The Biography of Famous Personalities of India will tell you about the controversies, the dark sides of a person that you may have never heard of.
An Apostle of Peace of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad
An Apostle of Peace
As a child of God, I am greater than anything that can happen to me.
Maulana Azad has been described by many of his contemporaries as an apostle of international amity and peace. He had his conviction in the indivisible unity of man and brought his ideology to human fraternity and fellowship. Long before he became education minister he had expressed his unflinc-hing faith in essential unity of man and held it above all objectives of human life such as religious salvation, economic prosperity, cultural advancement and political emancipation.
His ideology had the support of both Islamic and Hindu World views while he interpreted Islam as a message of love, compassion, brotherhood, and transcending all consideration of race, languages and communities, he observed sense of kinship with the whole world as an essence of Indian-culture and tradition. He viewed it as India’s greatest contribution to the world. Thus naturally the sense of promoting universal mutual understanding of the diverse communities of the world.
Azad’s uniqueness of approach lay essentially in condemning the philosophy of fragmentation in national and regional components and perspectives. He advocated an integrated approach incorporating different outlooks into a composite process “to realize the intrinsic good of man”. His views which he held dear from 1913 found their material expression in 1952 with the publication of his article on “History of Philosophy: Eastern and Western” under the Ministry of Education. The initial expression of the same idea had been articulated by Azad on 13th April, 1913 in Al-Hilal.
Teaching of religion as a subject in government schools was constitutionally disallowed. Azad took upon him the responsibility of providing religious education on healthy lines. Azad in his policy statement pointed out the aim of religious teaching of all religions is to make men more tolerant and broad minded. This idea found its origin in Azad’s theme of Education and religion which he fostered on 13th of Jan, 1941. Azad thought of integrating religious education with syncretic education and thought that the two together make a person complete.
Azad commended UNESCO’s initiatives to exchange classical works of literature around the world. He however felt extremely sad in respects of the feeble contribution of India towards world classics in the recent period of its history. In his opinion, except Sanskrit, Tamil, Urdu and Bengali no other language had made any cognizable contribution to the literature in the world.
Azad also advocated that History and Geography must not be taught as subject to promote unhealthy seeds of discord and disputes, instead these should be taught to bring about better understanding of the diverse conditions in which the various regions of the world lived and survived. This was a departure from the already established thought process where history was used more to cause dissension than to cause amity.
Azad, therefore, advocated providing religious education on very healthy lines. For him religion was a medium for promoting a supreme object of fellowship.
Azad appreciated the Shantam, Shrvam and Advaitam motto of the Vishwa Bharti, the International University established by Ravindra Nath Thakur. This motto of Vishwa Bharti projected the concept of God transcending “All narrow limitations of race, religion and creed”. This concept was contrary to the western thought process where sentiments of narrow nationalism ultra racialism other religiosity and religious fanaticism prevailed in Europe and America.
Some Rare Photographs
- 1888 : Born on 11th November at Mecca, Saudi Arabia
- 1890 : Family moved to Calcutta
- 1899 : Started monthly magazine “Nairang-e-Alam”
- 1908 : Visited Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Cairo.
- 1912 : Started weekly newspaper “Al-Hilal”
- 1914 : “Al-Hilal” banned by British Government
- 1919 : Detained at Ranchi
- 1920 : Maulana came on board with the Khilafat movement
- 1920 : Joined the Indian National Congress in January
- 1923 : Elected President of Indian National Congress
- 1930 : Arrested for violation of the salt laws
- 1940 : Elected 2nd time President of Indian National Congress
- 1942 : Arrested with most of the Congress leaders and released after four years
- 1947 : Became the first Education Minister of Independent India
- 1958 : On February 22, passed away
- 1992 : Awarded with ‘Bharat Ratna’ posthumously.