Former President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday heaped praise on Aligarh Muslim University, describing the institution as a perfect example of Indian nationalism and ethos, ‘where students from different religions, ethnicity, linguistic backgrounds and culture integrate and work together in productive ways.’
“It is a privilege to be in AMU on the occasion of 200th birth anniversary of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, the visionary leader of India,” said Mukherjee while delivering the commemoration address on the bicentennial birth celebrations of AMU founder, Syed Ahmad Khan at the university’s Athletics Ground.
The former President observed that Sir Syed was well ahead of his time as he thought of empowering common people with modern scientific education at a time when India was a newly colonised society and ignorance was prevailing.
Highlighting the glorious role of Sir Syed towards Indian education, Mukherjee said the AMU founder began his mission by promoting western–style scientific education by founding modern schools and journals.”Sir Syed established a school at Muradabad, the Victoria School at Ghazipur in 1863, and a scientific society for Muslims in 1864,” he said.
He stated that Sir Syed’s journey to accomplish his mission took him to founding the Mohammadan Anglo-Oriental College in 1875, which eventually became the Aligarh Muslim University. He also pointed out that the country needs to take Sir Syed’s mission forward by concentrating on innovation, research, building a knowledge based society and taking the reputation of the country to new heights.
AMU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tariq Mansoor, also shed light on the contribution that Sir Syed has made towards the Indian education. He said the supreme interest of Sir Syed’s life was education in its widest sense as he wanted to create a scientific temperament among the common Indians.
“Sir Syed was a Messiah, who worked for education and secularism through his versatile writing and farsightedness,” Prof Mansoor said, highlighting that Sir Syed wanted to make modern knowledge of science available to common people.