With RSS setting its eye on Aligarh Muslim University or AMU, varsity’s students union declares that under no circumstances will shakhas operate at AMU, while AMU PRO maintains that it is unaware of the controversial letter written by RSS-affiliated outfit
GHAZANFAR ABBAS |Caravan Daily
ALIGARH: A sad irony. One who is dragging the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) into a fresh and saffron controversy is none other than an alumnus Mohammad Ameer Rashid, now a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) worker. His attempt to coax India’s towering and iconic minority institution to hold RSS shakhas or camps to remove ‘misconceptions’ associated with the outfit has been denounced by Aligarh Muslim University Students’ Union (AMUSU). AMUSU has maintained that the University is a diverse, inclusive, plural and democratic institution, and thus has traits that are in total conflict with the ideology of the Sangh Parivar.
Reacting to a letter purportedly written by Rashid to vice-chancellor of the University Tariq Mansoor, Maksoor Ahmad Usmani, President of AMUSU took to Facebook and wrote, “Coming to the recent row, it is highly bemoaning to see morons and ignorants like Aamir Rasheed, demands of opening RSS’ shakha in AMU. The students and faculties of Aligarh Muslim University are much educated and well aware of the fact of how RSS worked as puppets of the British and is responsible for spreading hatred, violence, communal rioting, pogroms, carnages and moreover killing of Gandhi (sic).”
Making it very clear that AMUSU had strong reservations for shakhas to be hosted within the university campus, he went on to write, “We the students of AMU in any way not let enter the traitor organization RSS into the varsity’s campus and strictly warn people like Rasheed to keep their idiotic ideas outside. AMU is a diverse, inclusive, plural and democratic institution of whose character is totally hostile to the ideology of the Sangh. Do not dare even to keep an evil eye on AMU (sic).”
When Caravan Daily contacted Usmani, he said, “RSS is deliberately trying to create a controversy. AMU is an educational institution and RSS wants to use it for a wrong purpose. Students of AMU will not allow RSS to enter the campus because its ideology is to ruin and break the unity of the country.”
Reportedly, Rashid, President of Muslim Youth Association (MYA), an RSS affiliate has written to AMU VC seeking permission to organise ‘shakhas’ (camps) within the varsity campus to “dispel misconceptions” about RSS among students belonging to the minority community.
“Wrong perception is being created about the RSS that it is anti-Muslim, they are actually a nationalist organization. If ‘shakhas’ are held, then students will get to know what RSS is all about,” Rashid told ANI news agency.
Interestingly, Rashid, who heads RSS affiliate MYA, is an alumnus of AMU. MYA was established in July 2011 with the agenda of propagating RSS ideology. Rasheed happens to be the same person, who in November last year had announced a reward of Rs 25000 for anyone who blackens the face of acclaimed actor Kamal Hassan when he had scathingly attacked the right-wing activists for indulging in violence against those belonging to other religions, in a Tamil Magazine.
However, when Omar Peerzada, Public Relations Officer of AMU was contacted, he denied having received any such letter. Speaking to Caravan Daily, he said, “No official communication has been made with the varsity, in this regard. We receive several letters on a daily basis. I can’t comment unless I get the letter. As of now, PRO office has no knowledge of this letter.”
AMU PRO further said: “This is an educational institution of excellence with secular ethos and national character. We strongly follow the gospel of AMU founder Sir Syed Ahmad Khan — pure morality, large tolerance and free enquire. In this academic institution we will welcome any suggestion related to infrastructure development and academic excellence of the students.”