It is true that those who fight for a great and noble cause, never die. Their names always shine in the pages of history. They carve out a permanent place in the hearts of the people. People always remember them for their services. Such was the great reformer, educationist and benefactor Sir Syed Ahmed Khan. He turned a politician by necessity and fought for the cause of Muslim freedom in Indo-Pakistan. We can call him one of the strong pillars of the Muslim struggle for freedom. Sir Syed Ahmed awakened the Indian Muslims and fought for Muslim renaissance in India.
Sir Syed Ahmed Khan was born in 1817 in a well-known family of Delhi. The early death of his father Mushtaki Khan was a great blow to him. He had to fight his way up. By dint of courage, power of endurance and hard work, he rose from ordinary, rank to the post of sub-judge. They were the early days of British rule in India when the Indian Muslims were kept down and persecuted. The year 1957, the year of war of Independence, had a great impact on his mind and soul. The whitemen insolently called it Indian Mutiny. It was also the beginning of his political carrier.
He had seen the real massacre and prosecution of the innocent Muslims with his own eyes. He could not keep silent. He decided to take part in practical politics and fought for the muslim. The Muslims were already down-trodden, uneducated and economically backward. He had already been in the Government service for 20 years. He was faithful to Government, but he could not sit silently on what he had seen. He wrote a strong article under the caption; “The Cause of Indian Revolt’. In the wrote; “The British had no attachments with the land over which they ruled and had no access to the minds of the people. So he pleaded for the inclusion of Indians in the Legislative Council.’ The demand was accepted after a year. His articles under the heading “The Loyal Muhammadans of India” changed the mind of the members of British Parliament. The Hindu leaders supported the Britishers. Some fair-minded called Sir Syed a great patriot.
The Hindus kicked up a row over Hindi-Urdu issue. Sir Syed fought the linguistic cause, for Urdu represented a compromise between Hindi and Persian, the then court language. He also started a Urdu Journal “Tehzib-ul-Akhlaq’ (Social Reforms). He was a champion of Islamic Culture; but he also appealed the Muslims to change their attitude against the new rulers and to give English education to their children. It proved very beneficial in the social progress of the Indian Muslims.
He rendered the greatest services in the field of education. He started the Aligarh Movement. He started Anglo-Oriental College at Aligarh under Muslim Educational Society. It ultimately became Aligarh University – the greatest centre of the Muslim’ culture and education. The Times of London called him ‘Prophet of Education’. Still his name is associated with number of educational institutions. It has become proverbial to say So and so is Sir Syed of Pakistan. He opened a number of educational institutions and translated English books into Urdu with the help of Translation Bureaus. The Great Muslim.
Reformer and Patriot died on 26th March 1898. “He was the man who for near half-century, led the Muslims and took them out from the abyss of disintegration” He paved the way for future leaders of Muslim League. He was, indeed, the first architect of Pakistan. His services and greatness can not be compassed in an essay.