Aligarh: Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) Vice Chancellor (VC) Lieutenant General (retired) Zameer Uddin Shah on Friday said that he has been assured that there will be no crowd gathering outside the university gate to celebrate Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh's birthday.
"I told the concerned parties to celebrate Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh's birthday near his statute. They have accepted my proposal on TV and they also assured me that no crowd will gather outside the AMU gate. We welcome the move and I feel the situation has now been saved from worsening and it has improved," said Lt Gen (retd) Shah.
"His birthday will be celebrated near the statue; we will decide when the seminar will take place. Mahendra Pratap is a very famous alumnus of AMU, we are not ashamed but need to decide the time and date of seminar and I will try that it happens as soon as possible," Lt Gen (retd) Shah added.
He further said that the university had earlier been warned that thousands of people will gather at AMU gate.
"We don't have any problem in celebrating Raja Mahendra Pratap's birthday but nobody can pressurise us to celebrate it in AMU only," he said. "We want to stay away from politics; we don't let any party to do anything in the university. We don't want our kids to waste their time in politics, we want them to study and we will not give space to any political party inside the university," he added.
Meanwhile, Mahendra Pratap's great-grandson Charat Pratap Singh said that AMU should pay its due respect to Mahendra Pratap. "There should be no controversy; no one should be pushed to celebrate the birthday. My great-grandfather was a great and loving human being and he propagated his birthday celebrations, so this controversy wasn't required," said Charat.
"The VC is right as it is not necessary to create chaos out of his birthday celebration. The birthday can also be celebrated peacefully. The AMU has never celebrated his birthday and it is their choice and they should not be pressurised for it," he added.
According to reports, Lt Gen (retd) Zameer Uddin Shah had written to the Human Resource Development Ministry, warning that the holding of the event could lead to possible student unrest and communal conflagration. AMU Public Relations Officer (PRO) Rahat Abrar said a letter has been written to the HRD Ministry to inform them in advance about the likely unrest that may follow the celebrations.
"The VC has written about the conditions of the university, the resentment of the boys and how the event may lead to unrest. And, the university, which is an academic institution, has nothing to do with party politics. Our job is to inform them beforehand so that they don't say later that we didn't inform them," said Abrar.