Press Release : Social Justice and ‘Minority’ Institutions

Today (22 June 2009), the members of the Pasmanda Intellectuals' Forum (PIF) gathered in the lawns of the Sir Syed House, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) to discuss the empanelment of the vice chancellor of the Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI), a Central University, New Delhi-25.
The members expressed their deep concern over blatant exclusion of an OBC Muslim IAS officer in a panel of five, including 3 bureaucrats.

They stressed that this is yet another instance of structural marginalization of lower caste Muslims from community controlled institutions. This is to be noted that thus far no lower caste Muslim has ever been made the Vice Chancellor of the universities like AMU and JMI. This is strange as the lower caste Muslims form not less than 75% of the Indian Muslim population.

While the PIF conceded that the Search Committee (comprising Justice Saghir Ahmad, Mr. Syed Hamid and Prof. Yashpal) did have a discretion of considering or not considering a particular candidate but it is of grave concern as to why should not they show their sensitivity for social justice.. Moreover,, the PIF demands that the Search Committee should give a categorical explanation for ignoring the candidate, Mr Anis Ansari, IAS. Particularly when other officers of IAS empanelled, happen to be junior to Mr Ansari and none of them could reach as high an administrative position as him. Mr Ansari had secured All India 2nd Rank in the IAS Exams of 1973. He has the degree of LLM and is about to get his Ph.D. in Economics. Besides, he is an award winning Urdu poet, with several collections published. While serving as the Agricultural Production Controller of Uttar Pradesh, he also had sufficient experience in dealing with the affairs of universities of great repute like the G.B. Pant Agricultural University, Pantnagar. Other officers of IAS empanelled there don't have such experiences. It, therefore, becomes intriguing for the Pasmanda Intellectual Forum (PIF), why his name was not preferred over the other three bureaucrats for empanelment.

The PIF strongly feels that except his caste identity there could have been no other reason for this structural exclusion whatsoever. It strongly condemns this blatant discrimination and urges the Honourable President of the Indian republic, Ms Pratibha Patil and the Union Minister of Human Resource Development, Mr Kapil Sibal to act immediately and ensure social justice.

The Pasmanda Intellectual's Forum (PIF) is a small informal group of activists, journalists and intellectuals who deliberate on the issues concerning pasmanda and other subaltern sections like bahujans, gender, working classes, tribals and so on. They aspire for a plural and democratic India and strive to intervene in issues that take forward this agenda. Their overriding concern is to provide visibility to marginalized issues by articulating it and bringing it to the public sphere so that an informed debate can take place on the same. It does not have a formal hierarchical structure and is facilitated by a Coordinating Committee. Though it operates out of Delhi it has no spatial limitations and is open to all democratic citizens from any caste, creed, gender, class or religious location.

At present the Coordinating Committee comprises:

Ashok Yadav (Patna) , ph 09431498699
Dr. Noor Hasan Azad (Patna), ph 09931917846
Mohd. Hishamuddin (Patna), ph 09431075955
Raza Abbas (Aligarh), ph 09412385456
Dr. Mohd. Sajjad (Aligarh),, ph 09412653515
Mr. Khalid A. Ansari (New Delhi), 09661820277
Mr. Qasim Ansari (New Delhi). ph 09312352470

Released By:
Pasmanda Intellectual’s Forum (PIF)

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