Jamia Millia Islamia tops the list of Central Universities released by the Union Ministry of Education of India a few days ago. In other words, in 2020, Jamia Millia Islamia is the most prestigious university in India. Jamia Millia Islamia secured the first position with 90% marks, while Rajiv Gandhi University, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Aligarh Muslim University scored 83%, 82% and 78% marks respectively.

The same, Jamia University was criticised early this year by the ruling BJP Hindu Nationalist government politicians and the current ruling Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, who criticised it for its continuing anti-CAA agitation at Shaheen Bagh, calling the protestors anti-national.

On 15 December 2019, the university’s students protesting against India’s discriminatory citizenship laws were brutalised by Delhi police personnel. They reportedly fired bullets and used tear gas inside the campus, badly damaging the library and rest-rooms, and injuring several students.

It was during this time and later in 2020, the Muslim community was groping in every direction and grappling with questions of country and community that inspired anti-CAA movement from Jamia that spread all over the country.

Jamia Millia Islamia, which roughly translates as Islamic National University, is a Central Government University in New Delhi, established by Muslim leaders in the 1920’s inspired by the Non-Cooperation Movement against the British and the Khilafat Movement.

The university was underpinned by both anti-colonial Islamic activism and the aspirations for independence by both the traditionally educated as well as Western educated Muslims. It is the characteristic of this institution that its founders were fully involved in the Indian struggle for independence from British Raj.

The university prides itself for safeguarding India’s Islamic heritage, freedom of thought and action, patriotism, enlightenment and tolerance amongst India’s diverse religious and ethnic communities.