Vastanvi loses Deoband job for praising Narendra Modi (Lead)

July 24th, 2011 - 5:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Narendra Modi Deoband (Uttar Pradesh), July 24 (IANS) Ghulam Mohammad Vastanvi was on Sunday removed from the coveted position of vice chancellor of the Darul Uloom Deoband, widely recognized as India’s leading Islamic seminary, for praising Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s developmental policies.

A decision to terminate his services was taken by the Majjis-e-Shoora, the Governing Council of Darul Uloom, at a meeting that concluded at Deoband Sunday noon.

“Darul Uloom Majlis-e-Shoora has resolved to terminate the services of Maulana Ghulam Mohammad Vastanvi with immediate effect,” the new vice chancellor, Maulana Abdul Qasim Nomani, told reporters in Deoband, about 400 km from Lucknow.

Interestingly however, the decision came even after the three-member inquiry committee appointed by Majlis-e-Shoora to go into the charges against Vastanvi, held him “not guilty”.

Accused of making certain charitable remarks about Chief Minister Modi and his quality of governance, the Deoband vice chancellor was initially compelled to tender his resignation from the prestigious position following large scale violence and demonstrations that rocked the Darul Uloom campus in January.

Even as a strong pro-Vastanvi lobby stood up for him, and he too sought to emphasise that he never gave Modi any clean-chit for the latter’s role in the 2002 Gujarat riots, the Deoband governing council decided to appoint a three-member inquiry committee to go into the charges.

In its report submitted to the governing council Sunday morning, the three-member committee went in favour of Vastanvi.

“While two members of the committee opined in favour of Vastanvi’s continuance as vice chancellor, one of the members gave a dissenting note against Vastanvi,” said a Darul Uloom official.

However, the 14-member Majlis-e-Shoora remained sharply divided on the issue. After a debate, five Shoora members voted in favour of Vastanvi while the majority of nine preferred his ouster.

“Maulana Vastanvi has not only been voted out by the Majlis-e-Shoora, but he had promised to step down anyway,” claimed Maulana Nomani, who declared himself as the new full time vice chancellor. “I have assumed the full time office of vice chancellor with effect from today after Maulana Vastanvi’s exit,” he claimed.

Vastanvi was however very clear that he had not stepped down. “Let me make it loud and clear that I had never promised anybody that I would step down; I was always very very explicit that I would abide by the decision of the three-member committee and the Shoora; what surprises me is that despite the committee granting me a clean-chit, the Shoora has chosen to arbitrarily do away with my services,” he told reporters.

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