Embodiment of intellectual, political ferment

Embodiment of intellectual, political ferment

Hindu College

Hindu College of Delhi University (DU) is recognised as one of the premier academic institutions in the country.

It stands tall in public esteem and also in the memories of its alumni, many of whom are now prominent figures in government, business and industry, the media and education. Notwithstanding its name, students from all religions have grown up here and excelled in the chosen areas of their interests, be it academics, sports, or extra-curricular activities.

Recently, a talk was organised in the college by the Delhi Heritage Foundation (DHF) on the ‘Establishment and Growth of Hindu College in the Walled City: Post 1857 Intellectual ‘Hulchul’. The talk was all about the college’s history and its participation in the freedom struggle.

“The talk was about the establishment of Hindu College in 1899 in the Walled City of Delhi as an embodiment of the intellectual ferment that took place as an aftermath of the 1857 uprising. Several factors came into place after the massive destruction like a suspicion between Hindus and Muslims that had not been there earlier,” said Dr GG Saxena, retired IAS officer and secretary of DHF.

“The story of Hindu College is a vital strand in the nationalist resurgence in the Walled City in which the college played a very significant part,” said Dr Saxena.

Hindu College was founded more than a century ago in 1899, by Late Shri Krishan Dassji Gurwale. In the backdrop of the nationalist struggle against British rule, some prominent citizens including Gurwaleji of Delhi, decided to start a college that would provide nationalist education to the youth. Originally, the college was housed in a humble building in Kinari Bazar, Chandni Chowk, and was affiliated to Punjab University as there was no Delhi University at that time, but soon it faced a major crisis due to inadequate infrastructure. But fortunately, at this point, Rai Bahadur Sultan Singh generously donated a part of his historic property at Kashmere Gate, thereby enabling it to function there till 1953, following which, it moved to its present location in North Campus, Delhi University.

“The college was also a centre for intellectual and political debate during India’s freedom struggle, especially during the Quit India Movement. This is the only college to have a Students’ Parliament since 1935, which provided a platform to many national leaders including Mahatma Gandhi, Pt Moti Lal Nehru, Pt Jawaharlal Nehru, Sarojini Naidu, Annie Besant, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, and Subhash Chandra Bose for motivating the youth,” said Saxena. 

The college provides a liberal, lively and competitive environment enabling students to carve out a niche for themselves in their chosen arenas. Besides the infrastructural facilities, the strength of the college lies in its enriching atmosphere, which plays a crucial role in maintaining the excellent record the college.