ALIGARH—Hailing contribution of the Aligarh Muslim University in India’s freedom movement and nation building, Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed the Aligarh Muslim University as a “mini India”, with students and teachers from all over the country represented at the university.
PM made the comments in his keynote address as chief guest at the centenary celebration function of the university via video-conferencing on Tuesday.
Modi also released a commemorative postal stamp on the AMU on the occasion.
He philosophised development should not be seen through political prism and ideological differences should be treated as secondary when it came to the national building and development.
PM claimed that the nation was heading towards a path where citizens, irrespective of their religion, were assured of their constitutional rights and their future and where no community was left behind.
Asking people to blend their aspirations with national goals irrespective of their faith, Modi said that there could be ideological divide in the society but when it came to the nation’s development, everything else became secondary.
Modi fails to speak on minority character of AMU
However, Modi did not mention the minority character of the AMU which is a long pending demand of the Muslim community. PM also did not announce any special financial package for the university which requires funds its regional centres in Kerala and West Bengal.
Give Up Ideological Differences For ‘Naya Bharat’
“When it comes to the nation, there is no ideological differences. It is logical for me to say this here because AMU produced many freedom fighters-they have their ideological differences but they set that aside for freedom. Like freedom united them, we have to work on common grounds for ‘Naya Bharat’”, he said.
Don’t Look At Nation’s Progress From Political Angle
Stating that the nation’s progress should not be seen from political prism, he asked people to be vigilant against “misleading propaganda”.
“Politics and society can wait but the country’s development cannot wait. In the last century, a lot of time has been lost over differences. There is no more time to lose. We should work together to create an ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat”, he said.
He praised AMU’s unprecedented contribution to the society in fighting corona pandemic.
PM said that AMU’s research on Islamic literature has strengthened India’s relations with the entire Islamic world.
He said that with government’s efforts the dropout rate among Muslim girls has come down from 70 percent to 30 percent.
He informed that one crore Muslim girls had received scholarship by the government.
Modi also made references to his government having “ended the practice of Triple Talaq”.
AMU was set up in 1920 and has now completed 100 years of its existence.
He hailed the contribution of AMU in nation-building and in elevating India’s position internationally through the extensive researches conducted in the university.
He pointed out that at AMU, if students receive education in Urdu, so can they in Hindi and if, on one side, students study Arabic at the University, they also study and research in Sanskrit.
“It is interesting to see religious scriptures of Hindus, Muslims and other faiths shelved together at the Maulana Azad Library of the university. This is what India is all about, and AMU functions every day on this principle,” Modi said in his speech.
Quoting AMU’s founder Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Modi said, “when you receive education and come into the work sphere, you must work towards all, without any discrimination, without seeing caste or creed or religion”.
The Prime Minister invited suggestions from students of AMU to achieve the goal of ‘Vocal for Local’, New India, Aatmanirbhar Bharat.
Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ said that AMU has come a long way since its establishment as a university in 1920.
“AMU has emerged as one of the premier most Indian institutes of the Nation producing Bharat Ratnas like the Frontier Gandhi, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan and Dr Zakir Husain. The success story includes seminal contributions of its students and faculty members to various areas of knowledge,” said the Education Minister adding that scientist alumni from AMU have brought laurels to the nation.
He pointed out that AMU had Begum Sultan Jahan as its first Chancellor in 1920 and this was a unique example of women empowerment at a time, when women had very little space in public services.
Historical Day For AMU: Vice Chancellor Tariq Mansoor
Welcoming the Prime Minister, AMU Vice Chancellor Prof Tariq Mansoor said, “Today is a historical day as our university not only completes 100 glorious years from its inception, but it is after a gap of 56 years, an incumbent Prime Minister of the country is taking part in the university celebrations. “
Pointing out that the Muslims were at lowest rung of educational and socio-economic ladder, VC said that AMU was committed to support the upliftment of the Muslim community.
“Sir Syed was a champion of Hindu Muslim Unity, he practically demonstrated how to achieve communal harmony and brotherhood among people of all faiths”, VC said.
AMU Chancellor Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin said that AMU has also raised the bar of Indian education system in the international arena.
Prof Naima Khatoon (Principal, Women’s College) said that the fact that the first AMU Chancellor was a woman is a testimony to of the vision of women empowerment at AMU since its establishment.