Monday, December 5, 2022

Library Of Dr.Zakir Husain Jamia Millia Islamia,New Delhi

Library of Dr. Zakir Hussain



        Sir Syed Ahmad Khan laid the foundation of "Madrasat-ol- Oloum" at Aligarh in 1875 A.D. with in a period of two years this institution became "Mohammaden Anglo Oriental College", and started its activities as Muslim University, Aligarh as it grew and developed and this had the approval of British Government authorities. Though the objective of this university was to further educate Muslims and make them aware of Modern knowledge but as Nehru says, "one of the aims of Syed Ahmad Khan was to make Muslims able and useful citizens for British Empire."

       While this movement was going on, Mahatma Gandhi's Non-Co-operation movement and Khilafat Movement under the leadership of Mohammad Ali though apparently slow but strong, was shaping as a serious blow to the British plans and policies. It was on 21st October 1920 A.D. that Mahatma Gandhi alongwith Maulana Mohammad Ali arrived at Aligarh. The visit was part of a tour aimed at educating the youth. In an address to the teachers and students he stressed on the freedom of universities and centres of learning in order to enable them to examine their problems and short comings and find their solution. He appealed to teachers and students to disassociate from British Government and establish independent Scientific and Cultural Centre.

       The indifference of British authorities to demands of young generation had created ground for opposition to colonialism and exploitation. The Muslim leaders and thinkers were searching for new ways and methods to free themselves from British bondage. But two acts of Judicial law regarding Boycott had curtailed peoples freedom and limited the scope of activities of colleges and universities which were controlled by British Government. In view of this Gandhi's words were not welcomed by all at that time but it was in a way beginning of Muslims Movement to establish independent cultural and scientific centres away from British interference. One amongst those who wanted this and found a Muslim National university was Zakir Husain a student and teacher of Aligarh Muslim University. He was not present that day to attend the address of Gandhi. When he heard about the contents of the address next day he made up his mind to establish an independent National Islamic University. On 29th October 1920 A.D. he consulted some Muslim thinkers and intellectuals in the Jame- Masjid of Aligarh University and existence of Jamia Millia Islamia was declared by Maulana Mahammadul Hasan. Followed by this, Maulana Mohammad Ali, Hakeem Ajmal Khan, Dr. Mukhtaruddin Ansari, Abdul Majeed Khwaja and some other greatmen and opponents of British Policies supported foundation of such an institute. Hakeem Ajmal Khan was clected as the first Vice - Chancellor of Jamia - Millia - Islamia on 22nd November 1920 but Zakir Husain accepted major responsibility of the task.

       Zakir Husain left for the University of Berlin in 1923 A.D. to pursue Higher Education in the field of Economics. After three years he was awarded Doctorate. He returned to India in order to fulfil his Committments viz a viz this new institution. He alongwith his two colleagues, Dr. Aabid Husain and Mohammad Mujeeb left Germany with the aim to strengthen Jamia Millia Islamia. Their return was a fresh hope for Jamia.

       In 1925 A.D. Jamia Millia was shifted from Aligarh to Delhi and was placed in Karol Bagh. After the institution was transfered to Delhi, number of students and teachers were 80 and 25 respectively. Most of the classes and the library were housed under tinn roof. The institution faced acute financial problem which disheartened the responsible office bearers. Gandhi in a meeting with office bearers said, "If you are afraid of financial problems, I am ready to come out with a begging bowl to collect money".

       In 1927 A.D. following the death of Hakeem Ajmal Khan, Dr. Mukhtaruddin Ansari was appointed Vice-Chancellor. The financial problems continued to increase. Dr. Ansari in consultation with Zakir Husain and a few others founded an association called "National Education Committee". The committee, in addition to Members of Executive Board, included Eleven university teachers as Permanent Members. All Members accepted to serve the institution for 20 years even after retirement and their pay was to be fixed according to their need between one to one hundred rupee. The committee started functioning with its members and could solve the financial problem in a respectable manner.

       In 1932 A.D. "Association of sympathisers of Jamia" was formed under the patronage of Hafiz Fayyaz Ahmad, Khwaja Abdul Hayee and Shafiq-ur Rahman Kidwai, the object was to raise funds for the continuity of the university. In the first year itself about ten thousand Muslims from all over India opted for its membership. Though the financial help was meagre yet it helped boost the morale of office bearers and created a sense of responsibility amongst people in general to promote the cause of an independent Islamic Centre of knowledge. The Association could collect about Rs. 6000 in the beginning but in the next few years the amount reached to Rs. 60,000. The establishment of this body created strong links between the university and the people.

       In March 1935 A.D. foundation stone of Jamia-Millia - Islamia was laid down in Okhla Village, in New Delhi. One year later in 1936 A.D. the university shifted to this new campus in Okhla. Unfortunately it was during this year that Dr. Ansari passed away and the institution lost one of its great dedicated supporters.

       In 1938 A.D. Teachers Training college was founded and during this year Jamia Millia Islamia was registered as a centre of learning.

       It was in 1946 A.D. amidst all sorts of economic problems and chaos in the country when the Silver Jubilee of the university was celebrated. With all problems these were the days of India shaping its destiny as an Independent country.

       In 1962 U.G.C. gave recognition of a university to this institute. After this official recognition of various Science Subjects were introduced Today this great centre of learning has numerous new faculties and subjects and is expanding its fold.

       In 1988 Government of India awarded the status of Central University to Jamia Millia. This institution which was started at the initiative of greatmen is at present counted amongst the few major centres of learning of the country.

       Library:- The library was established simultaneously with the university and grew along with the university. A large number of teachers donated their personal collection to the library. The library had personal collection, of Abdul Qayyum Naqvi, Mohammad Mujeeb, Dr. Mukhtaruddin Ansari and Dr. Zakir Husain. In addition to central library which meets the requirement of the university teachers and students in all fields, there are faculty libraries such as library of faculty of law with 60,000 volumes, Library of Engineering Faculty and that of Faculty of Mass-Communication all affiliated to Central Library.

       Following the death of Dr. Zakir Husain in 1973 A.D. the Central Library was named after him in view of his valuable contribution to the institution. The library has central and faculty sections. The library building measures slightly more than 4000 sq. Meters and has two big Reading Rooms and is open to readers in general. Similarly there is a reading room for reference books. The Central library has several sections.

 1.      Printed Books section with over 328000 volumes in English, Arabic, Hindi,    
             Urdu & Farsi (Persian).

 2.      Manuscripts:- Contains valuable Manuscripts in Arabic, Persian and Urdu and the number is approximately 3000. Its catalogue of Farsi Manuscripts was published in 1373 by the Cultural House of Islamic Republic of Iran in New Delhi. The Noor Microfilm Centre will shortly be printing the Catalogue of its Arabic manuscripts. This book is the catalogue of selected Persian manuscripts of this library which has been prepared and compiled by Noor Microfilm Centre. No step has till now been taken about Urdu manuscripts. It is unfortunate that some very valuable manuscripts are in very bad shape and require urgent repair.

 3.      Centre of library Documents:- Since Dr. Zakir Husain was President of India, several documents and Photographs pertaining to the period of Freedom Movement are preserved in the Achives of the library. These are of historical importance. Recently a new and independent Archives building has been taken and its Dicrector is Professor Azizuddin Husain Hamadani of the Department of History.

       Though the task of preparing of Microfilms of manuscripts, like any where else, has its problems here also at times one has to wait for years to get permission still we continue our efforts to do so.

       As regards Dr. Zakir Husain library, Mr. Syed Shahid Mehdi, former Vice Chancellor extended valuable help to us as he himself has great interest in Asian Studies and more so in Farsi. It was due to his recommendations that the library extended maximum help to us and we could prepare microfilms with great ease and comfort. I consider it my privilege and duty to extend my thanks to him.

       I also thank my colleagues for their valuable assistance and benevolent co-operation.


                                                                       Dr. Mehdi Khajeh Piri.


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