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Aligarh Movement in the Twenty First Century

Written by Mohammad Allam 

Tuesday, 29 April 2008


In present era of globalization, every field is characterized by the advancement of professionalism with more emphasis on planning and competition. The more dedicated people with professional approach the more ability to coup the challenges of planning and competition for the survival and advancement. This is also true in term of a movement like Aligarh with broad expect rum aims to engulf the world of Islam and education.

The Aligarh Movement that was started in the last quarter of the 19th century with specific aim of rejuvenating a dead community with new world of knowledge ,a close relationship with the new master whose mission around the world was to destroy the Muslim power and start a renaissance among the Muslim of South Asia. These three goals remain a binding force for the Muslim and a light of inspiration to all those people who were associated with Aligarh Movement .But with the independence of nation and the partition led the goal of Aligarh to be changed in the light of new challenges .But unfortunately the effort to change was so lukewarm that Muslim lost the time. with departure of the British the goal of bringing Muslim and British closer was lost and all those people who were thinking that they are now free could not realize that another master has occupied the seat of power .The present case of minority status of the university and the many judicial cases are reminder that how Muslim failed to set a new aims for the Aligarh movement. other hand the Muslim never gave second thought to bring Islamic thought and education in line with western thought which now a challenge to Muslim world in the 21st century. In India even the case of western education on social and religious level is the same as it was during the time of sir Syed Ahmad Khan who tried to bring a synthesis through his ijtehad and scholarly articles through Tahzibul-ekhlaq.

The Aligarh movement that started to impart western education among the muslim remain in the early stage of imparting western education in the twenty first century. Other community which started modernization process with western education now has entered in area of specialization of knowledge with advancement of information technology and space exploration .This wider gape between other community movement and Aligarh movement should be fill up as quickly as possible ,and the success of Aligarh movement in 21st century would be depend how perfectly this gape is filled.

In case of renaissance of Muslim of South Asia the question remained un settled. And from the independence the centre of movement turned into an hostile camp of regional forces and used as a centre of meeting self centered interest, based on regional feeling and never worked as a force of unity among the Muslim of South Asia. In 21 century the strength and utility of the movement would depend how this movement adjust this regional interest with sole and broad interest of international brotherhood of muslim .

In present era the aim of Aligarh movement has to be set again in the light of national and international scenario. It is true that we have not the British but the present scenario of national level political development and international hostile atmosphere against the muslim and muslim institution ,the need of time is to set a goal to get more cooperation from the national and international forces. There is need to go more close to the central and state government . The Sachar committee report provide an opportunity to act more quickly and bring the government establishment in the line of the interest of this movement. The more cordial relation with the government, the more chance to get new Life line and way to achieve the goal..

On international level the area of co-operation should be widen to get access to modern technological oriented educational system and development and here the movement needs the contact with other national and international acclaimed universities and the government. The signing of the memorandum of understanding with foreign universities will widen the scope of movement and to the passed out of he university. In this direction the role of the old boys of the university can be crucial, who are on commanding position and ready to help the alma mater. The direct consult with head of the government with conferring title will strength the cause of the movement.

The world scenario with globalization presents the new scope and new challenges. The very first challenge that every establishment is facing, is the challenge of competition.. For a movement like Aligarh needs two challenges connected with competition. These challenges are the question of qualitative education and the question of mass education. Being a centre of higher learning of muslim and also a movement for modern education, the movement need s the adjustment for a qualitative education and mass education .And for this the need of time is to get more and more dedicated ,well trained , talented and dynamic teaching staffs with know-how to modern education al technological development. The concept of professionalism which is mantra of globalization should be first nature of all those who are associated with Aligarh movement. In case of Aligarh the qualitative education lies in the mass education of muslim in India. Let the movement to spread in other parts of India and abroad in term of affiliation of new muslim institutions and distance education with sole objective to bring the potential one at the centre to brush up them for the need of the movement and globalization world .By this way the goal of Mass education and the qualitative education with regular supply of brain of community would be achieved. And for this the movement will need the man of true spirit of brotherhood, cooperation and collective effort, not the short sighted man of vested interest who looks every thing from the eyes of particular thought.

The question of finance to the university is now the main consideration of modern days government. In era of globalization, with privatization of education and shifting the burden of finance on the university is a major concern for the institution of economically ,educationally and politically backward communities. In this case this movement needs more earning sources for future planning and development. At this moment the movement should look the partnership with the industrial sector, marketing of the knowledge of the faculties and students, establishment of the new branches in the wealthy region of the muslim world and shifting some burden of finance and establishment of new faculties to the old boys. In case of present era the Middle East, Centarl Asia, Africa and South East Asia provide the better destination for establishment of new centre of learning on the behalf of the movement . These area can be a potential source of financing for the Aligarh movement as the case of western destination are closing very fast to the muslim youth of these regions.

The challenges for the Aligarh Movement in the 21st century is multi-faced and need to handle with care with hope to reach new horizon by adopting the new trend of globalization in term of re-orientation of goals, professionalism, dedicated workers , time bound planning and competitive spirit .

Mohammad Allam
S.T.S. High School(Minto Circle)
AMU Aligarh 

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