Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Vindicating Jamia

Jamia Millia Islamia is not a 'minority' institution spewing fanatics all over the place, please people, find out the facts about this great institution. It was a nationalist university started during the peak of the non -cooperation movement and it was the first university established in Delhi older than even DU. As in the case of every university there are all kinds of people studying there and all shades of opinion among the faculty. I have been a PhD student there for 6years and I continue to be a part of it as my viva is still to be conducted. I am proud to be a part of this university and as I had got a UGC grant I have interacted greatly with the administrative staff. I have also been a student of Delhi University and have expeienced it (both the south and north campuses) completely. Each university has its distinctive character. What is remarkable about Jamia is the egalitarianism, I have seen the students of the north east being isolated and stereotyped in DU but here I got the impression of equality. Atleast that is what I sensed in the Department of History and Culture. The Progressive nature of the university becomes aparent from the nature of the teaching staff specially in the social sciences stream and the faculty here is comprised of good scholars and show a lot of dedication and there is no reservation of the head of the department post for a particular religion.
You will notice that the so called terrorists belong to the field of commerce and electronics, even among the Hindu fundamentalists we can find the greatest support from the business classes. These are the guys who found History boring and hence have no idea of it and therefore are liable to believe anything that is dished out to them as the stuff. It is unknown to them that a dialogue between the Hindu and Muslim religions had begun to form in the 18th century in the form of the common strain of love for the almighty in the Bhakti and Sufi movements. That was before the British in their ignorance forced the two religious groups into water tight compartments and they begun a cold war. We have moved very far off now but in both religions there are more people in favour of peace than this mindless venomous hatred. Every one must do their best to bring about dialogue and a good start would be to find out more about each other partake of each other's festivals stand together in solidarity. We must make the State declare that places of worship just cannot be attacked- it is not done. Although how a BJP government can do it is doubtful for the high point in its political career is the destruction of the Babri mosque- as if any pundit knew the exact spot where Kaushalya went into labour. Most disgusting!

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