Aligarh Muslim University drops books by Maududi, Sayyid Qutb from its syllabus after pro-Hindutva academics’ open letter

News Network
August 3, 2022

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The Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) has decided to drop teachings of two Islamic thinkers from their syllabus of the Department of Islamic Studies with varsity officials saying that the decision was taken after some complaints were received that the teachings of the authors were “objectionable”.

The two scholars whose teachings will be removed are Sayyid Qutb and Sayyid Abul A’la al-Maududi, said officials. The announcement to remove the teachings of the two scholars comes days after an open letter was written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi by 25 pro-Hindutva academics falsely accusing the duo of calling for genocide of non-Muslims. 

The open letter had said that it is a matter of deep concern and worry that the writings of Abul Ala Maududi is part of the course curriculum of the three universities.

Confirming the removal of the two scholars’ teachings from the syllabus, AMU Public Relations Officer Shafey Kidwai said, “The two scholars’ teachings will be removed from the syllabus. The process for it will be followed. It was decided to remove the parts from the syllabus to avoid any controversy at the varsity. The circumstances have changed over the years. What may have been considered worth teaching years ago may not be considered worth teaching now…”

“There were some complaints. I don’t know who complained, but yes, some people raised an issue with these teachings and the department decided to remove it,” added Kidwai.

The open letter written by the 25 academics was titled “Indoctrination of students at state funded institutions like the Aligarh Muslim University, Jamia Milia Islamia & Jamia Hamdard through an anti-Indic/anti-national course curriculum”. It read, “We the undersigned wish to bring to your notice the brazenly Jihadi Islamic course curriculum being followed by certain departments of state funded Islamic universities such as Aligarh Muslim University, Jamia Milia Islamia and Hamdard University.” Among the signatories was Prof. Madhu Kishwar, Senior Fellow, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML).

A professor at the department, who did not wish to be identified, said, “We were told by the higher authorities of the varsity to remove these two scholars from the syllabus of the Department of Islamic Studies. It was told to us that the decision was taken to avoid a controversy at the varsity.”

“We weren’t told by the varsity authorities which part of what was being taught was objectionable or anti-national. We were simply told to remove the teachings of the two authors,” said the professor.

An official at the varsity said that the teachings of the two authors were being taught for Masters in the Department of Islamic Studies as optional papers. “These two authors were being taught for at least a couple of decades. In the optional papers, the department used to teach the thoughts and teachings of the two authors and ideologues. They ranged from their religious teachings and political thoughts. The optional papers taught about them were titled ‘Maulana Madudi and his thoughts’ and ‘Sayyid Qutb and his thoughts. These were two optional papers for masters’ students of the Department of Islamic Studies at AMU,” said the official.

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News Network
January 31,2023

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Gandhinagar, Jan 31: A court in Gujarat’s Gandhinagar today sentenced self-styled Hindu godman Asaram Bapu to life imprisonment in a 2013 rape case. The 81-year-old was convicted in a rape case filed by a former woman disciple in 2013.

Sessions court judge D K Soni pronounced the ruling after hearing the arguments on the quantum of sentence.

A district and sessions court in Gandhinagar on Monday held Ashupal Harpalani, alias Asaram Bapu, guilty of rape and criminal intimidation and acquitted five other co-accused in the case.

Asaram Bapu was accused by a Surat-based woman of repeatedly raping her on multiple occasions while she was at his ashram in Ahmedabad's Motera between 2001 and 2006.

The case

The case against Asaram Bapu was registered in 2013 based on a complaint filed by the woman.

At the time, the 77-year-old godman was convicted under sections 342 (wrongful confinement), 354A (sexual harassment), 370(4) (trafficking), 376 (rape), 506 (criminal intimidation), and 120(B) (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.

Asaram's son Narayan Sai was an accused in the case as well. Asaram's wife Lakshmi, daughter Bharati, and four female followers -- Dhruvben, Nirmala, Jassi and Meera -- were also accused in the case. All of them were acquitted by the Gandhinagar court.

During the hearing on Tuesday, the prosecution claimed that Asaram Bapu, who is currently in Jodhpur jail in another rape case, was a "habitual offender" and sought a life sentence.

Gandhinagar Sessions Court Judge DK Soni delivered a verdict sentencing Asaram Bapu to life in jail.

District and Sessions Court judge D K Soni held Asaram guilty under IPC Sections 376 (2)(c) (being on the management or staff of a place of custody established by or under any law for the time being in force or of a woman’s or children’s insti¬tution takes advantage of his official position and commits rape on any inmate of such place), 377 (unnatural sex), 342 (wrongful confinement), 506(2) (criminal intimidation), 354 (assault with intent to outrage modesty of woman), and 357 (assault to wrongfully confine a pertain).

Asaram is currently lodged in a Jodhpur jail, where he is serving life sentence in another case of raping a minor girl at his ashram in Rajasthan in 2013.

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News Network
February 7,2023

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Mangaluru, Feb 7: As many as 15 students continued to be under observation in various hospitals in the city on Tuesday, a day after 231 students from three hostels run by the City Group of Institutions in Shakthinagara, here fell sick due to alleged food poisoning. 

Around 150 students had been rushed to hospitals last night. Apart from 15, all others were discharged today. Their condition is stable and they are likely to be discharged shortly, said Deputy Commissioner Ravi Kumar M R.

Based on a complaint by District Surveillance officer Dr Jagadeesh, the Mangaluru East police have registered an FIR against the City Hospital Administration and City Nursing College hostel, for failing to bring the issue to the notice of the district administration.

The police have booked a case under IPC Sections 176, 328 and 337.

Meanwhile, the DC said that he has asked the concerned to give a detailed report on the incident to the district administration. “I'm in Bengaluru to attend a meeting. Once I return, I will receive the report and take strict action against the concerned, so that such incidents do not recur anywhere in the district. It is the duty of the management of all the colleges to supply quality and hygiene food to its students in the hostels,” he added.

Dr Jagadeesh and Principal of District Training Institute Dr Ashok H, in a preliminary report submitted to the DC, said "a team of doctors and officials had visited the hostels on February 6 morning and students were examined for the illness. However, by 9 pm on Monday, more than 100 students developed illness and were admitted to various hospitals in the city."

"Many of the students were scared and some were suffering from mild dehydration. A team of officials visited the hostels and inspected the kitchen. The food and water samples, meat samples stored in refrigerators have been collected and sent for testing. The kitchen has been sealed until further order from the district health department. The management has been asked to supply pure food and water to the students.”

A team from the health department visited the hostels on Tuesday and collected blood samples of the students, to ascertain the cause of infection, said Dr Jagadeesh and Dr Ashok H in the report.

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News Network
February 2,2023

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India's Haj quota for this year has been fixed at 1,75,025 according to the bilateral agreement with Saudi Arabia, the government of India said on Thursday.

In a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha, Minority Affairs Minister Smriti Irani said the ministry has had a number of interactive sessions on Haj management with stakeholders, including Haj Committees of the states and Union Territories, wherein requests for restoration of Haj quota were received.

"The issue was addressed under the Annual Bilateral Agreement with Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) for Haj 2023 and inspite of challenges of Covid-19, the original Haj quota of the country i.e. 1,75,025 has been restored for Haj 2023," Irani said.

The quota earmarked for Haj Committee of India (HCoI) under the Annual Bilateral Agreement is meant for pilgrims from various states and UTs for Haj 2023.The increase in Haj quota has now enabled the government to send more pilgrims from states/UTs.

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