Pondicherry University denies Islamisation charge

University said only 22 of its 368-strong faculty are Muslims which makes only 5.9% percentage.

Pucucchrry: The Pondicherry Central University has told the Union Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) that the charge by a Delhi-based saffron outfit that former Vice-Chancellor J.A.K. Tareen presided over an 'islamisation process' of the institution during his six-year tenure from 2007, was baseless.

In a report submitted to MHRD last month, the University said only 22 of its 368-strong faculty are Muslims which makes only 5.9% percentage. "The number of Muslim students, including Kashmiri migrant students, is less than six per cent of the total population of the university," the report said, adding "the percentage is no way reflecting alarming trend of Islamisation'. The report termed the allegation of a mosque inside the university "factually incorrect'.

Documents Deccan Chronicle accessed said the MHRD on September 7, 2015 asked the university to look into a complaint that the ministry received regarding "Islamisation" of the university, forwarded from a Delhi-based trust namely

Patriots Forum and also from the office of Minister of State for Food processing industry Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti.

Patriots Forum alleged that the process of 'Islamisation' started with Tareen taking charge as VC on March 16, 2007 and was visible "whether in the selection of faculty or admission of students". It said a good number of students were taken from Kashmir "raising a clear suspicion that some among them could be genuine terrorists" and called it a "planned strategy to develop a stronghold for the minority community in this part of the country."

Alleging that Tareen tried to build a mosque inside the campus and introduced halal meat, the forum demanded that the ministry launch a "shudhikaran" (purification) process to clean the polluted land of "Rishi Aurobindo"

The university, which formed a three-member committee in response to MHRD missive, denied all the allegations. It said the university celebrated its silver jubilee during Tareen's tenure which helped it get "certain degree of visibility at the national level."

D.C. Nath, formerly working in Intelligence Bureau and president of Patriots Forum told Deccan Chronicle that they have sent only a report to the ministry based on a research done by 'India facts', a research organisation based in Bengaluru, and not a complaint. "We have sent a report for the knowledge of the ministry and the public, not a complaint," he said and added that he is unaware of any reports prepared by the university.

At the same time, the Chief Editor of 'India facts' Sandeep Balakrishnan refused to comment on the issue saying that the report is no longer available in the website.

Minister of State for Food Processing Industries Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti was also unavailable for comment.

Describing it as 'unfortunate', Tareen called the critics as ' jokers' with hidden interests.

"After all, what does Islamisation mean? You can check the facts before making allegations. Pondicherry University has become the fastest growing university with 300% growth when I was the Vice Chancellor, and it became an A grade university. You can see the various development projects that I have introduced", he said.

Students and teachers of the university responded very harsh to the news. Students of the university criticise the attitude of the ministry and call it as a politicised movement. Students wondered as to what the point was in raising Islamisation in a university which was having a temple inside and having departments which conducted 'puja' on various occasions. They alleged that all these moves were intended to destroy the peaceful atmosphere of the university.

"The present government is targeting the minority community and Dalit community in the country. They just want to saffronise higher education system in India. The word 'Islamisation' itself has got various aspects in global level also and targeting a particular community calling them part of a process of islamisatoon is a kind of racial attack that we can never allow" said P Jishnu, secretary, Students Federation of India, Pondicherry University.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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