The Silence of Aligarh Intellectualism ???
This question is haunting me for many years and the recent email from Dr. Sajjad prompted me to reassert the concern. From last 2 decades I am following AMU affairs, first as a student and now as Alumni.
Either it was Shila Nyas and Save Babri Masjid Movement in AMU campus from 1989-92 or a police firing in AMU Campus in 1993 or "SAVE AMU" convention in Delhi in 1994 or protest of JN Medical College Students in Delhi against the assault on members of JDO by the henchmen of the then VC of AMU or protest against the illegally arrested student Dr. Mohammad Mobin from AMU campus in September 2000 or Solidarity Protest against the Batla House Encounter in 2008 or First World Alumni Summit in 2008, AMU intellectuals/Academia are always quite. The only time you see them or read them when either they are opposing a Vice-Chancellor or supporting a Vice-Chancellor or demanding for their rights and benefits as faculty members. They have all the rights to do all of these but they have some other responsibilities being as a member of Indian Community or Muslim Community or as AMU community.
A gathering more than 3000 well educated Muslims within a radius of 5 kilometers of AMU Jama Masjid is the biggest intellectual assets of Muslims of India and supposed to be a nerve center of Muslims of India. If you are attending any event either Quranic Seminar organized by Idarah Ulum Al-Quran, or Allama Iqbal Day by University Polytechnic or some lecture by well know academicians/politicians in Kennedy Hall or Arts Faculty Lounge, the participation is really low and the intellectual participation are even lower.
Apart from socio-political participation of intellectualism, even in the research its diminishing. Barring few, most of the intellects are busy in either supporting or opposing the Vice-Chancellor.
While reading "Naqoosh - Shakhsiyaat Number (published from Lahore Pakistan in 1956)" I found that a lot of names from Aligarh younger generation intellectuals were mentioned and most of them including Prof. Mukhtaruddin Ahmad, Prof. Nazir Ahmad and Prof. Asloob Ansari were in their early 30s in 1956. Even long before his retirement, Prof. Shaharyar's poetry was included in the syllabus of graduation in many Universities including University of Bombay(Mumbai).
Now, no more Mohd. Shafi on the editorial board of National Geography or Dr. Obaid Siddiqi to be a fellow of National Academy of Science. No more Prof. A.R. Kidwai who can take over the rein of UPSC or Prof. Hashim Kidwai who can join the rank of Member of Parliament to take the cause of the community to the Rajya Sabah.
Aligarh Movement was the leader of Muslims of South East Asia and played a key role to shape up the future of millions and now the nerve center of Aligarh Movement has no role to play to shape up the future of its followers.