NEW DELHI: The proposed visit of the President to Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) has become mired in controversy due to a statement Ram Nath Kovind reportedly made in 2010, as the students’ union wants him to apologise for the ‘Islam and Christianity are alien to the nation’ comments.
The President, who will be attending the convocation at AMU on March 7, had given the controversial statement while commenting on a report by the Ranganath Misra Commission.
Opposing President Kovind’s AMU visit, the vice-president of AMU students’ union Sajad Subhan Rather has said the President has to aologise for his comments.
“This is a university in which maximum students belong to a minority community, whom Kovind ji described as aliens in 2010. If he (Kovind) fails to accept that he made a mistake by making that statement, he is not welcome here. Either the President should apologise for his statement or should refrain from attending the convocation. There is resentment among the students due to his controversial statement and if anything untoward takes place, then the President and Vice-Chancellor will be responsible for it.” Rather said.
Rather, however added that AMU students will “honour and welcome” the President if he says that all religions are equal.
AMUSU secretary Mohammad Fahad said, “We will welcome him, but it will be nice if he accepts that he made a mistake in the past by making that controversial statement.”
In 2009, the Misra commission had recommended 10 per cent reservation for Muslims and five per cent for other minorities in government jobs and favored Scheduled Caste status for Dalits, but Kovind rejected it.