Dear Fellow Aligarians and Well Wishers, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you, and introduce you to the Aligarh Alumni Association of New England (AAANE).
WHO ARE WE?
The regional Association was created in 2002. It is a secular, non-profit, non-political, charitable, cultural, social and educational alliance of the alumni and supporters of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).
AIMS AND GOALS FOR 2012
It is my sincere hope to continue the programs the AAANE currently sponsors, some of which are paying tuition and adopting a deserving elementary school student, teacher, and library. I would like to take on new challenges and create more worthwhile endeavors with the assistance of our loyal members and supporters. Some of these endeavors would include community outreach programs for betterment of communities in which we live and serve. I would like to work together to bring distance e learning program, to students in India so that they can access better education through technological advancements.
WHAT WE ARE TOGETHER.
Together we can strive for so much, achieve so much for not only ourselves, but for the many desiring a better life through commitment and community. The AAANE has already achieved great things for its members and supporters such as educational opportunities, scholarships, mentoring and more. The members coordinate blood drives, medical training such as CPR, food kitchens for the poor and shelters for the homeless. There are so many ways that members and supporters can help, either through donating their time, their ideas, their resources and of course, through individual and community prayer. No voice is too small, nor is any contribution insignificant. Membership in our association is open to everyone irrespective of race, religion, creed or color. The AAANE welcomes one, the AAANE welcomes all!
With Best wishes,
Dr. Mohsin Alvi, President, AAANE
The Association is a non-political, non-profit, secular organization devoted to charitable, educational, literary, cultural, and social activities, formed to promote the interest of the AMU (hereinafter referred to as the University, its student body and its alumni). The purpose of this organization is to increase the popularity of our common interests. We hope to add new members so we will be able to grow and expand. We also want to have fun while when we are together and working on projects. By developing relationships and friendships, the organization will become even stronger.
AMU at a Glance
The following article was written by Prof. Ashraf Khan (President AAANE 2002-04) for Sir Syed Day Mushaira 2004.
Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, one of the architects of modern India was born on October 17, 1817 in Delhi. Sir Syed created an institution which, first as M.A.O. College and then since 1920 as Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), became the source of an amazing range of talent in all fields of life. In one of his lecture Sir Syed stated: The main reason behind the establishment of this institution, as I am sure all of you know, was the wretched dependence of Muslims, which had been debasing the position day after day. Their religious fanaticism did not let them avail the educational facilities provided by the government schools and colleges. It was, therefore, deemed necessary to make some special arrangement for their education. Suppose, for example, there are two brothers, one of them is quite hale and hearty but other is diseased. His health is on the decline. Thus it is the duty of all brothers to take care of their ailing brother bear the hands in his trouble. This was the very idea which guided me to establish the Mohammedan Anglo Oriental College. But I am pleased to say that both the brothers get the same education in this college. All rights of the college appertaining to those who call themselves Muslims are equally related to those who call themselves Hindus without any reservations. There is no distinction whatsoever between Hindus and Muslims. Only one who strive hard can lay claim to get the award. Here in this college Hindus as well as Muslims are entitled to get the stipends and both of them are treated at par as boarders. I regard both Hindus and Muslims as my two eyes". Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru correctly saw the spirit of Sir Syed's mission when he stated in his autobiography: So, to this education he turned all his energy trying to win over his community to his way of thinking. He wanted no diversions or distraction from other directions. Sir Syed's decision to concentrate on Western education for Muslims was undoubtedly a right one. Without that they could not have played any effective part in the building up of Indian nationalism of the new type, and they would have been doomed to play second fiddle to the Hindus with their better education and far stronger economic position. The Muslims were not historically or ideologically ready then for the bourgeois nationalist movement as they had developed no bourgeoisie, as the Hindus had done. Sir Syeds activities, therefore, although seemingly very moderate, were in the right revolutionary direction. The establishment of M. A. O. College was described by Lord Lytton as an epoch in the social progress of India. Several decades later Sir Hamilton Gibb characterized the college as the first modernist institution in Islam. Our alumni have made significant contributions in various walks of life in the history of the Indian subcontinent. They have excelled in their respective fields and have been able to reach to the top of the ladder including becoming Presidents of both India and Pakistan. A snap shot of some of our alumni who we are proud of are mentioned below; there are many more who have achieved great success in life and excelled in their fields that we may have missed inadvertently and due to limited space. Freedom Fighters and Political Leaders: Aligarh has produced freedom fighters like Mohammad Ali, Shaukat Ali, Hasrat Mohani, Raja Mahinder Pratap, Syed Husain, Rafi Ahmed Kidwai and Mohammad Yunus who played important roles in the Indian freedom movement. AMU had on its rolls a Zakir Husain who rose to be a president of India, an Ayub Khan who became president of Pakistan, a Nawabzada Liaqat Ali Khan, a Prime Minister of Pakistan, an Said Ahmed Khan of Chatari, a Prime Minister of Hyderabad, Sheikh Abdullah, G.M. Sadiq and Mir Qasim, all Chief Ministers of Jammu and Kashmir; Abdul Ghafoor, Chief Minister of Bihar; and Indian cabinet ministers such as Shafi Qureshi, B.P. Mauriya, V. A. Saiyed Mohamamd, Arif Mohammad Khan, Saleem Sherwani and Ali Ashraf Fatmi. Educators and Scholars: Aligarh seems to have been a perennial source of talent in the field of education and scholarly activity and can boast of having the stature of Abdul Haq, Abdul Majid Daryabadi, D. D. Kosambi, K.M. Panikar and Haroon Khan Sherwani among its scholars and Babar Mirza, Zakir Husain, Ghulam Sayyedein, Mohammad Habib, Hadi Hasan, Shaikh Mohammad Abdullah and Mumtaz Jehan Hyder, K. A. Nizami and Irfan Habib among its educators. Aligarh has produced Fani, Josh, Majaz, Jazbi, Rahi Masoom Raza, Shaharyar, Akhtarul Iman, Jan Nisar Akhtar and Ali Sardar Jafri among its poets and Sajjad Hyder Yaldram, Zafar Ali Khan, Sadat Hasan Minto, Ismat Chughtai, Qazi Abdul Sattar, Rasheed Ahmad Siddiqi, Ale Ahmed Suroor and Raja Rao among its men of letters. The mehfils of Aligarh often reverberated with the poems of Waheed Akhtar, Sajida Zaidi, Zahida Zaidi, Ravindra Bhramar and Shiv Shankar Sharma Rakesh. Aligarh men and women reached the highest ranks of the national ladder in the field of Education e.g. Minister of Education, Nurul Hasan; Chairman of the University Grants Commission, Satish Chandra; Chairman of the Union Public Service Commission A. R. Kidwai; Vice Chancellor, Jamia Milia University, Masood Husain Khan; Director of the National Council of Educational Research and Training, Rais Ahmed; Director of the National Council of Educational Research and Training and Vice Chancellor of Delhi University, Moonis Raza; Director-General, Department of Oceanography and Vice Chancellor of Jamia Milia University Zahoor Qasim, Fellow of Royal Society, U.K and fellow of National Academy of Sciences, USA Obaid Siddiqui. Artists & Film Personalities: Even among film personalities Aligarh is not to be left behind. It has given to the country among others Khwaja Ahmad Abbas, Begum Para, Renuka Devi, Talat Mahmood, Shakeel Badayuni, Sahir Ludhianvi and Naseeruddin Shah. Noted film director Muzaffar Ali of Umrao Jaan fame is the product of Aligarh. Poet Shahryar and film scriptwriter and poet Jawed Akhtar ; both Aligarians, gave a new trend to the lyrics for film songs and film writing respectively. The most outstanding, however, was late Rahi Masoom Raza, an eminent writer in the film and TV world. He was the dialogue writer of numerous films and of the TV magnum opus Mahabharat. Sports and Athletics: AMU has produced some well known sports personalities some of whom have led the national team in Hockey and Cricket. Ghouse Mohammad learnt his tennis at Aligarh and Wazir Ali, Nazir Ali, Lala Amarnath, C. S. Naidu and Mushtaq Ali their Cricket. Among Olympic hockey players, Mohammed Jafar, Masood Minsha, Ali Sayeed, Inamur Rahman, Govinda and Zafar Iqbal played for India; Abdul Qayyum, Sayed Ali, and Anwar Ahmad Khan for Pakistan and Doraswamy for Malaysia. Afsar Husain was the national yachting champion. In a Convocation address to the University graduates in 1949, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad said So far as Muslim of India are concerned, one can assert without fear of contradiction that the man who played the most important role in this struggle is the presiding spirit of this university. The battle was fought here in Aligarh and Aligarh is the visible embodiment of the victory of the forces of progress. Here developed the new schools of research, interpretation and reconstruction of Muslim thought. You must remember that this glorious heritage is yours and it is for you to revive the past splendor of Aligarh. The inscriptions which have been carved on the walls of your Strachey Hall may fade with the passage of time but the inscriptions which Aligarh has written on the modern period of Indian history can never fade. Future historians will discover in Aligarh one of the main sources which has contributed to the evolution of modern India. Your duty is to regenerate those old traditions and to create in your University an atmosphere of research and enquiry into all the spheres of knowledge and preach the gospel of large hearted tolerance and of pure morality. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad February 20, 1949.
The Aligarh Alumni Association (AAANE) is honored to be associated with this great Aligarh heritage. We are proud to introduce our almamater to fellow New Englanders.
Prof. Ashraf Khan, MD
Founding Member and Board of Directors of AAANE and AAANE's Past President
(With excerpts from an article by Dr. Raziuddin and Syed Rafat Husain, Aligarh Alumni Association, Washington DC)