There are things throughout the day that makes you feel surprised, excited, annoyed, agitated. And then there are things that are outrageous, that magnifies your expression (whichever one it is) multifold.
The recent incidences associated with Jamia Millia Islamia – my alma mater; and the multitudes of posts, messages received and read about it has left me – outrageously uncomfortable.
Here are some of the important facts and experiences that may inform us about the close realities of this institution:
- Jamia Millia Islamia is a minority institution. By virtue of that, it has reservations for muslims; in most of the courses offered by the university. So it is not surprising when you find more muslim batchmates, as compared to your batchmates in other universities.
If your argument is: Having muslim majority in a certain territory (in this case, territory is JMI university) makes it unsafe for hindu minority of the territory.
Do you mean: Muslims, Sikhs, Christians are all unsafe in the territory that is India because they are all minorities?
I hope not to imagine an India where this statement holds true (while also being aware that it is indeed true in some areas of the country)
- I have been reading about how secular and non-religious is Jamia Millia Islamia, as a university. This is in order to prove the spirits of the institution in good faith, responding to the recent incidence of sloganeering in the University of Hindus being unsafe there. Talking about secularism has always been of my special interest in this university. Here is what I wrote 5 years back, when I was in Jamia. One of the interesting bits that I would like to pick up from my previous article is – “Why is this asked only to Jamia? A pertinent issue is, are other universities also faced with the burden of proving their secular credentials? We must, therefore, acknowledge that the prevalence of such a debate can perhaps be another stage where the marginalized have to prove their sincerity to the mainstream.”
This broadly concludes the discomfort when I read posts where students, teachers from Jamia are writing about secularity of the institution.
What should worry Hindus
As indicated by the title of the blog I must list down some threats that may worry Hindus. As a person, mostly categorized as the “Hindu” in the country (the only reason I think I am a hindu is because I am not a Muslim/Christian); I would like to share this from my own experience.
If you are a Hindu and you study in Jamia Millia Islamia,
You may fall in love with Urdu!
Urdu hai mera naam – Khusro ki Paheli, Meer ki Hamraaz, Ghalib Ki Saheli.
This university is one of the few living conjunctures of literary scholars and cultural aesthetics of the language that India is going to lose soon (I hope not!). You don’t have to make an effort, you will have fluent shayars (poets) and literary scholars everywhere – you classmates, your professors, your staff. And there isn’t any tea break or a response that is not attributed with a complimentary Ashar.
Yes, you may be thinking that this is worrying for Hindus; if they learn Urdu and start following Islam and forget Sanskrit and their Sanskrtiti (Hindi word for culture). So NO you don’t have to worry about Urdu opening doors to Islam, because Urdu is an Indian language and Islamic scholars don’t really consider it equivalent to Arabic- their first language for Islam. But YES, you must worry that learning about urdu literature may make you aware of the love and solidarity shared by Hindus and Muslims in past and this may make you recognise brotherhood with your muslim acquaintances. Urdu as a language is a beautiful amalgamation of two linguistic cultures – Hindi and Persian. You may start rejecting the idea that Hindus and muslims are poles apart; and you may start loving the diversity of the two cultures.
You may become less economically efficient and remember your God and his Grace, more often
With prayer sessions five times a day, you will just get accustomed to remember the name of your God, thank him for his blessings, pray for guidance and grace – atleast once in a day because everyone around you will be going for prayers 5 times, every day. And even if they are not; the Azaan (muslim call for prayers) will not make you miss the balance of work with spirituality.
You may slow down in life.
This might have just been me and not everyone here. But Delhi in general and Delhi University in particular (where I graduated from); always has some or the other activity where you can sub-merge yourself – Elections, Fests, Cultural Societies, Department Trips, Alumini Meet. The list is endless. All of this comes with a usually packed agenda for most of the days. Jamia, very alternately, is what I love to say – fursat ki mehfil (a gathering of ease). While there are some activities around the university, there is ample time to waste – sit, study, reflect! Such a mix where you are located in Delhi, but not really running around – slows you. For me, my time at Jamia Millia Islamia was the time for reflections, delving deeper into my areas of interests and not get carried away with the charms and amazingness that Delhi usually throws at you.
So beware my fellow hindus. Unless you treasure Love, Culture, God and a Reflective life, you should surely beware of this University!