Published: 11th February 2021
Jamia students threaten to boycott centenary convocation after invite to PM Modi, owing to 2008 'Batla House' remarks
The students recalled Modi’s speech in 2008 after the Batla House encounter incident and stated that as a reason for being against his presence at the convocation ceremony
Students attached to the All India Students Association (AISA) unit of Jamia Millia Islamia are against inviting Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the chief guest for their centenary convocation. In a statement, the AISA said that they were against the Jamia administration inviting the Prime Minister to attend their convocation since the students were ‘angry, restless and unhappy’ with the workings of the Modi-led regime. The students have threatened to boycott the function if the Prime Minister is not uninvited.
AISA said students were shocked and displeased over the invitation, “For the past many years, Jamia has come under attack from the Narendra Modi-led BJP government. By arbitrarily inviting Narendra Modi as the chief guest, the University administration has negated the history of the institution. The Jamia administration has shown its authoritarian and anti-student tendencies once again by inviting Modi.”
The students recalled Modi’s speech in 2008 after the Batla House encounter incident and stated that as a reason for being against his presence at the convocation, “Addressing a gathering in Gujarat, Modi had (reportedly) said, ‘There is a university in Delhi called Jamia Millia Islamia. It has publicly announced that it will foot the legal fee of terrorists involved in the act. This Jamia Millia is being run on government money and it is daring to spend money on lawyers to get terrorists out of jail. When will this vote bank politics end?' Narendra Modi's statement back in 2008 was reprehensible and an insult to the Jamia community. Till this date, he has not apologized for his offensive comments,” the students argued.
The students also pointed out that several Jamia students were booked by the Delhi police for dissenting against the policies of the state last year and that the administration had remained silent, ‘thus proving its allegiance to the brutal state’. “The University administration should have been more focussed on fulfilling the dream of our founding fathers and not bowing to the capricious fascist state. We are witnessing an organised and calculated attack on the idea of Jamia Millia Islamia by the fascist state and politically inclined administration. Students of the University have unequivocally rejected the invitation. Its acceptance would be a gross disregard of the legacy of our founding fathers, a brazen subversion of the nationalist spirit of Jamia Millia Islamia,” the students said in their statement.
AISA demanded that Modi apologise for his statement after the Batla House encounter and that the administration disinvites the Prime Minister. “Failure to comply with our demands would only cement our argument that Jamia administration is anti-student and pro-fascism and force our hand to call for the boycott of centenary convocation if Modi comes as chief guest,” the AISA stated.