Hyderabad: The VII Nizam of Hyderabad Mir Osman Ali Khan released a farman to establish Osmania University on 28 August 1918. It was the first varsity of India which provided higher education in Urdu medium. The Nizam not only established Jamia Osmania but also gave huge donation to many universities across the country.
With the independence of the country, the partisan governments started erasing the identity of Jamia Osmania. First, the medium of instruction at Osmania University was changed from Urdu to English. With this change, Arabic and Urdu included in the logo were gradually removed and Telugu and Hindi were added.
It is said that after the merger of Hyderabad State with Andhra Pradesh in 1956, the Urdu script Jamia Osmania was replaced by Telugu. After the release of the logo, not only the Urdu-speaking community but also the secular non-Muslims expressed displeasure and demanded the KCR government to restore the ancient logo of the university.
During the Telangana Movement, KCR used to visit Nizam’s shrine every year. He also praised the Asaf Jahi rule in the assembly and declared Nizam as his king.
In Telangana state, Urdu has the status of second official language, but the government has not paid any attention to the inclusion of Urdu in the logo of the university.
The original logo of the university included the crown of Asaf Jah, around which the Quranic verse ‘Noor Alan Noor’ was written. Beneath the crown the hadith ‘Ana Madinatul Ilm wa Ali Babuha’ (I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its gate) was added. Osmania University was written in English on the sides. In the last part of the logo, Jamia Osmania was written in Urdu, but the partisan leaders and governments did not tolerate this and the logo was changed from time to time. These changes were made in the utmost secrecy and the public was kept unaware.
The day is not far when extremist forces will campaign to change the name of the university. Just as Telangana state universities are named after prominent personalities, Osmania University may be named after a personality.
Chief Minister KCR and many leaders of TRS do not hesitate to praise Nizam in Hyderabad, but after the formation of Telangana, KCR stopped visiting Nizam’s shrine. To prove the devotion to the system and love for Urdu, KCR government should take steps to restore the old logo of the university. A committee of experts should be formed to recommend changes in the existing logo.