Wednesday 31 October 2018

Sir Syed Day-2018: Through Camera of Engr Maqbool Akram

It was a nostalgia occasion for hundreds of Aligarh Muslim University alumni and AMU fraternity, to attend the AMU celebration of Sir Syed Dy.2018.They assembled again in a huge pandal .constructed at Athletic ground of Chaman-E-Syed to connect with each other to refresh their old memories.

For AMU Fraternity all over word this day i,e 17th October is not  an ordinary day of the year. For them It is above many festivals.They celebrate Sir syed day in full sprit. After sun set ,all the main buildings specially,Bab-e-Syed,Maulana Azad Libray,Arts Faculty, Victoria gate ,University’s grand Masjid and residential halls are well decorated with special light effects.

 People of all ages use to roam in campus, special to mention that young students use to run on their motor cycles to show breath taking stunts.
The proceedings of the day began with a Quran Khawani (Quranic Recitation) at the University Masjid. Prof Mansoor with senior professors and officers of the university paid floral tributes at the Mazaar (grave) of Sir Syed after the traditional ritual of 'Chadar Poshi'.
  Earlier in the day, AMU Vice Chancellor, Prof Mansoor inaugurated an 'Exhibition of Books and Photographs pertaining on Sir Syed Ahmad Khan' at the Sir Syed House. The exhibition was jointly organised by Maulana Azad Library and Sir Syed Academy.
Main function of Sir Syed Day was started in pandal at Athletic ground by recitation of Holy quran Shareef. Chief guest of Sir Syed Day 2018 was Former Chief Election Commissioner of India, Dr S Y Quraishi.
Dr S Y Quraishi today delivered the commemoration address as the chief guest on Sir Syed Day, the 201st birth anniversary of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) founder, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan at the University's Athletics Ground.
 "Sir Syed initiated English education and scientific temper among Indians, which made us world citizens. Sir Syed's message was not anti-Islam and among his admires were equal number of non-Muslims and Muslims," said Dr S Y Quraishi.
Dr Quraishi pointed out that during his trips to US, European countries, African countries and West-Asia, he always met AMU alumni, which is reflective of the famous line from AMU anthem, 'Jo abr yaha se utthega, wo sarey jahan par barsega' (The cloud which rises from here, will rain all over the world).

In the welcome address, AMU Vice Chancellor, Professor Tariq Mansoor said that Sir Syed changed the destiny of the nation by devoting his entire life for education, plurality and secularism through his versatile writing and farsightedness.

 Prof Mansoor pointed out that the supreme interest of Sir Syed's life was education in its widest sense as he wanted to create a scientific temperament among the common Indians.
"There are positive changes and developments in AMU with active cooperation of all concerned," said the Vice Chancellor adding that Times Higher Education has ranked AMU as the fifth best Indian University, while National Institute Ranking Framework (NIRF) has ranked AMU as the 10th best Indian university.
"AMU has started new courses such as Masters in Architecture, B Voc (Hons) and M Voc. We are in the process of starting a MBA course in Hospital Management," he said adding that the University has also increased courses running through the distance learning mode which includes a Bachelor in Computer Sciences. 
Dr S Y Quraishi and Professor Mansoor honored Professor Christian W Troll (Noted theologian and Honorary Professor for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations at the Philosophisch-Theologische Hochschule St. Georgen in Frankfurt).Dr Victor Edwin received a cash prize of Rs two lakhs with a citation on behalf of Professor Christian W Troll who could not travel to India due to health problems. 

and Mr Sanjiv Saraf (Founder, Rekhta Foundation) with the International and National Sir Syed Excellence Awards respectively.Meanwhile, receiving a cash prize of Rs one lakh and citation for the National Sir Syed Excellence Award, Mr Sanjiv  Saraf said, "We, the lovers of Urdu language, take great pride in how this language conveys complex emotions and experiences." He pointed out that Rekhta is an initiative, which targets to bring Urdu's charming cadence in dimensions of poetry, aesthetics, and tradition to the masses. 
The top three winners of the 'All India Essay Writing Competition' on the topic of "Importance of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan's Thought on Tolerance and Peaceful Coexistence in Today's World" also received their prizes from the Chief Guest and the Vice Chancellor.
With a cash prize of Rs 25,000, Ms Jagriti Sanghi, a BALLB student at the National University of Advanced Legal Studies, Kochi, Kerala bagged the first prize while Mr Mohd Umair Khan, student of MA Economics at Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh won the second place with a cash prize of Rs 15,000. 
Ms Kiran Francis, student of M Phil (Applied Geology), University of Madras, Chennai, Tamil Nadu has emerged third with a prize of Rs 10,000.
Fourteen other participants representing different states have been given State Topper prizes with prize money Rs 5,000 each.
Prof.Seemin Hasan (Department of English), Prof Abdur Raheem Kidwai (Director, UGC HRD Centre), Mr Wajahat Monaf Jilani (BA LLB, Final-year student) and Ms Aafia Rizvi (BA Hons, First-year student) delivered special speeches on teachings, philosophy, works and mission of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan.
The programme ended with University Tarana and National Anthem.Fully packed Pandal at Atheletic ground was burst into clapping like a thunderbolt.

Ye dasht-e-junoo diwano ka, ye bazm-e-wafa parwano ki
 ye shahr-e-tarab roomano ka, ye khuld-e-barin armano ki
Whole day function of Sir Syed Day 2018 was concluded with a grand dinner in every Halls.
Written, photographed and posted by Engr Maqbool Akram.

Wednesday 24 October 2018

Alumni Meet-2018 of A.M.U. Aligarh: Through Lense of Engr Maqbool Akram

It was a Nostalgia occasion for hundreds of Aligarh Muslim University alumni, to attend the AMU Alumni Meet—2018.They assembled again in Kennedy Auditorium of Chaman-E-Syed to connect with each other to refresh their old memories. 

It was one day meet: 16th October 2018. Followed by High Tea, Lunch breaks in Guest houseNo1. and a grand dinner at Lawn of Sir Syed House. The seed which Sir Syed sowed in 1877 had grown up into a mighty tree: that is now Aligarh Muslim University.

After break fast in lawn of Kennedy Auditorium and registration and networking, Alumni Meet was started with recitation oh Holy Quran.
Welcome Address
Prof M M Sufyan Beg Chairman of Alumni Affairs Committee and Principal Zakir Husain College OF Eng.and Technology, AMU. Aligarh said in his welcome address, that AMU was waiting eagerly for the alumni meet and we seek the help of our alumni to take AMU to new heights. Speeches of Guest of Honors:
(1)Prof Shah Alam Khan (Department of Orthopedics, AIIMS) urged students to continue to realise their beautiful dreams with the required hard work and dedication and follow footsteps of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan and Mahatma Gandhi to take AMU on greater heights.
(2) Dr Mohammad Aslam Parvaiz (Vice Chancellor, MANU University, and Hyderabad) said that it is imperative to follow the path of justice, no matter what we do and where we live. We need to be good professionals with the best in our education and contribute to society in the best of ways, he said. 
(3)Prof Neelima Gupta (Vice Chancellor, CSJM University, Kanpur) recalled that as a student she used to attend programmes in the Kennedy Hall and never thought that one day, she will be sitting on the dais and addressing the current students. "This success passage, which has made me sit on the dais, has been given to me by AMU," she pointed out.    
(4) Mr M J Alam (Joint Secretary, Ministry of Minority Affairs, Government of India, New Delhi) shared that he left the University after failing to qualify the Civil Services exams in the first attempt, but his teachers convinced him to come back. "I owe my success of qualifying the Civil Services exam to my teachers in AMU, who guided and mentored me," said Mr Alam.
(5) Mr Rizwan ur Rahman (CEO and Secretary, Maulana Azad Educational Foundation/ Chairman MANAS, New Delhi) spoke on the importance of following Sir Syed's path of spreading education to masses. Mr Rahman said that he quit his job in the power sector of the Government to join the Ministry of Minority Affairs for the purpose of providing education to girls, especially those of the marginalized sections.
 (6)Prof (Retd.)M Farooque (Department of Orthopedics, AIIMS) shared anecdotes and experiences from his life. He pointed out that the AMU alumni community spread all over the world shares a bond of love and brotherhood. He also urged students to recognize and hone their skills.
Address by the Chief Guest
Mr Rizwan Ahmad (1978 batch IPS officer and retired DG-Police, Uttar Pradesh), who attended the inaugural function at the Kennedy Hall auditorium as the Chief Guest spoke on Sir Syed's mission of ardent reform and how he wanted to reconcile modern scientific thought among Indians by rationalistic interpretations and not by attacking basic belief system.

He said that Sir Syed always believed that religious differences should have no political and national significance. 
Presidential Address
Presiding over the function, AMU Vice Chancellor, Professor Tariq Mansoor said that it is heartening to see how alumni from the United States of America, European countries, Middle-East, Mauritius and other parts of the world are connecting their successes with their alma mater and contributing in all possible ways. 
 "Alumni are our brand ambassadors and what they achieve is a direct reflection of our University," said Prof Mansoor.
Vote of Thanks
Prof Anwar Khursheed, Vice Chairman, Alumni Affairs Committee proposed the vote of thanks, while Dr Faiza Abbasi conducted the programme.
University Tarana
Now it was about 11.45 am the time for University Tarana and National Anthem.Fully packed Kennedy Auditorium was burst into clapping like a thunderbolt.
Ye dasht-e-junoo diwano ka, ye bazm-e-wafa parwano ki
 ye shahr-e-tarab roomano ka, ye khuld-e-barin armano ki
After Tarana and National anthem, a high tea was there in lawns of Kennedy auditorium lawn.
Session I-Panel discussion 
Topic of panel discussion was “Prospective Role of Alumni in Accredit ion and Ranking”
Session I-Panel discussion 
Topic of panel discussion was “Prospective Role of Alumni in Accredit ion and Ranking” 
Session was chaired by Professor D.P.AGarwal, former Chairman of U.P.P.S.C. Moderator of pannel discussion was Prof.M Rizwan Khan.Speakers were Prof. Imteyaz, Prof.M Salim Beg, Prof.M.M.Sufyan Beg, and Prof. Asad U.Khan.
Lunch in Guest House No 1
Alumni Affairs Committee has arranged transport facility for guests at lunch in Guest House No 1.
Session II: Faulty Level program with respective Alumni proceeding to their faculty.
Guests were offered tea in their respective Faculties.
Tea and Dinner: A very colorful and intoxicating evening was waiting for guests at lawn of Sir Syed House Complex. A musical programme was organized there by Cultural Education Center, and that was followed by Grand dinner.

Written, photographed and posted by Engr Maqbool Akram.

Monday 22 October 2018

Zebu-n-Nisa: Daughter of Aurangzeb—Invisible Gem from History (1638--1702)

Dying unseen as hidden thou wert born
So my heart’s blossom fallen in the dust

A lesser known character from the Mughal Empire is princess Zebu-n-Nisa, the eldest daughter of Emperor Aurangzeb. Unlike her puritanical father, Zebu-n-Nisa was a Sufi poet and did not share her father’s orthodoxy.
 Zeb-un-Nissa did not get married and remained single her whole life, despite the fact that she had many suitors. Her grandfather, Emperor Shah Jahan, had betrothed her to her first cousin, Prince Suleiman Shikoh, the eldest son of her paternal uncle, Crown Prince Dara Shikoh

Shah Jahan had intended for her to become a future Mughal Empress as Sulaiman was the heir to Dara Shikoh, who was next in line for succession to the Mughal throne after Shah Jahan. 

The marriage would've been a perfect match but did not, however, take place due to Aurangzeb's reluctance, who hated his eldest brother, Dara Shikoh.

Zeb-un-Nissa spent all her life on literary works and poetry, as she herself said:

“Oh Makhfi, it is the path of love and alone you must go.
No one suits your friendship even if Jesus be though.”

THE Princess Zeb-un-Nissa was the eldest daughter of the Mogul Emperor Aurangzeb of India, and was born in 1639. She came of a distinguished line, in direct descent from Genghiz Khan and Tamerlane.

She was a Sufi, an influential personality in the palace and remained unmarried. She was bestowed with a very good education by her father and was said to have memorized the Quran at an early age. She had her own courts at Delhi and at Lahore, to which scholars and poets came; at least some of her own poetry - in Persian and in Arabic –

Some of her poetry, written under the pen-name "Makhfi" ("the hidden one") circulated among her contemporaries. Many of Zeb-un-Nissa's poems are clearly expressions of her Sufi belief, expressing a personal devotion to Allah.

Unlike her puritanical father, Zeb-un-Nissa did not share her father’s orthodox views on religion and society. Steeped in mystic thought, her ghazals sang of love, freedom and inner experience:--

“Though I am Laila of Persian romance
my heart loves like ferocious Majnun
I want to go to the desert
but modesty is chains on my feet.
A nightingale came to the flower garden
because she was my pupil
I am an expert in things of love.
Even the moth is my disciple!”
(Translated by Willis Barnstone)

The woman had no luck in love. Her father poisoned one suitor, the son of a political rival.

In the beginning of 1662 Aurangzeb was taken ill, and, his physicians prescribing change of air, he took his family and court with him to Lahore. At that time Aquil Khan, the son of his vizier, was governor of that city. He was famous for his beauty and bravery, and was also a poet. He had heard of Zeb-un-Nissa, and knew her verses, and was anxious to see her.

On pretence of guarding the city, he used to ride round the walls of the palace, hoping to catch a glimpse of her. One day he was fortunate; he caught sight of her on the housetop at dawn, dressed in a robe of gulnar, the color of the flower of the pomegranate.

He said, “A vision in red appears on the roof of the palace.” She heard and answered, completing the couplet: “Supplications nor force nor gold can win her.”
She liked Lahore as a residence, and was laying out a garden there: one day Aquil Khan heard that she had gone with her companions to see a marble pavilion which was being built in it. He disguised himself as a mason, and, carrying a hod, managed to pass the guards and enter.

She was playing chausar with some of her girl friends, and he, passing near, said:

“In my longing for thee I have become as the dust wandering round the earth.”
She understood and answered immediately: “
Even if thou hardest become as the wind, thou should st not touch a tress of my hair.”

They met again and again, but some rumour reached the ears of Aurangzeb, who was at Delhi, and he hastened back. He wished to hush up the matter by hurrying her into marriage at once. Zeb-un-Nissa demanded freedom of choice, and asked that portraits of her suitors should be sent to her; and chose naturally that of Aquil Khan.
Aurangzeb sent for him; but a disappointed rival wrote to him: “It is no child’s play to be the lover of a daughter of a king. Aurangzeb knows your doings; as soon as you come to Delhi, you will reap the fruit of your love.” Aquil Khan thought the Emperor planned revenge.

But he came secretly to Delhi to see her again, perhaps regretting his fears. Again they met in her garden; the Emperor was told and came unexpectedly, and Zeb-un-Nissa, taken unawares, could think of no hiding-place for her lover but a deg, or large cooking-vessel.

The Emperor asked, “What is in the deg?” and was answered, “Only water to be heated.” “Put it on the fire, then,” he ordered; and it was done.
Zeb-un-Nissa at that moment thought more of her reputation than of her lover, and came near the deg and whispered, “Keep silence if you are my true lover, for the sake of my honor.” 

One of her verses says, “What is the fate of a lover? It is to be crucified for the world’s pleasure.” One wonders if she thought of Aquil Khan’s sacrifice of his life.

In 1681, Zeb-un-Nissan's brother Akbar attempted to usurp their father’s position as emperor. Aurangzeb prevailed, Akbar fled to safety, and the emperor accused Zeb-un-Nissa of betrayal, based on her correspondence with her exiled brother. Although he reconciled with Akbar, the emperor imprisoned Zeb-un-Nissa in the fort at Salimgarh. He held her captive for the twenty years until her death in 1702.

Some say because her father distrusted her on account of her friendship with her brother, Prince Akbar, who had revolted against him; others say because of her sympathy with the Maratha chieftain Sivaji. There she spent long years, and there she wrote much bitter poetry:—

If you wish to offer your beauty to God, give Zebu-n-Nisa taste. Awaiting the tiniest morsel, she is right here.

Zeb-un-Nissa died in1702. There is some controversy regarding the location of her tomb but Maasir-i-Alamgiri clarifies this, News came to the Emperor from Delhi that Zeb-un-nisa Begum had died. 

The Emperor was so saddened by the news as to shed tears, but had to resign himself to God's will. Order was sent to Sayyid Amjad Khan, Shaikh Ataullah, and Hafiz Khan to give alms (for the benefit of her soul) and build her tomb in the appointed place, namely the Garden of Thirty-thousand" trees outside the Kabuli Gate of Delhi.

But, in 1885, her tomb was shifted to Akbar's mausoleum at Sikandra when the railway lines were laid out in Delhi.  

Written by Engr Maqbool Akram with help of materials and photos available at net with thanks.