The name of Sir Sayad Ahmad occupies a unique place among Pakistanis. His services to his community are very great, and the great Mohamedan Anglo-Oriental College at Alighar, which has now developed into a first class Residential University, is a standing monument to his patriotic efforts. He was a far-seeing statesman, a sincere lover of his community, and a very loyal citizen. His fellow-religionists cherish his memory with love and veneration, and as the fruits of his labour are gathered more and more, his claims on the gratitude of the people will grow stronger and stronger. He was a great man in the true sense. He saw with the foresight of a seer the advantages of English education for the Mohamedans, and in the face of opposition from those whom he . sought to benefit, he persevered in his efforts, and succeeded in raising the noble institution at Aligarh. This great educational institution has done incalculable service to the Mohamedan community. Ever since its establishment, it has been a centre of. Muslim culture and enlightenment in India, and has attracted young men from all parts of the country, thus exercising a great unifying force for the community. The lines on which he conducted it shows his practical sagacity and intimate acquaintance with the needs of his community. The College leaves a distinct impression on its alumni.
Sir Sayad was born in 1817 in a very respectable family, members of which had held very high offices under the Moghal Emperors. He joined Government service, and became a Subordinate Judge. During the Mutiny, he rendered great help to the British Government.
He had fine literary tastes, and if he had not founded the Aligarh College, he would have been known as a great prose writer. Even now, he has a place among the foremost literary men of his time. He was a member of the Legislative Council and was knighted in recognition of his great services. He died in 1898. His perseverance, his honesty, his singleness of purpose, his fervent patriotism, and his advanced and liberal views on religion and politics, mark him out as one of the greatest men of Sub-continent. He used to say that the Hindus were his right eye, and the Mohamedans, the left.
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