Prime Minsiter of India, Narendra Modi, on Tuesday said the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) represents "mini-India" and "the diversity which we see here is not only the strength of this university but also of the entire nation". Modi was speaking at the university's centenary celebrations through video conferencing. He also released postal stamps as part of the centenary celebrations of the university.
While talking about the university's heritage and contribution to the world, Modi said that its alumni are very proud to have studied at AMU.
"In its 100 years of history, AMU has crafted and polished millions of lives, giving them modern and scientific thinking and inspiring them to do something for the society and the nation." PM Modi said.
"AMU teaches Urdu on one side and Hindi on the other, Arabic and Sanskrit are also taught in the century old institution. The library has a copy of both Quran and Gita-Ramayana. This diversity is not only the strength of a prestigious institution like AMU, but also the strength of the country." Modi said during his address.
During the address, Modi praised AMU's efforts amid the COVID-19 crisis and said, "It is unprecedented the way AMU helped the society during the Corona Virus crisis. Free tests for thousands of people, building isolation wards and plasma banks and contributing large amounts of money to the PM Care Fund show the university's seriousness in fulfilling their obligations to the society."
PM Modi said that the school dropout rate among Muslim girls was more than 70 per cent and has now fallen to nearly 30 per cent.
"The country has taken it forward by ending the practice of triple talaq." he added. He further said that it's important to set aside ideological differences when it comes to India.
"Whatever religion you are born in, it is important to blend one's aspirations with national goals. When it comes to the nation, there cannot be any ideological differences. AMU has produced many freedom fighters, who set aside their ideological differences and fought together." The PM said.
He paid tributes to AMU's founder Sir Syed Ahmad Khan and said that he believed in the welfare of the people and the country, irrespective of caste, creed or religion.
Chancellor of the University Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin and the Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank were also present during the occasion.
Modi became the first prime minster to attend an event at AMU in the last 56 years. Lal Bahadur Shashtri visited the campus in 1964. Jawaharlal Nehru visited the AMU four times; he was conferred with an honorary doctorate during the university's annual convocation in 1948.