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LG’s speech at Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad

Friday, September 20, 2013












Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

It gives me immense pleasure to be here at the launch of the important H.K. Sherwani Centre for Deccan Studies. I have visited the Maulana Azad National Urdu University earlier a few times on the invitation of Prof. Mohammad Miyan and coming to Hyderabad is always heartening for me because of my family’s deep association with Hyderabad that goes back to over the last century where members of my family once lived here before migrating to Delhi.

Being Sensitive and Supportive

The Maulana Azad Urdu University has a unique position in the academic world. In its very mandate, the University aims to bring women into the fold of education and because it has Urdu as its medium of instruction, it caters to people who are aspiring to gain higher education through Urdu medium. Naturally, MANUU has become home to a large section of Muslim community which comes from the socially, economically and linguistically disadvantaged sections of society. This peculiarity spells the difference. You have students coming in here from a specific socio-economic background as this is perhaps the first time many of the Urdu learners have got an opportunity to attend a regular university. This is a new beginning for many of them; even for the families who are taking a bold step forward by sending their daughters and sisters to a university away from the sheltered confines of home. This very fact is a pointer that the young Muslim girl student would, if given a choice, carve out a career for herself. This is in itself laudable and needs to be supported. We need to empower this bold step taken by the first generation learners and their families and it is here as teachers, as non teaching staff and as university authorities we need to step in to provide the maximum comfort and safe ambience for such girls and even boys.

In today’s world, we talk about freedom, liberty, empowerment and being bold, a repertoire for self-confidence. But this is not easy to achieve, we all know it’s certainly easier said than done. In all walks of life today we see a changing scenario, one where people are constantly making a choice, a conscious one, to surge ahead in their goals and careers and carve out an independent space for themselves. Until there is co-operative attitude from colleagues co-existing in the milieu around, it is not possible to achieve this in any given hostile situation. Even neutrality doesn’t seem to be enough, there has to be a positive and encouraging disposition. The lack of co-operation that has many a times been seen has made government agencies, social organizations, educational institutions and many forward looking individuals ask for a space for all alike. This has taken the shape of various policies and programmes that urge us to ask for parity, equal opportunity, fairness and an external setting that lacks discrimination on basic parameters.

University campuses today are a training ground for tomorrow’s young generation. Not only do they instil an academic rigour and make the student self sufficient in facing the world and equip them for attaining good employment, they also need to carve out the correct personality of an individual. There are students who come from various stocks, backgrounds, castes, creeds, religions etc. which forms the basis of their heterogeneity. This heterogeneity should recognize the various aspects of diversity and respect it.

Looking Forward

I believe that those of us who have reached a certain position in society can work better for the nation. We can certainly bring about a change through our thoughts and deeds. Let us as seniors be friendly mentors as well as strict disciplinarians, reprimand and guide our young generation and reward the doers. Let us together work towards modern education and adapt to modern times. The reforms, the changes and development that we may see in the times to come are an inevitability to progress because there is momentum. I think that we are on a path of quality growth and consolidation is important.

I also take this platform to openly voice as I have done even earlier at other occasions that the Indians living in foreign countries should come back home, not for retirement but to contribute to the nation. India has changed a lot; it is not the same India which you saw twenty years back. There is a lot of scope now and greater job options are available.

I feel happy to see and learn about the activities of the H.K. Sherwani Centre for Deccan Studies that has been established last year at MANUU which within a short time has got itself involved in innovative and inter-disciplinary research. Setting goals for oneself is important and I think this Centre has done that. It is also important to learn that it is the only Centre of its kind devoted to undertaking exclusive research on the Deccan. I feel that this particular centre has a great potential and should involve itself into the innovative programmes that UGC has been advocating lately. Its scope is not only extremely broad based encompassing areas of study ranging from natural sciences, social sciences and humanities but is also very interesting. This is the concept of integrative research studies that we see happening in the Western universities.

Having gone through this research work, A Cartographic Profile of the Deccan, I can say that painstaking effort has been put into it and more research of this kind is required that will bring out unexamined aspects that have not been worked on before. I congratulate the H.K. Sherwani Centre for Deccan Studies and Vice Chancellor Miyan for establishing a Centre of this kind at the University.




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