The university administration is of the view that calling Modi to the campus would not just help in boosting the secular character of the university, but will also bring some additional funding from the Centre, which will bring the university out of the financial crisis.
The split between hardliners and moderates at Aligarh Muslim University widened after prime minister Narendra Modi was extended an invitation to the campus. University vice chancellor Lt Gen Zameeruddin Shah, whose associations with Modi date back to the 2002 Gujarat riots, want to invite Modi on campus. His idea met stiff resistance from Leftist and Islamist ideologues. Shah also met Modi in the capital on Friday. “Modi has not yet instilled confidence in the Muslim community. Moreover, he should have something concrete to offer to the university if at all he wants to visit,” said professor Mustafa Zaida, secretary of the teachers’ association.The teachers’ association also feels that the university only invites personalities, who have contributed to academia. “Modi has no such contributions. Moreover, there has been no trend of prime ministers visiting the campus. After Jawaharlal Nehru, no prime minister visited the campus. We see no reason behind calling him here,” added Zaida.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The university administration is of the view that calling Modi to the campus would not just help in boosting the secular character of the university, but will also bring some additional funding from the Centre, which will bring the university out of the financial crisis. This is not the first time that the PM’s visit to an Islamist university has created resentment in the university. Jamia Millia Islamia’s decision of calling Modi for the annual convocation drew similar criticism. Jamia was critical of Modi’s statement made after the 2008 and Batla House encounter. Modi had then said, “There is a university in Delhi called Jamia Millia Islamia. It has publicly announced that it will foot the legal fee of terrorists involved in act. Go drown yourself. This Jamia Millia is being run on government money and it is daring to spend money on lawyers to get terrorists out of jail. When will this vote bank politics end?” However, VC Zameeruddin Shah feels that the PM is very optimistic about AMU. The VC had met the PM on Friday seeking financial assistance for its Kishanganj campus. “He has assured us all possible support,” he said. Shah, who feels that the PM’s visit can pull the university put of the crises, added, “I can call anybody and do anything that will be of interest to the university.”