The Centre for Jawaharlal Nehru Studies, in collaboration with Department of Economics, Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) today organized the First A.M. Khwaja Memorial Lecture in the Edward Said Hall, JMI. The lecture was delivered by Hon’ble Mr. Justice A.M. Ahmadi, former Chief Justice of India. It was presided over by Prof. Talat Ahmad, Vice-Chancellor, JMI.
A.M. Khwaja’s grandson Mr. Rajan H Khwaja (retired civil servant) had especially flown in from Hyderabad to talk about his grandfather A.M. Khwaja on this occasion.Prof. M.H. Qureshi was also present on the dais and a book titled “Abdul Majeed Khwaja: A Biographical Narrative” compiled by him was also released on this occasion.
The welcome remarks were given by Prof. Shahid Ahmed, Director, Centre for Jawaharlal Nehru Studies, JMI. He also introduced the speaker of the day, Hon’ble Mr. Justice Ahmadi. Mr. Rajan H Khwaja spoke eloquently about his grandparents and said that the subject of today’s lecture, “Imperatives of Our Valued Diversity”, epitomizes the freedom movement of India and that A.M. Khwaja himself stood for high diversity, harmony and mutual understanding. He enlightened the audience saying that not only A.M. Khwaja but Mrs. Khwaja too was well-known to Mahatma Gandhi and was responsible for Gandhi having learnt the Urdu script. Later, she became first recipient of the Indian Post Card which was written in Urdu by Mahatma Gandhi to her. She was also the founder of Hamidia Girls Inter College, Allahabad, which is now a degree college affiliated to Allahabad University.
Hon’ble Mr. Justice Ahmadi spoke with conviction about how religion mixed with politics can turn into a deadly poison which can sound the death knell for our valued diversity. He said that serious efforts have to be made to maintain the diverse nature of India’s cultural fabric, its people languages, traditions and opinions about life. He also spoke about the backward conditions of Muslims in India and suggested ways of improving it through education and other means of empowerment.Prof. Talat Ahmad, Vice-Chancellor, JMI gave his presidential remarks and expressed his happiness at having Hon’ble Justice Mr. Ahmadi in our midst who has such clear ideas about how to take the community and nation forward while also keeping our diverse values intact.