Muslims are the largest and powerful minority of this country and the Parliament has full authority to review the judgment in this case.
Quoting judgment of the Supreme Court in river water dispute between Punjab and Haryana, Mr. Tulsi added that the Parliament removed the basic issue and the government did not lose the wisdom. He said that the democratically elected government can make a law and amend it, if necessary. He hoped that justice will be done to AMU in the Supreme Court.
In his presidential remarks, AMU Vice Chancellor, Lt. Gen. Zameer Uddin Shah (Retd.) said that AMU is committed to restoration of the minority character and we are doing all efforts for the last four year. We are doing research, we are talking to people who do not understand the issue of minority character.
Lt. Gen. Shah said that a strong man takes a strong decision. We hope that Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi will take a decision in favour of the university, he added.
AMU Vice Chancellor said that the report of Sachar Committee and Ranganathan Mishra Committee indicated that the Muslims were the most backward community.
He said that AMU has engaged a team of lawyers and we are doing our best for restoration of the minority character.
Pro-Vice Chancellor, Brigadier S. Ahmad Ali said that the Aligarh Muslim University is an extension of the MAO College. He cited several examples of the Minority educational institutions, which are getting grants from the Government. He expressed full faith in Judiciary and hoped that AMU will get justice in the Supreme Court.
Noted Journalist, Mr. Qurban Ali said that from 1875 to 1965 the AMU was considered as a Minority Institution but in 1965, the Careem Bhai Chaghla case changed its basic character following an amendment to the AMU Act in 1965.
He said that in 1977, election manifesto of the Bhartiya Janata Party supported the restoration of Minority Character of the University. Mr. Atal Behari Bajpayee, Mr. LK Advani, Mr. Ram Jeth Malani and Subramaniam Swami all have supported Minority character issue in the Parliament and through their election manifesto.
Mr. Qurban Ali pointed out that the Attorney General of India Mr. Mukul Rohatgi made a submission in the Supreme Court on January 12, 2016, denying minority status to AMU taking an anti constitutional position, while the previous government had upheld the minority status.
Dr. Chaudhary Shamsuddin, Former Secretary, Supreme Court Bar Association also highlighted the issues on Minority Character.
Mohd. Shahanshah Khan, Convener, welcomed the guest. Mr. Fahim Akhtar, coordinator of the Students Action Committee proposed a vote of thanks.
Mr. Abdul Hafeez Gandhi, former President of the AMU Students’ Union conducted the programme. Mr. Mohd Shikoh felicitated the dignitaries by presenting mementoes.
(Dr. Rahat Abrar)
Consultant, Public Relations