Mr Jiji Thompson, Kerala chief secretary’s comments regarding setting up of 90 crore Arabic and International Studies University did not go down well with the Indian Union Muslim League, IUML, a constituent of United Democratic Front, UDF, and with other Muslim parties. It must be noted that the educational sector was held by Muslim league. The chief secretary highlighted that such a move would bring communal tensions in Kerala state. He also said that, there was no need for an Arabic university.
Chief secretary also touched on the fact that, Arabic language was not even in the list of 22 languages in the 8th schedule of constitution. As a result, the state would have to get the approval from union human resources development ministry. It must be noted that, additional secretary and finance secretary were also of the similar views as Mr Jiji Thompson. Chandrika, spokes person of Muslim League, vented out her anger on the bureaucrats and said identifying Arab with Islam was like comparing Sanskrit with Hinduism and Rubber tree with Christianity.
Many Muslim outfits showed their resentment over the remark made by the chief secretary of Kerala. Last year, Kerala State Higher Education Council suggested the formation of International Arabic University similar to Jawaharlal Nehru University, Aligarh Muslim University and English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad. A sum of Rs 90 crores was also allotted towards it.
Educational Minister, Mr Abdu Rabb, also spoke about his unwillingness in giving approval for a private university in the state of Kerala. But Kerala’s Chief Minister, Mr Oommen Chandy said that, he supported the starting of new private universities and further said that, any decision regarding this would be taken only after discussions with the concerned people.