These days two Universities of Delhi are making headlines. JNU for Anti India propaganda and Jamia Milia Islamia for the decision of Government of India to oppose it’s minority tag in the honourable Supreme Court. This has led to creating a uproar in the Academia. People are terming it as an attack on the Muslim community by a fascist right wing government. But is it really legally right? Let’s find out.
First of all, let me make it very clear. I am myself a student of the University in question and hold nothing against it. I am tackling the issue purely from a neutral point of view.
First let’s discuss what is a minority institution. It’s an institution based on religion run by any minority group for educational purposes. In such institutions, seats are reserved for that particular community. It may be partially funded by the government but that is not necessary.
Well it is correct that its well within the rights of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice as provided in the Article 30 of the Constitution of India. This same argument has been put forward by many supporting Jamia’s minority tag. They also argue that institutions like St. Stephens College for the Christian community and SGTB Khalsa College or Shri Guru Granth Sahib World University for the Sikh community also work on the same principle of minority institutions as Jamia so taking away of minority tag of Jamia alone would be unfair. This is their main argument. Let’s see if it’s viable.
Once and for all let’s be clear Jamia is a Central University directly functional under the Government of India.It is not run by a minority but the Government of India itself. As we all know that India is a secular country. In a secular country, Government does not meddle in religious matters and nor does it run any institutions based on religion. So Jamia should not be a minority institution as there can be nothing called a minority Central University in a secular country. All the above mentioned institutions like St Stephens are private in nature and are not run by the government. So they can continue being minority institutions but Jamia can’t.
Let’s face it, deliberately done or not, Government is on strong legal footing in this case. They are actually right in taking away the tag. So let us give it away gracefully or else the reputation of the University could be affected by this bitter fight in the court.