The Aligarh Muslim University campus was caught up in controversy again over the use of a map of India on banners and posters with the northern part of Kashmir missing from it. The map also included few parts of Pakistan.
“The poster was made by the drama society for an anti-partition drama,” said AMU spokesperson Shafey Kidwai, calling the drawing of the erroneous map a mistake.
According to reports, the Department of Cultural Education Centre of AMU had hung the banner at the university gate to publicise a play scheduled to be performed, ‘Jisne Lahore Nahi Dekhya O Jameya Hi Nahi’ (One That Has Not Been To Lahore, Has Not Lived At All). The play, based on the after-effects of the partition of India and Pakistan, particularly on the people of Lahore, was written in 1989 by Asghar Wajahat. It has been staged across India since and there has not been any challenge to its staging, but the dispute over the poster with the wrong map of India sparked controversy on AMU’s campus. This eventually led to the cancellation of the play.
“It will be permitted once the investigations are over,” quipped Kidwai. The university further clarified that the banners had nothing to do with the current political scenario of the country. They also said that posters and banners will be improved upon.
Youth Ki Awaaz spoke to the director of the play, Talha Thakur, who said that the enactment of the play is not going to take place anytime soon, and that they are waiting for the inquiry to get over.
A few students of AMU associated closely with the drama society also told Youth Ki Awaaz that they have been strictly told not to comment on the situation. While the university defended the drawing of the inaccurate map as a mistake committed by the drama society; on the other hand, the students shared that the faculty previously didn’t bother to check and that there was an outburst only at the last moment when someone pointed out that the map on the poster was incomplete.