As per a social media post Hindu and non-Muslim students of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) have been denied meals during Ramazan days at the university mess. However, AMU clarified that the students choose to have food outside the campus during the Ramazan.
The tweet prompted many on social media to question why the Central university administration is allowing the changes in its hostel mess to cater to a specific religion.
Delhi HC advocate, Prashant Patel tweeted “In Aligarh muslim university hostels, lunch, breakfast is not being served to Hindu students due to Ramadan”.
— Prashant Patel Umrao (@ippatel) May 29, 2017
That something like this may indeed be happening at the University shouldn’t come as a surprise as AMU’s official website carries an announcement that the office timings of all academic and non-academic departments of the university stand changed during Ramzan, on the approval of the Vice-Chancellor.
The announcement also mentions that no refreshment will be served at any meeting or function in the premises in order to maintain the sanctity of the Ramadan. Students also confirm that hostel mess indeed does not provide food during Ramzan in the fasting hours.
The Vice-president of the AMU students’ union Nadeem Ansari said that this indeed is the tradition for more than 50 years. Asked how non-fasting students manage during this time, Ansari said that they “arrange for their food” and it has never been an issue.
Ansari claimed that the union has raised the issue with the Dean Students’ Welfare in the past, though never in writing. Ansari said that the sudden outrage on social media about the issue is new for the union and they will be making a formal request now.
AMU PRO Umar Salim Pirzada said it is the custom of the University which is being followed from quite a long time and now they are making arrangements to provide lunch on demands of the students.
Besides, AMU`s Public Relations Office said that mess are serving food in the lunch hours during the holy month of Ramadan to students, who are not observing the fast. AMU has a tradition of serving lunch to students, who do not fast during Ramadan.
Is there no Fundamental rights of non Muslim students in AMU to have breakfast no lunch on time ? Why no discussion in media ?
— Prof Rakesh Sinha (@RakeshSinha01) May 30, 2017
Meanwhile, The University has around 16 hostel mess operated in different “halls” of residential hostels. During Ramzan, the food is served at dawn for Sehri (around 2.30 am) and is followed by another meal after 7 for Iftar.