Aligarh Muslim University has once again grabbed headlines with the ongoing selection process for its vice-chancellor. Pasmanda activists claim that the process is biased and discriminatory against ‘lower-caste’ Muslims and women. The argument is that the committee responsible for choosing the candidate, which comprises the executive council and AMU court, is dominated by Ashraafs or ‘upper-caste’ Muslims. It also allegedly favours candidates based on Ashraaf interests, perpetuating a system that overlooks the concerns of the marginalised.
This isn’t the first time the university has faced such allegations. Delve into the annals of history, and you’ll uncover a legacy steeped in discrimination. The bedrock of AMU was never laid in the fertile soil of inclusivity. Instead, it seems to have germinated from the seeds of securing the interests of feudal Muslims, a narrative woven into the very fabric of its founder Syed Ahmed Khan’s actions, speeches, and endeavours.