AMU must cancel invite to MJ Akbar: All India Queer Association

The University is hosting the former Union Minister and journalist at the Centenary International Webinar December 7-8

MJ Akbar

MJ Akbar is one of the most prominent men who were accused of sexual harassment in the workplace, when the #MeToo movement was gaining traction in India. As many as 17 women had accused the former Union Minister of sexual misconduct, including rape in one case. He had been forced to resign from his post as minister in the wake of these serious charges. In October, 2018, MJ Akbar filed a criminal defamation case against senior journalist-columnist Priya Ramani and he blamed her for ‘tarnishing his reputation’ and calling him names such as ‘media’s biggest predator’.

Till date, he has denied all allegations terming it “false, fabricated and deeply distressing” and the case is still being heard in a Delhi court. There has been no updated news of how the many accusations of sexual harassment against him, and other powerful men have been handled so far. 

A group of altert citizens, who are members of the All India Queer Association (AIQA), launched an online campaign against the inclusion of MJ Akbar at this event. They state that even though MJ Akbar has been accused of sexual harassment by many women the AMU has decided to invite him for their event as a guest. “Not only is this promotion of misogyny, but it also allows other sexual offenders to think that they can get away with abusing others if they have power,” stated the association which has condemned this and has written to AMU seeking that they clarify their stand

The text of the AIQA letter may be read here:


The Vice-chancellor,

Aligarh Muslim University,

Respected Sir,

The Aligarh Muslim University has planned a webinar, Establishment of Aligarh Muslim University and its achievements (1920-2020) dated 7th and 8th of December. The event marks the AMU Centenary. A number of profound individuals have been invited as the guests of honor. Among them is former Union Minister,  MJ Akbar who has been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women. During the #MeToo movement of 2018, many women have recounted their experiences of sexual misconduct involving MJ Akbar and he was forced ro resign from the Union Council of Ministers. An individual with such a reputation should not be allowed to hold places of honor at events, especially in educational spaces.

An esteemed institute such as AMI must consider the example they are setting for their students by inviting such an individual. It hampers the idea of AMU as a premiere institution and sets a bad example for the student fraternity as the individual has been accused by many women and he is currently fighting a case in court for his sexual misconduct.  We request that the AMU administration cancel his invitation to the event.


All India Queer Association 

However the Sir Syed Academy, Aligarh Muslim University seems to have made no changes on its official announcement and programme details of the “AMU Centenary International Webinar” on “The Establishment of Aligarh Muslim University and its Achievements (1920-2020)” on December 7-8, 2020.

The grand webinar is being organized as a part of the centenary celebrations of the university. According to Professor Ali Mohammad Naqvi (Director, Sir Syed Academy), AMU Chancellor, Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin will grace the inaugural function as the chief guest while the Vice Chancellor Professor Tariq Mansoor will preside over the proceedings and noted scholar and author Professor David Lelyveld will deliver the keynote address.

The former Union Minister M J Akbar and Professor D P Singh (Chairman, University Grants Commission) will attend the webinar as guests of honour, while former AMU Vice Chancellors Naseem Ahmad, Professor P K Abdul Azis and Lt Gen Zameer Uddin Shah (retd) will speak on the achievements of the university.

According to AMU news, Professor Naqvi said that Union Minister for Minority Affairs, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi will be the chief guest in the online valedictory programme on December 8, while Professor Tariq Mansoor will preside. The former Vice Chancellor, Jamia Millia Islamia, Syed Shahid Mehdi and President India Islamic Cultural Centre, New Delhi, Sirajuddin Qureshi, will be some of the guest speakers.

According to Dr Mohammad Shahid (Deputy Director, Sir Syed Academy), the centenary webinar is divided into three major segments: the inaugural session, the academic session 1 and 2 (December 7) and the academic session 3 and 4 (December 8). The online valedictory programme will be held on December 8 at 10 am online.


MJ Akbar vs Priya Ramani: Court asks if there is a possibility of a settlement

MJ Akbar defamation case against Priya Ramani transferred to District and Sessions Judge

#MeToo: From Courtroom to Cinema

On Akbar and the #MeToo Movement

After #MeToo: Legal System Needs Change




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