Thursday, November 24, 2011

Aligarh Movement

The Muslims found themselves in a very awkward  position after the supression of outbreak of 1857 because the British thought that the chief instigators and ringleaders of the outbreak were Muslims. It was at this juncture Syed Ahmed appeared as he saviour of the Muslim community. He did two fold tusks, 1. He brought about the repproachment between the British Government and the Muslim, and 2. he convinced the Muslims to take up modern education with the help of English.The appeal of Syed Ahmed to the British Government to kindly take his community came at very opportune moment. The British , like all Imperial powers, took it as a "divide and rule policy". The fair deal of the British attitude was revealed in the book published by hunterin 1871. Syed ahmed not only established a good relation of the British Government with the Muslims but also founded the Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental Collegeat Aligarh in 1877. He also published a bilingual journal for spreading liberal ideas on social reform he visited England in 1869 and after his return in 1870carried on a vigorous propaganda for the spread English education and western culture among his community. 
Sir Syed Ahmed October 17, 1817 – March 27, 1898), commonly known as Sir Syed, was an Indian educator and politician, and an Islamic reformer and modernist. Sir Syed pioneered modern education for the Muslim community in India by founding the Muhammedan Anglo-Oriental College, which later developed into the Aligarh Muslim University. His work gave rise to a new generation of Muslim intellectuals and politicians who composed the Aligarh movement to secure the political future of Muslims of India.
The efforts of Syed Ahmed were not confined to the social and religious reforms. He gave a distinctly new turn to Muslim politics which becam anti-Hindu, and therefore also anti-Congress, for he looked the Indian National Congress as a Hindu organisation.
It is not an easy task to find out the basic principles on which his political views rested. He expressed some contradictory views. Ina speech delivered in 1884, he emphasized the fact that the terms Hindu and Mohamedan were only meant for religious distinction, but they formed one nation. In 1888, however, he referred to the Hindus and Muslims as two warring nations who could not lead a common life if the British  were to leave India.
He once bestowed high praise upon the Bengalees whom he described as the "head and crown of all the different communities of Hindustan". But later, the abuses of Bengalees formed a prominent feature of the Aligarh Institute Gazette edited by him. In 1877 he organized and presided over a meeting at Aligarh in which Surendranath Nath Banerjee delivered a speech in favour of simultaneous examinations for Indian Civil Service in England and India,and a revolution in favour of it was unanimously passed, but, later, Syed Ahmed opposed the idea as it would mean Hindu predominance in higher appointments.