Friday, March 18, 2011

AMU’s Murshidabad campus tarnishes Bengal’s secular image

Without a shred of doubt right to education is one of the choicest and most revered columns of human civilization from time immemorial and the same has been enshrined in the majority of modern nations too. Hence, the commencement of any educational institution is a great act and must be acknowledged as the blessing of God Almighty. But what may happen when the same institution is already infamous for its divisive tendencies!

Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), established in 1875 by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and granted the status of Central University in 1920, is recognized to be the origin of Pakistan movement. Moreover, intelligentsia connected with the university played a ground-breaking role in this context.

Now the same AMU, blessed by secular political and democratic scenario of India, has commenced classes for the two-year MBA programme and the five-year B.A.(LLB) programmes from its novel Murshidabad campus in the Indian state of West Bengal. There may be several assessments of this, but one facet is clear – the approach has tarnished secular image of the state forever.

What was wrong in letting Banaras Hindu University (BHU) or any Buddhist University in opening up own campuses then? Surely any such act would not have spearheaded a new disputation. None could have raised a finger over the institution’s allegiance to India or dared to term it as an exponent of separatism. Lots are doing the same regarding AMU.

But that would have foiled the dream of politicians appearing as votaries of secularism, custodians of Muslim minorities. To finish, when mounting Islamic fundamentalism has already started to torment the state, AMU would surely not miss any chance to call the shots.

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