PAK301 Pakistan Studies Assignment No 1 Solution & Discussion Due Date:08-11-2012
What is the significance of the Aligarh Movement for the revival of the Muslims of Subcontinent and why Sir Syed Ahmed Khan advised the Muslims to avoid active politics?
Syed Ahmad Khan’s Aligarh Movement played a significant role in bringing about an intellectual revolution among the Indian Muslims. Thus it succeeded in achieving its major objectives, i.e. educational progress and social reform. His efforts earned Sir Syed the title “Prophet of Education”.
Aligarh Movement was the movement led by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, to educate the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent after the defeat of the rebels in the Indian rebellion of 1857. It had enormous success and had a profound impact on the future of the subcontinent. Its most significant achievement was the establishment of Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College at Aligarh, which later became Aligarh Muslim University.
* Why did Sir Syed advise the Muslims to avoid joining active politics?
Syed advised the Muslims against joining active politics and to concentrate instead on education. Later, when some Muslims joined the Indian National Congress, he came out strongly against that organisation and its objectives, which included the establishment of parliamentary democracy in India. He argued that, in a country where communal divisions were all-important and education and political organisations were confined to a few classes, parliamentary democracy would work only inequitably. Muslims, generally, followed his advice and abstained from politics until several years later when they had established their own political organisation i.e. Muslim League.
The significance and contribution of Aligarh Movement for the revival and regeneration of the Muslims of Sub-Continent.
The War of Independence 1857 ended in disaster for the Muslims. The British chose to believe that the Muslims were responsible for the anti-British uprising; therefore they made them the subject of ruthless punishments and merciless vengeance. The British had always looked upon the Muslims as their adversaries because they had ousted them from power. With the rebellion of 1857, this feeling was intensified and every attempt was made to ruin and suppress the Muslims forever. Their efforts resulted in the liquidation of the Mughal rule and the Sub-continent came directly under the British crown.
After dislodging the Muslim rulers from the throne, the new rulers, the British, implemented a new educational policy with drastic changes. The policy banned Arabic, Persian and religious education in schools and made English not only the medium of instruction but also the official language in 1835. This spawned a negative attitude amongst the Muslims towards everything modern and western, and a disinclination to make use of the opportunities available under the new regime. This tendency, had it continued for long, would have proven disastrous for the Muslim community.
Seeing this atmosphere of despair and despondency, Sir Syed launched his attempts to revive the spirit of progress within the Muslim community of India. He was convinced that the Muslims in their attempt to regenerate themselves, had failed to realize the fact that mankind had entered a very important phase of its existence, i.e., an era of science and learning. He knew that the realization of the very fact was the source of progress and prosperity for the British. Therefore, modern education became the pivot of his movement for regeneration of the Indian Muslims. He tried to transform the Muslim outlook from a medieval one to a modern one.
Sir Syed’s first and foremost objective was to acquaint the British with the Indian mind; his next goal was to open the minds of his countrymen to European literature, science and technology.
Therefore, in order to attain these goals, Sir Syed launched the Aligarh Movement of which Aligarh was the center. He had two immediate objectives in mind: to remove the state of misunderstanding and tension between the Muslims and the new British government, and to induce them to go after the opportunities available under the new regime without deviating in any way from the fundamentals of their faith.
Keeping education and social reform as the two planks of his program, he launched the Aligarh Movement with the following objectives:
1. To create an atmosphere of mutual understanding between the British government and the Muslims.
2. To persuade Muslims to learn English education.
3. To persuade Muslims to abstain from politics of agitation.
4. To produce an intellectual class from amongst the Muslim community