Maulana Abul Kalam Azad : Sterling contribution in the progress of education
Contribution of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad in the progress of education. He joined the revolutionary movement against British rule after being inspired by two prominent revolutionaries from Bengal, Aurobindo Ghosh and Shyam Sundar Chakravarty.
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, a poet and polyglot who was well-versed in several languages like Arabic, English, Urdu, Hindi, Persian, and Bengal, was born on November 11, 1888, in Mecca. He received traditional Islamic education from his father and other teaching scholars at his home in Calcutta.
He adopted the surname "Azad" as a sign of his mental emancipation from the narrow outlook of religion and life. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad became active in journalism and politics at an early age.
He joined the revolutionary movement against British rule after being inspired by two prominent revolutionaries from Bengal, Aurobindo Ghosh and Shyam Sundar Chakravarty. Within two years, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad helped establish secret revolutionary centers across northern India and in Bombay. In 1912, Maulana Azad started a weekly magazine in Urdu called Al-Hilal.
The government banned Al Hilal in 1914. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad started another weekly newspaper, Al-Balagh, with the mission of propagating Indian nationalism and Hindu-Muslim unity, which was not only banned by the government in 1916 but also expelled him from Kolkata. Maulana Abul Kalam met Mahatma Gandhi during the Khilafat Movement after which he joined the Congress in 1920. Just three years later, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad became the youngest President of the Indian National Congress at the age of 35. He was jailed several times by the British from 1920 to 1945 due to his activism in the freedom struggle. While strongly opposing the partition of the country, he envisioned an India that would embrace both Hindus and Muslims. He used to especially participate in the discussion on subjects related to education in the Constituent Assembly. He believed that India as a nation should aspire to high educational standards. As the country's first education minister from 1947 to 1958, he advocated free and compulsory education for all children up to the age of 14.
Abul Kalam Azad established the Adult Education Board for the education of illiterate adults. He was also instrumental in setting up the University Grants Commission and other educational institutions, such as the Indian Institute of Science and the IITs. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad breathed his last on February 22, 1958.
His autobiography, "India Wins Freedom," was published in 1959, after his death.
Courtesy : SAPTARISHI
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