The Times of India

Mumbai’s association with Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) is long. Much before the Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental (MAO) College morphed into AMU in 1920—it is currently celebrating its centenary—a resolution was passed to make it a varsity at the annual All India Muslim Educational Conference held at Anjuman-i-Islam near CSMT in 1903.

A galaxy of leaders and literary giants had participated in this conference. Apart from Sir Agha Khan and other city-based philanthropists who donated handsomely to the proposed university fund, Dawoodi Bohra community leaders helped AMU immensely too.

Three Dawoodi Bohra spiritual leaders—Syedna Taher Saifuddin, Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin and Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin—have been its chancellors.

Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin’s representatives visited AMU this past week and interacted with Vice Chancellor Dr Tariq Mansoor and other authorities and discussed the progress the university has made in various fields.

‘Syedna’s family has maintained its bond with AMU for decades and Mumbai is justifiably proud that the city has contributed to AMU’s growth,’ said M Asif Farooqui, the chancellor’s representative at the university court.

Though the chancellor inaugurated AMU’s ‘Centenary Gate’ last year, a large section of the alumni said the Syedna should initiate establishment of a ‘Sir Syed Chair.’

Several universities in the world have chairs named after eminent personalities. Publishing the AMU founder’s progressive ideas should be the motto of this chair, the alumni said. If established by the current Syedna, Mumbai will have yet another reason to feel closer to AMU.

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