AMU Not Serving Food to Hindus During Ramzan? Here’s the Truth
Social media is abuzz with news about AMU not serving food to Hindus during Ramzan, but is it true?
A religious debate started on Twitter when people started sharing posts that said Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) is not serving food to Hindus during the month of Ramzan.
The debate started when an advocate at Delhi High Court, Prashant Patel, wrote the following on Twitter.
People started re-tweeting and sharing it on different social media platforms. Soon, people responding to this tweet were divided. While some called it incorrect, others expressed shock.
The Quint reached out to both AMU officials and the students to find out if the allegations hold any ground.
Food is Available On Demand
Omar Peerzada, who is the PRO of the University, told The Quint that the news was incorrect. Peerzada said that the AMU administration had instructed the mess authorities to provide food to non-fasting students on demand.
He said that this was not something new and has been practiced for a long time now. Lunch was not served in hostels if the student does not demand it during the month of Ramzan, owing to the age-old practice, and the fact that very few people eat during the day.
“The university is over a 100 years old and never has such a news come out,” he added.
He said that all students live in peace and support one another during the month.
He also said that a number of Muslim students do not keep fast during the month due to various reasons, and they too are provided food in the halls if they demand it and also in the canteens in and around the university.
Respecting Religious Sentiments
The Quint also reached out to Jyoti Bhaskar, a mass communication student at AMU, who said, “It is a sad thing to bring a religious angle into the story.”
“In February, when I was fasting during Navratri, the mess used to provide milk and bananas. We should respect the religious sentiments,” Bhaskar added.
He said that in MM hall, where he lives, breakfast and dinner is provided as usual. However, lunch is not provided because most of the people working in the mess are fasting, and it is difficult for them to keep fast and work at the same time. He himself goes to canteens around the campus for his lunch.
However, he added that the non-fasting students who couldn’t afford to eat out can still get lunch if they write an application to the Senior Food Monitor to provide them food, and the authorities will do the needful.
Meanwhile another student, Rashmi Singh, said the following in a Facebook post.
In her post, she writes that in her hostel, Begum Sultan, the students are getting breakfast and dinner as usual. She pointed out that they are getting a “light lunch” because the number of students having lunch is less. She also added that she is getting to enjoy sehri and iftar as well.
Students Can Carry Food Back to Hostel
AMU's General Secretary Nabeel Usmani said that lunch not being served has been a practice for many years and has not happened for the first time.
“During Ramzan, canteens open at 3 am (when both Muslim and Hindu students can go and eat). Thereafter canteen is shut for the rest of day,” he said.
Talking to The Quint, Seshadri Chari, a BJP national executive member, said that Hindu students were not even allowed to bring food to their hostel rooms. Usmani denied this and said that there were no restrictions on Hindu students eating anywhere. He said only hostel dining halls are closed because they stay open throughout the night for iftar, dinner and sehri.
He said that because of 'low sales' during the day, people who run the mess halls keep them closed, and there's no such order.
Usmani said that apart from the hostel halls, there are library canteens, central canteen, RDA (Resident Doctors Association) canteen, Campus Cafe, and other small food joints in campus which remain open through the day.
Responses on Twitter
Apart from Prashant Patel, the tweet that set off the most of impromtu reactions was by BJP national executive member Seshadri Chari.
Here are some of them:
A notification on the AMU website said that refreshments will not be served during the day in meetings and functions to maintain the sanctity of the month.
The students are going on vacation from 5 June and they will be provided food on demand until then.
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