NEW DELHI — Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday paid rich tributes to the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and hailed it for promoting diversity saying it was one of the strengths of the country.
“History of education attached to AMU buildings is India’s valuable heritage. I often meet AMU alumni during my foreign visits, who very proudly say that they’ve studied from AMU,” he said while addressing the centenary celebration of the university through videoconferencing.
“Wherever in the world they go, AMU alumni represent the rich heritage and culture of India…In its 100 years of history, AMU has crafted and polished millions of lives, giving them modern and scientific thinking and inspiring them to do something for the society and the nation.”
The prime minister said the university represents “mini-India” which has completed 100 glorious years of excellence in education.
“People tell me that the AMU campus is like a city in itself. We see a mini-India among different departments, dozens of hostels, thousands of teachers and professors. The diversity which we see here is not only the strength of this university but also of the entire nation,” he said.
It was a rare speech through which prime minister tried to reach out to the Muslim community which has been feeling alienated to the government. “I assure that nobody will be left out and not discriminated against on religious lines. Everyone will move forward by enjoying the Fundamental Rights given in the Constitution,” Modi said
“The country is marching forward on the path where every citizen would get the benefits of development happening in the country without any discrimination. The country is on the path where every citizen should be rest assured about their constitutional rights and their future. The country is on the path where no citizen would be left behind because of their religion and everyone would get equal opportunities so that everyone can fulfil their dreams. Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas is the mantra behind it,” he added.
He also underlined the contributions of AMU in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. He said the university conducted free tests, made isolation wards and created plasma banks. Modi also hailed the university’s contribution to the PM Cares Fund. “All this shows the seriousness of fulfilling your obligations towards society.”
He said when it comes to India’s progress, it is important to set aside ideological differences. “Whatever religion you are born in, it is important to blend one’s aspirations with national goals. When it comes to the nation, there cannot be any ideological differences. AMU has produced many freedom fighters, who set aside their ideological differences and fought together.” The PM also said everything should not be viewed through a “political prism”.
The Prime Minister also released a postal stamp at the event, where University Chancellor Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin and Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank were also present.
The AMU had helped India strengthen its relations with Muslim countries and nearly 1,000 foreign students were currently on its rolls. The Prime Minister said that the university should strengthen its soft power.
The Prime Minister congratulated the university for increasing the number of female students to 35 per cent, adding that the government had provided 1 crore scholarships for such students.