Published: 27th March 2019
Why AMU's leadership summit with Arundhati Roy, Vrinda Grover will have a place in history
The three-day-long Women Leadership Summit, where the lifetime memberships were presented, will end on March 28
When the members of the Women's College Students' Union of the Aligarh Muslim University decided to host a Women Leadership Summit, a first in the university's history, they had to face a backlash. Why would the women hold this large an event? Why is it not held in the Women's College auditorium, many wondered. Many tagged them as extremists and pseudo-liberals. But the union is elated to conduct the event in style, despite all the discouragement and trolling. "It was surprising to see many people still asking why women must be this independent to hold this event. We've been receiving these comments continuously," says Memoona Ansari, Secretary, WCSU. "But a lot of people in our university, including the AMUSU is supporting us."
Despite that criticism, these young women decided to conduct a three-day-long event from March 26 to 28, in the university's iconic Kennedy Complex, presenting the WCSU lifetime membership to prominent figures like Vrinda Grover and Arundhati Roy.
"We wanted the women of our college to be aware of their rights. Women's voices are suppressed and even today, it is hard for them to find justice," says Memoona, adding, "We want leaders like Roop Rekha Verma and Vrinda Grover to motivate our women." The three-day-long event will also feature speakers like Teesta Setalvad and Najeeb Ahmed's mother Fatima Nafis.
At the event, we spoke to Vrinda Grover, who was the first to receive the WCSU's lifetime membership. "I think this is the greatest honour. I'm not saying because I'm at AMU today. I see a hope for the future, which is more just for everyone," she says. She also lauds the women for conducting the event at the Kennedy Complex, despite all the hurdles. "By conceiving this programme, inviting these speakers and by deciding to discuss issues which aren't being discussed anymore, these women are giving me hope that the future is more just. They're challenging a lot of stereotypes by organising this event," she adds.