Monday, Sep 20, 2021
Outlook.com

Lost Causes, Faded Credo

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad’s religious universalism and composite nationalism represented Jamia’s essence.

Lost Causes, Faded Credo
Lost Causes, Faded Credo
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
Jamia Millia Islamia, tucked away in a crowded locality of south Delhi, was founded on October 29, 1920. There is much cause to celebrate the 75 years of its existence, though the occasion also requires an appraisal of its academic performance since Independence. More importantly, it is necessary to ask how and why the appeal of liberal-secular values, once Jamia’s intellectual credo, has gradually diminished on the campus. Has the Jamia fraternity belied the expectations of its founders? Is intellectual freedom and the right to dissent a thing of the past? Or, is it still possible to plot an intellectual trajectory consistent with Jamia’s own track record?

As "a lusty child of the non-cooperation days" (as Nehru described it), Jamia encapsulated two dominant trends, each with many points of convergence in the post-Khilafat era: the reformist inclination of some Muslim divines who were also profoundly anti-British, and the political radicalism of Aligarh-based students who rejected the pro-British proclivities of their institution and gravitated towards Gandhi and...

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