In India, where Congress ruled for nearly six decades – thereby monopolizing the Indian politics – BJP seemed to be the only hope to the ever exploited masses. Undoubtedly during these decades India could not reach where it should have been. It is unfortunate that even after seven decades of her independence, India still has around thirty per cent of its population below poverty line.
Whatever development has been taken place, it has been both lopsided and vertical. The gap between haves and have nots is as wide as it can be. It is disheartening that India still has not escaped the clutches of poverty, hunger, corruption, unemployment and other issues. On the political front too, there has been complete mishandling in addressing political disputes that today millions of rupees are spent on military to curb the situation in North east and Kashmir.
It is further disappointing that when the world is talking about global peace and global warming, India could not maintain the internal peace. There has been an ever increasing incidence of communal violence, caste violence, gender violence and politically motivated violence (as in north east) within the borders of the country. It is further heart breaking that when the world is using fifth generation of computers and sophisticated technology, India still fights over mosque and temple issues.
It was owing to these circumstances that by and large the people of India voted for change. They voted for BJP. First six months of any government are indeed an index to its next five years. After completing six months at the centre, BJP could not perform as it was expected. It could not fulfil even a fraction of its promises which were made during the election campaigns. Be it inflation, bringing back black money in hundred days, border security or any other issue, BJP could make no change.
Indeed after its coming to power, there has been more turmoil within India and on her borders. The principle of minimum government and maximum governance too eventually failed. The development agenda seems an illusion now.
After not meeting the expectations of the people of ‘upcoming good days,’ BJP have now started diverting minds of an ever questioning people of India. It is at the backdrop of these problems that rightwing party BJP is now concentrating on unnecessary, unwanted and illogical issues like ‘Love Jihad’ and ‘Celebrating birthday of Raja Mahendra Pratap (a staunch Marxist) in the campus of Aligarh Muslim University.
Raja Mahendra Pratap (1886-1979) was a freedom fighter, a journalist, a social reformer and a staunch Marxist. He was an alumnus of Aligarh Muslim University. Pratap received his education in an institution where he was taught by English teachers, Muslim and non-Muslim teachers of India i.e. MAO College, the fore runner of Aligarh Muslim University. Henceforth was born as a secular man beyond his time. He like many others has worked for the Aligarh Movement whole heartedly. He is respected and celebrated as many other contributors of the movement like Sir Zia Uddin, Hali, Shibli, Vaqar ul Mulk, Mohsin ul Mulk, Shehzada Aftab etc. who stood with the Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, the founder of Aligarh Muslim University in his thick and thin.
Whether Pratap donated a piece of land to AMU or not, we must recognize the fact that he has donated an important part of his life for AMU like hundreds of others whose contributions are no less than that of Pratap.
So it is now quite simple to understand that Aligarh Muslim University or any other institution can’t afford to celebrate birthday of all its alumni. As even if we merely take the names of prominent people who contributed to the Aligarh movement, it may take several days, as the university has been a factory of producing renowned world leaders, historians, legends of Arts and literature to mention a few. So here we celebrate the birthday of only its founder that is Sir Syed Ahmed Khan as ‘Sir Syed Day’.
(Mujahid Mughal is Research Scholar of Geography Aligarh Muslim University)