Aligarh Muslim University again in crossfire: Report
Aligarh Muslim University again in crossfire: Report

ALIGARH: The Aligarh Muslim University Teachers' Association (AMUTA) elections have once again put the management of the school in crossfire.

There were obvious signs of unrest two days after Prof Mujahid Beg, chief election official for AMUTA, announced the list of new executive committee members, including Prof S Chandni Bi as president. Vice Chancellor Prof Tariq Mansoor then intervened.

Interestingly, this is the first time a female professor and two Hindu professors have joined the executive committee, whose legal standing is still in doubt because the Vice Chanceller has appointed a new body to hold new elections using his unique powers. Yogesh Kumar Yadav and Dr. Kharade Pankaj Prakash are the two non-Muslim assistant members of the executive committee who have been placed on administrative leave.

The vice chancellor's office said that in response to numerous requests from Aligarh Muslim University Teachers Association (AMUTA) members, VC Prof. Tariq Mansoor has set up a four-member committee of former AMUTA secretaries to discuss and recommend the modalities for holding AMUTA elections in accordance with the constitution in consultation with the chief election officer and honorary secretary.

The decision was made after being informed that neither the voter list nor the notification of the annual general body meeting had been published.

"The Vice Chancellor's decision in exercising his authority under Section 19 (2) of the AMU Act, 1920 has resulted in the postponement of the AMUTA elections slated for September 15." In the meantime, the chief election official, Prof. Mujahid Beg, resigned in protest of meddling with and intervention in the electoral process. In his letter of resignation, he prayed for AMUTA and the preservation of democracy.

The questionable executive committee members keep their mouths shut. However, its backers publicly accuse the hardliners of blocking the election of a woman to lead the teachers' union and the first-ever inclusion of two non-Muslims.

The VC, according to one group, lacks the legal authority to meddle in the teachers association elections. Another group believes that elections must be held to democratically elect more than six campus organisations, including the students union, in order to restore democracy.

A woman can lead India, but not AMUTA, said Mohammad Nasim Ansari, a former president of the students' union. A female professor running the teachers' union was not acceptable in the university's predominantly male environment.
The lone contender that submitted a nomination for the president's position was the renowned historian prof. S Chandni Bi.

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