By M Ghazali Khan
This is extremely shameful that at a time when students in universities in western countries are actively supporting BDS, a movement working to end international support for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians, the administration of a Muslim institution like the Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) should invite Israeli delegates to participate in a seminar and hire goons to attack brave Jamia students protesting against the presence of Zionist delegates in the campus.
Students’ sit-in protest had been going on since 14 October when they were issued show cause notices for their anti-Israeli protest. They were demanding that these notices be withdrawn. But the administration, devoid of any respect for the ethos of the institution and seemingly ignorant of its history, chose to hire goons to attack the peaceful protestors yesterday.
Several students were reportedly injured when armed goons attacked them yesterday. Many of the injured are not even reporting the attack for fear of further action by the university administration. Surely Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar and Hakeem Ajmal Khan must be turning in their graves at these disgusting scenes.
Even before her appointment as JMI’s Vice Chancellor Najma Akhtar had earned the notoriety as someone who had fallen in the trap of corporate and Hindutva lobbies and had had a meeting with Indresh Kumar, the RSS man accused of several blasts killing Muslims.
The problem with the majority of students and staff in Jamia and AMU is that they have no knowledge of the history of these institutions. It was only a year ago when after hearing some speeches on Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhur’s sacrifices for India’s freedom a guest at a festival in Jamia, a minister, expressed his desire to visit Maulana’s grave and pay his tribute. He asked them where his grave was and none of them had a clue that the founder of this great institution was not buried in India but Jerusalem.
The greatest disservice to Jamia and AMU and the greatest dishonour to their founders that has been done over the years is non-inclusion of a short course/programme to acquaint the students and the staff with the history of these two institutions.
At a time when almost everyone in Muslim and non-Muslim institutions seems to have succumbed to the dictates of BJP’s fascist government, Delhi Minorities Commission has displayed exemplary and commendable courage by issuing a notice to JMI Registrar.
‘Apparently, JMI authorities are unaware about the international BDS movement in which many universities in the East and West are boycotting Israel which is occupying Palestinian lands and is subjecting Palestinians in the occupied territories to worst inhuman treatment.’ Reads the notice.