Row over Hamid Ansari attending PFI conference

A controversy has erupted over the participation of former Vice President Hamid Ansari in an event in Kozhikode on Saturday in which the National Women’s Front (NWF), the women’s wing of the Popular Front of India, was a co-organiser.

The international conference on ‘The role of women in making a humane society’ was organised by the New Delhi-based Institute of Objective Studies in association with the NWF.

The programme, initially planned to be held in association with the Chair for Islamic Studies, Calicut University, on the varsity campus was shifted to Kozhikode after the Federation of Muslim Colleges, the parent body of the chair, denied permission.

University authorities claimed they received a letter from the federation saying that “certain organisations which were originally not part of the event were collaborating with it”.

BJP seeks apology

The Bharatiya Janata Party demanded an apology from Mr. Ansari for taking part in a programme organised by the PFI, an organisation it alleged was responsible for recruiting youngsters to the Islamic State.

“A person who was the Vice President of the country for 10 years should not have taken part in a programme organised by an outfit which is under the scanner of the National Investigation Agency,” BJP district president P. Raghunath said in a release.

University criticised

The Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha too came out in protest against the university for initially granting permission for the programme. Yuva Morcha State president K.P. Prakash Babu said PFI State president E. Aboobakker and NWF president A.S. Zainaba had taken part in the event. The Yuva Morcha alleged that the Education Minister and the Vice Chancellor were promoting anti-national activities on the campus and demanded an inquiry against the Vice Chancellor.

The morcha has written to the Governor, Chancellor of universities, as well as the Union Minister for Human Resources Development.

Ansari’s call

Meanwhile, opening the conference, Mr. Ansari called for the need to produce equity of varying intensity rather than substantive equality in the Muslim community.

“The challenge is to produce substantive gender equality so that women become active and equal partners in the creation of a humane society,” he said.

50 delegates

M. Manzoor Alam, chairman of the institute, and Afsal Wani, professor of law at GGS IP University, New Delhi, were present. Around 50 delegates from South Africa, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, and various Indian universities are taking part in the two-day event.

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Printable version | Mar 8, 2021 10:40:08 PM |

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