Jamia Millia Islamia University’s invite to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the convocation has become hugely controversial decision with many prominent members of the university’s alumni association now writing to the Vice Chancellor to withdraw the invitation.
The protests are gaining considerable momentum particularly on social media platforms, where users are fervently posting a video of Modi’s speech made against the university in 2008 soon after the Batla House encounter.
The letter jointly written by Asad Ashraf (2007-2010) and Mahtab Alam (2001-2003) batch has been signed by over 50 registered members of the alumni association of Jamia Millia Islamia. However, Jamia has ruled out any such possibility.
Watch below what Modi had said;
“We, the ex-students of Jamia, are writing to you to express our deep anguish and grief on your invitation to Narendra Modi to be the chief guest at annual convocation. We are anguished and shocked because, he along with his party members, have been constantly involved in spreading rumours and hatred about the university,” PTI quoted the letter.
“We have a very simple request to you, withdraw the invitation or at least ask him to render a public apology about his own malicious and incorrect statement before he attends the convocation,” the letter added.
Jamia had earlier this month sent an invite to Prime Minister Modi to be the chief guest at its annual convocation this year. However, the university has not received any acceptance or acknowledgment from the PMO so far in this regard.
Prime Minister Modi had attacked Jamia in 2008 after the Batla House encounter in September that year.
Addressing a gathering in Gujarat, he had said, “There is a university in Delhi called Jamia Millia Islamia. It has publicly announced that it will foot the legal fee of terrorists involved in act. Go drown yourself. This Jamia Millia is being run on government money and it is daring to spend money on lawyers to get terrorists out of jail. When will this vote bank politics end?”
Prime Minister Modi’s comments had come following a statement by then Jamia VC Mushirul Hasan that the university would offer legal aid to two of its students arrested for their suspected involvement in terror activities.
The letterby the alumni also refers to the comments made by senior BJP leader VK Malhotra last year that “Jamia and Batla are safe houses for terrorists.”
The university, however, has refused to withdraw the invitation.
Jamia spokesperson Mukesh Ranjan said, “Jamia has been inviting constitutional authorities for its convocation since its inception. Similarly, an invite has been extended to the Prime Minister because of him being a constitutional authority who has also been elected by the people of India.”
He added, “The students or the alumni are free to have their opinion in the democratic country but we are looking forward to host Modi at the university and will announce the convocation date as soon as we get a suitable time from him.”