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Yogi Government Promises Land for Urdu University in Lucknow

Marya Shakil | CNN-News18 maryashakil

Updated: April 15, 2017, 10:33 AM IST
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Yogi Government Promises Land for Urdu University in Lucknow
Zafar Sareshwala with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Credit: Marya Shakil

New Delhi: Maulana Azad National Urdu University is likely to get land for its Lucknow campus soon.

Chancellor of the University, Zafar Sareshwala, met Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath last week and requested him to provide space for the campus. The CM is said to have responded positively.

The premiere Central University has 11 campuses across the country, but none in UP. In his letter to the CM, Sareshwala wrote that the Lucknow campus “will go a long way in empowering and bringing the Muslim youth to the mainstream”.

Sareshwala, whose firm is the only BMW dealer in Gujarat, is an ardent supporter of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In 2015, he was appointed as the Chancellor of MANUU, an institution established in 1998 to promote Urdu.

Modernization of madarsas and strengthening of Uttar Pradesh Madarsa Talimi Board were among the issues discussed with Adityanath, Sareshwala told CNN-News18. There are 48,000 madarsas in UP that receive financial assistance from government, but despite various efforts the ground reality hasn’t changed much.

As Adityanath attempts to recast his image from a rabble-rousing Muslim baiter to an administrator who works for all, this move may help him engage with the 19 per cent Muslim population of UP, most of whom are skeptical of his policies.

In the last few weeks, the stories dominating the headlines in UP have been of Anti-Romeo Squads and ban on slaughter houses. Though Adityanath has tried to dispel fears, but the fringe group which he once led — Hindu Yuva Vahini — has almost become a law unto itself.

Adityanath has also agreed to be the keynote speaker at Taalim-O-Tarbiyat, an event which Sareshwala has organized across the country to spread awareness on the need for education among the minorities. The event is likely to be held in the third week of May.

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