Jamia Millia Islamia Constitutionally a Minority Institution

As per the Indian Constitution minorities in India are entitled to establish their own educational institutions. Article 30(1) of our constitution specifically mentions, “All minorities, whether based on religion or language, shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.

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As per the Indian Constitution minorities in India are entitled to establish their own educational institutions. Article 30(1) of our constitution specifically mentions, “All minorities, whether based on religion or language, shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice. The purpose of these minority institutions is solely be to reduce the educational backwardness of the minorities so as to connect them with the mainstream. “Keeping this constitutional provision in mind Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) was founded with the singular objective of educating the Muslim Community of India which was lagging far behind other communities”. This was pointed out by the Mr. Ilyas Malik Convener of the newly formed Jamia Minority Status Coordination Committee (JMSCC). He was responding to query regarding the formation of JMSCC. “It is the responsibility of present and past students of Jamia to come forward and take up this task of restoring the minority status of Jamia”, emphasised Mr. Malik

 

Throwing light on the need and purpose of forming yet another new organisation when there are several others in operation for achieving the same goal, the former President of Jamia Students Union Mr. Malik disclosed, “The underlying principle behind such a move is to bring all of those individuals and institutions such as Jamia Teachers Association, Jamia Old Boys Association, who are fighting for the minority status of Jamia, on a common platform and to make a united effort in this direction”. Dealing with the history of this movement Mr. Malik told, “Actually, at the time of its establishment Jamia had been declared a Minority institution. In the year 1962 also the University Grants Commission (UGC) accepted Jamia’s minority status. The status quo was maintained even when it was declared a Central University by an Act of Parliament”.

 

“However, in due course of time, the momentum was lost and the movement (for restoring the minority status of Jamia) went haywire. The SC/ST Reservation Bill and other similar factors to further weakened the progress of this movement”, lamented Mr. Malik He had a special word of praise for all of those associated with the similar movement at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) who unitedly successfully fought for the restoration of AMU’s minority character. He felt a striong need for such a united action in the case of Jamia as well. When asked why the Committee is stressing for minority status to Jamia only Mr. Malik reasoned, “Our constitution provides for special protection and education of minorities. If the state fails to provide these facilities then it is the duty of citizens to strive to obtain them”. All of our energies are directed to attain our Constitutional rights in a legal way.

 

According to Mr. Malik, “As the name suggests it is a ‘Coordination Committee’ which signifies that the Committee will ‘Coordinate’ with the different sections of the society to achieve its objectives. The setting up of this Committee is the first step in this direction”. Explaining the future course of action Mr. Malik revealed, “The next step would be to mobilise public opinion especially of the students and people residing in Jamia Nagar. Once these two tasks are complete, we shall make a representation to the government demanding the minority status of the Jamia”. Replying to a question why only Jamia Nagar and not other places Mr. Malik maintained, “Since Jamia Nagar exists due to Jamia so there is an absolute need to educate people residing here about our struggle. Then only can we convert it into a mass movement and create pressure on the government to restore the minority status of Jamia. This is our aim and we hope that sooner or later we shall be successful”.

 

The other members of the JMSCC are: Mr. Nusratullah Khan, Mr. Urfi Obaid, Mr. Khalid Anwar, Mr. Javed Alam, Er. Jamaldddin Councillor, Mr. Rehan Suri, Mr. Waqifullah, Mr. Shah Alam, Mr. Ali Shahzad, Mr. Amanatullah, Mr. Qamarul Hasan, Mr. Mohammad Rizwan, Mr. Majid Jamil, Mr. Zafar Alam, and Mr. Javed Hussain etc.