Aligarh : Prof Asghar Abbas, retired Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) faculty member, former Director of the Sir Syed Academy and Chairman, Department of Urdu passed away after a brief illness at a New Delhi hospital. He was 80-years-old.
He was laid to rest at the university graveyard on Thursday morning.
Extending condolences to the bereaved family of the deceased and the AMU fraternity, the Vice Chancellor, Prof Tariq Mansoor said, “I offer my deepest condolences to Prof Asghar’s family and AMU community and pray for the comfort for his loved ones at this difficult time. He was a selfless soul who earned admiration, respect and esteem as an intellectual and seasoned academic for seminal work in Sir Syed Studies”.
“Books on Sir Syed by Prof Asghar are a pleasure to read. His formidable research provides insight on the socio-economic and intellectual challenges that confronted Sir Syed when he initiated the education movement and on how he adjusted to the imperatives of his times. The generation of new researchers today can read meanings into Prof Asghar’s work and mould opinions around it”, stressed the Vice Chancellor.
AMU Pro Vice Chancellor, Prof Mohammad Gulrez said, “Prof Asghar represented all that we cherish and value at AMU. He will always be remembered for providing a rich source of material and fresh interpretations on Sir Syed’s life and works”.
“The arc of Prof Asghar’s lifetime is not only about his roles in teaching and administration, but he has left a legacy by leaving meaningful work on the intellectual and social life of Sir Syed. His many books and research papers give details on how Sir Syed responded to the collapse of the Mogul Empire following the 1857 rebellion by diverse efforts to revitalize and to reform common Indians through education”, emphasised Prof Azarmi Dukht Safavi, well known scholar and Hony Director of Persian Studies.
“Prof Asghar lived a remarkable life; he was an academic of a very high standard, an amazing mentor to colleagues and students and a wonderful human being who motivated everyone to do their best. Every occasion is going to be different without him now. My deepest sympathy is with his family and the AMU community, mourning the sad demise”, said Prof S Imtiaz Hasnain (Dean, Faculty of Arts).
Prof M A Jauhar (Chairman, Department of Urdu) pointed out: “Prof Asghar was one of the most important people of the University who immensely increased the prestige of the Department of Urdu. He inspired a generation of faculty and students with his individuality and uniqueness”.
“Prof Asghar touched so many lives with his wisdom and helped so many students walk on the right path. His immense contribution to Sir Syed Academy and work on the life of Sir Syed will always keep helping researchers to understand the nature of cultural identity in 19th century India and the changes it underwent through colonial rule”, said Dr Mohd Shahid (Deputy Director, Sir Syed Academy).
Prof Asghar joined AMU as a young lecturer in 1974 after completing Phd from the university’s Department of Urdu. He was subsequently promoted as a reader and professor following years of seminal work that left a significant influence.
Prof Asghar retired from his services at AMU in 2002.
He received the Maulana Azad Award of the Uttar Pradesh Urdu Academy in 2020.
Prof Asghar was the author of over 17 books including the acclaimed, ‘Sir Syed ki Sahafat’, ‘Sir Syed ka Safar Nama: Musafir-e-Nam-e-London’, ‘Sir Syed, Iqbal aur Aligarh’ and ‘Urdu ka Jamaliyati Adab aur Aligarh’.
He wrote numerous papers and compiled many academic books.