Aligarh : “Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) endeavours to enlist, appreciate and document the lives of unsung freedom fighters, but whose contribution was, nonetheless, immense”, said Vice Chancellor Professor Tariq Mansoor after unfurling the National Flag at the Strachey Hall of the university to celebrate the milestone, 75th Indian Independence Day on Sunday.
Addressing a Covid- protocol arranged gathering of faculty members and students in view of the pandemic, Prof Mansoor added: “The Centre for Women’s Studies has been entrusted with the task to prepare a comprehensive book on Women Freedom Fighters of India”.
He pointed out: “On this occasion I also pay my heartfelt homage to all members of the AMU fraternity, past and present—and also those within and outside our country, who succumbed to the pandemic—because every life matters. I pray for their souls to rest in peace”.
The contributions of our deceased teachers and non-teaching staff are part of AMU’s success story and they will forever be an indelible part of our memory and always live in our hearts and prayers, said Prof Mansoor while extending condolences to the families of the bereaved.
AMU administration shall make all efforts to provide relief and succour to families of the deceased in the best possible way, he added.
“At the outset, I wish you all a very Happy Independence Day and extend my heartiest welcome. On this day of national reverence and pride, we have gathered to celebrate our nation’s 75th Independence Day. Midnight of August 15, is one of the greatest moments in Indian History, when our country gained independence, after almost 200 years of struggle against the British Rule,” said the Vice Chancellor.
Prof Mansoor stressed that it is not a mere tokenism to salute and hoist the Tricolour but, in, essence, it is to pay our tributes, homage and remember poignantly, the sacrifices of our valiant freedom fighters, who were at the forefront of the Independence struggle such as the Father of our Nation—Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar V Patel, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Subhash Chandra Bose and hundreds of others. It was due to their single-minded devotion and sustained efforts that we, today, can breathe in an Independent India.
“The sacrifices of our freedom fighters such as Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Ashfaqullah Khan, Khudi Ram Bose, Chandra Shekhar Azad and many others can never be forgotten,” said Prof Mansoor.
“It is heartening to know that our country has taken huge strides in various fields and each year, these accomplishments have enabled us to move towards the goals envisioned by the founding fathers for our great nation. India is an epitome of unity in diversity and, every effort should be made to maintain peace, love, equality and harmony among all its citizens as written in the constitution”, he said adding that the AMU Founder, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan aptly said, “The first requisite for the progress of a nation is the brotherhood and unity amongst sections of the society”.
Prof Mansoor further pointed out: “Covid pandemic has thrown a huge challenge to our Country as well as the whole world in the field of Health, Economy and Education. It is incumbent on all of us to stand united, and leave no stone unturned to defeat the virus by following Covid appropriate behaviour and sprucing up our existing health infrastructure. AMU is going all out to tackle the third Covid wave—if it occurs. Let us pray that it may not happen, Inshallah”!
He stressed: “To meet the pandemic challenge, the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College (JNMC) of the university has installed three oxygen generation plants for any potential oxygen shortage in the future, a 50 bed Paediatric ICU has been made operational, Covid ward has been renovated and a new Covid ICU has been established, new ventilators and oxygenators have been procured, a separate Dialysis Unit, Operation Theatre and Labor Room Facilities for Covid patients have been created.
“I thank all those who have contributed generously for upgrading and enhancing the medical facilities. It goes without saying that the untiring work and dedication of the doctors and paramedics all over the country have helped tide over the challenges. I sincerely appeal to one and all—to get inoculated with the Covid vaccine at the earliest and not to believe in unfounded and baseless rumours. Vaccination is the surest way forward in fighting this scourge and restoring the normal functioning of the society”, said Prof Mansoor.
Lauding the Indian Olympic contingent, the Vice Chancellor said: “Despite the pandemic and difficult times, the recently concluded Tokyo Olympics brought smiles, hope and positivity in the country. I take this opportunity to congratulate all the sportspersons who participated and won laurels for the country”.
“Tokyo has been a watershed moment for Indian sports and the accomplishment of our sportspersons will motivate our youth to seriously consider taking up sports and enhance the culture of physical activity and fitness. Neeraj Chopra’s gold medal is a testimony that— provided there is access to world-class facilities in training and coaching and dedicated efforts of the sporting fraternity, our Country can see a phenomenal rise as a sporting nation in the future”, said Prof Mansoor.
He concluded the speech by wishing everyone good health, happiness and a happy Independence Day. Later, the Vice-Chancellor planted saplings in the premises of Sir Syed Hall with Dr Hameeda Tariq, Mr Abdul Hamid-IPS (Registrar) and Prof Mohd Wasim Ali (Proctor) to mark the occasion.
Meanwhile, the flag-hoisting ceremonies were also organised with gaiety and enthusiasm at all colleges and schools of the university. The Provosts of all residential halls hoisted flags at their respective provost offices.