Muslim clerics term Vastanvi's decision to quit as unfortunate

Maulana Gulam Mohammad Vastanvi, who hails from Surat in Gujarat and was elected VC on January 10, has been facing protests from students at the seminary after he had said that Muslims should forget the communal pogrom of 2002 and move on and that the community did not face discrimination in Modi's state.

Vastanvi felt the situation in the seminary was not conducive for him to continue as the vice-chancellor and decided to step down next month.

"It is most unfortunate that he was not allowed to work in the institution, which could have benefited with his resources and experience," the seminary's deputy head Maulana Abdul Khaliq Madrasi told PTI over phone.

"The statement for which Vastanvi is being attacked was not in praise of Modi but on the progress of Gujarat which is also being cited in newspapers and whatever he had said was not in the capacity as the head of the seminary but as the resident of Gujarat," he said.

Madrasi hinted that there is a faction in the seminary which did not want Vastanvi to continue.

Another member of Deoband's managing body, Maulana Abdul Qasim was of the view that the manner in which protests were held against Vastanvi was wrong.

"Had there been any problems with his working or his views, they should have been put before the meeting of Majlis-e-shoora," Qasim said, adding that though the decision to quit from the post is his personal one, it has "piqued serious minded people".

Qasim said, "He ought to have been given time to function and he should have been judged on it," adding Vastanvi was elected to the important post for bringing a positive and progressive change in the institution. Meanwhile, a senior member of another seminary in Lucknow, while terming the resignation offer as unfortunate, said that it was probably an outcome of internal politics in Darul Uloom.

"Vastanvi's presence would have helped the seminary, which was being headed by 94-year-old Murghoobur Rehman in a traditional manner since the past several years," he said, requesting anonymity.

"The statement on Narendra Modi was blown out of proportion by some vested interests. Vastanvi, who also runs his madrasas, engineering and medical colleges in Maharashtra would have introduced modern outlook in the seminary," he said.

A senior member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board and a senior counsel Zafaryab Jilani said that Vastavni should have apologised for the comments, bringing an end to the matter there and then."The problem continued as he insisted on it," Jilani added.

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