By Sushil Kutty
Pakistan founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah had his own thoughts on Aligarh Muslim University. Indian leaders of the early years after independence generally had a favourable view because the Congress dominated the political discourse and space even if AMU itself remained “minority” and wouldn’t step out of the narrow groove. In fact, AMU values its minority status to this day and will raise a racket if it loses the status for whatever reason.
Not that there aren’t forces which yearn for AMU to be just another university, the same like the thousands others that dot India. Off and on, however, there have been AMU denizens who take things in their hands and then it is a toss between whether AMU should or should not lose its privileged status, the pandering and the mollycoddling that goes with it?
After all, varsities normally do not become terror incubators. Ask the Anti Terrorist Squad of Uttar Pradesh Police, which arrested an AMU student and two ex-students believing them to be terror suspects; an ISIS module thriving in the academic environs of Aligarh Muslim University. So much so, the Uttar Pradesh ATS called it “AMU ISIS Module”. Hamas, which is at the centre of the ongoing “War on Gaza”, is most often called as the Palestinian avatar of ISIS.
Does that make the AMU Module of ISIS, India’s ‘Hamas’? Given the current situation of the ‘War on Gaza’, and the plight of the Palestinians in Gaza, ‘Hamas’ has become a role model to a big chunk of global citizens, heroes battling Israeli occupiers. Ask any youth in Kerala’s Malappuram and Hamas would get his full support.
Events in Israel and Gaza since October 7 have changed the way terrorism and terrorists are perceived. Like one man’s terrorist is another man’s liberator. Remember Kashmir lad Burhan Wani? By the end of the ‘War on Gaza’ Hamas fighters will be termed “martyrs” and there will be hosannas sung in their names.
This confusion about who is terrorist and who is liberator has cost UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman her job. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak sacked her for being too harsh on those who were seemingly okay with Hamas and were marching the streets of London against “terrorist Israel”. Rishi Sunak caved in. Sunak playing safe is another view.
Fact is, the world is rediscovering Hitlerism. The three youth who allegedly make up the AMU ISIS Module were picked up from Sambhal district of western UP. The three “N” – Noman, Nazim and Naved – had “terrorist propaganda literature” on them. Latest reports say Noman, Nazim and Naved are indeed the Aligarh module of ISIS.
Earlier this year, the Uttar Pradesh ATS had nabbed two other AMU students allegedly linked to terrorism. The “3 N” were arrested following the questioning of the first two. Things are getting sticky for AMU and there are forces which have gone back to questioning Aligarh Muslim University’s favoured status. The ATS crackdown on the so-called “AMU ISIS Module” isn’t of academic interest.
How widespread is the “ISIS fever” in AMU? Are there more “terrorists” of the AMU ISIS module? Noman, Nazim and Naved had kept themselves to distributing ISIS literature, but had “plans to overthrow the government with violent jihad” and the final goal of imposing Sharia in India.
The trio were allegedly planning to impart training to wannabe terrorists. Naved Siddiqui is a student of B.Sc. Noman and Nazim are AMU graduates. They have been charged under various sections of the tough UAPA. The cases against them will drag on. It is rather astounding, their grandiose plan. Whatever made them think that 3+2 students will be able to “overthrow the Government of India and impose Sharia”?
Just like the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7. Over-ambition is a terrorist thing. Mohammed Atta and his gang of terror pilots carried out the 9/11 terror attack and succeeded in scaring the pants off Americans; Hamas did it with October 7. The US and Israel have learned their lessons. Terrorists are always looking for complacency and weak knees. Will India be taught a lesson? There was 26/11, but It is a matter of concern that there are Indian students following in the footsteps of ISIS and Hamas.
A couple of months ago, a Pune ISIS Module comprising seven terrorists was busted by the NIA and charged under the UAPA. The seven were planning to carry out multiple terror attacks across the country and had elaborate plans on how to make a clean escape. In the end they were arrested before they could start the mayhem. An eighth member of the gang was nabbed on November 2. (IPA Service)