Aligarh: “The concept of Secularism is not new to India. Tolerance for all religions-has always been the cornerstone of the Indian Culture. Ye Desh Aapka Hai, Mera Hai, Hum Sab Ka Hai (This Country belongs to all of us). It is an indisputable fact that hundreds of millions of Indians belonging to different religions lived in peace and harmony through the ages and will continue to do so in future Insha Allah. It is heartening to see that the preamble has become an Anthem, filling up spaces in the country to its resounding recitals of inspiration,” said Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) Vice Chancellor, Professor Tariq Mansoor while addressing the gathering at the Republic Day celebrations in AMU.
AMU today celebrated the Republic Day with enthusiasm and gaiety at the Strechy Hall, to mark the anniversary of the day on which Constitution was adopted in 1950.
The Vice Chancellor added that as a democratic academic institution, AMU is committed to allow peaceful protests on any issue within the ambit of law.
“Democracy thrives on listening, deliberating, discussing, arguing and even dissenting. The recent happenings in the campus have been very unfortunate I have always stood and will always stand by my students, teachers and the entire AMU fraternity. Their welfare is fore most on my mind,” said Prof Mansoor.
He emphasised: “One of the challenges of our present time is that, all of us must learn to live harmoniously in a heterogeneous, pluralistic and multi diverse society. The pursuit of knowledge, education and inclusiveness is the best and only way forward.”
After a customary parade by NCC cadets and unfurling of the Tricolour, Vice Chancellor, Prof Mansoor said that on this occasion, more than ever before, we need to look into the spirit of our constitution and its guiding principles of justice, liberty, fraternity, equality and dignity for all of its citizens, irrespective of religion, region, gender, caste and class.
“The Tricolor flag and the Preamble are testimonies of our Indian identity-they are the spirit of our courage, our large heartedness and our convictions,” said the Vice Chancellor.
He remarked that AMU founder, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan’s concept of the Nation was inextricably woven in secularism and he firmly believed in religious and cultural unity based on equal respect for all religions and cultures.
“Aligarh Muslim University has consistently adhered to the vision of its founder and does not discriminate on the basis of religion, gender, castes or creed. Let us all endeavor to carry forward his message,” he said.
Prof Mansoor expressed: “We at AMU are committed to the preservation and protection of our Minority Character and historical legacy. The university is facing many challenges and the entire AMU community must act maturely. Aligarh Muslim University is consistently forging ahead on the path of progress and all-round development. Let us, on this auspicious day, make a solemn pledge to rededicate ourselves to take our university to new heights of glory and to usher in an era of academic excellence and all-round progress. In this fiercely competitive world, we have to work harder than ever to redeem this pledge.”
“We are consistently improving our rankings in the government and international ranking agencies. The Faculty of Life Sciences, Medicine, Law and Engineering are among top ranked institutions of the country,” emphasised the Vice Chancellor.
He conveyed that for the benefit of students, new courses such as MBA (Hospital Administration, Islamic Banking and Finance), M Tech (Biomedical Engineering, Renewable and Solar Energy) and PG Diploma in Muslim Chaplaincy have been introduced.
The University has also got sanctioned MD Courses in four departments of Ajmal Khan Tibbiya College, said Prof Mansoor.
He pointed out that the approval for the establishment of a Paramedical College, College of Nursing and Institute of Pharmacy has been received from the President of India.
The Vice Chancellor said that Synthetic Astroturf courts for Lawn Tennis and Basketball have been constructed and AMU recently won North Zone Cricket Intervarsity, 2019-20.
Meanwhile, Rs 100 crores have been sanctioned for two new hostels in Murshidabad and Malappuram Centres by the Ministry of Minority Affairs, Government of India, said Prof Mansoor adding that AMU has also been awarded the first prize in India among Educational Institution in Solar Energy.
He informed that proposals for the establishment of Centres of Artificial Intelligence, Remote Sensing and Green Energy are also been submitted.
“AMU is also playing an important role in outreach programmes, which have helped in reducing neonatal and maternal mortality in Uttar Pradesh by training government/semi government, para medical staff,” he said.
He emphasised that the supreme law of the land, our constitution seeks to build a just and equitable society where all its citizens enjoy rights, responsibilities and stand equal before its law.
“Our constitution is a unique and remarkable document embracing a staggering diversity of religions, customs, traditions, languages and ethnicities. This exemplary document is a leader of all other constitutions of the world. India’s pluralism, social, cultural, linguistic and religious diversity are its greatest strength,” said the Vice Chancellor.
He pointed out that the founding fathers of our nation represented the aspiration of different sections of our society and it is due to their efforts and farsightedness that secular principles are enshrined in the Indian Constitution.
India is an epitome of unity in diversity and it’s a matter of pride that we are citizens of this great country, said Prof Mansoor.
“Let us all salute our national flag that symbolises our national pride. Let us remember and pay tributes to Babasaheb Bhim Rao Ambedkar, Independent India’s first Law Minister and the Principal architect of our constitution,” said the Vice Chancellor adding that Babasaheb Ambedkar addressed AMU students in the Strachey Hall on several occasions on the invitations extended to him.
“Today, we also fondly remember the heroes of our freedom movement-Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Sardar Patel, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Maulana Hasrat Mohani and scores of others as we owe our freedom from the imperialist domination and colonial exploitation to the sacrifices they made, so we could have a better life,” further said the Vice Chancellor.
Concluding the speech, the Vice Chancellor pointed out that running a university, as big as AMU, is not a one-man show and it is the unstinting support and cooperation from the members of teaching, non-teaching staff, the administration, alumni and our well-wishers that makes it possible.
“I take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you. Let us all work together to make our country a shining example of universal brotherhood, harmony and a champion of democratic values,” said the Vice Chancellor.
University students, Zainab Fatima (B A English) and Naushad Ahmad (B A Hindi) also delivered speeches.
AMU Pro Vice Chancellor, Prof Akhtar Haseeb and Registrar, Mr Abdul Hamid (IPS) were present on the occasion. The flag hoisting ceremony was conducted by Registrar, Mr Abdul Hamid, who also read the preamble of the constitution.
The university witnessed celebrations in all offices, faculties, colleges, departments and schools.
The National Flag was also unfurled at the Administrative Block Building, Vice Chancellor’s Lodge, Maualana Azad (MA) Library, Faculty of Arts, all schools and colleges of the University, all offices of the Deans and DSW, all Provost Offices and the Proctor’s Office.
The Pro Vice Chancellor, Prof Akhtar Haseeb with his wife, Prof Masarrat Haseeb also visited the University Health Service to meet the indoor patients and to distribute fruits.
Prof Haseeb also planted tree saplings in the Begum Aziz un Nisa Hall. The hall residents also recited poems to mark the occasion.
A Mushaira (poetic symposium) was also organised by the Centre of Advance Studies, Department of Urdu on the intervening night of January 25 and 26. The Pro Vice Chancellor, Prof Haseeb presided over the function.