Due to one tweet alleging food isn’t served in hostel canteens at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) because of Ramzan, Twitter has erupted into a nasty Twitter storm over non-Muslim students being ‘forced to fast’.
— Prashant Patel Umrao (@ippatel) May 29, 2017
As expected on social media, throngs flocked to respond to the atrocity of such an act.
This is outright ridiculous. One cannot run college canteen on religious beliefs. Religion is private matter and not forced on others.
— Dinesh Chaturvedi (@dineshisfun) May 31, 2017
— Virendra (@viren56002) May 29, 2017
Many brought up the beef fests being held in light of the beef ban urging veggie fests to be held, while some people resorted to what I can only describe as embarrassing generalisations.
AMU’s official website says that the office timings of all academic and non-academic departments of the university stand changed during Ramzan, on the approval of the Vice-Chancellor. The announcement also mentions that no refreshment will be served at any meeting or function in the premises in order to “maintain the sanctity of the Ramadan.”
They have also mentioned that this practice has been going on for years ‘without any complaints’ with non-Muslim students ‘managing’ somehow. The university’s public relations officer, Omar S Peerzada, all but admitted to the allegations, saying that this practice started years ago by non-Muslims as a sign of “mutual respect”. However, he did mention that the University will now provide food “as per demand”.
Many are alleging that this massive hue and cry has arisen thanks to the recent outrage over the beef ban in India and the majority wants to see the same reaction given to this unfair treatment of non-Muslims. However, using that logic one could argue that if beef should be banned so as not to offend religious sentiments then non-Muslims should fast in order to not offend minority religious sentiments.
Unfortunately, as per the usual, this has degenerated into a discourse about religion and religious sentiments. But for now, AMU has made it clear that food will be available if requested, so non-Muslim students being ‘forced to fast’ won’t have to anymore.