A ‘Wall of War Heroes ‘ displaying portraits of 21 martyr Param Vir Chakra recipients and the national flag hoisted on a 102 feet high pole were inaugurated today in Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) by its Chancellor and Governor of Manipur, Dr. Najma A. Heptulla in a colorful function.
A ‘Wall of Founders and Contributors’ to the grand old university along with Vice Chancellors overlooking the ”wall of war heroes” at the Dr. Zakir Husain Library was also unveiled by the Dr. Heptulla, who visited the university for the first time after becoming its Chancellor. She was accompanied by former Rajya Sabha member and BJP leader, Tarun Vijay, who floated the idea of instituting a ‘Wall of War Heroes’in various Central universities across the country.
The portraits of founders and contributors included Mahatma Gandhi, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Dr Zakir Husain, Shaikhul Hind Maulana Mehmud Hasan, Hakim Ajmal Khan, Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar and Dr. Mukhtar Ahmad Ansari.
The function was attended by Vice-Chancellor, Prof Talat Ahmad, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Prof Shahid Ashraf, Registrar, A. P. Siddiqui, Finance Officer, Sanjay Kumar, Deans, Heads of departments and Directors of Centres and other senior officials of the university.
During her over two-hour stay in the university, Dr Heptulla, the first woman Chancellor of the university also interacted with the Deans, Head of Departments and Directors of Centres.
Highlighting her emotional attachment with Jamia, being the granddaughter of freedom fighter and independent India’s first Education Minister, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, whose contributions to Jamia as one of its founders are well-known, she said: “Jamia is in my blood. It is a historical moment that I have the honour of inaugurating the national flag at an institution that has a rich nationalist past and has been in the forefront of the freedom struggle”.
“An institution that had its humble beginnings in Aligarh has today grown into an impressive university and has kept the promises and ideals fostered by its founders. I salute this spirit of Jamia and its founders who set it up on solid bedrock of nationalism and unity in diversity”, Dr Heptulla added.
Informing the gathering that she was the Chancellor of two universities in Manipur she said that she would like to connect Jamia’s coveted AJK Mass Communication Research Centre and the Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research with them. This, she added, would be in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s North East policy and his motto of development for all encapsulated in Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas.
Speaking on the occasion, Tarun Vijay said Jamia is a historic institution of freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives for the nation.
“It is very thoughtful of the university that they have displayed portraits of the war heroes and its founders facing each other”, Vijay said adding that it would be a reminder to the future generations that wisdom and valour were fulfilled and came together in Jamia.
Prof Talat Ahmad said that it was a momentous occasion for the university as its first woman Chancellor is visiting the university for the first time after assuming the charge. It proves that JMI takes pride in maintaining gender equity. “We have high hopes from the Chancellor who is a seasoned politician and is well known for her love for academics.”
Prof Ahmad added that the installation of the portraits of the war heroes and the 30 ft. X 20 ft. flag signifying ‘strong India’ will inspire and inculcate a spirit of patriotism and national integration among students.
Dr. Sabiha Anjum Zaidi, Director, Jamia’s Premchand Archives and Literary Centre, provided a detailed account of the contributions of the prominent JMI founders and the university’s rich history. She reminded the gathering about the role of the Father of the Nation in guiding Jamia in its nascent years when it was undergoing financial difficulties.
Earlier on her arrival Dr Heptulla was presented with a guard of honour by JMI’s NCC cadet. The national anthem was played following the hoisting of the flag in front of the university’s administrative block.