The AMU Students’ Union and Women’s College Students’ Union feel shocked and angered by intense negative portrayal of Aligarh Muslim University in certain sections of the media. The anti-women depiction of the historical campus of AMU is not only factually wrong but also an unnecessary sensationalization of a simple administrative issue into an issue of gender bias.
The fact of the matter is that as Maulana Azad Library itself has more than 2700 registered female members including PG students, research Scholars and students of various professional courses, who benefit from it on daily basis.
It is only the students of the Women’s College (which is located at a distance of 3 kms from the main campus), students of Senior Secondary schools (Boys and Girls inclusive) and students of University Poly-technique, who are not members of the central library. Since, Maulana Azad Library lacks space to entertain entire student fraternity, so separate arrangements have been made on the basis of departments, faculties and residential halls through book banks and seminar libraries. Also, the case is not that the Women’s College students are deprived from any library services; instead the college has its own library meant to cater the requirements of the college girls. Furthermore, the demand of the Women’s College students’ Union is regarding updating the existing library and providing easy access to the books of Maulana Azad Library. The entire Alig fraternity stands firmly behind these legitimate demands and we will ensure that strong and effective book sharing mechanisms are put in place. We again reiterate that it is an administrative issue and not an issue of gender bias.
It has been brought to our notice that the HRD Minister has served a notice to the Vice-Chancellor and has called his statement an “insult to daughters”. It appears that HRD minstry was also swayed by the negative media campaign; However, we would like to state that if the HRD Ministry is so concerned about the students of AMU (its girls students in particular) it should immediately sanction funds for the upgradation of the Women’s College Library. Moreover, it must overrule its decision of reducing the funds allotted for the University.
We also condemn the irresponsible and careless remarks of the Vice- Chancellor. We would like to reiterate that the Vice- Chancellor should stop making statements unbecoming of his stature and should ensure that the grievances and problems of the students of AMU particularly those of Women’s College are addressed immediately.
Today, both the students’ Unions together led a massive students’ march from University Library to Bab e Syed and reiterated this message.