AMU elegance and ethos at peril

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AMU elegance and ethos at peril

Syed M. Naseem*

The atmosphere at the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) has been vitiated over the last several months by controversies on the issue of the Vice-Chancellor's use or abuse of power and gross disruptive behavior by few students who possibly are motivated by Aligarh mafia (a nexus of students, staff, and goons of Aligarh). Clashes, abusing, fighting, dharnas, strikes etc has become a common affair at AMU these days. University has become a political field, for irresponsible students, pathetic retired teachers, and spent politicians of regional political parties. Persistent interference of student leaders in AMU management should be blamed for deteriorating law and order situation and conditions at AMU. A real power struggle is on the move and is on horizon.

Appointment of incompetent teachers along with recruitment of exemplary-hard-working teachers in administration and management, and the poor intake quality of the students lead to a proportionate rise in indiscipline and a depressing slide down in the university reputation. Uninterrupted and serious disturbances in the campus created an image in the country that AMU is one of the institutions always a center of unrest or chaos.

A brief description of disruptive activities of AMU student’s leaders under various VCs administration is as follows:

Under severe pressure from the University staff and students, Vice Chancellor Prof. Naseem Farooqui (Oct. 15, 1990 to Nov. 15, 1994) called general election without any valid union constitution. The outcome of the election was disastrous. Prof. Naseem Farooqui, himself became the prisoner of the students. University staff started playing students against vice chancellor and vice versa. The office bearers of the union virtually took control of the university, especially, admission and examination. They humiliated and beaten teachers publicly and vice chancellor could not come to their help.

Based on the recommendation of the Electoral College, Mr. Mahmoodur Rahman reconstituted the student's union on August 28, 1997. He gave very stern warning to students for immediate dismissal of the union, for interference in the university affairs.

Mr. Mohammad Hamid Ansari sahib time was also a very turbulent period because of so-called leaders of AMU students. Many incidents happened and were all published in various National and local newspapers. Hamid Ansari sahib decided not to renew the Union partly due to lack of approved Union constitution and he also realized that the Union might not serve the purpose for which it was established. Student leader’s aspirant for Union leadership did not shy away from their continuous demands for the restoration of union. Many serious mishaps happened during his tenure at AMU.

Revolver fight in Shamshad Market, couple of students injured, followed by murderous attack on Mr. Saeed-ur-Rahman, Proctor AMU, one proctorial staff injured by bullet, city police raided AMU hostels and confiscated guns and other lethal armaments. A student was kidnapped and kept in Sir Syed Hall; ransom money was demanded from the parents. University Engineer also received a threatening letter in which a large sum was demanded. Prof. Jafri, former Pro Vice Chancellor was dragged from the Arts faculty and a senior professor in Engineering College was publicly beaten by student leaders on the University Road. On gunpoint students asked teacher to improve their grade in Psychology Department. A heinous murder was committed on the university road; robbery and theft by students were frequent. Student leaders (commonly known as Admission Mafia) were very active at AMU campus. Professor Aziz Khan, controller of the Admission and examination was beaten by those hooligans. Semester examination was postponed because of the student's demand. Hooligans destroyed University properties. Unauthorized people were back in the hostels. One provost was willing to pay 5, 000 rupees to anybody who could take out those miscreants from Sulaiman Hall or any Hall of the residence. Proctor, Saeed-ur-Rahman resigned due to fast deteriorating law and order situation at campus and replaced by Proctor Ajmal Khan.

Vice Chancellor Mr. Naseem Ahmad sahib also decided not to hold the election in his first year of his office, mostly because of total lack of interest among majority of students who want to concentrate on their studies rather than get involved in union politics. However he stumbled to the pressure and called for election (November 10, 06). Mr. Nafees, from his own district of Azamgarh was elected President, he was a well known ruffian, who publicly snubbed and detained, the whole AMU administration in a room for several hours demanding leniency of attendance requirement for his friend in F/O Management. Unfortunately, Naseem Ahmad sahib succumbed and ceded to his demand and command. Once again, Students Union through Mr. Nafees started abusing the AMU administration including VC, who was made powerless by the students union. Finally student’s mafia gave him and his wife looming death, he escaped to Delhi and resigned a week before his actual retirement.

Current Vice Chancellor Prof. Aziz is now the victim of AMUSU leaders. He will pay dearly for his mistake to concede to the demands for the Union election. This resulted in the occupation of student's union by detrimental group of students, and the Union platform became a source of agitation and unrest. Evidently uncompromising students are back on scene and will continue their dharna and disruption of AMU functioning till admission is completed. I hope the university administration this time will take stern action to bring peace in the campus and to put the university back to normalcy for 80% students who are career-oriented and serious in their studies.

*Syed M. Naseem is an AMU alum based in Washington DC USA and can be reached at

Response - Part I 1990-94 - Afzal Usmani

AMU elegance and ethos at peril

What Naseem Saheb has explained in detail seems a running commentary on the AMU As-Of-Today!
The current scenario at our alma mater necessitates us to go for a change in our outlook towards our alma mater. I hope we (All Alig Community) will renew our relationship with AMU and look for a better future with a fantastic ethos of studies and traditions.

AMUSU a non-grata entity

A student union has more perils than benefits to its credit and is highly undesirable. This is more so for AMU which gets immediate bad name due to disturbing activities of these unions. The unions are mostly inclined to do more of destructive activities than constructive ones.
Syed Hamid ,by virtue of his utter boldness and guts dismantled the union and brought the university on track.At least AMU should be kept away from political interference indirectly inflicted by these unions.
As an alumni ,I would like my alma mater to be known for wonderful student output rather than as an frequently-closed institution.

Re: AMU elegance and ethos at peril

Dear Janab Naseem Saheb,

As Salam o alaikum,

Your comments may or may not be correct for the past Students Unions. Only those students who were there during those period can comment.

However as far as the current AMUSU is concerned, it is really a surprise that a Senior Alumni like you fall prey to the propaganda of current AMU Administration. The recent sine die is nothing do with the AMUSU. Please find out the truth before maligning the name of Institution. It is not very difficult to know the truth, you may go through all the Email on AMU Network and other AMU Alumni related network for the same.

Unfortunately, the problem in AMU is good governance. It is reflected in the recent Sine Die also. Unless AMU Administration will not be cleaned from the people with bias and prejudices, situation will not improve. Solution lies in the justice and timely action against the culprits.


Allah hafiz,

Syed Shamim Raza
B. Sc. Engg. 1995
Abu Dhabi

Sir Syed Bi-Centenary


Hamiduddin Farahi


ZH Chowdhury

Satish Chandra