Bihar is renowned for its hospitality and grand celebrations during special occasions. The agreement for the proposed AMU Centre in Kishanganj going to happen between Bihar Government and Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) Vice Chancellor by the end of December, probably on 31st. However, this is Big Question for the all concerned especially the residents of Kishanganj, Seemanchal, rest of Bihar and neighbouring West Bengal, How to Celebrate the “Agreement Day”? The Day when the agreement between Bihar Government and AMUVC will be signed can be termed as a ‘Red Letter Day’ for Bihar.
The Delhi based AMU Coordination Committee (AMUCC) met the AMU Vice Chancellor this past week and came across his views regarding the agreement and celebrations happened in two centres at Mallapuram in Kerala and Murshidabad in West Bengal. Based on the inputs of AMU VC, we came to know that the State Governments of Kerala and West Bengal had organized a grand “Public Function”, which was attended by thousands. Although the Vice Chancellor Prof P K Abdul Azis had not wished anything special from Kishanganj, but we came to a conclusion that we the people of Bihar should organize a ‘Grand Fucntion’ at the historic Ruidhasa Maidan of Kishanganj, and request the Bihar Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister, HRD Minister, Land and Revenue Minister, Bihar Governor, other political leaders of the state including our local politicians belonging to area of Seemanchal.
Being a buff of AMU Centre Kishanganj, I am requesting all to come with the ideas and convince the District Magistrate Kishanganj, political leaders of Ruling NDA based in Kishanganj and activists to come forward to organize a ‘Event’ at a grand level and make it a History.
Below are some photos of celebrations happened in Murshidabad and Mallapuram.
This article is written with a light heart, but it makes some sense and compels to Think.
It seems little unusual but true “AMU VC’s decision to accept 224.02 acres land” has surely become a reason of Headache for a section that I call Panauti or Looser. Why I refer them as Panauti or Looser? Simple, with their tall claims and misdeeds they created so many hurdles on the path of proposed AMU Centre in Kishanganj. Now the things are going on right direction for AMU Centre Kishanganj, nothing left for these Panautis or Loosers apart from looking for other non-sense agendas to get the attention of innocent people.
A collections of Newspapers Headings on AMU Kishanganj
The proposed AMU Special Centre in Kishanganj is going to be a reality in just few weeks. As per inputs from Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) Vice Chancellor the agreement date can be scheduled between December 30th and January 1, 2012. Hopefully the year 2012 will see a new dawn and the area of Surjapur can be termed as “Suryapur” or “Surya Pradesh”. In the words of Sahim Ahmad, (A Senior Scientific Officer at BARC, Mumbai belonging to the district of Kishanganj, the Darkness is giving way to Light........ The Dawn has arrived as seen in the Indian Eastern Horizon, '' The Sun is Rising from its Own Country, The Surya-puri Area ''. ! ! !
Of course, I too like many endorse the optimistic view of Sahim Ahmad. The study centre of Aligarh Muslim University in Kishanganj will open the gates of opportunities for all, it is going to be a biggest economic boom for the area of Seemanchal and Bihar including neighbouring West Bengal. AMU study centre will have a mega campus sprawling over an area of about 225 acres dotted by many buildings for hostels, offices, class rooms and residence of teaching and non-teaching staffs. The project of AMU study centre in Kishanganj will be handled by constructors belonging to Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. The retailers, wholesellers, farmers and traders all are going to be benefitted from the establishment of AMU Campus in Kishanganj. Above all, the literacy rate in state of Bihar and its neighbouring states will scale-up with every passing year. And all these is going to generate more-and-more employment opportunities for all. The Hindi Proverb “Aam ke Aam, Guthliyon ke Daam” fits well with the multi-faceted AMU Study Centre in Kishanganj.
Today, everything seems well especially after the willingness of AMU Vice Chancellor P K Abdul Azis to accept the 224.02 acres contiguous land at Chakla in Kishanganj. Although the Bihar Government offered 26 acres less than the requirements of AMU, but the Vice Chancellor accepted the proposed land keeping in mind the need of a Special Centre in the state of Bihar especially Seemanchal. However, the road to AMU Study Centre in Kishanganj was full of hurdles, and it took about 3 years to get the final shape.
All thanks to Bihar Govt and AMU VC for bringing the proposal to a final shape, and giving such a nice New Year gift to the region of Surjapur and state of Bihar. We can now say, both the Bihar Government and AMU administration is in Win-Win situation, and the final stamp on the agreement will be put in last week of December.
Now coming back to the topic of article “Who is the Biggest Panauti or Looser”? Being a follower of the AMU Kishanganj issue and also an activist in someway, I feel that the positive signs of agreement have must become a headache for a section that was against the proposal. Next, there was a section, which was doing nothing logical to make the dream of AMU in Kishanganj a reality. Fact is that, besides tall claims they were doing nothing and putting hurdles before the proposal with their acts. Proposal of AMU Centre in Kishanganj also became a good source of “Political Aspiration” for many, and in Hindi we can say “Unhone Rajnitik Roti Seki”.
The year 2012 is special for us, but the Panautis of Kishanganj and neighbouring areas have lost the hijacked issue of AMU Kishanganj. I can predict what is going to be their next agenda run the cheap politics or the issue just for attention seeking. We can’t deny the fact, next they can possibly disturb the construction of AMU Campus in Kishanganj. Whatever these looser will do, we don’t care but the AMU and development lovers can keep a Vigil eye on their misdeeds. Our attentive approach will always save the region of Seemanchal from such dishonest people and Panautis.
Before signing off, I invite the Panautis to be part of the mega celebration and enjoy the historic moment with all. Many of us can find several Panautis and Loosers in the society, will appreciate if you can unmask them.
I am overwhelmed to see the response of group members (AMU Centre Bihar Movement Group on Facebook) for the last few days. The news spread like a wildfire when it was declared that AMU received proposal of 224.02 acres contiguous land from Bihar Govt. Their comments and posts reflect the positive stance and their indefatigable struggle for the AMU Special Centre in Kishanganj.
Last few months were very intense, there were many wakeful nights however there were few happy moments too. The movement has witnessed many ups and downs. I have been following the aforesaid movement religiously for last one year. We have had many committed AMU activisits, who fought best with their capacity. The high point is that we have those brave hearts at every level, be it ground zero Kishanganj, Capital of Bihar – Patna and the national capital, New Delhi, across many metropolitan cities and many devoted well wishers from overseas. However, we have witnessed much negativity during this struggle which is bound to happen in every movement. Nonetheless, their negative remarks, sometime sarcastic ones gave us extra energy to fight for this noble cause. Moreover, we tried to build up the optimistic atmosphere among the group members which overshadowed such negativity, which certainly was indispensable to sustain such movements.
AMU Co-ordination Committee's online movement on Facebook
To portray the over all chronology is beyond the scope of this article, but I vividly remember that chain of proceedings started in full swing after 30th September 2011 National Conference for the establishement of AMU Centre Kishanganj held at India Islamic Cultural Centre, Lodhi Road in New Delhi. The agenda was (i) To make the issue National one (ii) Getting the National media coverage (iii) Participation in mass movement in Kishanganj from 12th October (iv) Actions to be taken to solve the issue. The conference was successfully organized by AMU Centre Co-ordination committee (AMUCC) members headed by Mohammed Aslam. Many distinguished speakers from diverse social circles showed their apprehension for the establishment of AMU study centre in Kishanganj. Various local and National leaders joined this movement. This conference was first of it kinds for AMU-K. For the first time it got broad media coverage, hit the National dailies. This conference was followed by a Mahadharna (grand agitation) on 12th October 2011 at Kishanganj under the banner of Kishanganj Education Movement (KEM) headed by local MP, Maulana Asrarul Haque Qasmi. The aforementioned agitation forced Nitish Kumar led Bihar Govt. to mull over seriously for it. The rest is history.
Women Participated in Symbolic Dharna on October 10, 2011
Recently there was a cheerful wave amongst education lovers, socialites, politicians, professionals, students and Surjapuri people when the news broke out that AMU received proposal of 224.02 acres contiguous land from Bihar Govt. on December 3rd 2011. Speculation was high after Bihar Assembly had given the approval to the new site on November 22, 2011. The main concern was what will be the next step of Bihar Govt.? Will they delay or send it to the AMU VC on priority basis? Bihar Govt. put rest all these speculations and sent the proposal to AMU VC on priority basis for much surprise of some of the pessimists of this movement. I would like to thank Nitish Kumar led Bihar govt. for taking prompt action on this issue. Now the ball is in the court of AMU authorities to finish it off. We are aware that it is not up to the expectations of AMU VC; however, providing a contiguous piece of 224.02 acres land is not an easy task considering the geography and topology of the area.
Mass Gathering at Ruidhasa Maidan, on October 12, 2011
Hats off to Bihar Govt. for the nicest and sincerest effort till date for Kishanganj in general and Seemanchal as a whole. The next big question is, whether AMU VC will accept the proposal in its present form? As a common man, I think it is a win-win situation for both the sides. As per the report by AMUCC members that AMU VC has showed positive attitude and willingness to accept the proposal. We are very close to our dream called AMU Centre Kishanganj. I am damn sure this will shift the development paradigm in favor of most neglected area called Seemanchal. The most common perception is that lack of education is the mother of all evils. After post liberalization era, there is a faced pace growth in every sector including education. Bihar was lagging behind owing to lack of proper educational institutions, research institutions and industrial setups.
Bihar is in the category of “BIMARU” states need urgent educational revamps. Bihar loose fair part of its exchequer as the students goes to pursue higher education to other states. AMU Centre Kishanganj along with other proposed universities viz. Bihar Central University (BCU) and Nalanda International University (NIU) apart from bringing education to the common masses will create lots of employment and will provide much needed fodder to the incoming industries in Bihar. The high quality education will be accessible to common masses especially poor irrespective of their caste, creed and religion. I think this will bridge the gap between rich and poor. Bihar CM, Mr. Nitish Kumar and HRD minister Mr. PK Sahi deserves plaudits for giving their nod to such universities especially AMU off campus Kishanganj. I do hope in future too Bihar Govt. will provide all the basic amenities and facilities for establishing and smooth running of these varsities. I think this is the best ever gift to Seemanchal by Bihar Govt. just before the New Year 2012.
The author hails from Thakurganj (Kishanganj) and currently working as a Senior Research Fellow at National Centre for Cell Science, Pune, India.
November 20, 2011: Delhi based AMU Centre Coordination Committee (AMUCC) organised a meeting to discuss the way ahead for the proposed AMU Study Centre in Kishanganj. After a long discussion and feedback of attendants the committee has finalised below mentioned points and sought help, participation, suggestion and feedback from all concerned to take a final decision ahead.
AMUCC working for the cause of AMU Kishanganj
Option 1 : If the proposed one piece land would be passed by Bihar Government and sent to AMU VC, AMU CC & KEM (depends on KEM plan) will meet AMU VC to accept the offered land. The offer may have some limitations; however AMU CC will try to convince AMU VC. There may be few acres within the proposal which may requires time for acquisition, but AMU VC should start work based on agreement and time line.
If AMU VC is extremely rigid then in worst case AMU CC & KEM (depends on KEM plan) may sit for hunger strike in front of AMU VC lodge till he accepts the offer.
Deadline 22nd November for Bihar Govt to pass the bill.
Option 2: If Bihar Government won’t pass the bill.
Pressurize all MPs, MLAs, MLCs, Jila Parshads, Mukhiyas, Members, all political party leaders to take a hard step from 23rd November. Like on 10th November MP Asrar Sb committed to start hunger strike, Mahadharna followed by Jail Bharo Aandolan from 29th November. All members of AMU CC & KEM (depends on KEM plan) will call/force/meet/pressurize all stake holders and leaders.
AMU CC & KEM (depends on KEM plan) would like to involve all political parties for this cause. The pressure will be created till they start a hard step.
Deadline 29th November.
Option 3: If option-1 and option-2 fails then
The youth and common man would come forward to take a hard step. On 4th of December a General Body meeting will be called to decide the next action plan in Delhi (AMU CC) & KEM (depends on KEM plan) at Kishanganj. The memorandum will be given to DM, Commissioner, CM, HRD Ministry Bihar & India and other stake holders for agitation from 18th December (tentative - depend on decision taken on GBM).
Tentative plan for 18 December as per AMUCC
On 18th December : Agitation in Kishanganj, Patna, Delhi against all stake holders i.e Central Govt, AMU Admin & Bihar Government.
AMUCC would actively try to include all common man, youth, and political parties. We will not blame who is responsible, however we will only demand for AMU. It’s their responsibility to solve the issue but we will not bear the delay.
Note:A copy of this MOM sent to all stake holders.
For more details about the plan of AMUCC for AMU Kishanganj contact following members: Mohammad Aslam, Kaifee Anwer, Mahfooz Alam, Mohammad Mudassir Alam, Matin Iqbal, Murteza Iqbal, Abrar Rahi, Khalid Mubashshir, Mohammad Mansoor Alam, and others from Core team.
Allahabad High Court has given its nod to open AMU special centres across India outside Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh, says the letter of AMU Registrar to Mohammad Aslam, Co-ordinator of Delhi based Aligarh Muslim University Centre Coordination Committee (AMUCC). Mohammad Aslam dropped an E-mail to AMU VC with reference to report published in Patna Edition of Times of India on November 4, 2011 that said Bihar HRD Minister, P K Shahi raised question over the approval of Allahabad High Court regarding the proposed AMU Centre in Kishanganj after his meeting with Union HRD Minister on November 3, 2011.
AMUCC Co-ordinator in meeting with Sibal on Nov 8
A couple of days later on November 8, 2011, a team of AMUCC and Kishanganj MLA Dr. Mohammad Jawaid and Congress Bihar Chief Mahboob Ali Kaisar met Kapil Sibal in New Delhi. Sibal had denied the allegations of Shahi and clarified the stand of Central Government for the proposed AMU Centre in Kishanganj. The Bihar HRD minister went through the Sibal statement published in news portals and shared his reaction with Times of India on November 12, 2011. The Times of India report quoted Sibal as a liar in its headline as referred by Shahi.
In response to the E-mail of Mohammad Aslam and ongoing Sibal – Shahi spat, the Registrar of Aligarh Muslim University Prof V K Abdul Jaleel in his letter clarified the Allahabad High Court issue. The letter of AMU Registrar says the Allahabad High Court had dismissed the PIL filed by Z K Faizan against the proposals of AMU special centres outside Aligarh on 7/10/2010 in a preliminary ground of locus standi of the petitioner.
The court says “The Petitioner neither the member of the Academic Council nor a member of the Senate of the University nor of the University Court. The Petitioner has also not pointed out how his fundamental rights affected, Apart from that the Visitor of the University has granted approval to the same. In these circumstances, we are of the considered opinion that the Petitioner cannot maintain this PIL. Hence it is dismissed”.
Aggrieved of the above decision, the Petitioner filed a SLP No 32148 of 2010 which is registered as Civil Appeal No 1862 of 2011 before the Supreme Court of India. The Supreme Court vide its order date 14.02.2011 allowed the appeal and set aside the order of Allahabad High Court and restored the PIL. In response, the Allahabad High Court has listed the issue on 10.08.2011 and heard the matter on 27.09.2011 and admitted the PIL.
The Allahabad High Court passed the order “Admit. Issue notice to the respondents through registered post with AD returnable within six weeks. Requisites to be filed within one week. The prayer for interim relief shall be considered after filing of counter affidavit on behalf of the respondents.”
As per the letter of AMU Registrar the University has not received any notice from the court as per order date 27.09.2011, so it is clear the Petition is rejected by the court. The letter of P K Abdul Jaleel is an eye-opener for Bihar Government especially Bihar HRD Minister P K Shahi, who has made the Allahabad High Court decision a crucial point behind the delay in the proposed AMU Centre in Kishanganj. However, the letter of Registrar mentions no such case is pending in the Allahabad High Court neither the university has received any such notice regarding break in the proposed AMU centres. Now, this is the duty of Bihar Government to resolve the issue of AMU Centre in Kishanganj on immediate basis. Playing blame game is not going to help Bihar and its 40 crore people. The proposed AMU Centre in Kishanganj is a ray of hope for the deprived people of Bihar and it can be made true only with the active participation of Nitish Kumar led Bihar Government.
Find the scanned copies of letter sent to Mohammad Aslam by Registrar below:
Purnia, November 14, 2011: A team of Kishanganj Education Movement for AMU Special Centre led by MP Maulana Asrarul Haque Qasmi met the Purnia Division Commissioner Brajesh Mishra to know the status of the new proposals. The Congress MP was accompanied by Kochadhaman MLA Akhtarul Iman, Bahadurganj MLA Tousif Alam, and other members of Kishanganj Education Movement. However, the talk with Commissioner brought nothing encouraging for the dreamers of AMU Special Centre in Kishanganj.
KEM for Special Centre in meeting with Purnia Commissioner
As per the representatives of Kishanganj Education Movement for AMU the Commissioner had sought a week’s time to give final shape to new proposals. Mishra has told three proposals would be sent to Bihar Government by this Friday that is supposed to be presented in State Cabinet for approval around November 29, 2011. A member of KEM for AMU requested the Commissioner to share the proposals with the team. The latter had ensured to share the proposals with Kishanganj Education Movement. The team of Kishanganj Education Movement had also submitted a memorandum with a threat for ‘Hunger Strike’ if the land transfer issue is resolved within stipulated time of 15 days. However, any deadline for ‘Hunger Strike’ is not given by Kishanganj Education Movement for AMU Special Centre.
View of KishanganjBihar.com on KEM – Purnia Commissioner Talks: More than 30 days have passed since the meeting happened between two parties Kishanganj Education Movement representatives and Purnia Commissioner Brajesh Mishra in midnight of October 12, 2011. After the meeting the KEM leader Maulana Asrarul Haque and MLA Akhtarul Imaan declared the end of Dharna on the assurance of Purnia Commissioner. In the midnight protestors were not ready to end the dharna without any written commitment, however, they had full faith over the sayings of their leader and the ‘Maha Dharna’ came to an end.
As per an active member of KEM the Purnia Commissioner had came forward for talks in the night of October 12, 2011 on his personal wish. The member of KEM was in continuous touch with the Purnia Commissioner and the latter had said over phone about the preparation of new proposals before meeting on November 14, 2011. However, the commissioner could not show any proposal during his meeting with Kishanganj Education Movement members.
What conclusion can be drawn from the meetings of KEM members and Purnia Commissioner? I am not much encouraged with the recent developments, till the Bihar Chief Minister or HRD Minister P K Shahi gives any statement to resolve the issue. Till now, Mr. Shahi is busy in giving statements against the Central Government and Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal. We all are eagerly waiting for the day when Nitish Kumar or P K Shahi says something positive to resolve the issue.
New Delhi, November 8, 2011: ‘Allegations of Bihar HRD Minister P K Shahi against the Central Government and asking for Allahabad High Court decision on writ petition against AMU are baseless’, said the Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal. A team of AMU Centre Co-ordination Committee along with Kishanganj MLA Dr. Mohammad Jawaid met Sibal on Tuesday evening at his residence in New Delhi. The meeting was intended to clarify the latest controversial statements given by Shahi after his meeting with Sibal on November 3, 2011 regarding the proposed Aligarh Mulsim University (AMU) Special centre in Kishanganj. During his talk, Sibal has totally denied the allegations made by Shahi regarding the intention of the UPA Government for AMU Centre in Bihar.
Kapil Sibal with Dr. Jawaid and AMUCC team
The Union Minister told the writ petition against AMU Study centres had already been dismissed by Allahabad High Court long ago. So, there is no any truth in the statement of pending writ petition in Allahabad High Court about the proposed centre in Kishanganj. Sibal has also clarified the authority and power of AMU Vice Chancellor regarding opening the special centres across the country. He said the AMU is an autonomous university, and the Vice Chancellor has the full authority to take decision on any subject related to the university, the HRD Ministry doesn’t have any right to unnecessarily interfere in centre related issues. In fact, the land transfer issue is related to AMU VC and Bihar Government, the Centre doesn’t play any role in this apart from releasing funds once the land would be officially acquired by the AMU administration, mentioned the Member of Parliament from Chandni Chowk Constituency of Delhi.
Kapil Sibal with AMUCC Co-ordinator Mohammad Aslam
The proposed AMU Centre in Kishanganj, Bihar has remained in news since its announcement and now it has become a part of controversy and political blame game. The recent was the allegation of Bihar HRD Minister P K Shahi’s statement against the Central Government published in the Patna Edition of Times of India on November 04, 2011 with the headline ‘AMU centre decision after HC order’. Shahi alleged, Sibal had said, the Centre would take a decision on the proposed AMU centre at Kishanganj in Bihar after the Allahabad High Court disposes of a writ petition against the opening of AMU centres outside Aligarh. According to Shahi, a writ petition is pending in the Allahabad High Court and action will be taken by the Centre as soon as the writ petition of decided.
Kapil Sibal is eager to open the branch of AMU in Kishanganj. He has assured the team to call a Press Conference on the issue to clarify his stand as soon as he gets time to call the media. Like thousands the team of AMU Committee, which is keenly following the issue for past two years was not convinced with the statement of Shahi published in few Bihar based dailies this past week. The committee was trying its best to fix a meeting with Kapil Sibal to know the facts. Dr. Mohammad Jawaid, the Congress MLA from Kishanganj fixed a meeting with Kapil Sibal and took along the two members of AMU Co-ordination Committee, namely Co-ordinator Mohammad Aslam and Mahfooz Alam.
New Delhi, November 3, 2011: Anyone for AMU, Anytime for AMU, Anywhere for AMU or in short, Anything for AMU with this motive AMU Centre Co-ordination Committee is working for past one and half years to resolve the issue of proposed AMU Centre in Kishanganj. Continuing its effort the AMU Centre Co-ordination Committee Delhi today (November 3, 2011) met with the Bihar HRD (Human Resource & Development) Minister P K Shahi just a couple of hours before his scheduled meeting with Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal in New Delhi.
AMU Committee handing over the Memorandum to Mr. Shahi
A team of AMU Committee led by Co-ordinator Mohammad Aslam reached Bihar Bhawan at 1.00 PM to meet the high rank minister of Bihar Government. Other members were Kaifee Anwer, Mahfooz Alam, Minnat Rahmani, Tauqir Alam and Abrar Rahi. In fact, AMU Co-ordination Committee was following Mr. Shahi since the publishing of report about his meeting with Mr. Sibal in Patna Edition of Times of India a week ago. The core team of AMU Committee especially Minnat Rahmani tried all possible resources to get an hour’s time from the busy schedule of HRD Minister of Bihar.
P K Shahi had given his nod about to meet the AMU Committee on November 2, 2011 at around 7.30 pm through SMS. The team co-ordinated with P K Shahi after his arrival to New Delhi and meeting was fixed at Bihar Bhawan, Kautilya Marg in New Delhi at 1 PM. The team reached the venue on time and discussed the issues and reasons behind delay of AMU Centre in Kishanganj. Along with, Mohammad Aslam other members also shared the facts and thoughts (stand) of AMU VC on this issue and his denial to accept the land.
Shahi presenting his view before Co-ordinator Mohd. Aslam and team
Initially, P K Shahi openly blamed the Centre Government and AMU VC P K Abdul Azis for delaying the proposed centre in Kishanganj, Bihar. The HRD Minister of Bihar said that he would ask Mr. Sibal questions like 1). Is the Central Government really concerned about the AMU Centre in Kishanganj? 2). The current AMU VC retain the power to approve the Centre or not, as he is going to retire in next three months? Mr. Shahi was not ready to give any clean chit to AMU VC and Centre, in fact, he was not even ready to proceed further to have any talk with current AMU VC. He was alleging the VC as a conspirator and working under the influence of some force working behind the curtain.
He made it clear that Bihar Government himself wish to grab such opportunity and establish AMU Special Centre. This is going to improve our acceptance among Muslim minority, so we are not fool to miss this opportunity and neglect such issues, said Shahi. However, as of now it is very difficult for us to offer the land by acquiring from the public to AMU VC for establishment of AMU Centre in Kishanganj, Mr. Shahi mentioned it during talks.
Later on, the AMU Co-ordination team got success in presenting the facts in well manner before Mr. Shahi. After listening to the members of AMU Co-ordination Committee Mr. Shahi changed his stood and softened his tone as well. He said, the only problem is the ardent stand of AMU VC about the land and his repeated denial to accept the land. We are going to offer him a Contiguous land measuring around 250 acres in Kishanganj. If AMU VC would accept the new proposal, I would heartily welcome him to Patna and Kishanganj to sign the MOU.
AMU Centre Co-ordination Committee had submitted a Memorandum to Mr. Shahi and requested to resolve the issue on immediate basis keeping in mind the interest of educationally and economically backward state of Bihar. The Memorandum also said that the committee is always ready to facilitate the process of establishment of AMU Centre in Kishanganj. The committee made it clear that is works for the cause of AMU without any type of political inclination and if the Bihar Government wishes it can work as a facilitator between the Government and AMU VC.
November 12, 2011 is the deadline for the Bihar Government to resolve the land transfer issue for the establishment of proposed AMU (Aligarh Muslim University) Special Centre in Kishanganj. After the successful ‘Maha Dharna’ (grand protest) on October 12, 2011 called by ‘Kishanganj Education Movement’ under the leadership of Kishanganj MP Maulana Asrarul Haque, the Bihar government had come forward to find out the solution. The Purnia Division Commissioner Brajesh Mishra had invited the representatives of ‘Kishanganj Education Movement’ for talks at District Collectorate on the dharna day.
Maulana Asrarul Haque, the leader of the ‘Maha Dharna’ asked the MLAs of Kishanganj (Dr. Jawed Azad), Kochadhaman (Akhtarul Imaan), Bahadruganj (Tousif Alam) and nearby Uttar Dinjapur district of West Bengal to proceed for the talk with Commissioner. The talk ended with positive note, and the Commissioner promised to resolve the land transfer issue within 30 days. Hence, it is the duty of Bihar Government to provide the required land to AMU VC on or before November 12, 2011. As per the inputs from the key members of Kishanganj Education Movement and Bihar Government the contiguous land has been identified as per the demand of AMU VC. So we can hope for a possible solution before the stipulated time.
However, still the people keenly following the issue of AMU for past 3 years have doubt in their minds and intention of careless Bihar Government. On October 12, 2011 after the talk the Bihar Government hadn’t given anything in written to the representatives of ‘Kishanganj Education Movement’ about the transfer of land in 30 days. In fact, media reports had published two different deadlines, some said it is 30 days and some said it 45 days. While asked to MP Kishanganj (the leader of the Kishanganj Education Movement), he had said the given timeline to Bihar Government is 30 days. Maulana Qasmi is highly optimistic about the given timeframe as the DM Kishanganj and his officials are giving proper attention to the land transfer issue.
Now coming back to the main point, if the Bihar Government fails to meet its promise, what should be the course of action on November 13, 2011? While calling off the dharna on October 12, 2011 Maulana Asrarul Haque declared in case Bihar Government doesn’t meet its promise, then he and his team will again sit on indefinite fast ‘Bhook Hartal’ in front of District Collectorate from November 13. We should hope for the best and expect a proper solution of the land transfer issue before the given time. If this doesn’t happens, the declared 13th November dharna will be the step ahead for the cause of AMU, but assembling such a huge crowd of 2 to 3 lakh is not at an easy job. Fact is that, the ‘Kishanganj Education Movement’ hasn’t planned anything special to face the critical situation till date.
My friendly suggestion to the leader and representatives of the ‘Kishanganj Education Movement’ – it should once again send a reminder to DM and Bihar Government to resolve the issue well before the given time ‘November 12, 2011’ to avoid any type of chaos among the people of Kishanganj, Seemanchal, other parts of Bihar and nearby Uttar Dinajpur district of West Bengal.
Maulana Asrarul Haque Qasmi – the MP of Kishanganj had successfully led the countrywide known ‘Maha Dharna’ for the establishment of AMU Special Centre in Kishanganj on October 12, 2011. As per the representatives of Maulana Qasmi the Purnia Division Commissioner Brajesh Mishra on behalf of Nitish Kumar led Bihar Government had ensured that the land transfer issue will be resolved within a month i.e before 13th November, 2011. However, there were differences of opinions among the people due to improper communication (message), some said the government is asked to resolve the issue within 30 days, while some said the given time is 45 days. AMU Centre Co-ordination Committee (AMUC3) Delhi had supported the agitation against Bihar Government and it met with Maulana Qasmi at his residence to congratulate for the successful dharna and know the development till date. Mohammad Mudassir Alam –PRO (AMU Committee) asked some relevant questions to Kishanganj MP about the latest development.
Watch Maulana Qasmi explaining the steps taken by the government after dharna.
The AMU Centre Co-ordination Committee Delhi team visited Kishanganj to join the ‘Maha Dharna’ on October 12, 2011 for the establishment of AMU Special Centre in Kishanganj. Led by the Co-ordinator Mohammad Aslam, the team was featuring members, namely Kaifee Anwar, Mahfooz Alam, Khalid Mubashshir, Matin Iqbal, Abrar Rahi, Ehtasham Anwar, Aquil Johar, Umar Farooque and Sharayar Ahmad. AMU Centre Co-ordination Committee team was also joined by the local youths studying in colleges and having dream of the AMU Centre. Along with organizing a rally from Subhashpalli Chowk to Dharna site, the members Mohammad Aslam, Khalid Mubashshir and Matin Iqbal also delivered wonderful speeches.
Mohammad Aslam - Co-ordinator AMU Committee
Below are the videos of AMU Centre Co-ordination Committee in Kishanganj:
Situated in the north-eastern part of Bihar, the district of Kishanganj hit the headlines of national media this past week mainly for rail (Guwahati – New Delhi route) and road (NH 31) blockage. No need to explain the issue, because the media tried to portray in their own ways without caring much about facts. Actually the people of Kishanganj, Katihar, Araria, Purnia, Saharsa, Khagaria, and other parts of Bihar including neighbouring Uttar Dinajpur (West Bengal) had joined the grand dharna called by Kishanganj MP Maulana Asrarul Haque under the banner of Kishanganj Education Movement for AMU Special Centre in Kishanganj. Other political leaders to join the dharna were NCP leader Tarique Anwar, RJD MLA Akhtarul Iman, Congress MLA Dr. Jawed Azad, Congress MLA Touseef Alam, Congress MP Deepa Das Munshi, TMC MLA Abdul Karim Choudhury, Forward Bloc MLA Ali Imran Ramz and Gholam Rabbani.
AMU Centre Co-ordination Committee in Kishanganj
The issue was clear the unnecessarily delay made by the Nitish led Bihar Government to provide the required 250 acres contiguous piece of land to AMU (Aligarh Muslim University) VC for establishing a Special Centre of the university. AMU VC had sent the proposal to Bihar Government for opening Special Centre two years back after getting the approval from Union Ministry of HRD and President of India. Bihar Government had offered 243 acres of land in three pieces at Chakla Village adjacent to Kishanganj district headquarters in March 2010, which was not accepted by AMU VC after his visit to the proposed site on May 22, 2010. Since then, apart from making baseless allegations against the AMU VC and the proposal of Study Centre, the Bihar Government has not taken any step to resolve the issue and offer the land as per norms of Aligarh Muslim University.
The world know very well Bihar is one of the least literate states of India and the percentage is worst in Seemanchal area of the state. People of the educationally and economically deprived area of Seemanchal had seen the new ray of development in AMU Special Centre Kishanganj. The people of the area had become frustrated with the uncertain delay made by the Bihar government and decided to do a protest under the leadership of local leaders. On October 12, 2011, more than 2 lakh common people including political leaders, activists and journalists gathered at Kishanganj to participate in the grand dharna and block the rail and road in frustration.
The dharna went for whole day, and after 10 PM the issue got notice from national media due to blockage of Guwahati- New Delhi route. The news was flashed in almost all the leading news channels of India highlighting the stoppage of trains like Rajdhani at various stations on the route. Reason was the demand for the ‘AMU Special Centre land’ from the Bihar Government. However, the national media presented in their own ways.
Let me begin with NDTV, one of country’s most authentic news channel in publishes the report with heading “Students block railway tracks, 18 trains held up in Bihar” http://origin-dev.ndtv.com/article/india/students-block-railway-tracks-18-trains-held-up-in-bihar-140727. The heading somehow provides a tiny idea about the incident, but the report inside is really misleading. The report says that the “students affiliated to the All Islamic Students Union blocked railway tracks in Bihar’s Kishanganj district”. The statement within quote is false and totally misleading no such student outfit has called the dharna or participated in any form for the cause.
Report of NDTV mentions All Islamic Students Union
Next, Zee News – a leading news channel of the country flashed the news at around 11 pm on October 12, 2011. The anchor of the news channel has contacted its reporter Brajesh Mishra to know the ground realities. The reporter of Zee News answered the queries of news anchor irresponsibly and said that the dharna is called by the political parties for the ‘Muslim Vote Bank’ issue. In fact, he tried to misguide the people across the world by saying that local people are not happy with the dharna and doing agitation against Congress and RJD. He had not added a single line about the real issue and demand of agitators, and the anchor summed up it by saying it ‘Muslim Vote Bank’ issue. In truth the locals were always supporting the movement and all kept their shops closed for the entire day.
Misleading Report of Zee News aired on Oct, 12
The dharna was called off midnight after the assurance of Purnia Division Commissioner Brajesh Mishra to resolve the land transfer issue within a month. However, the response of leading political party’s leaders on the dharna for AMU Centre Kishanganj is not encouraging. Nitish Kumar slammed his main opposition RJD and also the political leaders from neighbouring West Bengal state for joining the dharna. In fact, he warned the political parties not to take the mileage of the issue and said he himself wish to see AMU Centre in Kishanganj.
As many political leaders from Bihar and Uttar Dinajpur (West Bengal) actively participated in the dharna, so Nitish Kumar has the right to speak against them. However, the statement of Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi published in Azad Hind Newspaper (Kolkata, October 15, 2011) about the dharna is very sad and biased as well. The Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP said the dharna happened at Kishanganj for AMU Centre is like a ‘Terrorist Act’. I will write to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take strong action against the agitators and also request to frame tough rule to discourage the acts like rail blockage. There is nothing wrong in framing tough rules in the interest of train passengers who suffer the most, but justifying a dharna in demand for educational institute as a ‘Terrorist Act’ is woeful and deserves criticism. In fact, the railway minister should apologize for giving irresponsible statement with the use of terrifying works that take the attention of common people away from the real cause.
Statement of Dinesh Trivedi in Azad Hind, Oct 15, 2011
The country still reminds the dozens of dharns and bandhs done by Trinamool Congress in West Bengal before coming to power. The rail and road routes also got badly affected due to closure (bandhs) called by Mamata Banerjee many times, the party also played an important role to cause chaos in Singur and Nandigram. The repeated bandhs called in support of creating a separate Telangana state had badly affected the normal life many times. What remarks Trivedi would give about the acts done by his party workers in past and the Congress MP’s recent three day rail rook andolan in Telangana. Are they not terrorizing act?
Now the question, why a movement actively participated by people from all corners of Bihar was presented in misleading way by the national media and politicians? The issue is related to the establishment of AMU Special Centre in Kishanganj, which will open the windows of opportunities for all sections of the society. Referring the issue as a Muslim Vote Bank or a Terrorizing Act is very unfortunate and it create bad impression about the real cause in the mind of people residing across the nation. Such News Channels and Politicians especially Dinesh Trivedi must apologize in the interest of nation and its people.
Nitish Kumar, the Chief Minister of Bihar is the man of words, and believes on sayings rather than doing. After the massive dharna for the proposed AMU Centre in Kishanganj attended by tens of thosands of people called by the Kishanganj MP Maulana Asrarul Haque local MLAs and neighbouring district of Uttar Dinjapur (West Bengal), the Government of Bihar has become under pressure. In fact, the Nitish led government including the Chief Minister himself is criticising politicians for participating in the dharna that paralysed the Guwahati - Delhi Rail route and NH 31. Of course, blocking the rail and road had caused problem to the common people but the people of the educationally deprived area of Seemanchal is very angry over the arrogant attitude of Bihar Govt, which is not providing the required 250 acres land as per the norms of AMU.
Tens of thousand people gathered at Ruidhasa Maidan on Oct 12
Nitish has given a fresh statement in PTI (Press Trust of India) on October 17, 2011 about AMU issue and he slams the MLAs of West Bengal for supporting the movement. Below is the report:
Patna, Oct 17 (PTI): Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today said there was no justification for a minister and MLAs of a state for holding demonstrations in another state. "What is the justification for a minister and MLAs of a state holding demonstrations in another state (over Aligarh Muslim University centre in Kishanganj)?" Kumar told reporters apparently referring to a West Bengal Minister and MLAs blocking railway tracks at Kishanganj recently for opening a centre of Aligarh Muslim University in Kishanganj of Bihar. "I want to keep the records straight -- the AMU centre will come to Kishanganj only courtesy the Bihar government", Kumar said pointing out that AMU Vice Chancellor had written to the state government to open its centre in Katihar. "But we prefer Kishanganj because of the area being educationally-backward... It is only because of the state government's efforts that the centre will be opened in Kishanganj and no no political party or leaders have any claim to their credit in this respect", he said. "The state government has taken all possible steps for satisfying the AMU authorities about plots it had acquired for the purpose of setting up the centre", he said and remarked that the AMU should have at least begun construction on the plot measuring 160 acre instead of waiting for a single plot. The fate of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) centre at Kishanganj hangs in balance with Bihar government allegedly failing to provide a single plot of 250 acres to the AMU administration to open it.
AMU Vice-Chancellor P K Abdul Ajis, while informing the state government in 2008 of the Centre's decision to open the centre at Katihar, had asked for a single plot of land measuring 250 acres to 300 acres free of cost to begin construction, Kumar said. The state government, he said, acquired the required land in three separate pieces in Kishanganj district instead of making available land in Katihar. "There are several universities which have many campus far away from one to another, but the state government has arranged the land, though into three pieces, are close by," official sources said. A fresh controversy has erupted with the Minister for Human Resource Development P K Sahi alleging that the AMU VC was 'doing politics' over the issue and had not obtained the required sanction from President Pratibha Patil, who is visitor of the university. Kishanganj MP Maulana Asrarul Haque, RJD MLA Akhtarul Imam, besides some West Bengal legislators with their supporters had last week blocked the rail tracks at Kishanganj protesting against alleged inordinate delay being made by the Nitish Kumar government in making available the land required for the purpose of opening the AMU centre.
Aligarh Muslim University is celebrating the 194th Birthday of founder Sir Syed Ahmad Khan as Sir Syed Day. The day is celebrated in a grand way at many places outside Aligarh by the alumni in national capital New Delhi, Mumbai, Gulf countries, US and UK. The recently opened special centres of Aligarh Muslim University at Mallapuram (Kerala) and Murshidabad (West Bengal) are also celebrating Sir Syed Day. However, the district of Kishanganj – a proposed site for AMU Special Centre missed to celebrate the birthday of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan due to wrong reasons, especially the cheap politics of ruling NDA Government and its allies. Like thousands of residents of Kishanganj and neigbouring districts, I feel dejected for not seeing the celebrations of Sir Syed Day at Kishanganj. Those who have listened or don’t listened about ‘Sir Syed Day’ or have little knowledge about the special day, KishanganjBihar.com (KBC) brings a small account of the celebrations occur inside AMU campus at Aligarh.
Sir Syed Day celebrated at Special Centre in Murshidabad
October 17, the birthday of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan has a special place among the educationists and activists across the world. The significance of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan’s birthday increases many folds among the people associated with the erstwhile Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) Aligarh that include the enrolled students (around 30 thousand), teaching and non-teaching staff and old boys residing in different parts of the globe. Being an old boy of AMU, I too couldn’t refrain myself from remembering the birthday of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan and its grand celebrations happening inside the university campus at Aligarh. Renowned as Sir Syed Day, the 17th October in AMU campus showcases various programmes all through the day and a gala dinner in the evening.
The morning of Sir Syed Day begins with a grand assembly at the Athletics Ground. The AMU Vice Chancellor and the University Guest (might be a politician, educationist, activist or an appealing personality somehow related to education) reach the venue in traditional ‘Bagghi’ (horse pulled cart) escorted by Horse Riders (represented by the students of AMU enrolled in Horse Riding Club). After receiving the traditional welcome from the University, the AMU VC and the University Guest along with crowd listen to speeches given by selected speakers. During the assembly, two students from different faculties including one boy and girl also deliver the speeches on Sir Syed Day in English and Urdu. The students of schools affiliated with AMU also take out colourful profession based on thought provoking issues. The Assembly ends with the speeches of AMU VC and Chief Guest of Sir Syed Day followed by the soothing University Tarana and National Anthem.
On Sir Syed Day the ‘Sir Syed Museum’ is opened with photographs, books and other important materials related with founder of AMU Sir Syed Ahmad Khan. Students and guests visit the Sir Syed Museum to have a better understanding of works done by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan. The day finishes with the visit of Museum and final resting place of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan. And the sunset brings a new aroma for the mega campus of Aligarh Muslim University. The entire university campus including hostels and faculties dazzle with the colourful lights and it seems the ‘city of divine light’ has landed inside the campus. Students, old boys and common guests enjoy the lavish dinner comprised of Mutton / Veg Biryani, Mutton, Muttor Paneer, Rayta, Salad, Kabab and Shahi Tukda (sweet). After having the mouth-watering meal the crowd comprised of students, old boys, common guests and outsiders stroll along the university roads to become the witness of the lighting feast.
Sir Syed Day is a unique event that is celebrated since decades to remember the great educationist, visionary, activist, journalist and founder of Aligarh Muslim University. The birthday celebration of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan inside the university campus truly has a distinct charm. And the alumni of Aligarh Muslim University residing in different parts of the world try to celebrate the ‘Sir Syed Day’ with same fervor. Like hundreds of alumni belonging to Bihar and Seemanchal region, I too have dream to celebrate the ‘Sir Syed Day’ in the district of Kishanganj. It may happen next year, if the ‘Vikas Purush’ of Bihar Nitish Kumar takes some hard decision above the party politics for the proposed AMU Centre in Kishanganj, which is delaying due to lackluster attitude of his government.
Sharing few lines of AMU Tarana (Anthem)
Ye meraa chaman hai meraa chaman, main apne chaman kaa bulbul huun
The beautiful district of Kishanganj has witnessed something unusual on October 12, 2011. In fact, since the Independence of India the north-eastern district of Bihar has never gathered at one place for any cause. However, the 12 th October of 2011 has added a new chapter in the history of Kishanganj and Seemanchal, around 3 lakh people come together under the banner of ‘Kishanganj Education Movement for AMU Special Centre’ to protest against the Bihar Government.
The Dharna begun at around 10.30 am in the morning ended in 14 hours as the rail and road blockage paralysed the life in North East part of India. Finally after getting assurance from the Bihar Government for resolving the land issue within 45 days, the Dharna was called off by MP Maulana Asrarul Haque, who was also leading the movement. All are very happy by seeing the unity among people and have hope that the land transfer for the establishment of AMU Special Centre will be sorted out in the given time period.
Below are the highlights of the Maha Dharna with important incidents
- Led by Kishanganj MP Maulana Asrarul Haque a committee was formed with the name ‘Kishanganj Education Movement for AMU Centre’ in August / September 2011.
- Former Principal of Nehru College, Prof Haneef Alam was appointed Convener of the committee, while Wasiqur Rahman was selected as the President
- The committee also had designated Patrons, namely Maulana Asrarul Haque (MP - Kishanganj), Akhtarul Iman (MLA - Kochadhaman), Dr. Jawed Azad (MLA - Kishanganj), Touseef Alam(MLA - Bahadurganj), Ghulam Rabbani (MLA – Uttar Dinajpur), Ali Imran Ramz (MLA – Uttar Dinajpur) and Naushad Alam (MLA – Thakurganj, later withdrew from the committee due to joining JD (U)
- Besides the Convener and Patrons, the committee has appointed Joint Conveners and Executive Members, namely Dr. Shamim Akhtar, Gholam Shahid, Advocate Nirmal Prasad, Prof. Mansoor Alam, etc.
- The committee members did extensive meetings and decided to submit a memorandum to DM Kishanganj asking Bihar CM Nitish Kumar to provide required land to AMU
- On September 12, 2011 the committee met DM Kishanganj and submitted the memorandum, in which they had asked the Bihar CM to resolve the issue within 15 days.
- A warning was also given, if the matter is not resolved within time frame, the committee will organize grand dharna.
- Meanwhile, after submitting the memorandum the committee organized dozen of ‘AMU awareness campaign’ around the district of Kishanganj and neighbouring districts including Uttar Dinajpur.
- September 30, 2011 – Delhi based AMU Centre Co-ordination Committee represented by working professionals and students from Bihar organized a ‘National Conference on AMU Centre’ at India Islamic Cultural Centre in New Delhi.
- The conference was attended by AMU VC Prof P K Abdul Azis, Kishanganj MP Maulana Asrarul Haque Qasmi, Kochadhaman MLA Akhtarul Imaan, RJD Chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, renowned Journalist Aziz Burney and around 500 people.
- After the conference the committee declared to support the movement under the banner of ‘Kishanganj Education Movement’ and also requested the gathering to join the Maha Dharna at Kishanganj from October 12, 2011.
- The conference left a positive note and it got coverage from national media especially Roznama Sahara, Jan Satta, Dainik Bhaskar, The Hindu, and Press Trust of India (PTI)
- October 9, 2011 -Kishanganj Education Movement didn’t get any reply from the Bihar Government and Symbolic Dharna begun from 9th October, 2011 which went till 11th October, 2011
- Students, youths and elders including women with children took part in Symbolic Dharna. Memorandum was also submitted to DM Kishanganj by male activists and women as well.
- October 12, 2011 – Lakh of people from Kishanganj, Katihar, Araria, Purnia, Uttar Dinajpur, Saharsa, Khagaria, Supaul and other parts of Bihar gathered on historic Ruidhasa Maidan, and after brief session all gathered on NH 31 before District Collectorate to protest against the Bihar Government
- Guwahati – Kolkata Rail Route was blocked, the NH 31 was also blocked by the protestors.
- All through the day the political leaders and speakers delivered thought provoking speeches. Prominent among them were Congress MP Deepa Munshi Das, NCP Leader Tarique Anwar and TMC MLA Ashfaq Karim Chaudhary.
- About 1500 kms away from Kishanganj, a group of hundred students and working professionals did dharna in front of Bihar Bhawan in New Delhi under the banner of AMU Centre Coordination Committee. After shouting slogans against Nitish Kumar and Bihar Government, the committee had submitted a memorandum addressed to Bihar CM in the office of Resident Commissioner.
- At around 5 pm the leader of dharna Maulana Asrarul Haque declared to end the protest and said to give the government a memorandum to resolve the matter under a fixed timeline.
- However, people who have gathered to fight for their cause denied to accept the suggestion of MP Kishanganj, and told that they are ready to sacrifice their lives for AMU Centre
- Finally, after short discussion the MP Kishaganj announced to extend the Dharna for unidentified period till the Bihar Govt provide the required land as per norms of AMU
- The enthusiastic protestors were fully determined to anything for the cause and around 10 PM some news channels flashed the issue as ‘Breaking News’. Later on the news of Rail and Road blockage became the breaking news of many national news channels, namely IBN7, Zee News, NDTV, Live India and Sahara Samay.
- October 13, 2011 – Around 12.30 am after a meeting with Purnia Division Commissioner Brijesh Malhotra on behalf of Bihar Govt in DM office, the Kishanganj MP along with Kochadhaman MLA, Bahadurganj MLA and other key leaders of the dharna announced that the ‘Bihar Government is ready to provide the land to AMU VC as per norms of the University.
- The protestors were demanding to get the written assurance from Bihar Government. However, the leaders of the movement ensured that they have faith over high level talk.
- Now the Bihar Govt has got 45 days time to resolve the land issue. If the promise is not made, the Kishangaj Education Movement for AMU Special Centre will again sit on hunger strike.
- October 13, 2011, an FIR was lodged by the Indian Railways against the key members of Kishanganj Education Movement and 500 unknown protestors under many acts for causing the loss of crores and disturbing the rail movement.
On the whole, the episode of dharna for AMU Special Centre in Kishanganj ended with many positive notes, and it had given birth to a new spirit of ‘fighting for the cause’ among the people of Seemanchal and Bihar.
Sir Syed Ahman Khan – renowned as the founder of the legendry Aligarh Muslim University in Aligarh, had launched a historic ‘Aligarh Movement’ to establish the magnum opus university currently having around 30,000 enrolled students across dozens of faculties. Presently the Aligarh Muslim University is offering education from school level to higher classes inside its huge premises having residential facility for all sections of the society including Muslims and Non Muslims.
On Wednesday (October 12, 2011), the country has witnessed the rise of a ‘Modern Aligarh Movement’ from Kishanganj, the north-eastern district of Bihar. The anti Bihar Government movement (agitation) organized for the establishment of AMU Special Centre in Kishanganj was joined by 3 to 4 lakh people. In response to Bihar government’s negligence attitude towards the matter, the protestors blocked the Kolkata – Guwahati rail route and National Highway No 31. Only after the nationwide media coverage and complaints of the travelers, the Bihar Government had shown some grace and promised to resolve the issue within one month through its representative, and the dharna ended midnight.
One of India’s most economically and educationally deprived district of India, Kishanganj is inhabited by peace loving simple people. Since the independence of India, the district of Kishanganj has hardly seen any type of development. Even people struggle for the basic necessities like proper road communication, electricity and health and sanitation. While India is developing at fact pace in metros and big cities, the residents of Kishanganj even today feel themselves in pre-independence era.
After the dark 15 year rule of Laloo Prasad Yadav, along with rest of Bihar the common people of this area also had some hope of development with the change of governance. Nitish Kumar, termed as ‘Vikas Purush’ (Development Man) succeeded in hitting the headlines of global media with stories of development in Bihar, and the NDA rule had been appreciated time and again. However, both the Nitish led NDA government and media forgot the dark side of Bihar’s development. Still the mass migration for education and employment were happening at a large scale, which brought forth the truth of self-proclaimed good governance of NDA in Bihar.
During the rule of NDA (Ist) in Bihar, on the guidelines of Union Ministry of HRD and approval of President of India, the Vice Chancellor of AMU (Aligarh Muslim University) had sent a proposal letter to Chief Minister of Bihar on November 26, 2008 to open a Special Centre in the state. In his proposal the Vice Chancellor of AMU Prof P.K.Abdul Azis has asked the Bihar CM Nitish Kumar to provide 250-300 acres of land free of cost for the centre and also mentioned some essentials as per University norms like 30 metre wide road connecting the campus with nearest state highway or national highway, and uninterrupted electricity and drinking water. Once Bihar Government would provide the land, the rest of the expanses like constructing the buildings inside the campus would be borne by the University and Central Government.
Logically, the Bihar Government should have accepted the proposal with high enthusiasm to improve the literacy rate in the state. Since, Bihar didn’t have any Central University till date, so this was other reason to welcome such mega project. The proposal of AMU was to offer education from school level to college level including professional courses. Besides providing education to the people of Bihar and other parts of India, the proposal of massive AMU campus was directing towards employment generation from low level caretaking staff to higher level. However, Bihar government didn’t send any reply to AMU VC on the proposal till September 2009. After that the AMU VC visited Kishanganj twice but the land transfer issue couldn’t be resolved because of Bihar Government careless attitude and internal politics.
Common people of Bihar were following all the development on the issue for past 3 years. When nothing happened to materialize the proposed AMU Special Centre in Kishanganj, a declaration to protest against the Bihar Government was taken in September 12, 2011 under the banner of Kishanganj Education Movement for AMU Centre supported by many committees including Delhi based AMU Centre Co-ordination Committee. A memorandum addressed to Bihar CM Nitish Kumar was submitted before District Magistrate Kishanganj to resolve the land transfer issue for the establishment of AMU Centre Kishanganj within 15 days. The activists for AMU Centre had clearly mentioned in the memorandum, if the government doesn’t resolve the issue and massive demonstration would happen in Kishanganj from October 12, 2011 onwards.
Meanwhile, apart from making illogical and baseless statements against the Central Government and AMU VC Prof Azis, the Bihar Government didn’t give any attention to the memorandum clearly mentioning the massive protest. The activists for AMU Special Centre Kishanganj organized awareness programmes in many parts of Seemanchal and requested people to gather in district headquarters of Kishanganj on October 12, 2011. The Delhi based AMU Centre Co-ordination Committee organized a National Conference on AMU Centre at India Islamic Cultural Centre on September 30, 2011 to provide the global attention to the matter.
Bihar Government has continued its apathetic attitude towards the proposed AMU Special Centre that resulted in grand dharn at Kishanganj on October 12, 2011. Around 3 - 4 lakh people from different parts of Bihar gathered in Kishanganj and blocked the Kolkata – Guwahati rail route and NH 31. The dharna went for full day and it was extended for indefinite period in the evening as the Bihar Government’s had not given any response. Around 10 pm, the national electronic media had flushed the news ticker with the tagline ‘Breaking News, more than 20 trains stuck on Guwahati route, protestors demand for AMU Centre in Kishanganj’. The news spread across the nation in a short while after 11 pm, and finally the leaders of the protest at around 11.30 pm announced that the Resident Commissioner of Purnia Division on behalf of Bihar Government has promised to resolve the issue within one month. The gathering of around 50,000 celebrated the historic moment of ‘AMU Movement’, and agreed to end the Dharna.
The one day dharna at Kishanganj had paralised the rail and road routes connecting north-east with rest of the country. Often referred to as the ‘Chicken Neck’, Kishanganj encompasses an important geographical and political place in India’s map. Still the people residing in the district and its nearby areas are facing several issues and deprived of basic amenities. Now it is the duty of Nitish Kumar to resolve the issue on immediate basis and provide the required land to AMU administration for establishment of a Special Centre. If Nitish Kumar fails to meet his promise, the activists are committed to intensify the protest and bring their voice to state capital Bihar and national capital New Delhi for their rights.
The AMU Centre Co-ordination Committee Delhi has broken the jinx and landed on the ground zero to support the movement for the establishement of AMU Special Centre in Kishanganj. Led by Mahfooz Alam, the AMU Co-ordination Committee members has visited the 'Symbolic Dharna' site on October 11, 2011. Mahfooz Alam shared the facts and criticise the government for unnecessarily delaying the land transfer process to establish the Study Centre of AMU in Kishanganj. A team led by the co-ordinator Mohammad Aslam will join the movement at Ruidhasa Maidan on October 12, 2011. The members in the team joining the dharna include Kaifee Anwar, Khalid Mubasshir, Matin Iqbal, Abrar Rahi, Umar Farooque and Sharayar Ahmad.