Home Articles Modern Builder of Jamia: Prof. Mushirul Hasan

Modern Builder of Jamia: Prof. Mushirul Hasan

Photo: flicker

By BadreAlam Khan and Imran Ahmad

Last evening (15 th December,2018) civil society groups, academicians and social
activists have gathered at the India International Centre and attended public memorial
lecture on Prof.Mushirul Hasan who passed way (10 th December,2018 at the age of 69).

In this memorial meeting, eminent personalities like former Vice-President Hamid
Ansari, noted lyricist Javed Akhtar, a well-known actress Shabna Azmi, prominent
Congress leader Jai Ram Ramesh and others have expressed their condolence.
Besides eminent Intellectuals and academics like Prof.Sumit Sarkar, Prof. Shahid
Ameen, Prof.Aproovanand, Prof. Rizwan Quaisar, Prof. Mukul Keshavan, Prof. Rajeev
Bharagava, AchinVanaik, Niladari Bhattacharya and others dignitaries have also
attended the memorial lecture and expressed their condolence. Apart from this social
activist like Shabnam Hashmi, Harsh Mander and eminent journalist like Saba Naqvi
and students and teachers from JMI JNU, and DU have also attended and expressed
their condolence

The meeting was conducted by the late Prof. Hasan close relative Shaaz Sahiba and
Sameer Rizvi. Mr. Rizvi introduced initial remarks. He said that Prof.Mushir alias
Parvez (Childhood name) had an academic vision and cherished the humanistic values
in his writings and personal life too. He noted that Mushir’s works and academic
contributions will always guide us in years to come.

Besides eminent scholars and intellectuals, senior journalists have shared their
thoughts and personal experiences with respect to Prof. Hasan life, academic writings
and contributions as a various capacities like institutions builder, good administrator,
and mange to do things very efficiently. In this respect, eminent personalities like Hamid Ansari, Prof.Parabhat Patnaik, Prof.Jayati Ghosh, Prof. Naryani Gupta, journalists like Saeed Naqvi, Seema Chisti, Seema Mustufa, scholar like Javed Laique, Kamal Mitra Chenoy and others have spoken and shared their thoughts in the Mushir’s memorial lecture.

While speaking on said occasion, former V.P Hamid Ansari said that Prof. Hasan was a
responsive academician and the great institutions builder, and above all championed
the great legacy and epitomized secular, human and liberal values in his life and works.

Prof. Hasan cherished the ‘Awadh culture’ locally termed as Qasbati Culture in his
academic writings. Ansari end his talk with the beautiful couplets-
Kaya Khub Admi Tha
Khuda Maghpherat Kre !

Similarly, a senior journalist Saeed Naqvi shared his personal experiences in India and
abroad (Riyad). Mushir was very dear younger brother to me and his nature was
laughing, mischievous too. While highlighting the hospitality given by Prof. Zoya Hasan, Naqvi also underlined that Prof. Hasan was fond of ‘Urdu poetry’ particularly Faiz Ahmad Faiz.

Prominent historian and his colleague at the Department of history JMI, Prof. Narayani
Gupta highlighted the work of Hasan in the historical context of 19 th century with respect to Muslims intellectuals like Abu Talib and Zakaullaha and others. She said that he championed liberalism, secular values and nationalist thoughts in his writings and as a capacity of VC of JMI including while when he was the Director of National Archive of India. Besides, all these involvement and public responsibilities, Hasan gave importance to family and his relatives too, added Prof, Gupta.

The scholar like Javed Laique observes that Prof. Hasan and his beloved Zoya are in-
fact heroic figures. While citing the case of Salman Rushdie, controversial affairs (Around his book, ‘Satanic verses’) and the infamous Batla House encounter (2008), he said that Prof. Hasan had taken firm stand on these issues. Moreover, Prof. Hasan was also a brilliant administrator and managed to build up high quality Jamia academic
environment at large said Laique.

Prominent economist Prof. Jayati Ghosh underlined that for me, both Zoya and Mushir
academic journey represents the best for India and we should be proud of it. Hasan was deeply humanist, secular and cherished composite culture and civilizations of India. To note that when Prof. C.A Bally had invited him to join the University of Cambridge, Mushir had rejected the offer and prefer to stay at India, she adds.

While speaking in memorial meeting, a noted Marxist-economist Prof. Prabhat Ptanaik
shared his experiences at the University of Cambridge and said that we generally met
while watching cricket match. Further, Prof.Patanik underlined that his personality was
deeply oriented towards academic works and one can’t deny that he was the great
institutions builder. Finally, he said that after the critical accident, Mushir’s remaining
four-year life were crucial for him and Zoya, however, their life were very closely

Renowned journalist Seema Chisti appreciated Hasan’s works, while he was the
Director of National Achieve of India. Further she said that Prof. Hasan scholarship and
his progressive ideas are rare to find elsewhere. While highlighting the contributions
regarding the Jamia Millia Islamia, she pointed out that during his tenure as Vice-
Chancellor ( 2004-2009), Castro Café, Noam Chomsky (He is well known for his critical
thinking.) building, Edward Said (author of well-known book ‘Orientalism’)Hall and
others academic centers were constructed and established. Apart from this, rich
heritage of Jamia including history related to Jamia founders were preserved and widely disseminated by Mushir. While toeing the line of others, Chisti also noted that Prof. Hasan can be regarded as ‘Man of Renaissance’.

While citing the case of Babri Masjid demolitions, Prof. Kamal Mitra Chenoy pointed out
that Mushir in his work ‘Legacy of Divided Nation: India’s Muslims since Independence
(Oxford Delhi: Monohar, 1991) has underlined that controversy around Babri could be traced when first time Govind Ballabh Pant had placed statue inside the Masque.

Moreover, while sharing his views with respect to Mushir’s intellectual rigor, Chenoy
accepted that I learn a lot from him mainly how can know real history.
Another well-known journalist, Seema Mustafa shared her public and personal
experiences with family and relatives of Prof. Hasan. For her, Hasan really represents
himself as a ‘Secular Muslim’. For taking uncompromising stand on various issues as
said earlier, Hasan was equally attacked and faced sever backlash by both Hindu
communal forces (who is currently ruling this country) and Muslim fundamentalist

BadreAlam Khan([email protected]) is a research scholar, Department of
Political Science, University of Delhi. Imran Ahmad is blogger and former Student of Jamia