Sedition row: BJP using AMU to launch Lok Sabha election campaign, says former AMUSU president

“The universities in which they are not able to expand their ideology of venom always remained as their prime target,” wrote Dr Maskoor Ahmad Usmani

Photo courtesy: PTI
Photo courtesy: PTI
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NH Web Desk

The outgoing president of the Aligarh Muslim University Students’ Union has appealed to students of the university to counter “tooth-and-nail” attempts by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to use the institution to launch its Lok Sabha election campaign.

“Their prime agenda is to launch the Lok Sabha election campaign by giving communal colour to the politics and polarise the vote in their favour across all over India. AMU, being the university of minority character, fits best into their agenda of Hindutva politics,” Dr Maskoor Ahmad Usmani, the students’ union president during the year 2017-18 wrote in an open letter.

“The slapping of sedition charges on the student without any iota of proof itself shows that the country is going through an emergency-like situation, where anyone from anywhere at any time can be detained and branded as anti-national for fighting with this fascist forces,” he further said.

The complete text of the letter:

An open letter to stakeholders of Aligarh Muslim University by outgoing President of Students Union, Dr Maskoor Ahmad Usmani

Dear Students,

It has been five-days that we are fighting against this fascist regime and local district administration after they have slapped false and fabricated sedition charges on 14 students of AMU including me.

I was not present in the campus on the day when private godi media manufactured this controversy by sending its reporters in the university campus without taking the permission of PRO, and their reporters used derogatory remarks against our university and it's students by mentioning the AMU as "University of Terrorists". The resistance by AMU students culminated in godi media taking help from right-wing goons and local BJP workers, who later intruded in the university campus and fired arms inside the campus, thereby disturbing the academic environment of the university.

On Friday morning when I was returning from Delhi to Aligarh to attend Friday prayer at the university campus and join the ongoing protest in our university, police detained me, along with Fahad Ahmad former (GS - TISS), for about an hour. Being asked about the reason for detention, the police replied that they have been ordered from higher administration to detain us without any reason.

A similar incident happened when AMUSU Vice-President Hamza Sufiyan was detained while he was going to attend a press conference in Delhi, which shows the level of the cowardice of this government and exposes their agenda of curbing student dissent in several universities.

We have seen in the past that Jawaharlal Nehru University was dragged into a similar controversy. Now, this is the tried and tested formulae of this government to use the universities as a political tool by branding them as anti-national on the basis of fake videos, or even without any proof by collaborating with propaganda tv channels.

The pattern remains the same and only the university name gets change every time. The universities in which they are not able to expand their ideology of venom always remained as their prime target.

Like last year, at the time of Karnataka election and Kairana bypoll, they fabricated the controversy out of Jinnah portrait which has been in the university student union hall for the last 80 years as part of historical facts. This time around, their prime agenda is to launch the Lok Sabha election campaign by giving communal colour to the politics and polarise the vote in their favour across all over India. AMU, being the university of minority character, fits best into their agenda of Hindutva politics.

The slapping of sedition charges on the student without any iota of proof itself shows that the country is going through an emergency-like situation, where anyone from anywhere at any time can be detained and branded as anti-national for fighting with this fascist forces.

In this hour of crisis, we feel proud for our institution whose alumni fought during India's independence struggle and served mother India in each and every walk of life. AMU is considered as the embodiment of secularism in the whole world because of its unique history of being founded by a Muslim scholar Sir Syed Ahmad Khan. Its first graduate student was a Hindu. Its foundation stone was laid by a Christian. Its first chancellor was a woman. The majestic history of our beloved institution inspires us to fight tooth-and-nail against every injustice and evil propagated by the authoritarian government. We should continue our struggle and let our campus not to be used as the launchpad for any political party's election campaign. I request my fellow students to keep the protest non-violent for which we are known until justice is delivered by following the path of our beloved Mahatma "Father of the Nation.”

Unfortunately, his murder is celebrated by right-wing groups on every 30th January and his ideological murder is done each day by ruling party-affiliated organisations.

Jai Hind!!

Jo Abr yaha se Uthega Wo saare jahan par Barsega

Thank you

Maskoor Ahmad Usmani

President || AMUSU 2017-18

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