City cel­e­brates Maulana Azad birth­day to­day

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - TIMES CITY - Mo­hammed.Wa­ji­hud­din @times­group.com

Born in Mecca and brought up in Cal­cutta, he edited and launched sev­eral path­break­ing pub­li­ca­tions in Urdu, led the In­dian Na­tional Congress at 35, spent a to­tal of ten and a half years in var­i­ous jails, be­came In­dia’s first ed­u­ca­tion min­is­ter and was buried near Delhi’s Jama Masjid.

Free­dom fighter, or­a­tor, es­say­ist, Is­lamic scholar and politi­cian Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (1888-1958) whose birth­day on Novem­ber 11 is cel­e­brated as Na­tional Ed­u­ca­tion Day wore sev­eral hats. But his con­tri­bu­tion as pub­lisher-ed­i­tor of Urdu weekly Al-Hi­lal, launched in 1912 with the ba­sic con­cept to “ädopt the virtues that ex­ist and dis­own the evil that abounds,” is sin­gu­lar. It helped Mus­lims re­order their pri­or­i­ties. If, due to the Bri­tish’s di­vide and rule pol­icy, some Mus­lims saw Hin­dus as their ad­ver­saries, Al Hi­lal blew it off, per­suad­ing Mus­lims to plunge in the free­dom strug­gle whole­heart­edly.

Now an un­likely pro­tec­tor of yel­low­ing 50 copies of AlHi­lal is Maulana Mirza Abdul Qayyum Nadvi, an Au­rangabad-based book­seller and spokesper­son of All In­dia Mus­lim OBC Or­gan­i­sa­tion.

“No his­tory of our free­dom strug­gle is com­plete with­out the men­tion of Al-Hila’s role. The pa­per didn’t last long but rev­o­lu­tionised Urdu jour­nal­ism,” says Nadvi who bought the vol­umes from a book­shop in old Delhi.

Maulana Azad has suf­fered ne­glect and is vic­tim of gen­eral am­ne­sia. The tallest Mus­lim leader who never ac­cepted the par­ti­tion plan and died heart­bro­ken due to In­dia’s vivi­sec­tion is fading from the coun­try’s con­scious­ness.

How­ever, as part of cel­e­bra­tions of Na­tional Ed­u­ca­tion Day to com­mem­o­rate Azad’s birth­day, Maulana Azad Mi­nori­ties Fi­nan­cial De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion’s chair­man Haji Hy­der Azam has planned dis­tri­bu­tion of sanc­tion let­ter of ed­u­ca­tional schol­ar­shipS by CM Deven­dra Fad­navis and Mi­nor­ity Af­fairs Min­is­ter Mukhtar Ab­bas Naqvi, on Sun­day. “Apart from dis­tribut­ing sanc­tion let­ters for loan of over Rs 41 lakh among 20 stu­dents of Thane district stu­dents and women ben­e­fi­cia­ries of mi­cro fi­nance who have re­paid the loans will also be fe­lic­i­tated,” says Azam.

SP’s cor­po­ra­tor Rais Shaikh has pe­ti­tioned BMC to re­name Maulana Azad Road in Cen­tral Mum­bai as Bharat Ratna Maulana Azad Road.

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad with Jawa­har­lal Nehru

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