Remembering Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, India’s First Education Minister

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Maulana Azad always emphasised on quality education and considered schools as laboratories which produced future citizens of the country.

NEW DELHI — November 11 is a special day in Indian history. On this day, the country celebrates National Education Day to commemorate the birth anniversary of freedom fighter and independent India’s first Education Minister Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. Remembered as Maulana Azad, his contribution to building an education foundation in this country has been remarkable.

Since a very young age, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was an literature enthusiast. He is considered as one of the greatest Urdu writers of the 20th century. His work was recognised through his journalistic practice, publishing works critical of the colonial British Raj and espousing the causes of Indian nationalism. He has also written many books including India Wins Freedom, Ghubar-e-Khatir, Tazkirah and Tarjumanul Quran. In 1920, he was elected as one of the founding members to establish Jamia Millia Islamia at Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh without the help of the British.

Later in 1947, he was elected as the first education minister of the independent India. He served the post as education minister till 1958. Under his tenure, he founded most of the major cultural and literary academies we have today including the first IIT, UGC Sangeet Natak Academy, Lalit Kala Academy, Sahitya Academy as well as the Indian Council for Cultural Relations and School of Planning and Architecture.

Maulana Azad always emphasised on quality education and considered schools as laboratories which produced future citizens of the country. He strongly believed in free primary education and compulsory education to all children up to the age of 14. He was also awarded with the highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna in 1992.

On this day, India needs more visionaries like Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.

A pillar of freedom struggle

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday paid tributes to India’s first Education Minister Maulana Abul Kalam Azad on his 129th birth anniversary.

Gandhi hailed Azad as “an important pillar of the freedom struggle and statesman par excellence”. “Maulana Abul Kalam Azad continues to inspire us,” he tweeted.

Azad, an academician and a freedom fighter, laid the foundation for an educated India. He was also a recipient of the Bharat Ratna posthumously, the highest civilian honour.

(indianexpress.com, IANS)

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