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Supreme Court on October 1967 There was nothing in 1920...
May 2016

Supreme Court on October 1967  There was nothing in 1920 to prevent the Muslim minority, if it so chose, to establish a university; but if it did so the degrees of such a university were not bound to be recognised by Government. It may be that in the absence of recognition of the degrees granted by a university, it may not have attracted many students, and that is why we find that before the Constitution came into force, most of the universities in India were established by legislation. The Aligarh University was also in the same way established by legislation and it provided under s. 6 of the 1920-Act that "the degrees-, diplomas and other academic distinctions granted or conferred to or on persons by the University shall be recognised by the Government as are the corresponding degrees, diplomas and other academic distinctions granted by any other university incorporated under any enactment." It is clear therefore that even though the Muslim minority could have established at Aligarh in 1920 a university, it could not insist that degrees granted by such a university should be recognised by Government.

Therefore when the Aligarh university was established in 1920 and by s. 6 its degrees were recognised by Government, an institution was brought into existence which could not be brought into existence by any private individual or body for such individual or body could not insist upon the recognition of the degrees conferred by any university established, by it. The enactment of s.6 in the 1920-Act is a very important circumstance which shows that the Aligarh University when it came to be established in 1920 was not established by the Muslim minority, for the minority could not insist on the recognition by Government of the degrees conferred by any university established by it.

It is true, as is clear from the 1920-Act, that the nucleus of the Aligarh University was the M.A.O College, which was till then a teaching institution under the Allahabad University. The conversion of that college (if we may use that expression) into a university was however not by the Muslim minority; it took place by virtue of the 1920-Act which was passed by the Central legislature. There was no Aligarh University existing till the 1920Act was passed. It was brought into being by the 1920-Act and must therefore be held to have been established by the Central Legislature which by passing the 1920-Act incorporated it. The fact that it was based on the M.A.0. College, would make no difference to the question as to who established the Aligarh University.

The answer to our mind as to who established the Aligarh University is clear and that is that it was the Central Legislature by enacting the 1920-Act that established the said University. As we have said already, the Muslim minority could not establish a university whose degrees were bound to be recognised by Gov- ernment as provided by s. 6 of 1920-Act. that one circumstance along with the fact that without the 1920-Act the University in the form that it had, could not come into existence shows clearly that the Aligarh University when it came into existence in 1920 was established by, the Central Legislature by the 1920-Act. It may be that the 1920-Act was passed as a result of the efforts of the Muslim minority. But that does not mean that the Aligarh University when it came into being under the 1920-Act was established by the Muslim minority.


After meeting the Union Minister for HRD, the Vice Chancellor of the AMU had a meeting with the Prime Minister.  In this  meeting, he tried to impress three points: a) maintain the minority character of the AMU

b) allow the AMU to set up off-campus centers of the University in different states; and c) AMU be treated on par with the BHU and Jamia Millia  in the matter of allocation of funds. 

Incidentally, right from its inception as MAO College in 1875, the institution has acted as the nursery for Muslim separatism.  It had played a prominent role in the creation of Pakistan.  In any other country, such institutions would be abolished for working to divide the country. 

In the alternative, the government can inform the AMU that, in accordance with its constitutional provisions, it can run as a minority institution but without any central assistance.


Historian  Romila Thapar, while addressing the students of JNU on Sunday (6th March, 2016) inter-alia observed that both Hindus and Muslims endorsed the two nation theory. This is a complete distortion of historical facts.  The truth is India was divided on the demand of Muslims, mainly on the basis of religion.  It is the status of Muslims in independent India that requires a re-look.


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