After report surfaced of BJP leader and Jamia Millia Islamia alumna Shazia Ilmi accusing Jamia of putting “pressure” on organisers to drop her name from a panel of speakers on a debate on triple talk called by RSS supported Forum for Awareness of National Security (FANS), a debate is raging on the social media over the issue.
It all started after Arfa Khanum wrote this on her timeline: “Ramjas apologists are creating another propaganda by unnecessarily dragging Jamia Millia Islamia that it didn’t allow Shazia Ilmi and Meenakshi Lekhi to speak on triple talaq. The fact of the matter is that Jamia has nothing to do with the seminar except providing the venue that can be allotted to just about anyone. It was organised by an independent NGO. Still justifying Ramjas?”
The post solicited several comments with one
Mahtab Alam writing: “Arfa Khanum – कल के पोस्टर पर मिनाक्षी लेखी और शाज़िया इल्मी का तो नाम भी नही था तो फिर उनके न बोलने देने का सवाल कहाँ से आया। ये रहा पोस्टर, जो मैंने कल जामिया में लिया था।”
But a poster that was doing the rounds on the campus earlier did show name of these two leaders on it.
Ilmi told PTI: “There was a lot of pressure on the organisers. First they changed the topic from triple talaq to women empowerment. Then they wanted me to be dropped from the speakers’ list. In the first initiation my name was there but in the second card my name was removed.
“The organisers requested the authorities to allow them to invite me but they said no she will create a lot of problems. I also learnt that students were gathered outside the programme venue to stop me from speaking at the event.”
Jamia has denied the allegation. Its spokesperson said: “The event was not organised by the university or any of its department. The auditorium was rented out to the organisers and in such events the varsity has nothing to do with either the subject or choice of the speakers. It was not our prerogative.”