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Voice of Unheard

Aligarh Muslim University denies degree to student as he praised PM Modi, student approaches High court

Dec 1, 2021

A PhD student of Aligarh Muslim University has claimed that he was being denied his doctorate degree after praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a campus event last year.

Danish Rahim has now approached the High Court and written to the PM and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath demanding justice. The institute however has denied the allegation, insisting that he had inadvertently been awarded a degree in the wrong subject.

The issue dates back to December 22 last year, when the student had spoken to a news channel after the Prime Minister’s virtual address on the 200th foundation day of the University. “After that, the chairman of the department of linguistics called me and warned me not to praise PM in public as this is against our culture.” Rahim recounts in his letter to Modi.

Rahim says that he had been censured after his remarks praising PM Modi, with the Chairman telling him days before his viva that as a student he should not be talking in favour of (or against) any party or politician. “Based on the interview you had given the media, it can be understood that you belong to the ‘right wing’. It will cause you harm in the future,” the Chairman had allegedly told him.

Rahim also contended that that the University was trying to change his degree to one that is “not approved anywhere at the PhD level”.

The University insists that the issue has no link to politics. According to AMU officials, it is now working to award Rahim the correct degree after an initial mix-up. In a letter that was shared with Times Now, the AMU said that Rahim had been admitted to the PhD program in LAMM (Language of Advertising Media and Market) under the Linguistics Department. According to the university, he had inadvertently been awarded a PhD in Linguistics, rather than a doctorate in LAMM under the same department.

“The whole matter was examined and put up before the Vice-Chancellor who has ordered that you deposit the incorrect PhD degree already issued to you in Linguistics so that the correct PhD degree in LAMM be issued to you,” reads an excerpt from the letter sent to Rahim.

AMU spokesperson Shafey Kidwai told Times Now that there was “not even 1% of truth” in the allegations. The student, he explained had taken admission in the Linguistics department under the LAMM course, getting his Masters degree and then enrolling for his doctorate. The university official said that Rahim had secured his MA in the LAMM course before starting his PhD for the same. As such, he was supposed to receive a doctorate in LAMM.

“This has nothing to do with politics. While he is free to approach the court, this is the University’s point of view,” the AMU official asserted

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