We strongly condemn the demolition of the statue of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad at Kakinara in North 24 Pargana (West Bengal) on 27 Mar 2018 allegedly by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) cadres as reported by media including the Citizens Bureau.
Maulana Azad was a renowned freedom fighter, India’s first Union Education Minister and one of the founders of Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi.
Those, who demolish statues – whether that of Buddha at Bamiyan in Afghanistan, Hindu Temples in Pakistan and Bangladesh, Lenin, Periyar and Maulana Azad in India – or meticulously planned and executed the demolition of Babri Masjid and burnt Churches in Odisha, are all criminals and subscribers of hate and division. It is the extreme intolerant and reactionary ideology that, in order to divide the people and take their attention away from the basic issues of health, education and employment, prepares ground for, and resorts to, all sorts of violence.
It is unfortunate, but not surprising that the Jamia Chancellor Madam Najma Heptullah who, all her life, has gained political mileage through her claimed relationship with Maulana Azad, and is presently with the Bharatiya Janata Party has not issued any condemnation of this ugly incident by the Hindutva brigade. Other political parties including the congress have equally been conspicuous by their silence. Notably, the Jamia Administration, Jamia Teachers’ Association (JTA), Jamia Administrative Staff Association (JASA), Alumni Association of Jamia (AAJMI) have also been a mute spectator to this violence.
Let us come together to further condemn this violent and criminal act, and pledge to follow the Maulana Azad’s secular and progressive ideas, ideals and values.
[Ghizal Mahdi - Founder of Jamia Alumni Scholarship Program in Jamia School and the University -Ex-President, Jamia Millia Islamia Alumni Association, Riyadh.]
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