While communism as an ideology has been resoundingly rejected by the people of India with the Left being restricted to just one state – Kerala, which usually follows a rotating chair policy between the INC and CPI(M), the ideology still boom in some of India’s premier institutes with case in point being the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU). During his address to the AMU, Prime Minister Modi sought to send an important message; “Development before politics, nation before ideology.”
Over the past few years, institutes like JNU and AMU have been in the news for all the wrong reasons as alleged anti-national incidents on their respective campuses have dominated the national headlines. While the dominant ideology in these campuses might be starkly different from the prevalent mood in India and that of the ruling party, the nation should always take precedence before ideology and PM Modi sought to reiterate the same during his address to the AMU alumni, teachers and staff on its centennial celebrations.
Advocating “vigilance against misleading propaganda” and keeping “interest of the nation supreme”, PM Modi said, “Politics can wait but development cannot, similarly poor belonging to whichever section also cannot wait.”
This can be read as an indirect reference to how AMU students in the past had participated in anti-CAA protests and have also lent support to the farmers’ agitation as they urged President Kovind to repeal the farm laws.
Urging everyone to keep their differences aside for the betterment of the nation, PM Modi said, “On such issues, we cannot have differences despite ideological and personal differences. There were difference of opinions in AMU… but Independence struggle became common ground. We need to work on common ground like Independence.”
He added, “We must realise that politics is an important part of society but there are many other issues in society besides politics. For a new India, the core is that welfare must not be seen from the prism of politics. There are some elements who may have an issue with this….they will spread negativity. But these people will be sidelined if we work for the betterment of the country keeping aside politics. Politics can wait, but the country cannot wait for development, the poor and disadvantaged cannot wait for development.”
The Prime Minister then proceeded to quote, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, the founder of AMU as he said that the biggest duty of every citizen is towards the country and its progress.
“For the progress of the country, every stratum should progress so that everyone gets a chance to realise their dreams without religion and other constraints,” said the Prime Minister.
In an important message, PM Modi laid down the marker for empowering women through education as he said, “There was a time when the dropout rate of Muslim girls was more than 70 pc, today it has dropped to 30 pc due to programmes like Swachch Bharat.”
The Prime Minister’s address to the AMU was an important one which urged everyone to set aside their differences be it political or ideological for the betterment of the nation.