Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), India, is a public central university in India. It was established in 1875 by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, as Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental (MAO) College. It was in 1920 that the college became Aligarh Muslim University, the campus of which is situated in the Aligarh city in the state of Uttar Pradesh (UP). Ever since its inception, this University has been a beacon of education, freedom and equality. Recent US News and World Report puts AMU as one of the top two public universities in the country, with law, medicine and engineering programs as one of India’s top.
On May 2, 2018, a group of thugs disguised as political activists supported by law enforcement officials barged into the University premises with the demands of removing the portrait of a former Indian freedom fighter and political figure, hanging in one of the halls of the student’s union premises along with the portraits of other historical figures. This was met with opposition by the students. What followed these events is even more concerning as unarmed students were tear gassed and attacked by local police. [Please see details https://www.amu.ac.in/;https://www.amu.ac.in/about3.jsp?did=4752]. These attempts of disintegrating the democratic fabric of the Indian society, by fascist elements must be stopped before it is too late. World history is a stark reminder of the darkness created by fascist ideologies. We are a global village, any effort to minimize our freedoms anywhere in the world, must be condemned, from wherever we are. This is a moral responsibility to protect our freedom and uphold social justice.
Samina Salim, Ph.D. (AMU 1997)
Associate Professor, University of Houston, Texas, USA