Leyaqat Khan, a Presidential candidate for the Aligarh Muslim University stirred up a controversy when he said that women waving flags was against the ethos of the campus and Muslim culture
“On the one hand, candidates stand on the podium and speak of the protection of women and their dignity. They get off the podium and then hand the women flags. This is just against the ethos of this campus, and against Muslim culture,” he said in an audio message circulated on the eve of elections.
Strongly objecting to his comments, posters by women students declaring that “nobody can question my right to freedom of expression” have gone up in the university and being shared across social media.
Abdullah Azzam, another presidential candidate for the Students Union alleged that reason for such inane comments is the frustration of the traditional regional male lobby over the increasingly heard women voices on the campus.
The tussle over women’s participation in politics is a constant issue in AMU. Pleas of culture, tradition and religion are most often taken by people on both ends of the spectrum.
Despite the huge population of women students in the campus, there is just one female candidate in the fray for student union elections – a situation not unusual for the university.
Elections in AMU are scheduled for October 29.