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In memory of Dr AR Kidwai, educational philanthropist

In memory of Dr AR Kidwai, educational philanthropist .

An event was held recently to remember Dr Kidwai, educational philanthropist and man of all seasons (01.07.1920— 24.08.2016) at Jamia Millia Islamia’s Dr Ansari Auditorium.

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The lovers of Kidwai from all cross sections of society assembled to remember him at the Ansari Auditorium of Jamia Millia Islamia including eminent personalities like — Mohsina Kidwai, Syeda Hameed, Tariq Anwar, SR Kidwai, Dr ZM Khan, Prof Akhtar-ul-Wasey, Prof Javed Ahmed, Ramesh Chander, Mohammed Adeeb, Dr Zaheer, Admiral Chopra, Ashfaq Karim, Aftab Ahmed, MQH Baig besides many others.

Zakir Nagar resident Firoz Bakht Ahmed wrote on his timeline: “Educationist, philanthropist, nationalist, scientist and above all, humanist — are all adjectives that harmoniously gelled very well in Prof AR Kidwai, a multi-faceted splendor, versatile character and the ex-Governor of Bihar, Haryana, West Bengal and Rajasthan.

“Having been born in Baragaon village in Barabanki on July01, 1920, Kidwai studied BA at Jamia Millia Islamia University in 1940, did M Sc at University of Illinois, US in 1948 and PhD at Cornell University, US in 1950. Dr. Kidwai started his professional career as the Professor and head of Department of Chemistry and Dean of Faculty of Science at Aligarh Muslim University, India.

“Kidwai then went on to become the Chairman of Union Public Service Commission-UPSC, Government of India from 1974 to 1977. He was Governor of Bihar twice, from 1979 to 1985 and 1993 to 1998, and Governor of West Bengal from 1998 to 1999. Perhaps, he happens to be the man who had seved the longest term as the Governor since he was found faultless unlike today’s tainted Governors of Madhya Pradesh Ram Naresh Yadav who has been charged in the Vyapam corruption and that of Manipu, Najma Heptulla, who had notoriously indulged into doctoring a photograph of Maulana Azad in the ICCR book, “The Journey of A Legend: Maulana Abul Kalam Azad: 1888-1958” and the case is in the HC, Delhi. Kidwai’s career has been flawless.

“An impactful film on the life and times of AR Kidwai was also shown by his nephew, Safi Rizvi, to a packed auditorium who came to know that he was a man of high character, full of positivity and sensitivity who though being a scientist, could balance arts, literature, poetry and philosophy with science and technology.

“Through his brainchild, Maulana Altaf Hussain Hali Foundation in Mewat, Haryana, he was able to lift the pathetic educational levels of girls besides working for reform within Muslim community. According to Syeda Hameed, he combined the elements of both a scientist and an artist in him. Not only this, he also worked for strengthening Haryana Urdu Academy. If he could deliver a lecture on medicinal plants, he could also speak on and on Ghalib, Rumi or the Sufi saints on the other hand.”

Ahmed, a columnist and the grandnephew of Maulana Azad, wrote: “SR Kidwai, another scholar associated with the Kidwai family spoke of his long standing association and how he grew under the safe umbrella of AR Kidwai. He spoke of the simple lifestyle of AR that he never relaxed despite being the Rajya Sabha MP, a recipient of the second highest award, the Padma Vibhushan. He spoke at length of the struggle AR had faced in his journey from his birthplace Barabanki to AMU, Bihar, West Bengal and Haryana.”

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