It was exactly on February 22 a few years ago when Jamia Millia Islamia recorded history. And it was expected that the day would remembered every year as usually is done by people and institution around the world.
But that has not been the case in Jamia. Looking at the tepid response everywhere from university authorities to Jamia alumni it appears that the historic day has been forgotten, so sad indeed.
It was on February 22, 2011, when Jamia was declared a minority institution. It was a historic day six years ago as the win was celebrated with great fanfare by alumni, university staff and those who were involved in the protracted battle.
“Congratulations. Today on this day in 2011 that is February 22 Jamia was declared as Minority Education Institution under Article 30 (1) of the Constitution of India,” wrote Syed Tarique, ex-JMI Students’ Union and a lawyer who was at the forefront of the minority that the university had won when Najeeb Jung was the vice chancellor.
Following which Jamia was allowed to reserve up to 50 per cent seats for Muslims. It is the only Central University to have minority character in India.
“We have no hesitation in holding that Jamia was founded by the Muslims for the benefit of the Muslims and it never lost its identity as a Muslim minority educational institution,” said the order signed by Justice M.S.A. Siddiqui, chairman of the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions (NCMEI) had said then.
However, the NCMEI’s decision has being challenged in the court. The 2016 IE report that You can oppose Jamia minority status, Law ministry advises HRD shows that hard days are ahead in defending the minority character.