Aligarh. Former Indian President, Pranab Mukherjee today delivered the commemoration address as the chief guest on the bicentennial birth celebrations of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) founder, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan at the university’s Athletics Ground.
“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 Shri Mukherjee adding that Sir Syed was far 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.
Shri Mukherjee said that Sir Syed 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,” added Shri Mukherjee.
He further said 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.
In the welcome address, AMU Vice Chancellor, Professor Tariq Mansoor said that Sir Syed changed the destiny of the nation by devoting his entire life for education.
Prof Mansoor added that 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.
Prof Mansoor said that Sir Syed was committed to the idea of pluralism and modernity to resist the forces of sectarianism and divisions. “Sir Syed believed that knowledge and education will broaden horizons to counter hatred, bigotry and narrow perspectives,” further pointed out the Vice Chancellor.
Shri Muhkerjee and the Vice Chancellor honoured Prof David Lelyveld and Justice MSA Siddqui with the international and national ‘Sir Syed Excellence Awards’ on the occasion. Prof Javaid Akhter (AMU Registrar) read the citations for the awardees.
Justice MSA Siddqui during his acceptance speech said that AMU has always been close to his heart and he is proud to receive this award in Sir Syed’s ocean of knowledge and education. Prof Mohammad Muneer Khan from the Department of Chemistry, AMU was conferred with the Sir Syed Innovation Award – 2017 (Outstanding Researcher of the year, Science Stream).
Later, the Vice Chancellor with Mr J S Deshwal (Senior Superintendent, Aligarh, Department of Post, Government of India) released an album with a special cover on Sir Syed, My Ticket, brochure and a stamp with AMU logo to mark Sir Syed’s Bicentenary celebrations. The Vice Chancellor also inaugurated an ‘Exhibition of Books and Photographs pertaining to Sir Syed Ahmad Khan’ at the Sir Syed House.