Monday, December 5, 2022

Library Of Anjuman Taraqqi Urdu,New Delhi

Library of Anjuman Taraqqi Urdu 


 First Indian Muslim Educational Conference was held in 1888 A.D. presided over by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and at the end of it Sir Syed Ahmed Khan was unanimously selected as its permanent secretary. He held this post till his death on March 27, 1898 A.D. The basic objective of this conference was to encourage the Muslims to get familiarized with modern science, establishing schools and universities. The creation of Aligarh Muslim University is one of the outcomes of this conference. The following issues were discussed in the first conference.

1-      Women Education and Training.

2-      Census of Literate and Qualified Persons.

3-      Opening of Modern Schools.

In sixteenth annual session of the conference which was held from December 31, 1902 to January 4, 1903 in New Delhi, three more articles were added to the past endorsements of this conference:

1-      Reform of Society.

2-      Opening of Urdu Promotion Department.

3-      Miscellaneous issues related to the Education and Training of Indian Muslim Society.

After the death of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Allameh Shibli Noamani was selected as the secretary of All India Muslim Educational Conference. As a result of his efforts the Urdu Promotion Department was established as the Anjuman Taraqqi Urdu (Urdu Promotion Association).

In 1913 A.D. the said Association requested the Nizam Hyderabad Mir Usman, Ali Khan to become its honourary member. Nawab Mir Usman Ali Khan issued the following decree in this context:-

“It is my pleasure to accept the honourary membership and I wish this association to achieve its objectives”. Following his suit, other prominent persons accepted the honourary membership of the conference given as under:

1-      Nawab Haji Mohammed Hamidollah Khan Bahadur.

2-      Nawab Salar Jung Bahadur (Former Director of Hyderabad).

3-      Sir Fazil Bhai Kareem Bhai (Mumbai).

4-      Raja Partap Gir Narsinghji Bahadur (State of Hyderabad).

Allameh Iqbal and the Association

Allameh Iqbal had been associated with the association from the very foundation of it. Following the starting of its activities, a few committees were formed for various subjects and Allameh Iqbal was nominated for membership in the philosophy and economic committee, Iqbal was chosen as a member of literature committee of the association in 1936 A.D. Maulavi Abdul Haq decided to shift the central office of the association from Aurangabad to northern India in 1936. Maulavi Abdul Haq consulted with many of his friends in this regard and also sought the opinion of Iqbal too. He was of the opinion that the association be shifted to Lahore because Lahore had a suitable literary atmosphere for the flourishment and promotion of educational and literary institutes.

The efforts made by the chairmen and secretaries of this association upgraded it to such an extent that the prominent intellectuals, writers, poets and the men like Mahatma Gandhi, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Altaf Hussain Hali, Maulavi Nazeer Ahmed, Zaka Allah, Allameh Iqbal, Dr. Zakir Hussain, Dr. Rajendra Prashad, Maulana Hasrat Mohani, Inder Kumar Gujral, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru, Hirdeh Nath Kanzra, Qazi Anand Narain Mulla, Dr. Mohammad Iqbal, Krishna Chandr and Rajender Singh Bedi had actively cooperated with the association for different capacities for developing and extending it.

Similarly the late Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi had been guiding the association with his views and suggestions. Dr. Rajandra Prashad was amongst those persons who became the member of the promotion association on the insistence and convincing so that he could understand the language problems in the Bihar state. A limited number of people knows that Mahatma Gandhi had corresponded in Urdu with Dr. Abdul Haq one of secretaries of the association regarding it. The collection of the letters written by Gandhi to Abdul Haq are available in the Anjuman Taraqqi Association.

The association had envisaged in 1920 A.D. to prepare an encyclopedia “Our Country”. Upon the request of the association, Mahatma Gandhi agreed to write a chapter for the encyclopedia. But unfortunately, the project remained incomplete after the assassination of Gandhi.

Dr. Rajendra Parshad

In the year 1937 A.D., the Patna University of Bihar State decided to introduce the Hindustani language as official language in the secondary schools. There ensued a discussion about the word Hindustani that by Hindustani it means Hindi or Urdu. In order to respond to this question the association formed a committee called “Urdu Committee in Bihar. On the advice of Mahatma Gandhi, the committee made Dr. Rajendra Prashad, one of the prominent congress leaders, as its member. After a thorough survey, the said committee endorsed the opinion of Mahatma Gandhi that Hindustani means a simple language written and spoken in both the languages Urdu and Hindi.

After holding a meeting, a joint communique signed by the secretary general of the association Dr. Abdul Haq and Dr. Rajendra Prashad this endorsement was communicated to the people through public media.

In the year 1903 A.D. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad became the member of this association. It was the year in which it was founded. During his whole life time, he played an active role in association. His support and guidance always led to the progress and promotion of objectives of association. On November 20, 1903 A.D. a monthly magazine titled Lisan-ol- Sidq “was published in Urdu as a result of efforts made Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. In 1947 A.D., Maulana Abul Kalam Azad became minister of education in the central cabinet. But he continued his activities like ever before in connection with the Urdu Promotion Association.

As a result of untiring efforts made by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and Dr. Zakir Hussain not only the association remained intact at the time of partition of the country but also it made further progress. The guidance of Dr. Zakir Hussain gave more hope and freshness. One of the big achievements of Dr. Zakir Hussain as the Chairman of Anjuman Taraqqi Urdu (India) was the submission of a note having two million and two hundred thousand signatures of the people to the president of India.

Amongst other influential members of the association was Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed after Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed became the President of India in 1974. Similarly, Mr. Indr Kumar Gujral played a big role in promoting and popularising the Urdu language in the north-east of India.

He was an active member of the executive committee of the association and became the India Prime Minister from 1958 to 1990.

Association’s Library

During the All India conference of Anjuman Taraqqi Urdu which was held in 1936 A.D. in Aligarh a resolution was passed that the association should have a library. After the association was shifted to Delhi. Maulavi Abdul Haq opened a library in the association and donated his collection of Persian, Arabic and Urdu manuscripts to the library of association. He urged the research scholars and learned men to donate their books to the library too. Likewise, many more manuscripts and printed books were procured by the budget of association for the library. It took no time that the library became one of the important libraries of north India with the collection purchased and donated.

Unfortunately, during the commotion of 1947 A.D. the fanatical people attacked the library and a number of books were set ablaze and Maulavi Abdul Haq migrated to Pakistan and took many books with him and a very little number of them remained in the library. As a result of efforts made by secretaries of the association who were selected after the year 1947, the library once again managed to acquire a number of valuable manuscripts and printed books. Now this library is one of the richest libraries of Persian, Urdu and Arabic books. Research scholars from all over India and other countries take advantage of this library.


From the very beginning of its establishment, the authorities of the association had paid their attention to enrich the Urdu language by publishing and translating the useful books in the field of human sciences, sociology, art and literature and planed a programme to compile four dictionaries as under:

1-      English to Urdu Dictionary.

2-      English to Hindi Dictionary.

3-      Urdu to Urdu Dictionary.

4-      Dictionary of New Terminologies.



Association’s Magazine

From the beginning of its activities, the association brought out two magazines monthly and quarterly titled “Hamari Urdu” and “Urdu Adab” in order to promote and develop Urdu. The quarterly magazine “Urdu Adab” is being published regularly for the last more than eighty five years.

The magazine “Hamari Zaban” is the only Urdu weekly of its kind.

The association has more than six hundred and twenty branches all over the country. Its first branch was opened in 1916 A.D. in Parbani. Most of its branches are actually functioning for promoting and projecting the Urdu language.

Urdu University

The Human Resources Development Ministry of Indian Government had a work committee in order to survey the educational problems of the minorities chaired by Aziz Qureshi, former minister of State of Madhya Pradesh. Dr. Khaliq Anjum the former president of the Urdu Promotion Association was on of the members of this committee. In one of the meetings of this committee, Dr. Khaliq Anjum had proposed the formation of Urdu University and consequently the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Open University came into existence. Today Maulana Abul Kalam Azad University is considered to be one of biggest open Universities of India which has numerous branches in most of the big states of India. The medium of instruction of this university is Urdu.

Keeping in view the existence of precious and rare manuscripts of the library of Urdu Promotion Association, Noor Microfilm International Centre, has prepared a microfilm of all the manuscripts. This present descriptive catalogue of Persian and Arabic manuscripts of the library has been arranged with the cooperation of Dr. Khaliq Anjum, the honourable president of the association. I thank all my colleagues who have assisted me thoroughly in preparation of this catalogue.


Dr. Mehdi Khajeh Piri

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