Aligarh: UPA Chairperson, Mrs. Sonia Gandhi assured
the Aligarh Muslim university community that she would lend
support to AMU to preserve its historical character and its
Addressing the 60th Annual Convocation of the Aligarh Muslim
University in absentia though tele-conferencing, Mrs. Gandhi said
that she was very well aware of the history and the contributions
of the Aligarh Muslim University and the role it had played in the
freedom struggle of the country.
She said that the minority
character issue of the University was pending in the Supreme Court
of India, however she would extend her cooperation to maintain the
autonomy of the University.
Mrs. Gandhi, regretting her inability to participate in person in
the convocation proceedings due to adverse weather conditions,
congratulated the students who were awarded medals and degrees for
their educational accomplishments.
She also gave her compliments
to the parents of these students who would be happy to witness
this historical moment.
Mrs. Gandhi said that no assessment of Muslims’ educational
development could be made without discussing the life and
contributions of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan.
"The role that Sir Syed
played for educational empowerment of his community, was exemplary
and borne promises for the future. He felt the importance of
education and dreamt of a University that would be a sign of
wisdom and ration. He worked for the propagation of scientific
quest and knowledge by establishing Scientific Society and
publishing a reform journal, Tahzibul Akhlaq", she said.
She said that the
AMU has also contributed remarkably to the freedom struggle of the
country and has produced a number of nationalist leaders like Khan
Abdul Gaffar Khan, Maulana Mohammad Ali, Maulana Shaukat Ali, Dr.
Zakir Husain, Rafi Ahmad Kidwai, Abdul Majeed Khwaja and Saifuddin
Mrs. Gandhi appreciated the role of Sheikh Abdullah in the
promotion of women’s education in the country and expressed
happiness that eminent Progressive writers like Rasheed Jahan and
Ismat Chugtai were the products of this great institution.
Mrs. Gandhi, appreciating the secular foundation of this great
seat of learning, said that it has contributed a lot in nurturing
the democratic and pluralistic culture of the country. She
remarked that the University stood as an epitome of secularism and
Mrs. Gandhi said that Islam has completely
merged into the Indian characteristics and its services to the
development of Indian culture and civilization are remarkable.
She said that she had received a memorandum of the Students’ Union
of the University and she would talk to the government to take
appropriate actions to implement the suggestions.
The UPA Chairperson acknowledged the special relationship of
Nehru-Gandhi family with this institution.
She said that India’s
first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, despite his
pressing engagements, visited AMU five times and the University
awarded him honorary degree of D. Lit. while the AMU Students’
Union felicitated him with its life membership.
"The University has always lent its
support to the Nehru family and there are several buildings in the
University named after the members of the Nehru family", she said.
Terming students as the builders of the nation, Mrs. Sonia Gandhi
urged the AMU students to rely on their wisdom and remember there
were so many worlds beyond the stars. She assured that no
injustice will be made against them.
On this occasion, 223 students were given medals for their
exemplary results in various undergraduate and postgraduate
courses and about five thousand research, PG and Undergraduate
students were given away degrees.
University Registrar, Group Captain (Retd.) Shahrukh Shamshad and
Controller, Prof. Pervez Mustajab also addressed on the occasion.
Nawab Ibne Saeed Khan of Chhatari graced the occasion as chief
guest in absence of Mrs. Sonia Gandhi.