Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Late Professor Muhammed Nasim Farooqi, Former VC, AMU

Sometimes AMU feels like Greece.
Both are famous for their tragedies.
Last VC of AMU, Professor P.K. Abdul Azis was a tragic figure.
He did made valiant efforts for the academic revival of AMU but his detractors were not interested in them.
They were not interested even in the off-campus centers.
The VC before him, Mr Nasim Ahmed too was a tragic figure.
AMU wan meant for imparting modern education to the Muslim society as whole, in fact its vision is global for Muslim Ummah is a global phenomena, but it has got some how reduced to cater to Khair, Sasni, Hathras, Harduaganj, Atrauli. Do not worry if you do not know these locations - you just do not know the majority student composition.
So some people wanted to reserve some seats for Muslim students and the university made a move to that effect.
And all calamity rained on AMU - even some of the very vocal supporters of the idea did tame a rather shamefully quick U-turn.
One person could not have made a graceful exit - the VC. It was Mr Nasim Ahmed.
Yours truly has his sympathies with Mr Ahmed - he in fact went into depression because of that. Why? Was it personal mistake altogether? No it was not.
The VC before him was a rather short tenured - Janab Muhammed Ansari Sahab, the current Vice President of India.
Before that it was Mr Mehmoodur Rahman Sahab.
He too is a slightly tragic figure because the work he did as VC was monumental.
Indeed in modern times of land encroachments university boundary is a monument in itself - that is one of the many things that he did for the university, construction of the university boundary wall.
(There is a BHU joke. A Maharaja was cajoled to commit to boundary wall construction. He was more than glad - building cots a lot so what is there in a boundary wall, he thought. Only to regret it later for the length of the boundary was of huge proportions.)
Another significant contribution of Mehmoodur Rahman Sahab was the slow but persistent control of the law and order situation at the campus. When he took over the reins the university was in a state of near total break down of administrative authority. It was inherited from Dar-e-Farooqi, the Farooqi era.

What makes Mehmoodur Rahman Sahab also a tragic figure is that once you do that kind of things for the university you should be a person who is accepted as a prize citizen. That has not happened. He has ended up in a high position in Bombay Mercantile Bank but any such assignment can not match the glory that goes with the Vice Chancellorship of AMU.

Finally, for this note, we come to late Professor M.N.Farooqi who expired on 24 August, 2012 at Kanpur after a heart attack.

Verily we are for our Lord and unto Him is our return.

He too was a tragic figure. There are enough academic developments in AMU that can be attributed to him and people have more or less unanimously declared that as a person or an academician he was above reproach. What made him into a tragedy is the hideously manipulative gentry at AMU who completely took over the campus. Those who were students in those days have seeped into administrative, clerkial as well as teaching hierarchy and  its effect will be there for decades to see.

There will be enough smarties around asserting that Professor Farooqi failed as an administrator. That is a travesty of truth. AMU, the non-VC part of it, failed to maintain a administrative composure. If we do not identify the problem correctly it is unlikely to have a positive prognosis