By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
Distinguished speakers paid rich homage to the great reformer and educationist, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, on the occasion of his 195th birth anniversary observed under the auspices of Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys Association (AMUOBA) with a call by President AMUOBA and Chancellor, Sir Syed University of Engineering & Technology (SSUET), Engr Z A Nizami, for acquisition of the latest knowledge in the field of science and technology.
“Acquiring scientific and technological knowledge is the only solution for the problems being faced by the Muslims,” he observed in his Presidential address, declaring that the arduous task which was undertaken by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan for emancipation of Muslims of South Asia must continue with the same missionary zeal.
Engr Nizami described the establishment of Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology as a big step towards the desired direction. He said that today SSUET was regarded as the top engineering university of Pakistan having collaboration with top 11 universities of USA.
He reminded that Sir Syed’s aim was not just to establish a college at Aligarh but pursue the Muslims to acquire modern education to lift them up from a precarious position, having devoted whole of his life for this purpose.
Speaking on the occasion, Azad Bin Haider, a renowned politician of his prime days and a writer and researcher of eminence now, stated that it was the great reformer Sir Syed who gave a new direction to the Muslims of South Asia and it was mainly due to his movement that many more new movements for Muslim’s renaissance started in South Asia.
He said that the observance of Sir Syed Day by AMUOBA every year is a highly fruitful act and Pakistan can be led to the path of progress if the motives behind Pakistan Movement are remembered.
He thought of Sir Syed a real motivator who launched a movement for Muslims to acquire modern education and created a wave of awakening in them. He urged the youth to focus on their education which is the only solution to every problem.
Renowned scholar, columnist and Pakistan Movement Gold medalist, Saeed Siddiqui, remarked that the past of nation is the pride of nation. He said those nations who forget their history are bound to be eliminated.
Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, he said, was a great visionary, statesman and Muslim reformer of the 19th century who worked tooth and nail to make the community progressive and lead them to the cherished objective.
He said that Sir Syed was the first Indian Muslim to contribute to the intellectual and institutional foundation of Muslim’s modernization in South Asia.
He recalled that in 1862 he formed a scientific society, and 13 years later he assisted in establishing the Mohammadan Anglo-Oriental College, which prospered and became the key intellectual center for Indian Muslims - The Aligarh Muslim University. The success of the college was largely due to his leadership and a curriculum embodying both Western and Oriental studies.
Ali Zafar Qadri, a senior Aligarhian presented a detail chronology of the life and accomplishments of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan while Khumar Farooqi, a renowned poet and writer, paid poetic homage to the great reformer and educationist and drew a big applause.
A significant feature of the function was highly impressive speeches on the life and achievements of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan by SSUET students Umer Khan in Urdu and Umer Ali Kazmi in English. The audience highly appreciated their knowledge about the great reformer.
Another feature of the well-attended function was singing of Tarana-e-Aligarh” sung by boys and girl students of Sir Syed University.