Meghalaya Governor Satyapal Malik said on Saturday student of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) are serving the country and fulfilling the dreams of its founder Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, the 18th-century thinker and philosopher.

Malik made the comments as he inaugurated the 203rd Sir Syed Day celebration virtually along with AMU’s vice chancellor Tariq Mansoor and registrar Abdul Hameed. “Aligarh Muslim University is not just a university, it is a movement,” said Malik, who was the chief guest at the Sir Syed Day celebration.

“As a matter of fact, Hindus and Muslims are the two eyes of the beautiful bride that is Hindustan. A weakness of any one of them will spoil the beauty of the bride. Sir Syed’s thoughts and vision have contributed to the success of Indians during British rule and after independence,” he said.

Malik, in his speech, counted AMU’s achievements in education and sports as he wished well to the university for completing 100 years. The governor also conferred Sir Syed Excellency Awards to historian Dr Gail Minault in the international category and to the Anjuman-I-Islam, Mumbai-based educational conglomerate, in the national category.

Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, the chancellor of the university, will inaugurate the Centenary Gate at the northern side of the Aligarh Muslim University campus to commemorate the 100 years of the varsity. AMU marked its 100 years as a university on September 14 this year. One of the oldest universities in India, AMU started as the Muhammadan-Anglo Oriental (MAO) College which eventually became Aligarh Muslim University in 1920 by the act of Parliament.

AMU VC Tariq Mansoor also inaugurated a virtual ‘Exhibition of Books and Photographs’ pertaining to Sir Syed Ahmad Khan at Maulana Azad library. The exhibition will demonstrate Sir Syed’s hand-written articles and essays including his notable works— ‘Loyal Mohammedan of India’ and ‘Asbab e Baghawat e Hind’ (Causes of 1857 revolution). Sir Syed wrote 40 books and more than thousands of articles on contemporary issues. Mansoor also proposed a PhD programme on Sir Syed Ahmad Khan’s life to further his vision and works.

Sir Syed Ahmad Khan was born on October 17, 1817. He is believed to be the first pioneer of Muslim education in India. In 1864, he initiated the Scientific Society to translate western knowledge into vernacular. He was one of many religious and social reformers in 18th century along with Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Dayanand Saraswati. He was the forerunner of Aligarh movement which undertook to modernise Muslims’ education by adapting English as a medium of learning and western education rather than just focusing on traditional teachings vehemently.

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