CONTEXT :  The centenary celebrations of AMU has been attended by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2020 and called the Institution a “mini-India”.

In this Article, these are the personal opinions of the VC, AMU(writer of the article).


Syed Ahmed khan (1817-1898)- Born in Delhi 

  •  Entered into the services of East India Company in 1838 

  •  Demonstrated loyalty to the British during 1857 revolt

  •  Became a judge at a Small Causes Court in 1867, and retired 1876. 

  •  Founder of Aligarh Movement

  •  Communal political outlook 

  •  Not Nationalistic or secular 

  •  Member of Imperial Legislative Council- 1878-83 

  • Got Knight Commander of the Order of the Star of India (KCSI), by the British Government in- 1888, as aSyed Ahmad was later conferred with the title of ‘Khan Bahadur’ 

SIR SYED’s vision for Hindu-Muslim unity:-

The writer (Tariq Mansoor– Vice-Chancellor, AMU )of this article in The Hindu opines that Sir Syed Ahmad Khan’s ideas on religious unity and the use of education for national integration are still relevant. 

The NEP and role of Education in National Integration:-

The role of education in National Integration has been renewed with the new National Education Policy . Sir Syed Ahmad Khan used this education as a tool for national integration. 

Some scholars related to colonial history have condemned some of Sir Syed’s statements on social order and his closeness to the British government.

It is rightly said that an individual’s text should be considered in the context of the time in which they lived. Sir Syed’s life witnessed rapid transition from the Mughal rule to British imperialism.

Sir Syed adopted and grasped the changes against all the odds.

When Sir Syed began his educational renaissance project, he invited all Indians to come together to join hands in the struggle against illiteracy. As he wished to unlock Hindus and Muslims from medieval thinking towards broad-mindedness, reason and progress.

Even though having an inclusive approach, he gave special attention to Muslims as Hindus had undertaken the path of scientific education much before than Muslims and the debate on the tension between religion and science had settled long ago among Hindus than Muslims. 

 The vision of Sir Syed for Hindu-Muslim unity is clear from his speech in January 1883, in which he said, “India is like a bride which has got two beautiful and captivating eyes — Hindus and Muslims. Within the ranks of the Hindus or Muslims themselves, or even between brothers as also between fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, there is dissension. But to make it perennial is a symptom of the decay of the family, the country, and of the nation.”

During colonial rule, a narrative of hatred was devised by the British. 


  • During the Bismillah ceremony of his grandson Ross Masood, Sir Syed made his son sit in the lap of his friend Raja Jai Kishan Das(Hindu)

  • Sir Syed elected Raja Dev Narayan Singh(a Hindu) as patron of the school, When he established a madarsa in Ghazipur. 

  • Sanskrit was one of the five languages that were taught at this school.

  •  The managing committee of MAO College consisted of 22 members of whom nine were Hindus.

  • Sir Syed laid the foundation of comparative religious studies and revived Dara Shikoh’s philosophy — to bring major communities of India together by finding commonalities in their religions and assimilate them as a strong front. That’s why AMU established the Dara Shikoh Centre for Interfaith Understanding. 

  • Section 5 (2)(b) of the AMU Act delegates the university to promote the study of religions, civilisation and culture of India.

  • The brotherhood between the two communities has always existed since the foundation of the Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental (MAO) College, the predecessor of AMU.


  •  It contributed to the Nation-Building.

  •  Played a role in India’s search for building friendly ties with the Muslim world. 

  • AMU is acknowledged as an Institution of National Importance under the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution. 

  • He further adds about AMU that during the course of history, it has passed through many challenges but never has it abandoned its inclusive character.

  •  Apart from drawing students from 26 other countries, it has students from 31 States and Union Territories and thus represents India’s multi-religious, multi-racial and multi-lingual character. 

  • This is why during the centenary celebrations of AMU in 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, called the institution a “mini-India”.

TO CONCLUDE– The Writer of the Article, Mr. Tariq MansoorVice-Chancellor, AMU  includes that Mr. Modi stressed the principles of NATION FIRST, SABKA SATH, SABKA VIKAS, SABKA VISHWAS.

Modiji further mentioned that Sir Syed established AMU with a rational, progressive and scientific mindset. The VC of AMU appreciated the Prime Minister to invoke the contribution of a 19th century reformer in the making of 21st century India, calling it an evidence to the vision of a man who was far ahead of his times. 

plutus ias daily current affairs 19 Oct 2021

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