ABVP and BJYM leaders have alleged that non-muslim students were not served breakfast and lunch during Ramzan at the Aligarh Muslim University. This claim is however refuted by the University authorities who said that they provide food “on demand” irrespective of religion.
Vinay Varshney, a BYJM Leader said here in the AMU that be refusing food to the boarders during Ramzan, the authorities are “indirectly compelling them to observe fast during Ramzan”
The HRD ministry has sought a written clarification on this matter. Jasim Mohammad, media consultant to the AMU vice- chancellor, told “After receiving complaints yesterday, the vice chancellor had issued written instruction reiterating that any student who is not fasting should inform the dining hall authorities and he will be provided lunch.” He further said “The AMU had thus put in place a tradition wherein sentiments of those who are fasting were honoured. No one was put under pressure to skip a meal.”
Jyoti Bhaskar, a youth activist & student of Mass Communications at the AMU said, “It is sad that religious angle is being given to this entire issue.”
“There is a provision in our hostel to provide us lunch (during Ramzan) if we give it in writing. When I was fasting during Navratri this year, the hostel mess used to provide us milk and banana as a mark of respect to our religious sentiments,” he said.
The above claims were refused by Mohammad who said that the hostel dining rooms would remain closed during daytime. Those who did not fast would inform the hostel authorities in advance so that the special arrangements were made for providing them with lunch. He also said all in the hostel were given Sehri – a pre-dawn meal which would be served again as breakfast for those who did not fast during Ramzan.