Maulana Abul Kalam Azad had crusaded for a secular society and today there is a need to ponder over his perspective as Mangalore has changed for worse with regard to issues concerning communal harmony, opined Calicut University former Professor and HoD Dr Gopalan Kutty.
He was delivering the keynote address at a regional seminar ‘Maulana Abul Kalam Azad's Vision on India's Freedom and Education,’ organised by Department of History, Besant Women's College in association with MANUSHA (Mangalore University History Teachers Association) in Mangalore on Wednesday.
Mangalore is a beautiful and a sleepy town. However, today there are certain groups who claim to uphold the country’s history by being protectors of tradition.
It is sad that these groups are themselves not aware of the country’s history. India has always upheld democratic principles and encouraged dialogues between different religious and ethnic groups. Tolerance is recognition of differences and India is famed to be a tolerant nation, he said.
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad had emphasised on Hindu-Muslim unity and had opposed creation of Pakistan. He was a secular journalist and had created awareness on the 'divide and rule’ policy followed by the British through his journal 'Al-Hilal'.
Azad was the first Education Minister of independent India. He was a visionary as he stressed on free and compulsory education for all, adult education and implementation of the 12 point programme for development of basic and social education.
He wanted education to reach different people of the country and hence he emphasised the medium of education to be local languages and encouraged the usage of teaching aids.
Azad's ideas inclined towards Gandhian principles than Nehru's ideologies, he said.
The programme was inaugurated by Regional Joint Director of Collegiate Education Dr Devanand R Gaonkar who pointed out that Azad had advised against the countries partition.
"Azad had foretold that if the country is not divided and Hindus and Muslims remain united, India will be a powerful nation.
However, we can see the sad developments that happened after the countries division," he said.
Gaonkar advised on collaborative education and knowledge sharing. The world has become a global village and education a commodity. There is a need to change values, he stressed.
College Principal K T Manjula, Women's National Education Society President Kudupi Jagadish Shenoy were present.
Technical sessions on topics, 'Maulana Abul Kalam Azad's Contribution to Indian Higher Education' and 'Maulana Azad's Contribution to Indian Freedom Movement with special focus on his views on India's partition,' were taken up by eminent resource persons.