The Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) is a perfect example of Indian nationalism and ethos, former President Pranab Mukherjee said on Tuesday.
Students from different religions, ethnicity, linguistic backgrounds and culture integrate and work together in productive ways at the university, Mukherjee said in an address on the bicentennial birth celebrations of AMU founder Sir Syed Ahmad Khan.Speaking at the AMU's Athletics Ground, Mukherjee said: "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."
He said 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 prevailed.Mukherjee said 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."He set up in 1875 the Mohammadan Anglo-Oriental College, which later became the AMU.Mukherjee, who stepped down as President in July, pointed out that in today's world, "we need to take Sir Syed's mission forward by concentrating on innovation, research, building a knowledge based society and taking the reputation of the country to new heights". In his welcome address, AMU Vice Chancellor Tariq Mansoor said Sir Syed changed the destiny of the nation by devoting his entire life for education."Sir Syed was a Messiah, who worked for education and secularism through his versatile writing and farsightedness," he said.He said it was a matter of great satisfaction that the University Grants Commission had approved an allocation of nearly Rs 90 crore to AMU for the next three years.Muhkerjee and the Vice Chancellor honoured Professor David Lelyveld and Justice M.S.A. Siddqui with the international and national ‘Sir Syed Excellence Awards'.