Online conference on ‘Sir Syed: Vision and Mission’


Aligarh: “The Aligarh Movement led by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan was aimed at reforming the social, political and educational aspects of common Indians. He founded the Scientific Society and translated major works in the sciences and modern arts into Indian languages,” said a prominent businessman, and Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) alumnus, Mr Nadeem A Tarin.

He was speaking as the Chief Guest in the international virtual conference on ‘Sir Syed: Vision and Mission’ organised by the Law Society, Faculty of Law.

“Sir Syed’s vanguard was to spread the light of education to all corners of the country and for the purpose, he established the MAO College, which later became AMU,” said Mr Tarin.

Mr Tarin added that the teachings of Sir Syed will always be relevant as he opposed ignorance, superstitions and evil customs and firmly believed that the society will not progress without the acquisition of modern scientific education.

In the keynote address, Prof Shafey Kidwai, Chairman, Department of Mass Communication spoke on the life and works of Sir Syed.

“Sir Syed Ahmad Khan was the Muslim public intellectual, who relentlessly worked for building up civil society by launching scientific society, two periodicals and propagating debating and reading societies,? he added.

Prof Kidwai emphasised that the aim of Sir Syed was not merely restricted to establishing a college at Aligarh but at spreading a network of educational institutions throughout the length and breadth of this country.

He pointed out that Sir Syed extricated the common people from the meshes of medievalism and out-moded patterns of thoughts and behaviour. Sir Syed was secular, nationalist and a propounder of Hindu-Muslim unity.

Prof Kidwai further spoke on how Sir Syed replied to an offensive book on Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him) by William Muir.

Presiding over the conference AMU alumnus, Mr S Gurdev Singh, (Retired IAS Officer and President, Sikh Educational Society, Chandigarh) said that Sir Syed’s lifelong efforts to strike a balance between tradition and modernity, traditional Oriental and Western scholarship and religion and science made him known across the globe.

Reminiscing his student life in AMU, Mr Singh said that the teachings of Prof Hafeezul Rahman, Prof Dayal and Prof Mohammad Habib have remained with him all of his life.

The Guest of Honour, Ms Latifa Ben Arfa Rabai (Head, Research, Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Post Graduate Unit, University of Al Buraimi, Oman) highlighted the importance of scientific education in the modern world and related it with the vision of Sir Syed.

Prof Shakeel Samdani, Dean, Faculty of Law, elaborated how Sir Syed convinced the British to increase the age of Indians in Civil Services Examinations and to conduct the Civil Services Examinations in India as well.

Prof Mohammad Ashraf extended the vote of thanks, while Mr Mohammad Nasir delivered the welcome address.

Dr Shad Ahmad Khan, Shalja Singh, Akash Ranjan Goswami, Mahelaka Abrar and Lyba Fatima introduced the guests. Abdullah Samdani moderated the programme.