The new vice-chancellor of Darul Uloom Deoband, Mawlana Ghulam Vastanvi enjoyed some reprieve, when the Trustees of the century old seminary in India delegated a committee of inquiry to evaluate the VC’s controversial statements made in the Indian media. In the aftermath of the controversy fueled by his comments in an interview given in January 2011, Vastanvi’s matter is now under review by a three-member committee of the Darul Uloom’s trustees who will investigate his media statements.
Observers and insiders are unclear what the real charge of the investigating committee is. Some believe that the committee will clear Vastanvi while others believe it could well be the committee that will give him the boot. Matters now largely depend on the intensity of student protests that have temporarily abated as a result of mid-term exams.
Many observers have been surprised by the fact that the students have agitated so strenuously in this matter. Immediately after taking over Vastanvi immediately attended to student needs by upgrading the state of student meals and dining halls. If there ever was going to be a vice-chancellor who would make student interests a priority at India’s most prestigious madrasa then it would be Vastanvi. For this reason the student agitations do not make sense. Continued student protests lend credence to the suspicion the students are manipulated by political forces circling the historic Darul Uloom.