Agra: Controversy over the proposed visit of the President Ramnath Kovind, to the convocation of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) on March 7 took a worst turn on Wednesday as the vice-president of the students’ union, Sajad Subhan Rather , seeking an apology from Ramnath Kovind for his comments which he had allegedly made in 2010.
"If he (Kovind) fails to do that, he should stay away from the university," Rather, a Kashmiri student, said.
In a Press Meet, Rather said either Kovind should accept his "mistake" and regret his 2010 remark in which Kovind said that Islam and Christianity are alien to the nation or stay away from the convocation.
Addressing to the media, Rather said, “If something adverse happens during the visit then the VC and the President will themselves be responsible for it. Students are angry and dissatisfied with the President’s visit due to his controversial statement regarding the community.”
The students' head also added: “Either the President acknowledges that India belongs to all religions and everyone who lives here, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh or Christian, or he is not welcome on campus. If the BJP government really wants to maintain peace and if President Kovind is committed to peace and diversity, then he should openly retract his 2010 statement.”
The AMUSU vice-president insisted Kovind’s presence was not crucial for the convocation ceremony. “There will be no benefit to the institution. The President has been invited by the VC due to his personal interests. The VC wants to send out a message that AMU has accepted the BJP government and their ideology,” Rather allegedly claims.
Meanwhile, AMUSU secretary Mohd Fahad asserted that local MPs, MLAs and RSS activists will not be permitted inside the campus. He said, “If they are invited, the Union will boycott the convocation ceremony and protest against the VC, who is bent upon saffronising the institution for his own interests and future.”