By FIROZ BAKHT AHMED
It is very agonizing that for the first time in the comity of the Indian universities, it has so happened that a Chancellor has risen against his own Vice-Chancellor and his cohorts to protest against the rambling financial corruption, rampant nepotism, continuous scams, gender discrimination, heinous sexual harassment of ladies working in the campus and girl-students, no regard for Constitution, illegal appointments galore, anti-national activities, ambience of fear psychosis and disrespecting the Chancellor, the governance and even the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.
Historically speaking in 1996, India’s 10th Prime Minister, Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee, actually envisioned the glorious blueprint of the MANUU (Maulana Azad National Urdu University), Hyderabad as a National Monument of education and communal concord and, a vision got transformed into reality within a year for the poor Urdu-medium students. However, the travesty of the existence of the entire 23 odd year-old university has been that during the UPA tenure sans the vision of Atalji, the institution has been reduced to a mockery and a bottomless hell owing to the way the incompetent people have become its masters.
As the responsibility of becoming MANUU’s chancellor was shouldered upon me by the esteemed Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for championing the cause of national integration and being a “rashtravadi Muslim” (nationalist Muslim”, I was guided by him to do a good and honest job, carrying forward the message of Bharat Ratna Maulana Azad. Following his mantra tooth and nail I launched into action into an atmosphere that was fully radicalized, non-academic and merged headlong into corruption of all sorts. I decided that would not like to see it getting devastated academically and politically and honed radically by the jihadi elements before my eyes.
Differently abled people’s grant gorged
The kind of the disabled people fund scam of 2,25,35,000 rupees has taken place at Hyderabad’s MANUU (Maulana Azad National Urdu University), reminds me of Lalu Yadav’s “chara” and coffin scams. The corrupt have no mercy and they can even gorge animals’ fodder, coffins and the differently abled people’s grant!
MANUU (Maulana Azad National Urdu University), a central university built in the 200 acres amidst the pollution sylvan greens of Gachibowli, is, unfortunately in the news this time for a very heartless and heinous scam as the grant-in-aid fund of 2,25,35,000 (two crore, twenty five lakh and thirty five thousand rupees) released by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan)), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment that was meant for the creation of a barrier free environment for the disabled/ differently abled people for a year on September 7, 2018, has neither been utilized nor returned even after two years despite repeated reminders by the concerned ministry. The grant should have been used for the provision of 13 passenger lifts, civil work for barrier free environment involving the lift wells (shafts), ramps, renovation of toilets for the differently abled in 15 buildings etc which was supposed to be completed long time ago. I simply got to know about it as I received two letters from the said ministry that for the last two years no Utilization Certificates have been sent. Usually, the administration either destroys my letters or sends them after a long delay knowing that the Chancellor is a whistle blower calling a spade a spade! The matter has been reported to the Prime Minister.
Yet another Wi-Fi and printing scam
Another scam that did rounds some five years ago, was that of the Wi-Fi and printing worth 16 crore and the accused was the former Vice-Chancellor, Prof Mohammed Mian in 2015. That was hushed up under the carpet by his successor, Dr Aslam Parvaiz, who instead of having fixed Mian, as per some professors’ feedback, struck a deal and diffused the Suleiman Siddiqui committee inquiring into it. This means that these people might be indulging in the same financial corruption vis a vis other grants. Need of the hour is that if not for the 23 years of this university’s existence, at least for the last five years, an inquiry committee of the higher authority should be constituted to look into the funding from India and abroad plus these monetary scams without ado.
Nevertheless, despite being devoted to my own community, I’ve been facing flak for being a nationalist Muslim as both the former V-C and his stooge, the present V-C and their team of allies in the university have been maligning me among Muslims for supporting the present governance.
Faced flak for supporting CAA
Last winter, during the CAA protests, when the students were asked to refrain from their classes and they were burning tires in the campus at the behest of the V-C, Dr Aslam Parvaiz, Prof Abul Kalam, the proctor and Prof SM Rahmatullah, the registrar, for placating the frayed tempers and restoring normalcy, I wanted to have a dialogue with the students to explain them that CAA has nothing to do with Muslims and that their first religion was perfecting themselves academically and not hobnob politically.
Incidentally, on December 20, 2019, when I circulated a letter to the Muslim community for not protesting against the CAA, the V-C provoked the campus students by giving my mobile contact, who kept on abusing me, the RSS, BJP and Prime Minister the whole night and in fact the next couple of days. It was a horrifying nightmare for someone like a chancellor to be abusively battered by his own students.
Despite all that and having pardoned the students, I wanted to meet them, I was threatened by Prof SM Rahmatullah, the registrar that being an implant of Modi the saffron brigade, I will not be allowed to enter the campus. He also frightened me that the students would stone and even exterminate me, yet I was ready to face all the eventualities but wasn’t allowed in. The whole protest was funded by Prof Abul Kalam and Dr Aslam Parvaiz. Besides, throughout the winter, all these people kept on provoking the students and on February 21, 2019 from morning till dawn they shouted slogans against the chancellor and threw ink and to blackened my portraits on posters on the campus walls for being the RSS “chamcha/ chatukar” (sycophant).
For all this, they castigate me stating that I am “maligning” the university’s reputation by exposing its vices. To hide their sinister deeds, they brand me as “Modi-man” “RSS-stooge” and “BJP-butt” because I call a spade a spade and uncover the black sheep in the campus before the eyes of the world for mulching this monument of harmony created for the poor students, like a holy cow. Even if they brand me that way, I am proud to be a “Modi-man” as he is honest and brave.
Headlong submerged into mismanagement, corruption, sexual harassment
In an article in, “Youth ki Awazin Campus watch”, Arpita Jaya writes regarding the protest about the 16-crore Wi-Fi and printing scam, “Upon hearing reports of demonstration by faculty as well as students of Maulana Azad National Urdu University, a ten-member fact-finding team comprising of teachers and students from University of Hyderabad visited MANUU to ascertain the facts. The team based their findings onan interaction with the students and teaching and non-teaching staff on October 14, 2015.
Teachers and students spoke about misappropriation of funds, mismanagement and lack of provision of basic facilities such as clean drinking water and functioning toilets, irregularities in recruitment, termination of staff members voicing their dissent, selective promotion of staff who are close aides of the Vice-Chancellor regardless of the UGC guidelines, gender discrimination and a shocking coercion of students into illegal acts. Women students and their teachers described shocking instances of sexual harassment, public insults in the vein of moral policing directed by the members of the administration towards women students and an arbitrary set of hostel rules that clamp down on the freedom of women students by imposing time restrictions limiting students’ access to academic and social spaces.
Voices of anyone in the university space protesting these violations were clamped down in an undemocratic and regressive manner by transferring such people. Democratic processes were subverted by rendering the university’s internal regulatory bodies dysfunctional and ruthless measures were taken, such as suspension of teachers such as Mr Mr Abdul Qayyum Khan, Shaheer-uz-Zamana and others on the freedom of women students
The man who ruined MANUU-Dr Jekyll and Mr Hide!
It is sad that the university administration is working under a Vice-Chancellor and his allies who are known for being experts at the shameful swindling of funds not only from this ministry but others, including the foreign funding, of which there’s no accountability whatsoever.
One of the major rogues who have ruined this institution, happens to be the ex-Vice-Chancellor, Dr Aslam Parvaiz, atrue replica of the dual personality of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, created among the Muslim community, his image as a sermonizer on the holy Quran (only to be preached to the others but not to be followed by himself), while in his role as the V-C as the other part of his personality as Mr Hyde, he became an absolute U-turn of what he has been preaching among the community about religion and holy book in his videos. It shocked me to listen and get written complaints about him that he would, at a regular basis, visit the MANUU girls’ hostel and deliver religious lectures, not to misuse their “body parts” and to follow all the values of Islam.
Another inexplicable act of the V-C in the same hostel was that he used to point out at the undergarments of the girls at which some of them termed him to be a man of “sick mind”. However; what remains to be seen is the fact, how long will it take the community to know the reality of this double-faced tyrant! Another aspect of his tenure at MANUU has been that after almost 7 trunks of complaint loads were reported against him to a fact-finding committee after I had complained about him plus hundreds of others, he was asked either to face inquiry or resign. He resigned on October 31, 2019 but despite that continued living at the campus and kept on making hundreds permanent and contractual illegal appointments, the most glaring of them being that of Prof Abul Kalam, who was dastardly illegally appointed as the Director, Directorate of Distance Education, without the proper qualification of the Research score of 120, total absence of at least 10 publication in UGC assigned journals and no Ph D in Distance Education. This was a fit example of jungle raj!
Most destructive tenure
In the history of MANUU, his tenure will be remembered as a national shame, educational disgrace, criminal offence, abuse of Office and distortion of the credentials of a historic seminary by the incompetent, indolent, and anti-national Vice-Chancellor. Now, after his resignation in the aftermath of tons and tons of complaints against him and his cronies in the teaching and non-teaching arenas, the university is expecting to have a new V-C and praying that some good human should come and work diligently. Even after all these complaints, the former V-C, was able to “settle” the horrendous charges against him with the help of his “friends” and in the education ministry and UGC and rather than facing the enquiry, was able to wriggle out of the quagmire.
Caste discrimination even today in MANUU
Another ghastly thing that leaves me shocked is that despite having informed the authorities that the present in charge Vice-Chancellor, Prof SM Rahmatullah should not be put as in charge (I/c) Vice-Chancellor (till the selection of the new one), owing to the FIR (119/2020, PS Raidurgam, Hyderabad) and a case in the Telengana High Court for demonizing a Dalit teacher, Prof Bonthu Kotaiah for calling him untouchable, “neech jaat wala”, “chamaar”, “bhangi” etc, in spite of all, he has been entrusted with the onerous responsibility! People tell that he too like his predecessor has his godfathers in the political system. There seems to be something nefarious nexus in this. He must be immediately removed and the responsibility be given to the next senior most. Besides, most professors’ degrees/ testimonials/ certificates of dates of birth and the connected documents must be thoroughly investigated and screened to their sources such that the spurious ones are pointed out and a compact forensic cleansing and audit is done for paving a better educational ambience for the new generations.”
(The author is the chancellor of Maulana Azad National Urdu University, grandnephew of Bharat Ratna Maulana Azad, community worker and columnist)
FIROZ BAKHT AHMEDAddress: A-202 Adeeba Market and Apartments, Near Rehmani Masjid, Main Road, Zakir Nagar, New Delhi 110 025. Ph.: 011-26984517, 98109-33050 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)