(AMU) Aligarh Muslim University losing the Vision
AMU Losing the Vision….I remember, the clock in my room had just informed that I have finished another year of my life. 12 Midnight, April 8, 2009, what would have been a joyous and happening day of my life will be remembered turned to be a shocker and sad. Amid all those call and sms’s congratulating me for my birthday one call changed the entire mood in my room, hostel and in the entire campus. I could just hear, ‘ A boy has been killed”.
AMU Losing the Vision
First I couldn’t understand but the matter became clear within minutes. Whole of the Aligarh Muslim University Campus agitated, Mullah Salik, a B.A student residing in ViqarulMulk Hall was shot dead. Reasons are unclear till date, but it was neither the first, nor the last murder in the campus that boasts to be the largest residential university in Asia.
The midnight blood spilled on the walls was just another noting that it was not the AMU, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan had dreamt of. It may be the ‘Oxford of The East’, what Sir Syed had once named AMU, but it is no more a campus, Sir Syed had dreamt of.Written sometime in 1872 and re-printed in the Aligarh Institute Gazette of April 5, 1911, addressing the students of M.A.O College what AMU was called then, Sir Syed claimed,
“I may be dreaming like Sheikh Chilli but we aim to turn this M.A.O college into a university similar to that of Oxford or Cambridge”,
As a proud alig, I still believe in the vision of Sir Syed, but alas present situation in the campus leads me to the dark thoughts. Can anyone believe that those who were once claiming his head are now enjoying the privileged life in the campus. When Sir Syed Ahmed Khan tried to bring in the educational reforms, thousands of clergymen stood up against him. He was labeled as non-believer of Kafir. Now, it seems that the Oxford of the East is turning itself into a grand madrassa or a seminary.
Aligarh can boast its golden past. It has given the Asians and particularly the Muslims, what no other institution ever did. Aligarians have excelled in all walks of life. No other University in Asia has given so many head of states, diplomats’ and bureaucrats than AMU. None of the seminaries have served the Muslim Ummah as Aligarh did. It has given doctors, engineers, poets, writers, artists, scientists, sportsmen, actors and even religious and political leaders that have served the society, nation and the humanity.
Aligarh Muslim University is still serving but it’s a time to introspect. Some of the departments continue to work par excellence but overall picture is grim. Campus is now a political playground, environment is no more conductive and faculty is no more competitive. Nepotism and despotism is a regular practice and what is disturbing is the control of such elements in day to day affairs.
Interestingly, one will find all sorts of experiments undertaken by the government while appointing the person de affaire. One may be surprised to know that a complex procedure of appointing a Vice Chancellor for the biggest residential university always leave a scope to appoint the pet boy of the Union Human Resources development ministry. For last many years yes men from administrative, foreign, police and defense services are being sent and all have failed to fix the problems as they are not aware of them. Although, executive council and those associated on the side of University are equally responsible for all the failures, but it is the political intervention that has done the maximum damage.
AMU is failing on all the fronts. On one side are those who look administration and on the other side are executives, faculty, staff, old boys, students student union. Quality wise all are a meager shadow of their golden past. The process of appointing the faculty is very much faulty as that of appointing a vice-chancellor and his team. Internal politics, relations, nepotism, despotism, political approach, lobbying all play their part, which has led to so much of degradation. Professors have their own lobbies to kill the campus. They lobby for their own good, earn huge favors from political parties and the university administration, make money and that is it.
Campus is ruining itself and now competitive students don’t turn to Aligarh. Not all but in general AMU has become a dumping ground for all those students who have no proper orientation towards their alma mater. Most of the students treat it as a madrasa, where they can live without spending money for years; they will pass out anyway and get all that necessary internal marks and attendance.
It’s a time to rise from these petty things. AMU needs reforms. Mere makeup won’t work, it needs an perfect overhaul. It cannot come from outside. All those beneficiaries, the teachers, staff and the students should rise above petty politics.
Sir Syed had once said, “Remember one thing that when I overtook the task, there was criticism all around against me, abuses were hurled against me, life had become so difficult for me that I aged before my age, I lost my hair, my eyesight, but not my vision”.
But for me it is AMU that is losing its vision. It is not just another institution where people come to earn their degrees. It was the place where people had turned to learn the life. To grow as a leader was the motto here which has perished and it’s time to start writing odes for my beloved AMU.
Syed Zaigham Murtaza