The decision to invite a minister in Yogi Adityanath government of Uttar Pradesh to the 200th bicentenary celebrations of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan by the Aligarh Muslim University administration has left the students on the campus incensed.
Both current and former students of the university have launched an intense campaign asking for explanation from the new Vice Chancellor, Tariq Mansoor. This was after the university administration invited Sandeep Singh, the grandson of former UP chief minister, Karyan Singh, attended the annual day celebration with BJP Aligarh District President Devraj Singh.
Kalyan Singh, now Rajasthan governor, had presided over the destruction of Babri Masjid in 1992, which led to nationwide communal riots killings hundreds of people, mostly Muslims.
One message being fervently shared on WhatsApp particularly among the AMU alumni groups says, “Shameful, Pitiable and Disgusting – chief architect of Babri Masjid demolition Kalyan Singh’s grandson (an unknown entity even within BJP) given guest of honour status at AMU’s most revered function, the Sir Syed Day. AMU could not have got a more spineless coward Vice Chancellor. God save AMU. (sic)”
The students on the campus, meanwhile, have issued ultimatum to VC Mansoor asking him to issue clarification on the invite given to Singh within 24 hours.
Suspecting that the invite to Singh under pressure from the BJP government, the students wrote to the administration, “Please state if the administration received a Fax from the government (via the Proctor) to invite them (BJP MLAs) and please make the Fax public if that is the case.”
The students are also angry because a group of ABVP workers had recently disrupted a similar programme held in Delhi University while calling the AMU founder an anti-national who allegedly supported the two-nation theory. ABVP is the student wing of the RSS.
The AMU’s PRO office issued a clarification stating that the minister was not invited by the university but nominated by the state government to be ‘Minister in waiting’ forthe visiting former president, Pranab Mukherjee.
It said, “A Minister was nominated by UP state government to be ‘Minister in waiting’ for visiting former President of India as part of protocol. The University was intimated by the district administration regarding the same. This standard protocol was followed at the SS Day function.”