Mohd. Abul Farah (Shazli) –
Farah, 29, from Bakhtayarpur in Bihar is a research scholar in the Department of English. He has been enrolled at AMU since 2002. “Degradation of AMU students union is the only reason I quit my job to contest for elections. There is a dire need of a good politician at the place I come from who can advocate social justice and not discriminate among people,” he said. Farah admires Nitish Kumar and aspires to become the chief minister of Bihar in the future. He helped mobilise students at AMU following the death of Rohit Vemula.
Farah believes that the political scenario today in the nation is regressive and very communal. “This politics of hatred is very harmful for us. The ones sitting on chairs are safe and people on streets fight for them. We need to change this,” said Farah.
Md Rizwan –
Rizwan is a twenty-eight-year-old research scholar at the Department of Arabic. He has also been serving as an Imam for the last eight years in a mosque close to the campus. “Imam is a leadership position according to Islam. Imams should not only lead people in Muslim prayers but also in all other spheres of social life and that is what I want to do,” he said. He participated in the relief work after the Muzaffarnagar riots in 2013 and has accused the Samajwadi Party for considering muslims nothing more than a vote bank. He plans to contest assembly elections in the future and would consider joining the Congress but only after the party promises to restore the “Minority Character” of AMU.
Rizwan is very firm about the minority status of AMU and believes it as the varsity’s right. “Both article 29 and 30 in our constitution guarantee certain right to the minorities. Article 30, mandates all the minorities, whether based on religion or language, the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice. Moreover, they’re a plenty of other minority institutions in Delhi but why is the government specifically targeting AMU and Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) for their minority status,” says Rizwan. He also plans to do a referendum for the same in the campus.
Faizul Hasan Khan-
A research scholar in the Department of Sociology, Khan, twenty seven, is one of the three candidates in AMUSU elections. Khan is associated with the Udaan Society which works for the betterment of under reserved and neglected communities. He has no plans to contest assembly elections in future.
Khan is concerned about the low participation of Muslims in the national treasure. “None or very low Muslims are taking up government jobs. The ratio of Muslims in government jobs and their population is less than everybody in the country. I’d work for uplifting this and would provide such facilities to the students here in campus to study and prepare for civil services exams apart from the course they are pursuing,” said Hasan. Hasan himself is preparing for civil services examination.
The Soap Box
The issues of the candidates are somewhat similar to each-other. All of them have considered the campus security, restoring campus democracy and improving health and medical facilities as their prime issue. However these issues have been previously discussed by the previous unions too. Farah came up with a new idea of converting the less-used and abandoned buildings of the varsity into hostels and annexes to solve the accommodation problem of the campus while Rizwan has promised to start a placement cell of AMU in Delhi so that companies do not have to travel all the way to Aligarh and interview students. This, according to Rizwan, would provide better career opportunities to the students.
Moreover, there were two more candidates, Salman Khan (Bachelors of Engineering) and M. Hashmuddin (Bachelor of Arts, Geography) who filed their nomination for the post of President in AMUSU election. However, they are now not interested in contesting for the post and refused to comment.