Recently, I wrote an article, comparing the Return on Investment on taxpayer’s being spent on AMU and BHU.
The Wire did a fact check of the claims made in the article; and claimed to find many inaccuracies. The Wire concluded the fact check with, “Amit Agrahari dropped some unpleasant facts from his analysis and resorted instead to the fallacies of incomplete evidence, faulty generalisation and relative privation.”
So, let me respond to the claims made by The Wire.
According to the media house, the claim that “AMU counts members of “terrorist organisations like SIMI, Indian Mujahideen and Popular Front of India” is factually wrong.
So, let’s start with SIMI, which the government of India described as “terrorist organization” and banned in 2001. In 2019, the government extended the ban for five more years.
SIMI was founded by AMU students led by a PhD scholar named Mohammad Ahmadullah Sadiq in 1977, and the slogan of the terrorist outfit was ‘Allah is our Lord, Quran is our Constitution, Mohammad is our leader, Jihad is our way, Shahada is our desire’.
Indian Mujahideen is an armed outfit of SIMI, and this claim has been corroborated by Indian and International policy think tanks. Research paper has been published on this by American political scientist C. Christine Fair in National Bureau of Asian Research.
IM has carried out terrorist attacks in almost every major city- Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Varanasi, and many others- of the country.
The PhD scholar had been expelled from AMU, because he joined Hizbul Mujahideen, as a terrorist group by India, the European Union, and the United States.
For more on the prevalent anti-nationalism in AMU, read this article on PGurus
According to Mukunth, my primary source, by my own admission, is Wikipedia. However, my article clearly states that “For cross-check, just visit the Wikipedia page of BHU and AMU alumnus list, and you will be able to tell the difference.”
Therefore, the Wikipedia source was referred for cross check. It is true that Wikipedia page is no legitimate source, but, at the same time, if one is referring to a list of alumni, all the information provided would not be wrong. The context is very important here, which The Wire, conveniently, choose to ignore.
The Wire dedicated three paragraphs to Wikipedia being my source, instead of pointedly refuting my claim that AMU alumni’s have links to terrorist organizations, and they themselves started India’s most dreaded “non- Kashmiri based” terrorist organization.
On the ranking of AMU’s Engineering department, The Wire claims that it is ranked 40 in NIRF rankings. The portal itself raised questions on the objectivity of the NIRF’s ranking; not just The Wire, many scholars have raised questions on the ranking methodology of NIRF, which ranks ‘Government-funded institutions higher compared to private ones’.
If we take a look at the ranking of private media houses, like Times Group, the institute is not ranked even among top 140 engineering colleges of the country.
Therefore, both fact checks by The Wire are complete lies.
Next, the article claimed that I have resorted to privation and my claim that AMU is a minority institution is not in good faith.
I have clearly mentioned that the matter is subjudice, and given the fact that the university reserves 50 per cent seats for ‘internal students’, it is meeting the benefits claimed by ‘minority institutions’.
“If he was intent on running down AMU, it is curious that Agrahari chose not to mention AMU’s at times troubling attitude towards women. This is presumably because BHU’s attitude towards women also leaves much to be desired.
On the matter of religion of Iqbal Narain, who served as AMU’s VC (19 October 1981 – 29 April 1985), the Wire claimed that his full name was Iqbal Narain Srivastava, and therefore “it is safe to assume the VC was not Muslim.”
This shows the ignorance of the person who is “science editor at The Wire”; because I can count hundreds of Muslim families, who have Hindu surnames, but the publication assumes that given his surname is Srivastava, he is not Muslim.