BHU, AMU ‘secularism’ row: BJP reiterates govt. won’t change names of varsities

New Delhi: In the wake of the University Grants Commission (UGC) panel recommending to drop ‘Hindu’ and ‘Muslim’ from the names of the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) and the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) respectively, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday reiterated Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar’s clarification that the government had no intention of changing the names.

“It’s a mere recommendation and HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar has already clarified that the government has no intention of changing the names. There should be no further argument on this issue as the government has itself asked to not pass it,” BJP leader Zafar Islam told ANI.

He added that the UGC panel had discussed about various programmes to improve the curriculum and it was amid these discussions that this was suggested.

Meanwhile, Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that no religion is against secularism in the nation.

“This nation will remain secular only when different religions and cultural heritage come together and show their support towards unity and prosperity,” Naqvi added.

The UGC panel’s recommendation was stated in the audit report of the panel formed to probe irregularities in ten central universities.

Earlier on Monday, the BHU and the AMU objected to the recent recommendation of the UGC panel to drop the words “Hindu” and “Muslim” from their names respectively, and contradicted the panel’s opinion of these words not reflecting the universities’ secular character.

“‘Hindu’ is the beauty of the Banaras Hindu University and likewise ‘Muslim’ is the beauty of the Aligarh Muslim University,” Professor Rajendra Singh of BHU told ANI, adding it was not the case that Muslim and Hindu students were not enrolled in the BHU and the AMU, respectively.