New Jamia Millia V-C draws criticism after receiving ‘blessings’ from RSS leader

Najma Akhtar has been appointed as the new Vice Chancellor of Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia, making her the first female V-C of the nearly 100-year-old educational institution. Per Scroll, Akhtar heads the Department of Training and Capacity Building in Education at the National Institution of Educational Planning and Administration. Per the institute’s website, she was a gold medallist from the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), and earned a PhD in education from Kurukshetra University. She has trained at the International Institute of Educational Planning at UNESCO in Paris, and was previously the founder director of the State Institute of Educational Management and Training (SIEMAT) in Uttar Pradesh, as well as having led multiple international consultancy programmes.

In an announcement on its Facebook page, Jamia Millia Islamia called Akhtar’s appointment “a progressive land mark in the history of educational leadership and a matter of pride for Jamia Millia Islamia.”

However, Akhtar drew ire on social media after photographs of her getting the ‘blessings’ of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader Indresh Kumar were circulated. A Facebook page with the handle @indreshkumarofficial posted the photographs, with the caption, “Jamia Millia Islamia University’s new Vice Chancellor Professor Najma Akhtar today met with Honourable Kumarji at his Delhi office, and took guidance and blessings from him.”

Dr. S. Y. Quraishi, former Chief Election Commissioner, tweeted a copy of the photograph with the words, “New VC of Jamia Millia Islamia,Najma Akhtar getting blessings of Indaresh Kumar, RSS leader.  Don’t they say a picture says a thousand words?!” Other Twitter users also criticised her.

The RSS has long peddled a Hindu supremacist vision for India, and has regularly engaged in rhetoric against minorities, particularly the Muslim community.



Related Articles