Tuesday, October 18, 2011

AMU Study Center movement, Kishenganj propels neo-radicals

It is already known to all – Muslim students, desperate to have Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) Study Center in Kishenganj, Bihar, drummed up strong protests against delay in its establishment through creating a 15 hours of blockade throwing rail communication system in Eastern India out of gear on October 13, 2011. What followed next was a complete disaster as tens of thousands of railway passengers including Union Railway Minister, Dinesh Trivedi were left stranded. Even if the strike was withdrawn ultimately, damage had already set in.

Here is a minuscule picture of the crisis. According to railway department reports, no less than 30 thousand passengers including Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi, on his way to Kolkata, were left stranded. Altogether 18 long distance trains like the Guwahati Rajdhani were badly affected. Some of these were - Rajdhani Express at Aluabari, Kamrup Express, Uttar Banga Express, North East Express, Saraighat Express, Bongaigaon Express, Teesta Torsha Express, Capital Express, Kanchankanya Express, Puri-Guwahati Express and others.

Apart from this NH-31 was also blocked for several hours and owing to it, movements of vehicles among states came to a halt. It is worthwhile to mention, people in the environs expressed their solidarity to the agitation through folding all activities.

What makes Kishanganj, town and district headquarter of Kishanganj district, Bihar a favored spot for AMU Study Center? As per latest statistics, the district, not to speak of the town, enjoys a high Muslim density; 70% Muslim population has made it a Muslim arsenal finally. On the word of local people, AMU Study Center has become a part of Muslim identity and this must be accepted since it was not possible for a mere 100 protestors from an Islamic student organization to hold the state almost to ransom. They were joined by hundreds of Muslim activists of Trinamool Congress and Congress from districts of Kishanganj, Purnia, Katihar, Araria, Supaul, Khagaria and adjacent North Dinajpur, West Bengal.

If truth be told, a well-favored who’s who of Muslim leaders, cutting across political antagonisms, was present to spearhead the virulent campaign and express Islamic solidarity behind the cause. They included Chowdhury Abdul Karim, Cabinet Minister of West Bengal Assembly and also prominent Trinamool Congress leader, Tariq Anwar (MP), MLAs Akhtar-ul-Iman (RJD), Zakir Hussain (LJP), Mohammad Afhaq, Dr Javed, Mohammad Tousheef (all Congress) and West Bengal MLAs Gulam Rabbani and Ali Ramz alias Victor, former Bihar minister Haji Subhan, Araria Zila Parishad chief Shagufta Azim, ex-Kishanganj Zila Parishad chief Faiyaz Alam along with champions of Jamiat-ulema-e-Hind and AMU Students Union president A A Feroz. The meeting was presided over by Asrarul Haq, MP (Congress) – Kishanganj.

The presence of people from Bengal to lead the agitation is enough to spark debates regarding federal structure of India and the constitutional right of every state to manage its own affairs. This is coming to the fore in government circles of Bihar too but what do they prefer to steer clear of is that any Islamic movement tries best to accomplish the target – to preserve its own identity through challenging the hypothecated Hindu hegemony.

A few leaders, it has been learnt, has been charged for causing public damages along with public inconvenience. They are Ghulam Rabbani (Trinamool Congress), Ali Ramz alias Victor (Forward Bloc), Convener of the Kishanganj Education Movement (KEM) for AMU, Wasiqur Rahman and patron Md Hanif – all from Bengal, Asrarul Haq (Congress MP from Kishanganj) and three Bihar MLAs Akhtar Ul Iman (RJD), Dr Javed and Mohammad Tousheef (both Congress). But it is also no secret that charges will continue to live in records only – none is ready to hinder Islamic maneuver and become a part of alleged majoritarian communalism (?).

There is no way to have a sigh of relief – entire episode was just a dress rehearsal while the real and sturdier performance may take place before long. It was indeed a great success, enough to embolden radical Islamic mindset. But there has been another more revelation – struggling for a demand (study center to take place in Bihar only) by people, cutting across political lines and above all state barriers, has scores of implications. To cut a long story short, Islamic movement is changing its course of action and accomplishment of AMU Study Center in Kishenganj will be its first success.

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