Vice President's Inaugural Address at Prof K.A. Nizami Centre for Quranic Studies in Aligarh Muslim University
An Aligarhian needs no excuse to return to the AMU campus to revive memories, recollect moments of joy, introspect on all may have transpired then or since. To someone as old as I am, a less pleasant aspect is the thought of those who are no longer with us.
My visit today, nevertheless, is occasion specific. It is to formally inaugurate the Centre for Qur’an Studies, established in memory of the late Professor Khaliq Ahmad Nizami sahib. I do hope that in the years to come the Centre would contribute significantly to Qur’an studies and become a locus for institutional links with similar centres elsewhere in the world.
The occasion also brings to mind two aspects of the Aligarh Muslim University that need to be recalled. It is, in the first place, a university or a place of higher learning in the fullest meaning of the term. It has, secondly, a specific association with the study of the civilisation of Islam.
Neither is possible without acquisition of knowledge. It also demands quality in the world of today wherein standards are perforce global.
This, then, is the challenge. The Aligarh fraternity— students, teachers and well wishers— need to prepare for the future, to march in step with fellow citizens, to contribute in adequate measure to public good and to benefit from it fairly. The emphasis needs to be on what comes by right, rather than through concessions and largesse.
Our gratitude to Sir Syed is often a ritualistic exercise. Some, but not many, remember the three distinct yet interconnected aspects of his work. He established an institution of modern education, he initiated a scientific society to help educate his compatriots into the achievements of modern sciences, and he called for a deepening of the understanding of faith in the context of our times.
Each required hard work, an open mind and the attainment of excellence. Aligarh contributed to it in good measure but could have done more.
When we introspect, we need to be candid. Did we slacken in our quest for quality? Have we kept pace with the changing requirements, nationally and internationally?
Some years back when I had the honour of heading this great institution, a casual conversation took place with a group of students who had come out of the University mosque after the Friday prayers. There are three things, I said, done by anyone coming for prayers: wuzu, waqt ki pabandi, and saf main khare hona – in other words, cleanliness, punctuality and discipline. I enquired why these practices were not observed in daily life outside the mosque.
The answers, I am sorry to say, were evasive. All of us need to think about this dichotomy and its implications for the work we undertake in this institution. Do we measure up to the required standards in terms of inputs and outputs? How can we improve our performance?
Our task today is to give a practical shape to the ideals and aspirations expressed in the Tarana sung by us here and in all corners of the world.
Everyone introspects, and is candid. It seems that people, after a time, think they need not be, if they feel that. One cannot do this. There is no reason for introspection if one introspects that one needs to function. We don't introspect, because we won't later.
Hamid Ansari >> Have we kept pace with the changing requirements, nationally and internationally?
THE ANSWER IS NO - Our India , our world is not the India/World of 1950s... we no longer need a NAM or Nehruvian Socialism or the Nehru Dynasty or the so called CON party. But still we worship NAM, we idolize Nehru, we believe in Nehruvian Socialist Entitle ment politics, we believe in the dynasty and we still have the same Congress party in power and a westernised elite in its driver seat..
Hope we change ourself and start running with rest of world and first step is to throw Congress out of power in next general elections.
"When we introspect, we need to be candid. Did we slacken in our quest for quality? Have we kept pace with the changing requirements, "Politically",nationally and internationally"?
Let him begin with himself the first question for a change. Add "politically" in addition to the nationally & internationally.
"When We Introspect, We Need To Be Candid"
Did he miss "If and" - 2 very small but crucial words because then it would be more apropo to the prevailing situation "If and when we introspect, we need to be candid".
" It is, in the first place, a university or a place of higher learning in the fullest meaning of the term. It has, secondly, a specific association with the study of the civilisation of Islam."
If he was making a compelling case indeed for major serious "introspection", it would have made more sense to say not just "first" but "first and foremost, a university or a place of higher learning ...." and instead of "secondly" say something like "and within the pursuing of the first and foremost objective, a specific association with the study of the civilization of Islam".
"Some, but not many, remember the three distinct yet interconnected aspects of his work. "
He was also the first to propound the two nation theory. His working thesis was -hindus and muslims cannot live together.
We at Outlookindia.com welcome feedback and your comments, including scathing criticism
1. Scathing, passionate, even angry critiques are welcome, but please do not indulge in abuse and invective. Our Primary concern is to keep the debate civil. We urge our users to try and express their disagreements without being disagreeable. Personal attacks are not welcome. No ad hominem please.
2. Please do not post the same message again and again in the same or different threads
3. Please keep your responses confined to the subject matter of the article you are responding to. Please note that our comments section is not a general free-for-all but for feedback to articles/blogs posted on the site
4. Our endeavour is to keep these forums unmoderated and unexpurgated. But if any of the above three conditions are violated, we reserve the right to delete any comment that we deem objectionable and also to withdraw posting privileges from the abuser. Please also note that hate-speech is punishable by law and in extreme circumstances, we may be forced to take legal action by tracing the IP addresses of the poster.
5. If someone is being abusive or personal, or generally being a troll or a flame-baiter, please do not descend to their level. The best response to such posters is to ignore them and send us a message at Mail AT outlookindia DOT com with the subject header COMPLAINT
6. Please do not copy and paste copyrighted material. If you do think that an article elsewhere has relevance to the point you wish to make, please only quote what is considered fair-use and provide a link to the article under question.
7. There is no particular outlookindia.com line on any subject. The views expressed in our opinion section are those of the author concerned and not that of all of outlookindia.com or all its authors.
8. Please also note that you are solely responsible for the comments posted by you on the site. The comments could be deleted or edited entirely at our discretion if we find them objectionable. However, the mere fact of their existence on our site does not mean that we necessarily approve of their contents. In short, the onus of responsibility for the comments remains solely with the authors thereof. Outlookindia.com or any of its group publications, may, however, retains the right to publish any of these comments, with or without editing, in any medium whatsoever. It is therefore in your own interest to be careful before posting.
9.Outlookindia.com is not responsible in any manner whatsoever for how any search engine -- such as Google, Bing etc -- caches or displays these comments. Please note that you are solely responsible for posting these comments and it is a privilege being granted to our registered users which can be withdrawn in case of abuse. To reiterate:
a. Comments once posted can only be deleted at the discretion of outlookindia.com
b. The comments reflect the views of the authors and not of outlookindia.com
c. outlookindia.com is not responsible in any manner whatsoever for the way search engines cache or display these comments
d. Please therefore take due caution before you post any comments as your words could potentially be used against you
10. We have an online thread for our comments policy:
You are welcome to post your suggestions here or in case you have a specific issue, to directly email us at Mail AT outlookindia DOT com with the subject header COMPLAINT