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AMU celebrates Gandhi Jayanti

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Aligarh : Mahatma Gandhi’s story resonates across continents and cultures as his method of non-violence inspired many civil rights movements. This was aptly highlighted in the commemorative meeting held at Maulana Azad (MA) Library of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) to pay homage to the Father of the Nation.

“Mahatma Gandhi remains the beacon of hope for the entire humanity in today’s troubled world. Gandhi’s teachings remind us that that we are, capable of the most extraordinary and wonderful achievements, simply through non-violent means and peace that comes out from our will, and our sense of right”, said AMU Vice Chancellor, Prof Tariq Mansoor in his address to AMU teachers, students and staff.

Speaking on the close relationship Mahatma Gandhi shared with AMU, he recalled: “During the freedom movement, Gandhiji visited Aligarh many times. AMU’s Library has letters and photographs adorning his memories. The AMU Students Union gave him the first-lifetime membership. On Mahatma Gandhi’s appeal, students burnt foreign goods and clothes inside the campus”.

“Mahatma Gandhi was the most dominant figure in India’s struggle for independence, yet he chose not to become the Prime Minister or the Governor General of Independent India and instead chose others and continued his work for the poor and oppressed”, said Prof Mansoor.

The Vice Chancellor added: “Mahatma Gandhi’s life was a perfect reflection of his thoughts and action and as a devout follower of Hinduism, he believed that a respectful study of other’s religion was a sacred duty and it did not reduce reverence for one’s own”.

“He thought of all great religions as fundamentally equal and firmly believed that there should be innate respect for them, not just mutual tolerance. Gandhi’s ideas on religion and attitude toward other religions serve as a secular blueprint to ponder over and implement all over the world”, emphasised Prof Mansoor.

He pointed out: “There is a long, diverse and awe-inspiring list of great leaders and thinkers who were inspired by Mahatma Gandhi. One of them was Martin Luther King Jr, who used the Gandhian principle of Satyagraha to advance the cause of equality and social justice, and acquire equal citizenship rights for African Americans”.

“Mahatma Gandhi belonged to the whole world. He is remembered for his civil rights movement in South Africa as he is remembered for his struggle for Indian Independence,” said the Vice Chancellor.

Prof Mansoor later administered the pledge to work with dedication for preserving and strengthening the freedom and integrity of the Nation. He also led AMU teachers, students and non-teaching staff in a ‘Swachchta Shapath’ (Cleanliness Pledge) by saying that Mahatma Gandhi had dreamt of a developed and clean country.

The Vice Chancellor also inaugurated ‘Exhibition of Books and Photographs on Mahatma Gandhi’ at the MA Library displaying books and documents and rare images of Mahatma Gandhi’s childhood, his life as an advocate and civil rights activist, his participation in the Indian freedom struggle and the activities at Sabaramati Ashram.

Speaking on Mahatma Gandhi’s love for the mother tongue and love for all Indian languages, Prof M J Warsi (Chairman , Department of Linguistics) said: “The Father of the Nation spoke very passionately about using ‘mother tongue’ as the compulsory medium of instruction. The Nation Education Policy (NEP) 2020 highlights Gandhian principles”.

“Mahatma Gandhi planted a vital concept to restructure the education system. His ideas were based on his experiments in South Africa, and his experiences at the Ashrams in Sabarmati, Ahmedabad and Sevagram, Wardha. His concept of ‘Nai Talim’, also known as basic education, served as the foundation for many educational methods in India. To bring about social change and to make education accessible to all, he underscored differences between knowledge and employment, teaching and learning”, he added.

Prof Warsi pointed out that Gandhi’s idea of ‘Nai Talim’ basic was to combine work-centred education with locally available technologies that focused on the comprehensive development of the student. He emphasised a link between education and vocational training, and that work should not only be socially useful and productive but also self-sustaining.

“Mahatma Gandhi inspired the world with his faith in truth and justice for all mankind. He was a great soul who loved even those who fought against his ideals of bringing peace with non-violence”, said Prof Mohammad Ali Jauhar (Department of Urdu).

He pointed out that Mahatma Gandhi worked for solutions to all problems and gave a new dimension to the world with Ahimsa (non-violence)—an eternal, natural and the highest human value, in theory and practice. His ideas and practices became equally adaptable for people of India and proved out to be the guiding force for people across the globe”, stressed Prof Mohammad Ali Jauhar.

AMU students, Zahra Asad (BSc Final Year Student) and Javed Ashraf (Urdu Research Scholar) also delivered speeches on the contributions of Mahatma Gandhi.

Prof Vibha Sharma conducted the programme and Prof Nishat Fatima (University Librarian) extended the vote of thanks.

AMU Registrar, Mohammad Imran (IPS) and faculty members from across various departments attended the programme at the M A Library.

 

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