The Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) has always been in news for
indiscipline, factionalism and campus violence. The firing between
two groups a week ago and image slandering campaign against those
in race for the new vice-chancellor's post are the recent
examples. Notwithstanding this background, incumbent Vice
Chancellor Zameeruddin Shah has vowed to maintain discipline in
the campus at any cost.
"I am going to use whatever I have
learnt (while in army) to carry everybody with me. I am going to
ensure that there is a fair play. I am going to ensure that the
rules are kept and above all I am going to ensure discipline.
Because without discipline, you cannot achieve anything!",
Zameeruddin Shah - a former lieutenant general, said in his first
media interaction after being appointed on Friday as the 38th Vice
Chancellor of AMU.
"I am going to ensure that classes
are run on time. I want to make sure that the teachers have their
lesson plan. It will only be done through discipline. If you are
undisciplined, you are not going to reach anywhere", he said while
talking to Aziz Haider of RNI News Agency.
Unveiling his priorities as the Vice
Chancellor, he said, "My thrust area is to get people into the
premier jobs – the best and most sought after jobs of the country.
Also my thrust will be to get young boys from AMU into the armed
forces because that is the place which will strengthen them, give
them respect and also be appreciated by the whole country."
Stating that the community wants him
to make sure that the University reaches the pinnacle and becomes
the leading university of the country, he said, "I will make sure
that its boys are given opportunity and training to join the
central services and to join the armed forces and the police and
the industry comes in droves to recruit boys from our university."
In reply to a question that he might
face resistance from the "troublemakers", the former army men
said, "No, because the people are going to appreciate. I am going
to set the example. If I am not punctual, I cannot expect it from
others. Army teaches you to lead by personal example. Our motto is
"When you are going under fire, then
too you have to lead. Inshallah, I will lead here as well. You
will find that I will not be found wanting in any aspect. I will
lead. And people will see and they will appreciate."
On "groups" who always create
troubles whenever anyone tries to do something good for the
university, Shah, who has been Defence Attache in Saudi Arabia
said, "I was not aware of all this. But during the selection
process I did get to know that there are so many camps."
Terming it an advantage that he does
not carry "any AMU baggage", he said, "I have never been
associated (with the AMU). I have no interests. I have no
relatives in the academic body. So I have no interest other than
betterment of AMU.
On factionalism in the university
campus he said, "I am not going to be associated with any of the
groups. I am going to be neutral. I know how to do it. Otherwise I
couldn’t have led soldiers. I am not going to be influenced with
any of the groups. I am only going to be influenced by what is
better for the betterment of the university."
On the ugly campaign on internet to
malign his image while the selection procedure for the new vice
chancellor was on, he said, "Internet is full of slander against
me and my family. But I have kept quiet. I feel very sad that
people have to revert to slander campaign. It was a personal
attack not only on me but also on my family. I am sure people will
realize and feel sorry of what they did to me."
Shah, however, maintained a studied
silence on the establishment of AMU off campus centers - one of the
most controversial issues during the last VC's tenure.
"Matter of the center is a
controversial issue. I would not like to comment. Let me go and
study the pros and cons and what the Muslim community act says.
Then only will I take a stand. At this moment I do not like to
comment. Because I know there are very divergent views. I will
attend to it when I have studied", he said.