We wrote in September 2007 that Indian educational scene is steadily improving and in most of the 300 plus universities peace prevails and concrete strides are being made to achieve academic excellence. Aligarh Muslim University has also been trying to outshine and share the excellence but unfortunately some elements do not allow it to achieve this. We do not subscribe to the theory that external conspiracies are responsible for all our ills. It has to be admitted in the light of bare facts that there are enough trouble shooters in the community itself who do great harm to its interests again and again. With such friends we do not need external enemies.
This is the sixth closure in the last 15 years. Examine the cold facts. A former student of the university, was murdered near the station, outside the university campus, near an ill-famed hotel around midnight. This led to a students strike in the university. The district administration took all precautionary steps and promptly announced a compensation of Rs. two lakh to the family of the student. The Vice Chancellor also promised a job to a member of the family. Proctorial staff showed full sympathy and accompanied the funeral. But the mafia, which wants to have its say in the university affairs, exploited the situation. It always wants to fish in the troubled water and extract its pound of flesh. Some students were instigated to go on a hunger strike. They were demanding immediate resignation of the Vice Chancellor and other university officials. One fails to understand how the VC and his colleagues can be held responsible for the unfortunate murder. This group, whose ring leaders can be easily identified, has never allowed even the reputed former Vice Chancellors like the eminent educationists and civil servants Sayyid Hamid, Nasim Ahmad and even Hamid Ansari, the present Vice President of India to work peacefully. The trouble shooters instigated the university students to block the Delhi-Howrah railway track for more than four hours causing hardship to passengers. Is this act not similar to the hijacking of Shatabdi Express by Naxals? Should this have been done by students? Does Islam allow such behaviour?
The explosive situation forced the Vice Chancellor to close the university sine die bringing more disrepute to the university. Are we not ourselves responsible for our disgrace and backwardness? Thirty-two thousand students of the university, who form the silent majority, are suffering because of a handful of troublemakers.
The Muslim community requires a large measure of self-criticism and thorough house cleaning. There is no use in blaming others. We have enough enemies among ourselves. The fact is that this house was set on fire by its own lamp. Therefore the leaders of Muslim community must rush to the university and help it dislodge the trouble shooters before they succeed in making it a failed university.
While going to press we received the good news that the university is being reopened from December 1. AMU must realise its respected place in the hearts of Indian Muslims and try to regain and rebuild it as the premier centre of academic excellence and best human behaviour. Let its students behave responsibly.