Srinagar – Announcing its decision to launch a campaign from October 1 for the establishment of Trans-World Muslim University, Jamiat-e-Ahli Hadees Jammu and Kashmir Saturday demanded repeal of Article 14 of the Indian Constitution if asking for Muslim rights had come to mean obscurantism or if secularism had different connotations for different communities.
In a joint statement, the JAH president, Maulana Ghulam Rasool Malik, and general-secretary, Abdur Rahman Bhat, said a program of peaceful protests would commence on Monday to remove the hurdles created by the government in the establishment of Trans-World Muslim University.
For the past two years, the government has created illegal and unconstitutional hurdles in the efforts aimed at higher education and development of Muslims. In spite of repeated assurances, the government has failed to break the deadlock over the issue because of which lakhs of Jamiat workers, students of its schools and other sympathizers would launch a symbolic protest rally on Monday to expose the double-standards being adopted by the government, they said.
The peaceful protest, they said, would seek to awaken the dead conscience of the secular-democrats who illegally and unconstitutionally create hurdles in the setting up of the University. Our stand is clear. If seeking Muslim rights is obscurantism and secularism has come to have different meanings for different communities, then the Article 14 of the Indian Constitution which guarantees equal rights to everybody should be repealed, they demanded.
The JAH leaders said that in 1998, when the Shrine Board moved the proposal for setting up of the Mata Vaishno Devi University, the state cabinet, after first turning down the move, approved the same after the then governor, Rao, unilaterally issued a directive to the assembly and the cabinet headed by Dr Farooq Abdullah. Since then, the SMVDU has been fulfilling the educational aspirations of Jammu people.
In respect of the Trans-World Muslim University, the state cabinet, the legislative assembly, and other institutions and departments have cleared the move after due enquiry at their respective levels. The state government has allotted land for the purpose and the assembly has on October 9, 2010 unanimously passed the Bill for its establishment. It has also approved the Sheikh-ul-Alam Research University and the Sikh communitys Guru Nanak University, they said.
After accomplishing all these formalities, the Bill was submitted to the Legislative Council where, however, at the instance of Pradesh Congress president, Prof Saif-ud-din Soz, its passage has been stalled for the past two years for which he (Soz) had issued a whip to his party members, the JAH leaders alleged, adding that interestingly the ruling National Conference members too have been divided after one of them, Sheikh Ghulam Rasool, allegedly spoke against the University.
They said although no Muslim member ever opposed the setting up of the SMVD University, the opposition of several non-Muslim members from Jammu to the Trans-World Muslim University was unfortunate. They urged all the members to support the move as the proposed University would benefit not only Muslims but non-Muslim students as well.
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