Two years ago, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had remarked that Jat leader Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh did not receive the due recognition he deserved for having donated land for Aligarh Muslim University (AMU). However, fast forward 2021, CM Yogi along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday (September 14) laid the foundation stone of Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh State University. Off late, AMU has become a den of Islamism and radical ideologies, with several anti-national protests emerging from the compounds of the university. In turn, Aligarh’s image has been destroyed by the university. However, the Yogi administration has pulled up its socks now and is quietly working to restore the lost sheen of the district.
Aligarh: PM Narendra Modi lays the foundation stone of Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh State University
UP Governor Anandiben Patel & UP CM Yogi Adityanath were also present pic.twitter.com/bnqV46C02I
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) September 14, 2021
PM Modi after the ceremony remarked, “As a prime minister, I consider it my good fortune that I am laying the foundation stone of a university named after such a visionary,” The PM even remembered Late Kalyan Singh Ji who was born in Aligarh and played a pivotal part in the Ram Mandir movement.
He said, “Today I am feeling very much the absence of the great son of this earth, Late Kalyan Singh Ji. If Kalyan Singh ji was with us today, Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh would have been very happy to see the new identity of Aligarh being created by the State University and Defense Sector,”
AMU destroyed Aligarh’s image
The setting up of the university named after influential Jat king and a freedom fighter Mahendra Pratap Singh in Aligarh is being seen as an ideological coup by the Yogi-Modi government to counter the radicalism flourishing at AMU. The upcoming university will not just be an ideological counter to the hegemony of AMU, but will also provide the people of Uttar Pradesh with a much-needed alternative for higher education.
AMU is a den of Islamists. Hindus and other religious communities are generally not welcome at the university unless they subscribe to the radical ideology of those who have hegemonized the campus, which by the way, are funded by Indian taxpayers. AMU’s love for Muhammad Ali Jinnah requires no retelling. The campus was up in arms in 2018, upon being asked to take down Jinnah’s portrait.
Over the years, AMU has become a hotspot where the ‘protest culture’ has metamorphosed into a growing anti-national culture. Important to note is the fact that AMU is a central university and does not enjoy the minority status by virtue of a 1967 Allahabad High Court judgment. And yet the University acts as if it is a only Islamists and radical fundamentalists have a place on the campus.
Defence corridor to help shed the anti-national image
In addition to the Mahendra Pratap Singh University, another major development can help Aligarh shed its poor image. Before laying the foundation stone of the university, PM Modi inspected the models of Aligarh node of Uttar Pradesh Defence Industrial Corridor.
PM Narendra Modi visits exhibition models of Aligarh node of UP Defence Industrial Corridor. UP CM Yogi Adityanath was also present.
PM Modi will also lay the foundation stone of Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh State University in Aligarh. pic.twitter.com/bH9Yk7LrN7
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) September 14, 2021
Aligarh is one of the nodes in the corridor and will help country in enhancing its weapons and military hardware arsenal. In the Aligarh Node, land allocation process has been completed and land has been allotted to 19 firms, who will invest Rs 1,245 crore in the node.
While addressing a rally afterwards, PM Modi also made an analogy between the famous locks of Aligarh and the defence corridor, saying that the city is now contributing towards protection of country’s borders as well. UP defence corridor will play an important role in changing India’s image as the largest importer of defence equipment to a major exporter of defence-related hardware.
Name change in place as well
The name change of Aligarh to Harigarh is also in the pipeline. It is being done to refurbish the image of the district whose approval ratings have only plummeted in recent times. The Zila Panchayat during a meeting last month unanimously passed a proposal to rename the city to Harigarh. The final decision to rename is taken by the state government and given CM Yogi’s desire to claim India’s true identity, it will not be long before Aligarh is rechristened.
While previous governments engaged in appeasement and votebank politics to plunge the district into further misery, the Yogi administration through education and development work is trying to lift the image of Aligarh.