By Pervez Bari
Aligarh/Murshidabad: Aligarh Muslim University, Murshidabad Centre organized an extension lecture on “Sir Syed Ahmad Khan: Vision and Mission.” The lecture was delivered by Professor Shakeel Ahmed Samdani, Department of Law, AMU, Aligarh.
Prof. Samdani said that it was Sir Syed’s commitment and sincerity which played a crucial role in the establishment of the Aligarh Muslim University. He said that Sir Syed was the first Indian educationist to visit England who keenly studied Oxford and Cambridge Universities and tried to implement that model at Aligarh. He applied the same pattern while establishing Mohammadan Anglo Indian College. He was the first to make the education globalized in India, Professor Samdani argued.
After the failure of First War of Independence, he said, Sir Syed did not give up hope but embarked upon a definite mission. He decided to empower his community (Indians) with education to fight back and recover the lost grounds. He executed this holy task in a manner that bears no example in history. He not only devoted himself to this mission but successfully mobilized a vast majority of Muslims and Hindus alike to realize it. He succeeded in preparing a generation of Indians which not only fought against British in pre-independence days but also participated in nation building in post-independence India. Elaborating the lesser known aspects of Sir Syed’s life, Prof. Samdani pointed out that he was instrumental in enactment of Stamp Act, 1882, Registration of Documents and The Qazis Act, 1880, in British India. The Qazis Act empowers the state government to appoint Qazis for solemnization of marriages of the willing Muslims, etc.
Prof. Samdani said that establishment of MAO College accelerated the process of education in India and a number of educational institutions were established throughout the country. Pointing out the courageous nature of Sir Syed, Prof. Samdani said that Sir Syed in his book “Asbab-e-Baghawat-e-Hind” highlighted that one of the big reasons behind the revolt was that Indians were not involved in the administration and judiciary. He forcefully pleaded in his book that the Indians were not responsible for mutiny but the wrong policies of the British. Sir Syed understood the importance of legal education at a time when nobody gave much importance to it. That’s why he established law college in his lifetime at MAO College.
He also said that the present Vice Chancellor, Lt. Gen. Zameer Uddin Shah (Retd.) is trying his best to achieve the educational mission of Sir Syed. He pointed out that during Lt. Gen. Shah’s tenure, the campus is very peaceful and academic atmosphere is prevailing. Students are bringing laurels to the University in various fields. Every year all India ranking of the university is going up due to the consistent effort of Vice Chancellor and Pro Vice Chancellor.
Prof. Samdani said it is indeed heartening to note that the present Honourable VC has recognized the need for good schooling of Muslim students and has decided to open Sir Syed Public Schools in every district of Uttar Pradesh to provide quality education. He assured the students that the Vice Chancellor is very much concerned about the Centre and he is trying his best to solve their problems.
He further said that the Vice Chancellor has also given a new direction to the Aligarh Movement by establishing Kishanganj Centre in Bihar and has strengthened the existing Centres by providing all support. The noble work of Lt. Gen. Shah will be written in golden letters in history.
He said that our constitution is a model document and India will always remain a secular state. Indian Muslims have been given adequate rights by the Constitution and they should not only respect but also make efforts to materialize these rights. He said, “We can rightfully take pride in our Constitution”.
In the end, Prof. Samdani praised the present Director, Dr. Badaruddoza for a peaceful, clean and green campus. By seeing the pain and labour of the present Director it can be safely concluded that very soon the Centre will be having its own identity among the institutions of academic repute. Large number of students and teachers of the Centre attended the lecture.
[Pervez Bari is a senior Journalist based at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. He writes regularly for India’s First Online Muslim Newspaper “IndianMuslimObserver.com”. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org]