From Ayodhya to AMU

By Aqib Shah for,

The crackdown on Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) is a part of Vice Chancellor’s attempt to take forward ideology of military. For the first time in the history of AMU Security personnel came inside AMU campus on the night of April 24th. This unnecessary step was taken on the death of an ex-student Mehtab and it created havoc among students. All felt scared after the incident. Mehtab was a promising student in the Department of Physical Education who was preparing for Ph.D. After this brutal killing, Zameer-Uddin Shah, the VC of AMU called in security forces that included R.A.F, a specialised wing of CRPF which was established in 1991 under the operational command of 10 battalions of CRPF and was deployed for taking command of communal riots of Ayodha after Babri Masjid Demolition. These forces were used to curb the violence between Hindus and Muslims.

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The deployment of RAF in the AMU campus remained outside VC lodge and Bab-I –Syed gate. The students of AMU experienced security forces inside the campus in the AMU history since 1920. RAF misused power inside the campus as they abused students if they went near to them and were also beaten. It was very difficult and traumatic situation for me and my friends as we too suffered a lot. We even tried to leave university till the situation restores. Many students left campus. The conditions were getting worse; there was clash between the students and RAF. Our parents were filled with terror by this incident. They called their wards many times in a day to inquire about the prevailing situation. The whole situation disturbed and created fuss in the minds of students, the immediate affect was on their studies. The students were preparing for the sessionals and entrance exams but the whole scenario was inverted and disturbed with this single incident. From different parts of the country students had come for B.Tech. or Law exams which was scheduled on the same day, they also felt terrified by this incident. It looked like as if Presidential rule was imposed under article 356 as VC and the administration were not able to control the whole situation. It was a failure of constitutional machinery in the university. It also looked like the rule of a military dictator, similar to Parvez Musharaf’s rule in Pakistan after 1999.

For the first time our VC imposed this kind of Dictatorship inside the campus which would be written and talked of in the annals of History. I recall Sir Syed Ahmad Khan who lost the sensation of vision and listening ability during the building up of MAO College which became later AMU in 1920. But now in 2016, nearly after a century has passed, the establishment of university seems totally different.

VC with security forces raided student rooms in late night hours by closing all gates of campus. Don’t know why ? What was the reason? No one knows. About 70% of the students were sleeping and others were preparing for exams but suddenly the sounds and lights of beacon went and we came out of rooms and there was dense of security personnel inside campus headed by VC, Proctor and Provost. Security Personnel were divided into groups and were spread in the hall for searching. It was totally a new thing for me and to my seniors also who had never experienced such things inside the campus. For Kashmiri Students they said it was not a new thing for them, but for others it was totally a new thing for experience. They were scared by seeing this whole scenario; their heart beat was increasing as they talked. While checking in each room they threw some beds outside the room in front of VC. The students felt relaxed only when security personnel left.

This incident was not new before it was Alamgir, a student of Bachelor of Social Work who was shot dead near Chungi gate of AMU. Students protested for CBI probe but there was no probe at all .The incident was a retribution of VC but I think force is not a solution to any issue, may it be the issue of Palestine or Kashmir but we should solve these issues by dialogues.

In 21st century the human values are respected. JS Mill in his essay “On Liberty” insisted upon the extension of liberty to cranks on the ground that while nine cranks out of ten are harmless idiot the tenth is of greater value to mankind than all the normal men who seeks to suppress him.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Dec 10 1948 for the first time in the human history spell out the basic civil, political, economical and social rights among others that all human beings shall have their rights but a blatant abuse of such rights has taken place at AMU. Who is the Culprit? No one knows? Who is responsible? No one knows this either. But I think it is the fault of administration which is suppose to function efficiently without creating troubles for any one, especially not for students at least.