Aligarh, October 17: The Sir Syed Day celebrations to mark the 205th birth anniversary of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) founder Sir Syed Ahmad Khan were organized with traditional pomp today after two years of Covid restrictions. It was done in full presence of guests and participants. The specially invited guests rode in traditional style from the VC Lodge on a bughi accompanied by the university’s riding squad to Golestan Syed, where a team of students from the riding squad escorted them to the stage.
While delivering a commemorative speech on Sir Syed Day, Chief Guest Prof. Tahir Mehmood (Ex-Chairman, National Minority Commission) invited the AMU community to spread Sir Syed’s spirit of rationality, modernity, traditions and compassion to all corners of the country and the world. . He said that preservation and promotion of Urdu is also an important part of Sir Syed’s legacy which needs our attention.
He emphasized the need to pay close attention to Sir Syed’s thoughts and his message which is reflected in the words of Allama Iqbal in his poem “Syed Ki Loh Turbat”. Prof. Tahir Mehmood said, “Allama Iqbal, highlighting the philosophy of Sir Syed, wrote, ‘If your request is to teach religion in the world, leave the world and tell the nation not to teach you.’ In this context we need to understand that Sir Syed was awakening the society and persuading for a new system of education at a time when the rational and traditional aspects of the system of education were intertwined and it shaped religious education. “Had adopted.”
He said, “Sir Syed played a very effective role in bridging the gulf between the Eastern and Western worlds. He knew what changes were needed in society to move forward and keep pace with the rest of the world. He devoted his life to strike a balance between tradition and modernity and fought for traditional Eastern and Western education.”
Delivering the welcome address, AMU Vice Chancellor Prof. Tariq Mansoor said, “Sir Syed’s ideals of secularism and inclusiveness are reflected in the way AMU works. The university is an example of inclusive tolerance and communal harmony and its doors have been open to students from all communities since its inception.
“We have maintained peace and harmony in the campus and have successfully overcome challenges, problems and crises by showing restraint and emphasizing unity and harmony,” said the Vice Chancellor.
He asserted: “AMU is progressing. The Prime Minister Shri Narendrabhai Modi while participating in the centenary celebrations called AMU ‘Mini India’ and appreciated the university’s contribution to nation building. Apart from the Prime Minister’s participation, the then President of India Mr. Ram Nath Kovind and others have participated in various programs of the University in the last five years.
Prof. Mansoor added: “Despite the Covid epidemic, AMU opened a record number of new courses, colleges and departments.” The Vice-Chancellor drew attention to the increasing academic standards of the university and said, “AMU has been awarded A Plus grade by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAC) and also the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. Curriculum is being implemented with changes in education”.
The Vice-Chancellor emphasized, “As we gather here to pay tribute to our active and exemplary benefactor, Sir Syed, we must always remember how he shaped the destiny of the nation and the society.” . He was a man of all-round personality and a prominent architect of modern India.
He said: “Sir Syed firmly believed that modern education is the cure for all the diseases of today. He called ignorance the mother of all trials and tribulations. His vision of education was comprehensive and inclusive, and he firmly believed that Indians could not be on the path to empowerment unless they built their own educational institutions—and that is why he He undertook modern education and followed it strictly throughout his life. This is what we call ‘Aligarh Movement’.
The Vice-Chancellor asserted: “It is too simplistic to consider Sir Syed only as the founder of a college that became a university. It is important to keep in mind the era in which Sir Syed grew up and the conditions he faced and how he emerged from the socio-cultural trap of nineteenth-century colonial India. To understand what Sir Syed did, we have to look at the fact that he was born in 1817 into a family close to the Mughal court. Traditional upbringing did not prevent him from raising the cause of Muslims who were on the brink of destruction in 1857 and for unity among the people of different religions living in India.
Professor Mansoor said, “Sir Syed’s deep concern for the society and the nation is clear from the fact that when we look at culture and civilization, morals and character, social relations, various sciences, customs and traditions, religion and philosophy, the teachings of the Qur’an and See his writings and speeches on various issues and topics like Hindu-Muslim unity”.
Giving historical references, he recalled: In a gathering at Gurdaspur on 27 January 1884, Sir Syed had said his famous phrase, ‘O Hindus and Muslims! Do you belong to any country other than India? Are you on this land?
do not live and do not you get buried under it or do not have your last rites on its ghats? If you live and die on this land, remember that ‘Hindu’ and ‘Muslim’ is only a religious word. All Hindus, Muslims and Christians living in this country are one nation.
Prof. Mansoor emphasized on popularizing Sir Syed Ahmad Khan’s message for education, free pursuit, tolerance, inter-faith understanding and national unity. The Vice-Chancellor announced on the occasion that teaching activities in the university will remain suspended on Tuesday.
Chief Guest Prof. Tahir Mehmood and Vice Chancellor Prof. Mansoor presented two lakh rupees in cash to Barbara Daly Metcalfe (Professor Emeritus of History at University of California, Davis, USA) for her scholarly and research services on the history of Muslims in the Indian subcontinent and South Asia and Islam. Presented the ‘International Sir Syed Excellence Award’ containing the prize.
Along with this, he awarded the ‘National Sir Syed Excellence Award’ to ‘Maulana Azad Education Foundation’, a well-known institution for promoting education especially among educationally backward minorities and other weaker sections in general.
AMU Registrar Mr. Muhammad Imran (IPS) read out the letters of thanks of the awardees.
Mr. Chandan Sinha (IAS Officer and Director General, National Archives of India) while attending the commemoration function as the Chief Guest said: This annual function is not only an opportunity to remember Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and his services. , it is also an opportunity to look back at where Aligarh Muslim University started and where it is headed, an opportunity to take stock of ourselves and not just to ensure that the ancient traditions are not abandoned. Rather, future requirements should not be ignored.
He emphasized, “Sir Syed saw very clearly that education emphasizing empirical theory, science and technology was indispensable for improving the conditions of the Indian people. His tireless efforts led to the establishment of several institutions which culminated in the establishment of the Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental (MAO) College. It is noteworthy that in his struggle for the improvement of the educational system, Sir Syed spoke of the needs of the whole of India and Indian society, and not of the Muslims alone. His view that Muslims were slower than Hindus to absorb Western education and its benefits was based on facts. Thus, his struggle and dedication to improve the condition of Muslims was extraordinary.
The second guest of honor of the program, Justice Iqbal Ahmad Ansari (former Chief Justice, Patna High Court) expressed his views and said: “Sir Syed was the prophet of secularism and Hindu-Muslim unity who advocated and supported the non-slaughter of cows.” He had written that “If the ban on cow sacrifice can establish peace and friendship between Hindus and Muslims, it would be wrong for Muslims not to give up this right”.
He said: “Sir Syed played the all-round role of an independent thinker, a great administrator, a reformer, an educationist and a religious scholar. He was a proponent of western-style education and gaining a modern world view. He believed that this fundamental motive force was needed within Indians to keep pace with the rest of the world.”
On this occasion, Prof. Farrukh Arjamand (Department of Chemistry) and Dr. Hufzur Rahman Siddique (Department of Zoology) were presented with Innovation Council Award for the best researcher of the year. They were given fifty thousand rupees separately.
Sabir VC, a PhD student from the Center for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, was awarded the first prize in English Language in the All India Sirsyed Essay Competition on “Sirsyed and Cultural Pluralism”, while A.M. UK PhD scholar Adiba Siddiqui was awarded the first prize in Urdu and AMU’s BALLB student Muhammad Saleem in Hindi. All the three winners were awarded Rs.25,000 each along with a certificate.
The Essay Competition was organized by the Public Relations Office of AMU.
Second prize of Rs.15,000 in English, Urdu and Hindi respectively, Muhammad Sohail Mondal (BA, National Institute for Islamic and Contemporary Studies, Darulhuda Islamic University, Kerala), Muhammad Tanveer Alam (MA, Alia University, Kolkata) and Hafsa Mirza (BUMS, HSZH Unani Medical College and Hospital, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh).
Mubashir VP (PhD, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi), Muhammad Iqbal (BA, Alia University, Kolkata) and Raman Sharma (M.Tech, Indira) respectively. Gandhi Delhi Technical University, Delhi).
AMU Pro Vice-Chancellor Prof Muhammad Gulrez later distributed the research and innovation awards to the students.
AMU teachers Prof. Samina Khan and Prof. Saud Alam Qasmi and students Miss Javeria Rehman and Javed Ashraf gave speeches on the services, philosophy, and mission of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan.
In the end, Professor Mohammad Gulrez gave the words of thanks. Dr. Faiza Abbasi and Dr. Shariq Aqeel jointly organized the Sir Syed Day event.
Mr. Mujeebullah Zuberi (Controller), Prof. Muhammad Mohsin Khan (Finance Officer) and Prof. Muhammad Wasim Ali (Proctor) along with other dignitaries were present on this occasion.
Earlier, the day’s proceedings began with recitation of the Quran after Fajr prayers at the University Jama Masjid.
Vice Chancellor Prof Sir Tariq Mansoor along with the teachers and officers of the university paid homage to Sir Syed by covering him with chador.
The Vice Chancellor also inaugurated the exhibition of books and pictures related to Sir Syed at Sir Syed House. This exhibition was jointly organized by Maulana Azad Library and Sir Syed Academy.