The attempts to set up a campus of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) at Malappuram in Kerala received strong opposition from the nationalist forces across the state. The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) started an agitation in the form of a Vahana Pracharana Yatra in the Muslim-dominated district to expose the conspiracy behind the setting-up of the AMU centre in Malappuram.
ABVP national secretary N Ravikumar inaugurated the three-day Yatra on March 16 near the Calicut University premises. He criticised the Congress and the communists for the divide-and-rule policy. He said the mindset of the AMU is still pro-Pakistan. ?Establishing five regional centres of the University is nothing but a plan to vivisect the nation into many parts,? he said. Criticising the double standard of the LDF government in Kerala, he said the government has no money to acquire land for its own state universities and colleges and it is now funding the AMU centre in the state. ?While many state universities are struggling with financial crunch the state government is allocating crores of rupees for AMU campus. They are only looking at the bulk of votes that may come to their favour in the Lok Sabha polls in Muslim-dominated constituencies. Any move to communalise the education will be opposed tooth and nail,? he added. ABVP state vice president V Unnikrishnan explained as to why the ABVP was opposing the AMU campus in the state.
Sri Ravikumar flagged off the Yatra by handing over the ABVP flag to district convenor K Printumon. The Yatra received huge reception at various places. Many ABVP leaders addressed the public meetings at Parappanangadi, Tanur, Tirur, Kuttipuram and Ponnani. The first day Yatra concluded in a massive public meeting in Edappal. Hindu Aikyavedi state joint organising secretary KR Kannan accused the Left of dividing the society on communal lines. Neither the AMU centre nor the madrasa funding will help the poor section of Muslim community. It is only to please the fundamentalists and the extremist clergies. On the second day, the Yatra received massive receptions at Valanchery, Kadampuzha, Kottakkal, Vengara, Pulikkal, Kondotty and Malappuram. On the last day there were public meetings at Nilambur town, Wandoor, Pandikkad, Angadipuram, Ramapuram, Kulathoor, Pulamanthole and Cherukara.