EDUCATIONAL SERVICES OF SIR SYED AHMED KHAN
Sir Syed Ahmed Khan was the first Muslim leader to realize the importance of education for Muslims. His well known educational reforms are as follows:
- Two madrassas were established, one in Muradabad and the other in Ghazipure India, which imparted modern education in English, Urdu, as well as Persion.
- He established the scientific society (1864) to translate science books into urdu.
- He started the Aligarh Movement to remove misconceptions among Muslims about British rule and policies.
- He established the Mohammadan Anglo Oriental School in 1875, which became the Aligarh College in 1877, later this became the Aligarh University chartered by the government in 1920.
- He inaugurated the Muhammadan Educational Conference in 1886. Their aim was the established of Islamic high school in almost every town and city across India.
- Sir Syed Ahmed Khan was a capable author who consistently wrote about ethnic in Tehzib ul Ikhlaq and gave importance to Urdu as a language that was integral to the identity of the Muslim nation.
- Hindi Urdu controversy (1867) influenced Sir Syed’s political views.
- He also pointed out the unfairness in the competitive civil service examinations which were held in England, because Indians would not be able to compete with English candidates.
- When the Indian National Congress came into being, Sir Syed had opposed the idea of Muslims joining it, as he believed they should have a separate voice in India.
- Sir Syed Ahmed Khan was the first one to propose a separate electorate for Muslims in 1883. This became the basis of the “two Nation Theory”.
Aligarh Movement and Muslim Nationalism
The students of Aligarh were motivated with the spirit of Muslim Nationalism. They spread the movement in India and became pioneers of the Two Nation Theory. This movement resulted in the intellectual revival of Indian Muslims, and eventually the creation of Pakistan. Sir Syed, however, did not live to see his dream come true as he passed away in 1898, but his services in the field of education and his motivational writings paved the way for an independence movement for the Muslims.