AMU scholar claims his PhD degree was revoked for praising PM Modi, varsity denies charges

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Express News Service

LUCKNOW: The Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) is yet again in news as one of its scholars has alleged that he was being targeted and being denied a PhD degree for “praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the media.”

However, the AMU administration has denied the allegation saying that the student was issued a degree in the wrong subject inadvertently and no politics was involved in the matter.

While seeking justice, Danish Rahim has not only moved High Court but has also written letters to UP CM Yogi Adityanath and PM Modi for his urgent intervention in the issue.

Rahim, in his letter to the PM, claimed that the AMU administration had asked him to return the PhD degree in linguistic so that he could be issued another in Language in Advertising and Marketing (LAM) course instead. “It’s happening to me because I praised PM,” said the scholar adding that he was reprimanded by the chairman of the Department of Linguistics for praising PM Modi.

The issue dates back to December 22, 2020, when Rahim had purportedly spoken to a news channel after the Prime Minister’s virtual address on the 200th foundation day of the University. “After that, the chairman of the department of linguistics called me and warned me not to praise PM in public as this is against our culture,” Rahim said in his letter to Modi.

Rahim claimed that he was asked to refrain from giving such statements which were against the university culture. “This infers that he associates you (PM Modi) with a right-wing group and hardliner politician, which in my view, is merely a myth,” he says in the letter to the PM.

He further added that a notice had been issued asking him to deposit his PhD degree back to the university. “I used my five years of hard work to get this degree. How can I return my degree that too for praising the PM of 138 crore Indians? If AMU cancels my PhD, my whole career will be at stake,” he wrote in the letter.

Rahim also contended that the university was trying to change his degree to one that was “not approved anywhere at the PhD level”. 

The AMU administration has denied all the allegations. The spokesperson of the university Prof Shafey Kidway said: “The allegations are totally baseless. He (Danish Rahim) did his MA & PhD in LAMM (Language of Advertising & Marketing) course at the Department of Linguistics, which also offers a PhD degree in linguistics. Since he did his MA in LAM, he should get PhD degree in LAM.”

He added that the administrative decision was not influenced by politics. “By mistake, he was given PhD degree in linguistics. The mistake will be rectified… This incident has nothing to do with politics,” Prof Kidway said. The AMU administration, in a notice issued to Danish Rahim, stated: “It has been brought to notice that you were admitted to the PhD programme in LAMM under the Department of Linguistics in the academic session 2016-2017. As reported by your Supervisor and Chairman of the Department, your work throughout the research was on LAMM itself. However, at the time of submission of the thesis, and its subsequent evaluation and viva-voce, the same was inadvertently considered as  PhD in linguistics instead of PhD in LAMM under the department of linguistics.”

The university had asked Danish Rahim to return the ‘incorrect degree’ for replacement within a week of the issuance of the notice. “The whole matter was examined and put up before the vice-chancellor who has ordered that you deposit the incorrect PhD degree already issued to you in linguistics so that the correct PhD degree in LAMM be issued to you,” the varsity said in the notice. 



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