Modi supporter is Maulana Azad varsity chancellor

Modi supporter is Maulana Azad varsity chancellor

Gujarat based businessman Zafar Sareshwala, a staunch supporter of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has been appointed chancellor of Maulana Azad National University in Hyderabad.

His appointment was recently cleared by President Pranab Mukherjee, who is the visitor of the university. Sareshwala, Chief Executive and MD of Parsoli Corporation and a former member of Planning Commission, will have a three-year term.

Sareshwala, a pioneer of Islamic banking in India by setting up his firm, holds a diploma in mechanical engineering from government polytechnic in Gujarat and a post graduate diploma in marketing management from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mumbai.  “I come from a business family. My forefathers were in manufacturing sector and I am the sixth generation entrepreneur in my family. But I have always promoted education because it is only education that empowers human beings,’ Sareshwala told Deccan Herald over telephone.

Under his guidance, Sareshwala said, his family members, including his wife, run a school in Ahmedabad for Muslim girls, most of whom are victims of the 2002 Gujarat riots and come from very poor background, he said.

“Three years back, our school was on the verge of closure but today it’s a premium institution. After establishing the school, the big question was finding qualified teachers. My wife and sister-in-law worked hard and roped in educated Muslim girls to volunteer as teachers. We have 55 such teachers today,” he said.

Sareshwala, himself a victim of the 2002 riots as his house and business premises were gutted by fire in the communal violence,  putting his family under severe stress, says, “I support Modi as he is a focussed and policy driven man. It is for this reason, much before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, I was of the view that he should be the Prime Minister of India.”

Sareshwala, who claims to have played a key role in an international anti-Modi campaign in the aftermath of the 2002 riots, says his perception about the then Chief Minister of Gujarat changed after he met him and discussed “every aspect of the Gujarat riots”.

“In August 2003, I met him and we talked for two-three hours and my entire perception about Modi changed. I found that he was not the same person who was facing flak from media and other sections of society. I was fairly satisfied that Modi was not a person to be hated,” he said.

Sareshwala, who says that he had filed cases against Modi after the 2002 riots and was also a signatory to a petition that led to denial of US visa to Modi, was all praise for Modi’s Gujarat development model.