A Centenary of Jamia Millia Islamia

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A Centenary of Jamia Millia Islamia

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Jamia Millia Islamia, better known as Jamia, has added a century to its existence. On the 12th of October 1920, Gandhi’s speech of Non-Cooperation was taken to heart by some of the students and faculty of Aligarh Muslim University. Teaching was initiated temporarily in quarters of Krishna Ashram and in the Diggi tents at Aligarh and thus was established an independent national university with only 21 all-male students as its first graduate batch in 1921. It later shifted to Delhi, initially to Karol Bagh in 1925 and then to Okhla in 1933 to its present location with the Yamuna running in its backyard. Jamia’s central aims have always been progressive education with an emphasis on Indian Nationalism. It was aimed at promoting and receiving the diversity and the richness of India and empowerment of the least advantage, especially the Muslim community which its pioneers were concerned for and their lack of education and a lack of space for it. And since then it has grown in size and repute nationally and globally. 

Dr. Zakir Hussain’s Mausoleum

Dr. Zakir Hussain, very powerfully pointed out the aim and essence of the university through these words:

“The movement of Jamia Millia Islamia is a struggle for education and cultural renaissance. It will prepare a blueprint for Indian Muslims which may focus on Islam but simultaneously evolve a national culture for common Indian. It will lay the foundation of the thinking that true religious education will promote patriotism and national integration among Indian Muslims, who will be proud to take part in the future progress of India, which will play its part in the comity of nations for peace and development. The objective of establishment of Jamia Millia Islamia will be to lay down the common curriculum for Indian Muslims taking into account the future challenges and will prepare the children to be masters of future.”

A falcon of rebellion, the cradle of nationalism and an abode of brave progressive ideas, Jamia now has 2500-3000 graduates each year with at least 35% female students. Which empowers communities in their upward social mobility. Even though many Jamians are first-time graduates, some have been attached to the institution from KG to PhD, truly making Jamia their home. Each year since 2010 at the residential coaching centre at Jamia the rate of successful candidates qualifying UPSC has only increased, with at least 25 students making it to final merit list for 2019 and 101 prelims qualifiers this year matching its centenary celebrations. It has been accredited with NAAC ‘A’ rank and has seen consistent growth in all ranking with bagging the 10th position in the NIRF ranking of 2020 released by HRD Ministery and 1st rank among central universities by the Ministery of Education. It was also featured in 401-500 Times Higher Education ranking. 

Sadat Eisar ‘San’, learning music under Guru Shri Ashwini Singh at Gandharv Mahavidyalaya, Delhi, has given a perfect tribute to his Alma Mater where he did his BA. In our conversation with Sadat San, he told us about the inspiration behind his rendition of the Jamia Tarana. He wished to make the classical Tarana of Jamia into a more stylised fusion piece of art. San said that he “inculcated instruments such as flute, guitar, duff, tabla and drums to align it with the taste of the current generation.”

Strung in melodious pearls, with a soothing mix of Indian classical music with modern makes you fall in love with the Tarana, let yourself in a trance and remember Jamia, its walls and its gardens, its classrooms and its canteens, your friends, your love, your teachers, your guides and your mentors, and all that Jamia gave you and you gave to Jamia. Very few universities get the honour of being and becoming a part of the making of India, Jamia’s history has been and is an exercise in the creation of India. 

A 1970 Stamp issued by The Government of India

The walls of Jamia have souls, they ooze of romance and ideals where the spirits of the departed legends announce their presence. It was our VC Prof Mushirul Hassan who had painstakingly immortalised the names which were somehow lost in the history books of Indian freedom struggle, their essence is alive Jamia. If Gandhi was ready to go out with a begging bowl to help Jamia with its funds, Nehru without an inch of any concern for his safety left his security at his residence and rushed to Jamia when he heard violent mobs attacking her and its people during the partition turmoil, Viceroy Mountbatten had to send his personal guards to ensure Nehru’s safety while he was busy pacifying his countrypeople. Jamia has many stories to tell, all you need is listen.

Check out Sadat San’s rendition of the Jamia Tarana by clicking here!

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About Shaikhindi

Hyder is currently pursuing his Post Graduation from Jamia Millia Islamia in Political Science, Juggles with Analytical and Continental Philosophy now and then, interested in culture & History and is an enthusiast of Indian and Islamic Thought. Is an Optimistic Nihilist. Is a nakli Hyderabadi and an urban Banjara but dil se माशूक़ -ए- देहली.

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