With the communal helping hand from Jamia University
CAN a central university enter partisan electoral politics? Has the Congress abandoned its political space in Gujarat for the hate-Modi activists? Should the HRD ministry look the other way when Jamia Millia Islamia University, running on tax payers’ dole indulges in party politics, only because it is directed against the BJP?
The Jamia Millia Islamia University has announced a series of programmes ahead of the Gujarat elections, aimed at a propaganda war against Chief Minister Narendra Modi. According to reports in The Hindu this week, the University has involved all the known hate-Modi campaigners for this. Shiv Vishwanathan, Mukul Mangalik, Prabhat Patnaik, Purushottam Agarwal and of course the Romila Thapar. Vinod Mehta pseudo-secular gang is lending strength too. Teesta Setelvad is the lead actor.
The weeks-long events were kicked off on 9 October by Setalvad, who has made a allegedly profitable business from this loathe campaign. She has been receiving according to reports, so much of money from abroad that it is time she showcased her loyalty for it. Setelvad and her husband Javed Anand are flush with dollars and euros which they lavish on buying witnesses against Modi. According to a report in The Pioneer a Dutch NGO HIVOS has been sending loads of funds to NGOs in India for taking up Gujarat-related issues. The money for Citizens for Justice & Peace (CJP), run by Setelvad-Anand duo was paid into their personal names.
The Jamia university has offered a platform to such activists to spew venom on the Hindu organisations. Here, Setelvad repeated her claim that the VHP ‘distributed’ weapons during the riots, with Naroda Patiya being the focus. For some time now, the teachers of this University have been indulging in blatantly communal activities. Under the banner of ‘Jamia Teachers Solidarity Association’ they had been working on stoking the fire regarding the arrest of suspects from the minority communities. This time round, they are organising a series of programmes against Gujarat, ahead of the state elections. The theme of course is ‘genocide.’ Photo exhibitions, missing persons’ list and survivors’ accounts are the major attractions. It may be relevant here to note that the Union Home Ministry has announced that Jamia is exempt from FCRA rules and can receive and spend foreign funds.
Most of the NGOs working in Gujarat on the cause of rehabilitating riot victims are all funded from abroad, as the figures published in The Pioneer newspaper show.
These NGOs are also working at the behest of the Congress party, which is too weak to take on Modi in a direct fight. For a decade now, these forces have been singing the same tune. Several expose have come in the public domain, which have proved the malafide intention and involvement of people like Setelvad in a calumny that is related to foreign funds. There have been knuckle-rapping by the court on manipulating victims’ and their statements. Maya Kodnani’s punishment in Naroda Patiya incident is one such example of the power of the NGOs to stage-manage witnesses to mislead and influence the judiciary.
The UPA government has much to be blamed for in all these. It has consistently been shutting out sane voices and supported the anti-Hindu protagonists for cheap vote bank politics. So much so that a central minister Jairam Ramesh, gets away with such a lewd remark as toilets are more important than temples.
The minister obviously forgot that the governments do not build temples or upkeep them. It is done by philanthropists and the public. The government on the other hand eats the temple money with both hands. Basic facilities like toilets and clean drinking water are the governments’ responsibilities in which the Congress has failed woefully for decades. Rajiv Gandhi in his early days had set up a drinking water mission with fanfare with the jack-of-all-trades Sam Pitroda as head. While Pitroda has gone places after that, under changing governments, the Mission has stood still. Jairam Ramesh would do well to remember his government’s failings before shooting his mouth on temples.
Coming back to Jamia, the Human Resource Development ministry should immediately intervene in the matter and seek an explanation from the University for allowing itself to be used in party politics. Universities are centres of learning and the academic atmosphere should not be allowed to be vitiated by elements dabbling in electoral politics. The minority institutions need not assume more privileges than allowed for others and behave in a manner that is bound to create communal disharmony and repercussions. By harping on the alleged and assumed ‘victimhood’ of the Muslim community, whether it is Gujarat or the Batla House encounter, the mischief mongers are only trying distance the communities rather than bringing all into the national mainstream, its growth and prosperity.