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Caution! Efforts on to push AMU Maharashtra into a controversy

Thursday October 27, 2011 06:50:32 PM, Aleem Faizee,

AMU team crossing part of the land near Khuldabad site which the locals said is flooded with water during monsoon due to which the entire area is cut-off from the main town.


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Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) Vice Chancellor Prof PK Abdul Azis while addressing a press conference October 26, 2011 after inspecting the lands identified for the AMU sub centre in Aurangabad and Malegaon categorically said that the decision on the final location of AMU Maharashtra would be taken only after the team returned to Aligarh – the university headquarter. However, an analysis of the last few weeks before and after the AMU team’s visit to Maharashtra reveals that a deliberate attempt is going on to push the AMU Maharashtra into a controversy.

Ironically, at the forefront of this cowardly hatched conspiracy seems to be two Muslim ministers in the Govt of Maharashtra – one Minister of Minority Development and Awkaf Arif Naseem Khan and the other Minister of State for Primary Education and Awkaf Mrs. Fauzia Khan, who despite occupying the positions which demanded justice, integrity and responsibility are behaving in a manner which is exactly opposite to these virtues.

Read the Urdu newspapers of the last fortnight and you will find innumerable statements and news-bites issued by Arif Naseem Khan suggesting that a decision in favour of Khuldabad near Aurangabad for AMU sub centre had already been taken. While doing so, he didn’t realise that as a minister it would be unwise for him to make a biased statement in favour of a particular region. That too just few days before the AMU team’s visit to the state and also despite the fact that whatever decision the AMU would take, would require the cabinet sanction. But no, the minister was issuing the statement as if there was no government left in power and all that remains in the state was a whole and sole authority that only lied with him.

Incidentally, the AMU team’s visit to Maharashtra coincided with the birth anniversary of Arif Naseem Khan and a huge amount, don’t know by whom, was seemingly transferred to the accounts of the Urdu newspapers for placing advertisements and publishing magazines to greet the minister a longer life and highlight his development works. Perhaps to oblige the minister, hence not a single newspaper thought it necessary to verify the facts before publishing the minister’s misleading statements. They didn’t stop just here. During the AMU team’s Maharashtra visit, there were protests in Aurangabad and Malegaon both. But, while they totally ignored the protests staged by Shiv-Sena BJP combine at Aurangabad, they exaggerated the protests by the local villagers staged in Malegaon. One Urdu newspaper even used the headline which said that ‘the AMU VC was gheraoed by the protestors in Malegaon.’ Hundreds of people along with the AMU team and the members of the AMU Alumni Association of Maharashtra are witness to the fact that the headline is completely fabricated and far from true.

There are therefore questions which naturally are bound to come in the minds of the people. Why all this euphoria at the stage when the proposal from Malegaon for establishment of the AMU sub-centre was in the final stage? At whose behest the entire misleading propaganda is being carried out? This is no longer a secret by now that besides the strong opposition from the communal forces, a powerful lobby among the Muslim community itself is opposed to the very idea of the AMU sub-centre. Then there are the people part of the education mafia, who think that establishment of the AMU centre in the state is against their interests. Are they also behind this dirty campaign? Don’t they realise that they are causing irreparable damage to a project which can have its impact on the generations to come?

The role of Minister of State for Primary Education and Awkaf, Mrs Fauzia Khan is even more questionable. First, her associates tried hard to make it sure that the AMU team did not visit Malegaon at all. Once the visit to Malegaon became final, they came out with a schedule which if followed the AMU team would have arrived in Malegaon by sunset. Moreover, Principal Secretary of Minority Development Department Mrs Thekkekara was called to Aurangabad to accompany the AMU team to the proposed sites. Secretary of the Minority Commission Mr. Syed Hashmi was also there. But not a single officer from the Department of Higher & Technical Education – under which establishment of the AMU sub-centre comes, was present either in Aurangabad or Malegaon. And after the visit of the AMU team in Aurangabad, we requested Mrs Fauzia Khan and Mrs Thekkekara both or at least one of them to accompany us to Malegaon. Both of them declined. Why? Wasn’t it fit for her as a minister to accompany or at least send Mrs Thekkekara to Malegaon with the inspecting team?

The irony is that while doing all this they are projecting as if they are doing a national duty for the empowerment of the community. If this indeed is a case, why Arif Naseem Khan and Mrs Fauzia Khan did not show any interest about the AMU Maharashtra despite our request to both of them made on November 23, 2009 – the day they organised a function to mark the National Minority Day. After the function Mrs Fauzia Khan gave a detailed interview to me for and promised all support for the AMU Maharashtra. Then why she backtracked, if she was serious? She is offering the Khuldabad land after three long years. Where were the details of this land when Arif Naseem Khan had called a meeting of 35 District Magistrates of the state on October 27, 2010 after the state government received the preliminary consent from the Nasik DM offering land near Malegaon for the proposed AMU centre? Why the Khuldabad land could not be offered to the state government when Arif Naseem Khan called another meeting on January 24, 2011 when ADC Malegaon Yeshwant Sonawane submitted the detailed proposal of land from Malegaon for the purpose? Where were the people of Aurangabad when Mrs Thekkakara herself had along with the Principal Secretary of Higher & Technical Education Department called a meeting to discuss the AMU Maharashtra on April 26, 2011?

No one was in the picture till few months back. In every meeting called to discuss the matter, reports were submitted that there was no land available in Maharashtra. But when the Higher & Technical Education Department forwarded the proposal of Malegaon in April 2011 for Vice Chancellor’s approval, all of a sudden these people are staking their claim. Worse, they are also receiving the backing and support from the Muslim ministers, who could not do much during these three years for the AMU Maharashtra.

My point is that why the enthusiasm which Arif Naseem Khan and Mrs Fauzia Khan are showing about the AMU Maharashtra now is not visible for making a success on the grounds the construction of the Haj House in Aurangabad, establishment of Polytechnic/ITI in five districts, construction of Urdu Ghar in five districts including Aurangabad, construction of girls’ hostel and a host of other schemes announced by them for the development of the community in last few years? If non-availability of the land for all these projects is the excuse which they repeatedly claim, my own letter offering the land for a Govt. Polytechnic in Malegaon is lying with Mrs. Thekkekara. Why the Minority Development Department and they are not taking any decision on my offer? They will not and will never.


Their suddenly born interest in the AMU Maharashtra is also not only a clear attempt to keep people of Malegaon marginalised by denying them the AMU centre for which they have tirelessly worked in last three years, but it is also a move to push the project into a controversy. It is now up-to the AMU team led by Vice Chancellor Prof PK Abdul Azis to decide how it saves the AMU Maharashtra from going the Bihar way.



Executive Editor of, Aleem Faizee is also the Chairman of Noble Education & Society (NEWS), Malegaon. NEWS has in the past three years  tirelessly worked for making AMU Maharashtra a reality.






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