The Department of History and Culture, Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) organized a webinar on ‘Printed Words and the Story of Jamia Millia Islamia’ on October 26, 2020. As the university enters its centenary year, the webinar sought to retrace Jamia’s distinctly unique approach to education by analyzing the printed literature produced at the university. This literature included journals which dealt with pressing issues the Nationalist discourse had to address and children’s literature that sought to educate children in concepts of unity, service and humanity. These printed words emanating from the university speak of the distinct cultural and educational environment of this inimitable institution.
The webinar began with a welcome address by the HoD, Prof. Nishat Manzar who welcomed the Vice Chancellor Prof. Najma Akhtar and all other participants of the webinar. This was followed by an introduction to the unique theme of the webinar by the Convener, Prof. Rizwan Qaiser.In her inaugural address the Vice Chancellor Prof. Najma Akhtar commended the organizers for highlighting this unique aspect of Jamia’s history and promised to do her best to preserve these as active archives of the history of the University.
The organizers were encouraged by the Vice Chancellor’s continued presence through the session, despite her many commitments.The presentations were chaired by Prof. Anisur Rahman, formerly Professor of English at the university and currently a senior advisor at Rekhta.Prof. Sabiha Zaidi, Director Prem Chand Archives, JMI presented a paper titled ‘The Story of Jamia: A Few Printed Primary and Secondary Sources’. Drawing on the rich repository of speeches of its founding fathers, the paper highlighted Jamia’s strong role in the National movement led by Gandhi.Dr. Laurence Gautier, Assistant Professor at O.P Jindal University drew attention to Jamia’s exceptional attempts to reach out to the community by adopting a much simpler Urdu and frequent use of drama as a means to get the community involved in the task of education.
Dr. Suhail Farooqi discussed the rich tradition of printing at Jamia. Prof. Rizwan Qaiser’s presentation was focused on the publications of Idara Taleem o Taraqqi.The presentations were followed by a lively interactive session of commentary, questions and discussion by the participants. Prof. Rahman’s unique insights made this session extremely informative and interesting.
The webinar ended with a vote of thanks delivered by co-convener Dr. Rohma Javed Rashid, who thanked the Vice Chancellor for her leadership and her unstinting commitment to sustaining academic excellence by supporting academic activity online, and all the participants and organizers.
The webinar was made possible by the active support of the co-conveners Dr. Iliyas Husain and Dr. Rohma Javed Rashid who worked tirelessly to make the event a success.