Published: 17th October 2019
Majority of Kashmiri students in AMU rubbish ex-VP's claim, will attend Founder's Day feast
Around 95 per cent will be attending the dinner, said students who also alleged that Sajjad was trying to appease the Kashmiri students who had "disowned" him for wanting to join the BJP
Contrary to initial reports, not ALL the students from the Kashmir valley who study at the Aligarh Muslim University are boycotting the celebration of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan's birth anniversary, an annual event that has always been celebrated with fervour on October 17. Ex AMU Students' Union Vice-President, Sajjad Rathar had announced on October 16 that no Kashmiri students will participate in this year's celebrations to protest against the current situation in Kashmir, but students from the valley say that not all of them are part of this and it would be wrong to say that Sajjad represented all of them. They even accused him of making the announcement because he has a vested interest.
Zulafqar Ahmed, a PhD scholar from Punj in Jammu said that he will be part of the celebrations like every other year. "I will participate in the celebrations and will attend the dinner. Not all of us are boycotting the event — most of us, around 95 per cent will be attending the dinner," said Zulafqar, who came to AMU to pursue his post-graduation in Political Sciences after he completed his graduation from Jammu University. The 27-year-old scholar said that this news has created an unwanted divide among the students from the valley, "Sajjad did not ask anyone before making that comment. Now some are agreeing with him but most of us are attending the dinner."
Some students who are attending the celebrations also said that Sajjad had a vested interest in the matter. Students, on condition of anonymity, alleged that Sajjad had been "disowned by the Kashmiri students after he decided to join the BJP" and he was just trying to win back his position. But that does not seem to have worked out the way he would have wanted it to.
Sajjad Ahmed had, on October 16, said, "When the rest of the world is celebrating the 202nd birth anniversary of Sir Syed Khan, we are living in pain." He claimed that contrary to media reports and official claims "only 5 per cent of the postpaid cell phones have been activated in the Kashmir valley till now". Sajjad said how could the students think of celebrations when their families were living in "acute distress". He said most of the students still did not know how their loved ones were doing 72 days after the lockdown in the Kashmir valley.