AMU Celebrates Gandhi Jayanti
Only a few people in the history of civilizations have made an everlasting impact as huge as Mahatma Gandhi. To pay tribute to the Father of the Nation who was a pivot behind India’s struggle for freedom against British rule, the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) celebrated ‘Gandhi Jayanti’ (Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary) at the varsity’s Maulana Azad (MA) Library.
Addressing a gathering of AMU teachers, students and other staff at the Cultural Hall of MA Library, AMU Vice Chancellor, Professor Tariq Mansoor said that Mahatma Gandhi was one of the greatest world leaders, who has inspired Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela, His Holiness Dalai Lama, Martin Luther King Jr, Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs among many others.
Prof Mansoor pointed out that Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings are relevant even today and will continue to inspire people. He added that non-violence is still and will remain the most relevant way of handling situations. “Gandhiji protested against oppression and tyranny on all sections of society and communities,” said Prof Mansoor adding that Gandhiji promoted the idea of bringing self-reliance in rural areas.
“Gandhiji always believed that nations can only progress if there is equality and tolerance among populations,” said the Vice Chancellor.
Prof M Rizwan Khan (Department of English) pointed out that Gandhiji today is more relevant as an idea than only as a historical figure. He added that Gandhi’s appearance was of a week and fragile person, but his actions were of a very strong, committed, persuasive and a devoted world leader. He added that Gandhiji struggled against the evils and sickness of society and worked for communal harmony all his life.
Prof Khan pointed out that Gandhiji fell into a dark despair on the eve of India's independence in August 1947. “While, India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru was delivering the famous Tryst with Destiny -speech, Gandhi was in Calcutta (Now Kolkatta) in West Bengal to bring peace after communal riots in the city. He further said that Gandhiji was not born as a Mahatma, but his life experiences and work made him a Mahatma.
Dr Mohibul Haque said that Gandhiji often felt helpless when he saw the world in turmoil, a result of the differences between ideals. He added that Mahatma Gandhi inspired the world with his faith in truth and justice for all mankind. “Gandhiji was a great soul who loved even those who fought against his ideals to bring about peace with non-violence,” said Dr Haque.
AMU students, Mr Mateen Ashraf (BA Urdu) and Ms Arisha Zaidi (BA English) delivered speeches on how Gandhiji lead with an exemplary life that echoed his ideals. They spoke on how Mahatma Gandhi sacrificed his thriving law practice and adopted a simple life to live among the millions who lived in poverty during his freedom struggle.
Prof Javaid Akhter (AMU Registrar) conducted the programme. Dr Nabi Hasan (AMU Librarian) proposed the vote of thanks.
On the occasion, AMU Vice Chancellor inaugurated an exhibition with books, journals and photographs of Mahatma Gandhi on display. The exhibition also had copies of magazines edited by Gandhi.
Prof Mansoor administered a pledge to work with dedication for preserving and strengthening the freedom and integrity of the Nation. He also administered a ‘Swachchta Shapath’ (Cleanliness Pledge) by saying that Mahatma Gandhi had dreamt of a developed and clean country.