On 30th July Saturday, a dialogue was held to discuss the issue of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and its status as a minority educational institution, conducted by Muslim Student Organisation of India (MSO).
The Aligarh Muslim University and its status as a “Minority Institution” has been a contentious issue for long. Article 30(1) of the Indian Constitution guarantees all religious, cultural and linguistic minorities the right to set up and run educational institutions, including schools, colleges and universities. Initially this was done to appease and assure minorities of being able to augment and propagate their unique and diverse educational aspects. The law states that governments shall not discriminate in giving aid on the basis of their being ‘minority’ institutions, thus making it an obligation upon the Government of India to allow and assist minorities to progress. But, very recently certain sections of society have questioned this assurance granted by the govt. to AMU & Jamia Millia Islamia.
The talk commenced with MSO’s General Secretary, Shujaat Ali Quadri addressing those gathered for the conference and welcoming the guest speakers from various parts of the country. Notable clerics and scholars namely Mufti Ashfaq Hussain Quadri (Tanzeem Ulema E Islam),Sayyed Muhammad Quadri ( Head, Advisory Council, MSO), Prof. Liyaqat Moini ( Ajmer Shareef Dargah), Prof. Asad Malik (Jamia Millia Islamia), who were present to speak on the agenda.
In a statement to Times Headline, Sayyed Mohammed Quadri said,”Rights of Minorities, has been assured by the Indian Constitution and should not be compromised with. Just as due empowerment is planned for OBC, ST & SC communties, Muslims in India also require the same upliftment. Even though, Muslims consist of only 14-15% population in India, they are also Indian citizens and government should help them come out of backwardness.”
Professor Asad Malik (Jamia Millia Islamia) during his talk said, “Right to Education is a fundamental right and also a directive principle of state policy. Education is so essential in any society that our government at the time of indepedence, had granted minorities a reassuring right to protect their growth . This clearly spells that even during independence the government was well aware of the lagging situation of the backward classes, which still exists in today’s scenario.”
As the talk came to an end, Advocate Shahnawaz Malik addressed the gathering by saying that,”We have the right to demand justice from our government and we all shall stand united for the cause of Muslims. One should constantly be aware of their rights and constitutional remedies. If you are not receiving your due or your rights are being hampered, file FIR’s, file PIL’s but do not let unjust happen to you.”
Speaking to Times Headline, Amir Hussain Tehsini (National Treasurer, MSO) said, “AMU in itself is a thought, a convention. It is significantly empowering a massive number of Muslims who often quit studies because of lack of funds. Such an institution deserves to receive more aids and benefits from the government.”