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Aga Khan III gives the inaugural Address to the All India Muslim League - 1910-01-29

Saturday, 1910, January 29

January 29, 1910 -Sir Sultan Mohamed Shah, Aga Khan III gave the inaugural Address to the All India Muslim League Third Annual Session in Delhi. In his address, he mentioned the formation of the Muslim League, a separate representation of Muslims in all levels, co-operation and unity between both the Muslims and the Hindus to meet the challenges of education, agriculture, commerce and industry and above all, to stand united in the struggle for equality for the Indians in South Africa and other important related issues.
He said, 'I have no hesitation in asserting that unless Hindus and Mohammedans co-operate with each other in the general development of the country as a whole and in all matters affecting their mutual interest, neither will develop to the full its legitimate aspirations or give full scope to its possibilities.'

Regarding the paramount importance of education , Mowlana Sultan Mohamed Shah continued '.... We have then before us a comprehensive programme involving a vigorous, practical sustained attack on the problems relating to education, agriculture, commerce and industry. I place free primary education for the masses in the front rank. Our aim must be to see that it is not only free and universal but also sufficiently practical to be of use to agriculturists and laborers...'.

With regards to the Aligarh University, Mowlana Sultan Mohamed Shah said, ' ...Pre-eminent amongst these practical questions is the foundation of a Muslim University at Aligarh. As I pointed out here seven years ago, our youth must be in a position to acquire, in addition to modern science, a knowledge of the glorious past of our religion.

Without a sincere and deep but unobtrusive and charitable faith, without that childlike feeling of dependence on the Unseen Power of which the visible universe is but a sign, our youth can never develop their highest and noblest faculties, their spiritual and emotional qualities.

Our University must be a residential university. Like those great seats of learning, Oxford and Cambridge, it will strive to form the character, as well as train the intellect, and satisfy the emotions through the medium of a loving and charitable faith, of discipline, of field sport, and that intangible atmosphere that environs all which is the best in university. It should be the home of our great ideas and great ideals. But it should also be much more: our efforts ought to be bent to the task of making Aligarh a Muslim Oxford - an educational center and intellectual capital to which all Muslims should turn for light and guidance.' (Aziz; 328)

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