New Delhi: “Aligarh Muslim University: The Making of the Modern Indian Muslim” – a book by the senior journalist Mohammad Wajihuddin – has been inaugurated on Saturday at Delhi Constitution Club.
Those present on the occasion as special guests were: the former Foreign Minister of India Salman Khurshid, Ex-MP Mohammed Adeeb, the former Vice-Chancellor of AMU Lieutenant Gen Zameer Uddin Shah, a former member of the Planning Commission Syed Syedein Hamid, Islamic scholar Prof. Akhtar Al Wassey and Dr Mujibur Rahman.
The author of the book and the host of the event received the guests who have officially inaugurated the book which examines the critical role played by the AMU in the making of the modern Indian Muslim.
Regarding the emotional connection of Indian Muslims with AMU, Dr. Zakir Hussain, the former President of India and the former Vice-Chancellor of the AMU had once said, “The way Aligarh participates in various walks of national life will determine the place of Muslims in India’s national life. The way India conducts itself towards Aligarh will determine largely, the form which our national life will acquire in the future.”
Mohammed Wajihuddin is a Senior Assistant Editor with The Times of India, Mumbai. Earlier, he worked with the Indian Express and the Asian Age. A passionate lover of Urdu poetry, he is also a blogger and writes prolifically on issues that are of interest to Indian Muslims. He lives in Mumbai.
Speaking on the occasion, Salman Khurshid the Ex Foreign Minister of India congratulated Wajihuddin on writing this book. ” By writing about the past glory of AMU with contemporary issues, the author has also fulfilled the long standing demands of his children to become an author.” Khurshid said in a lighter vein.
The former MP Mohammed Adeeb said, “While acknowledging the selfless services of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and his companions the author courageously wrote about the current situation prevailing in the country,”
“I was studying in the AMU in the 60s and after 58 years I have to admit painfully that the AMU is no longer the institution that it used to be in the past. This has been admitted by the author in his book,” Adeeb said.
“There were just 20 universities before the partition of the country and now there are more than 700 universities,” the ex-Vice Chancellor of AMU Zameeruddin Shah said. “The AMU had maintained a high standard among the universities in the past which is very difficult to bring back.”
Prof. Akhtar Al Wassey said the author in his book tried to portray the past glory and the contemporary reality of the Aligarh Muslim University. “Whatever positions Indian Muslims have in the country today is because of the vision shown by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan 150 years ago in establishing the AMU.”
“The AMU completed 100 years in December 2020. In December 1920 – the Mohammedan Anglo Oriental (MAO) College founded by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan in 1877 – was transformed into AMU,” wrote Wajihuddin in his book.
“Sir Syed also established the All India Muhammadan Educational Conference to infuse the subcontinent’s Muslims with a spirit of modernism. This helped prepare the community, devastated in the aftermath of the Revolt of 1857, for new challenges,” the book said.
The former member of the Planning Commission Syed Syedein Hamid said the good thing about the book is that it is written in simple language. “But regretfully, while the author has mentioned the distinguished male personalities in his book, he has overlooked the significant role played by the women luminaries of AMU.”
Other important personalities present on the occasions were noted civil rights activist Shabnam Hashmi, scientist Gauhar Raza, Sirajuddin Qureshi, Dr. Athar Farooqui, Dr Ishrat Kafil, and others