By Muslim Mirror Network
ALIGARH , May 8: “The services of Aligarh Muslim University’s Department of Urdu are unmatched and eternal and this department has carved a special niche for it on the basis of its unique history which is illuminated by the stalwarts of Urdu like Rashid Ahmad Siddiqui, Ale Ahmed Suroor, Shehryar, Qazi Abdus Sattar,” said AMU Vice Chancellor, Prof Moammd Gulrez while addressing the inaugural session of the centenary celebrations of the Department of Urdu that began here yesterday.
Highlighting the historical evolution of the dep[artment of Urdu, Prof Gulrez said it is one of the oldest departments in the university and perhap the oldest and biggest department of Urdu among all such departments across the Indian subcontinent. He said it is oldest as the teaching of Urdu began in the university since its inception in 1875 as the Madrasatul Uloom; and it is the biggest department not only in terms of its size and strength of teachers, but also on the basis of its services and number of stalwarts it has produced so far.
This department has given a number of figures to Urdu languages and literature without whom the history of Urdu will remain incomplete, he added.
The Vice Chancellor said that the department has a glorious past and its future will also be remarkable with newer achievements, however it is the need of the hour to go with the ever changing time and revise its syllai and academic programmes accordingly. He said that in the context of the new education policy, dual courses should be introduced and efforts should be made to promote Urdu among the larger section of society. He said we should study the new education policy in depth and prepare new courses according to it, which will help promote Urdu in a better way. He said the Urdu department should prepare a bilingual dictionary keeping in view the needs of the day as it will help increase the popularity of Urdu.
Delivering the keynote lecture, Prof. Aqeel Ahmad, former Chairman of the department, discussed the gradual development of the department and underlined the role of new generation of teachers in the development of Urdu. He highlighted the contributions of modern litterateurs, including poets and fiction writers like Shahryar, Mehtab Haider Naqvi, Ashufta Changizi, Asad Badayuni, Shahabuddin Saqib, Ale Ahmed Suroor, Shehryar, Qazi Abdus Sattar, Tariq Chattari, Syed Muhammad Ashraf, Ghiyasur Rahman and Ghazanfar. He also mentioned the names of the critics who have opened new contours of the Urdu criticism, including Ale Ahmad Suroor, Kalilur Rahman Azmi, Shamim Hanafi, Abul Kalam Qasmi, Qazi Afzal Hussain and Qazi Jamal Hussain, and those who belong to other departments but have remained associated with the department of Urdu in one way or another, like Mukhtaruddin Ahmad Arzoo, Zahida Zaida, Sajda Zaidi, Shailesh Zaidi, Shafey Kidwai, etc.
The chief guest, Prof. Khalid Mahmood (Former Chairman, Department of Urdu, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi) highlighted the academic and literary services of the teachers of the Urdu department.
The guest of honor Prof. Abdul Haq (Professor Emeritus, Delhi University) said Rashid Ahmed Siddiqui was a unique Urdu scholar who nurtured a large breed of Urdu writers and impacted a long period of time. He was not only one of the pioneers of Aligarh culture but, in fact, he was the centre of it. He said Rashid Ahmad Siddiqui was the only person who popularized the AMU culture the most after Sir Syed. His books are of religious value to the Aligarians all over the world, he said.
The Dean, Faculty of Arts, Prof. Arif Nazir said that the department of Urdu has a prominent place among all Urdu dep[artments in the world and this is perhaps because its teachers and students have been carrying forward the legacy of the great teachers and writers it has had in the past, including Samiullah Ashrafi, Asgar Abbas, Kaukab Qadr, etc. He urged the students to make the best use of the facilities that are available in the department and in the university.
Earlier, welcoming the guests, the Chairman of the department, Prof Mohammad Ali Jauhar highlighted the achievements of the department and discussed the history of its evolution in threadbare since its inception during the times of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, who is considered the pioneer of modern Urdu prose and his Aligarh Movement played a significant role in the promotion of Urdu.
Prof Jauhar said the teachers in the department are carrying forward the legacy of Sir Syed and of those who are considered the doyen of Urdu, including Rasheed Ahmad Siddiqui, Ale Ahmad Suroor, Khalilur Rahman Azmi, Jan Nisar Akhtar, Shehryar and Qazi Abdus Sattar.
Professor Qamrul Huda Faridi extended a vote of thanks.