A first at Shibli event: Session with Hindu speakers
Shibli Academy is celebrating its 100th year. Shibli Academy is
celebrating Azamgarh | December 1, 2014
BY FAISAL FAREED
Darul Musannefin Shibli Academy, which is celebrating its 100 years, for
the first time held a session where all the speakers were Hindus.
The special lecture, Hindustani Sanjhi Sanskriti aur Allama Shibli, was
chaired by educationist Prof Devendra Raj Ankur, while Kashinath Singh, Mukesh
Bhushan and Liladhar Mandloi were the other speakers. The institute is also
observing the 100th death anniversary of its founder Maulana Shibli Nomani.
“We had planned this session due to the present circumstances. The need
of the hour is unity and Shibli Academy is known for unity and communal
harmony,” Prof Ishtiyaq Zilli, director of the academy, told The Indian
The event also witnessed scores of Hindu families visiting the institute.
“We need to inculcate the vision of Allama Shibli. He was a great thinker and
had advocated Hindu-Muslim unity,” said Mukesh Bhushan while presenting his
paper during the special lecture.
“It is not the function of only Shibli Academy, but of whole Azamgarh. We
are proud of Allama Shibli,” said Ravinder Rai, a retired principal, on was
attending the event.
Asked why he was at the event, Rajesh Singh, a local who was at the
institute with his family, replied: “Shibli sahib ka programme hai, unki qabr
yahin hai (It is an event on Allama Shibli, his grave is here).”
The three-day event was recently in news after 14 Pakistani scholars, who
were to travel to India over the weekend to attend the centenary celebrations,
were denied visa even after the Ministry of External Affairs had cleared the
“We had clearance from the Ministry of External Affairs, still they
refused Visa. People from all over the world have come here, including a
Pakistani judge,” Zilli stated. The event has visitors from several countries,
including South Africa, the US and Canada.
Though most speakers talked about Allama Shibli, the Aligarh movement,
Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and contributions of Shibli Academy in education, a few,
mostly from abroad, touched upon the subject of the condition of Muslims in
India. “Don’t worry, it will also pass. There is a general feeling that Muslims
are being treated as underclass. It is not good for the country and still it is
expected that you don’t get angry,” said Prof David Lelyveld, a retired history
professor from William Paterson University in New Jersey, US.
“There is too much hue about Islamophobia and Muslim terror groups… Even
Christian terror groups had bombed the US. We can’t deny that they don’t exist,
but still there is hope,” he added. Lelyveld apprehended that after Narendra
Modi became Prime Minister, Muslims were feeling “low”.
As the second day of the event came to a close after a poetic sitting,
Zilli regretted SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav could not make it. “He was in
Ahmedabad, what can I say,” he said. The
three-day event,inaugurated by Vice-President Hamid Ansari, will conclude on
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