Monday, July 25, 2011

Maulana Ghulam Mohammed Vastanvi removed as Darul Uloom Chief

Vastanvi removed as Darul Uloom chief

Atiq Khan

Maulana Ghulam Mohammad Vastanvi was removed from the post of ‘Mohtamim' (Vice-Chancellor) of Darul Uloom, Deoband, on Sunday by the Majlis-e-Shoora, the powerful governing body of the institution.

The Maulana was voted out after he refused to step down, even as Shoora members insisted that he should stick to his February 23, 2011 statement that he would resign “irrespective of the findings of a probe committee.” But he maintained that the report was incomplete. The report of the three-member committee was submitted to the Shoora on Saturday.

Maulana Abul Qasim Nomani of Kanpur has been appointed the Vice-Chancellor.

The committee was formed on February 23, 2011, to investigate charges against Maulana Vastanvi, who had sparked a controversy by praising Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, after he took over on January 10, 2011, following the death of Maulana Marghoobur Rahman.

Maulana Vastanvi, an MBA and of Gujarat, had said at a function in his home State that like all other communities, Muslims too had progressed under the Narendra Modi rule, and that the Muslims should look beyond the post-Godhra communal riots and press ahead.

His statement was seen as an attempt at giving a clean chit to Mr. Modi. As violence broke out on the Darul Uloom campus and demands for his ouster became louder, he called for an emergency meeting of the Shoora for February 23, which set up the committee at his insistence.

The Shoora meeting on Saturday and Sunday was presided over by Maulana Ishtiyaq Ahmed of Bihar's Muzaffarpur.

Sources privy to the meeting said some Shoora members and Maulana Vastanvi exchanged sharp words after he refused to resign. “Aapko jo karna hai kijiye” (You can do whatever you want), he told them and left. He returned after 30 minutes and was told of the verdict. “Shoora ko yeh ikhtiyar hai jisko chaahe mohtamim banaye, jisko chaahe hataye” (The Majlis-e Shoora has the power to appoint Vice-Chancellor or remove him from the post), Maulana Nomani told The Hindu from Deoband on the phone.

“The Shoora's decision to remove Maulana Vastanvi was taken after he refused to quit and backed out of his statement that he would resign irrespective of the findings of the committee,” he said. Interestingly, Maulana Nomani was a member of the probe committee.

In fact, it was at the February 23, 2011 meeting that he was supposed to have resigned. “When the members present at meeting asked the Maulana to submit his resignation, he refused, insisting on the constitution of an investigation committee and saying he would wait for the panel's report,” said Maulana Nomani. Maulana Vastanvi had said whether the report went in his favour or against him, he would resign, Maulana Nomani recalled.

The committee's findings were based on evidence in the form of newspaper interviews of Maulana Vastanvi, pro-Vastanvi statements and anti-Vastanvi opinion. It also recorded the Maulana's statement. “The committee did not give any opinion, but left it to the Shoora to decide on Maulana Vastanvi's fate,” Maulana Nomani said.

(Courtesy: The Hindu)

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