Editor’s NoteOpinion

Mr Naqvi! Indians needs world-class universities not only minorities

The biggest hurdle to Indians seeing each other as Indians, was and is, the Indian government, irrespective of which political party occupies the government chair.

Minority appeasement is the bane of India and it will never been a boon to the nation.

I maybe to a powerful political gimmicks to political parties interested only in votes and not national unity.

The Narendra Modi government has decided to establish five new universities across the country for imparting higher education to students belonging to minority communities,

Minister for Minority Affairs, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, announced that five universities along with world-class institutions, including medical colleges, would be set up to empower minority communities.

I have some simple questions for the Union Minority Affairs Minister, Mukthar Abbas Naqvi:

  1. Are the existing universities in India depriving Muslims and Christians from a good education?
  1. Have any of the universities in India barred Muslims and Christians from admission?
  1. What would be the difference in world-class education in a minority university as compared to the existing university opened to all devoid of religious divisions?
  1. Are you aware of how many in the majority community of Hindus do not have access to world class education and medical colleges?

Recent media have reported minority institutions have brandished and punished students from putting a ‘Tilak’ on their forehead. 

The Times of India reported that a Class V student was expelled from a madrassa at Pattambi in Palakkad for applying sandalwood on her forehead while acting in a short film.

The Hindustan Times reported that a few parents of students studying in Mount Carmel High School, complained to the education department, that a teacher cut off the Rakhis tied on to the wrists of students studying in Class V, a day after Rakshabandhan, which was celebrated on 26th August 2018.

Other media channels reported in 2015, that a 11-year-old girl in Telangana was allegedly made to stand for two hours outside her school principal’s room as punishment for wearing a “tilak” on her birthday.

In September 2015, some girl students of St Mary’s Convent School were forced to stand in sun as punishment for wearing rakhis and mehendi. One girl was forced to rub her hands on a rock to remove the Mehendi and thus, her hand was injured. Upon asked, the administration came up with an excuse that no religious symbols are allowed inside the school. However, the Christian teachers of the school can wear Christian crosses around their neck.

In 2017, Hindu students of a Christian Minority Matriculation School in Keezhapudur were punished for bursting crackers in Deepawali.

The communal overtures will exist in most schools and institutions that are run on the basis of religious ideology and patronage.

Therefore, if the nation has to be truly secular, then we have to keep the division of majority and minority away from our educational institutions.

Education is the future of our nation. 

Our young children and youth have to learn to look beyond religion in order to Think Indian.

Classifying universities on the basis of minority or majority is a terrible disservice to the future of our young children.

Every child in India, irrespective of religion, needs a good education. 

Every child in India must attend a university not because the child is a Muslim, Christian or Hindu, but because the child is an Indian.

The appeasement politics of BJP of trying to woo minorities will backfire with the minorities and with majority. 

More importantly, you are conditioning the young minds of India to see secularism through the prism of religious divide, which is dangerous in the long run.


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