AMU opposes dropping of ‘Muslim’ from university’s name

NEW DELHI: Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) on Monday issued a formal response to the University Grants Commission in the matter of removing the word ‘Muslim’ from the university’s name, calling the proposition “preposterous”.

The University criticized the commission for ignoring the institution’s history and character.

“The name of the university gives us an idea about its history, purpose, and character and preserving the same is our bounden Constitutional duty,” AMU Registrar Javaid Akhter wrote in the formal response to the government, a report in the Indian Express said.

“The committee incorrectly draws the conclusion that by renaming AMU as Aligarh University would instill secular values. One must recall that in India the concept of secularism arises more from the discourse of justice and equality than from an anti-religious position mostly practiced in the West,” he reportedly said.

In April 2017, after an audit of the university, a government panel made the recommendation that had suggested to dropped the words ‘Muslim’ and ‘Hindu’ from the names of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and Banaras Hindu University (BHU), since they do not reflect their secular character.

The panel also suggested that the varsity should either be called “Aligarh University” or be named after its founder Sir Syed Ahmed Khan.

However, in October, last year, the Centre clarified that the government has not made any decision to remove the words Muslim and Hindu from the names of AMU and BHU, Union Minister for Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar had said.