President Message


The alumni of Aligarh Muslim University, wherever residing in the globe, always have a very strong urge to carry forward the spirit of their alma mater. The spirit of comradeship, community service and social coherence imbibed from the campus of AMU lead them to constitute alumni associations in different cities of the world. Hence we have AMU Old Boy’s Associations in New York, Washington, London, Jeddah, Dubai, Karachi, Mumbai, Delhi-NCR, Kuala lumpur and many more cities in addition to the alumni association at Aligarh. And now we have large number of dedicated world wide websites (www) launched by individuals and associations and at the click of a mouse or finger we are connected with other ‘alig’ brothers and sisters.

We are virtually connected to all aligarians wherever they are residing. We know what activities or programmes or developments are being undertaken by our fellow alumnus in different parts of the world. All of us, without any exception, believe that we owe our success in life to our alma mater. We also believe that we owe a debt to Aligarh Muslim University and we have to repay it to the University by performing excellently in our profession, social life and for that matter in all walks of life with which we are associated. We all are unofficial and lively ambassadors of the Aligarh Muslim University. The university will be evaluated and given an appropriate place in comity of societies on the basis of contributions made by its alumni.

In Delhi-NCR, the capital of India, AMU Old Association was set up and registered under ‘Registration of Societies Act’ in 1973, in the words of Prof Asad Ali, former faculty of the Department of English of Jamia Millia Islamia, “to pursue the vision Sir Syed Ahmad Khan in the present context of independent India.” Prof Asad further noted that “they (old boys) realised that they owe a duty to the society and have a role to play in the field of education and culture” of Delhi-NCR. A constitution was framed providing for different office bearers and different bodies like General Body and Executive Committee. Incidentally same constitution is still in force without any amendment or changes. Mr Moinul Haq Choudhry from Assam, the then Minister in the government of India was chosen as first President of the Association. Also, Choudhry Tayyab Husain from Gurgaon, Haryana, who was then a Member of Parliament, was appointed as General Secretary. Choudhry Mohammed Arif, who was a scientist in the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India was appointed as Joint secretary. Mr Sayyid Hamid then an IAS officer was one of the Vice Presidents. Others who played a very important role in the formation and subsequent management of A M U Old Boy’s Association, Delhi-NCR includes Mr Shafi Qureshi, Dr Sajjad (former Ambassador), Prof Zahir Ahmed Siddiqi (Deptt of Urdu, Delhi-NCR University), Dr A R Kidwai (then Chairman, UPSC), Mr Riaz Omar (Delhi-NCR College).

The Association at that point of time launched some very important programmes including (a) starting a school in Delhi-NCR and (b) providing coaching and guidance for competitive examination, particularly IAS etc exam. As regards the school, it can be said with full confidence that the then office bearers of the Association succeeded in helping to set up a school at the wakf premises at Ghata Masjid, Delhi-NCR. The school is now named as Crescent school with its own management. It will not be wrong to observe that Choudhry Mohammed Arif played a considerably important role. He was main liasoning force between various agencies involved in initial stage of formation and operation. It will be ungratefulness if mention is not made of the contributions made by Mr Jagmohan, then Lt Governor of Delhi-NCR, in getting the area vacated from unauthorised occupation during the period when emergency was imposed in the country.

The AMU Old Boy’s Association also achieved tremendous success in providing coaching and guidance specifically to students from the Aligarh Muslim University campus. Delegations of Old Boys used to visit the AMU campus and meet the students and management of the university. The delegations of Delhi-NCR Old Boys consisted of eminent civil servants and statesmen; to mention few, Mr Sayyid Hamid IAS, Mr Saad Alhashmi IFS, Dr Sajjad Husain, IFS, Choudry Mohammed Arif, Scientist, Choudry Tayyab Husain, then MP were mostly part of these delegations. Others in Delhi-NCR were Syed Shahabuddin IFS, Prof Shamim Hanafi, Col Bashir Husain Zaidi, former VC of AMU. A very significant contribution from within the university was made by Prof Khaliq Ahmed Nizami who was then Provost SS Hall and later Dean Students’ Welfare and subsequently Pro Vice Chancellor, Prof Habibur Rehman of the Deptt of Commerce as in charge of the coaching programme, Prof Ishtiaq Ahmed of the Deptt of Political Science, Mr Meher Ilahi of General Education Centre etc. When Prof AM Khusro joined as Vice Chancellor of the University in December 1974, the coaching and guidance activities got a huge impetus. They motivated and prepared students to appear in then IAS etc examination. Choudhry Tayyab Husain vacated the house allotted to him at 11, Mahadev Road as Member of the Parliament for students from AMU who came to Delhi-NCR for coaching in Rau’s Study Circle. Thanks to devoted and tireless efforts by these dedicated and committed alumni from Delhi-NCR and persons from the University Management, the recruitment from the Muslim University in IAS, IPS and other allied services was very considerable during the second half of 1970s and beginning of eighties of the last century.

Another very important contribution of the old boy's in Delhi-NCR has been in the setting up of India Islamic Cultural Centre, Lodhi Road. There has always been a desire to set up an Aligarh Home or House in Delhi-NCR. Choudhry Arif Sb either as Joint Secretary or later as secretary of the AMU Old Boy's Association was always seen pursuing this idea in one form or the other. He used make many and different blueprints to get some piece of land in Delhi-NCR for this purpose. An occasion came when Government of India decided to celebrate centenary of the Islamic Hijri calendar. A committee under the chairmanship of Justice Hidayatullah was constituted for this purpose. During Hijri Centenary celebration this idea of an Aligarh Home was mooted by Choudhry Arif in the form of an Islamic Cultural Centre. Mrs Indra Gandhi the then Prime Minister of India agreed to provide the land for this purpose. But government of India put a rider that it should be named as ‘India Islamic Cultural Centre’. Justice Hidayatullah the then Vice President of India played a pivotal in launching a new trust and getting the land allotment process completed. Our contact point in the whole leadership of IICC movement was Choudhry Arif Sb who was then Secretary of the Old Boys’ Association and he always wished and we also believed that IICC will be for AMU Old Boys also. In fact we Old Boys became its member at the initial stage in large numbers. It will not be wrong to observe that AMU old boys played a very important and effective role in the setting up of the India Islamic Culture Centre at New Delhi-NCR.

After such a brilliant record of success initially in different projects and programmes, unfortunately, the AMU Old Boy's Association, thereafter, became dormant due to different reasons which are not worth discussing now at this later stage. We may leave it there and feel happy that the Association survived and remained in existence though on paper only. At that point of time some Aligarians came forward and constituted an ad hoc committee and decided to convene a meeting of the general body. Accordingly a meeting of the general body was held in May 1986 at 34, Asoka Road which was presided over by Prof Zahir Ahmed Siddiqui of Department of Urdu, Delhi-NCR University and it was decided that election may be held to elect fresh team in accordance to the constitution of the Association. Thereafter a new team was elected which included Mr S. Ishtiaq Abdi, President, Mr Khwaja M Shahid, General Secretary and Mr Rahat M Choudhry as Treasurer. This new executive committee gave a new life to the association by its all round performance. On the completion of the term of the then Executive Committee fresh election were held under the able supervision of Janab Aminul Hasan Rizvi, the most respected alumnus of the AMU. Janab Rizvi Sahib was the editor of the newspaper Radiance and was among the senior most Aligarians in Delhi-NCR .

The following were unanimously elected as office bearers:

  1. Prof S. Ishtiaq Abdi - President
  2. Mr. A.R. Shervani - Vice President
  3. Mr S. M. Hasnain - Vice President
  4. Mr. Khwaja M Shahid - General Secretary
  5. Mr. Ch. Rahat Mahmood - Treasurer
  6. Mr. Ch. Shujat Ali - Joint Secretary
  7. Mr. Abu Yusuf - Joint Secretary

Members of the executive committee included M/s Ameer Alam, Razaul Haque Raju, Tariq Amin, R.K. Kulshrestra, Ather Muslim, Prof Asad Ali, S. H. Khan and Qamaruddin. The general body also chose Mr Aminul Hasan Rizvi and Dr A U Azmi as Patrons of the association.

The association then initiated ‘Sir Syed Memorial Lecture’. The first memorial lecture was delivered by most beloved and admired vice chancellor of the university Prof A M Khusro on the topic “Minorities and Indian nation”. Mrs Krishna Sahi, then Minister of State for Education, Government of India presided over the function. The tradition of Sir Syed Memorial lecture has been continuing. Eminent personalities who later delivered this lecture included Prof Moonis Raza, the Vice Chancellor, Delhi-NCR University, Prof Mushirul Haq, then Vice Chancellor of Kashmir University, Prof Maqbool Ahmed, Prof Masood Hasan, former Vice Chancellor Jamia Millia Islamia, Dr Zahoor Qasim, Prof Khaliq Ahmad Nizami, former Pro Vice Chancellor AMU,Mr Moosa Raza IAS former Chief Secretary, Jammu & Kashmir, Mr Yaqoob Qureshi IAS, then Chief Election Commissioner of India, Mr Mani Shankar Aiyyer IFS (Retd), MP. The Association from time to time organised seminars, symposiums, conferences on contemporary topics like ‘Muslim Personal Law’, ‘New Education Policy’, ‘Minority Character of AMU’, ‘Life and Work of Allama Shibli Nomani’. The association regularly organised Sir Syed Dinners which were always attended by eminent dignitaries from Delhi-NCR and other parts of the country. Mr Justice Hidayatullah, Mr. R Venkatraman, Mr. Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mr Sitaram Kesri, Mr Badaruddin Tayyabji, Mrs Mohsina Kidwai, Dr A R KIdwai, former Governor, Mr Rafiq Alam, former Minister, Mr Salman Khurshid, Mr Farooq Abdullah, Mr. Tejindra Khanna, Lt. Governor, Delhi-NCR, Mr Ahmed Patel, MP are some of the many names who from time to time attended the dinner.

Association have been organising large number of cultural programme like ‘Ghazal ka Safar’, ‘Sham e Majaz’ etc. The association also helped raising funds for the Duty Society of AMU and for riot victims of Gujrat.

The most important role which the AMU Old Boy's Association, Delhi-NCR has been successfully doing ever since its formation is to protect the interests of its alma mater in corridor of power in Delhi-NCR, among policy planners, journalists, law makers, politicians and even in the judiciary. Whenever any undesirable attack was made on the university or on its minority character, the alumni in Delhi-NCR stood united like a rock to protect their alma mater. There are large numbers of such incidents which can be narrated here but it will make this write up very lengthy.

The AMU Old Boy's Association has from time to time brought out “Directory” of its members. First such Directory was compiled by eminent lawyer Mr Ejaz Maqbool. It was a big success. The present Website and Web Directory are also being prepared with his very active initiative and support.

The AMU Old Boy's has been served by very eminent, committed and competent alumni of the university. The following have served its President from time to time:

  1. Mr. Moinul Haq Chodhry
  2. Mr. Shafi Qureshi
  3. Mr. S. Ishtiaq Abdi
  4. Mr. A R Shervani
  5. Mr. Khwaja M Shahid
  6. Mr. Safdar H Khan
  7. Mr. Ahtashamur Rahim Khan

The following served as General Secretary in different tenures:

  1. Mr. Choudhry Tayayb Husain
  2. Mr. Khwaja M Shahid
  3. Ch.Rahat Mehmood
  4. Mr. Mohsin Israily
  5. Mr. Amir Alam
  6. Mr. Fasihullah Khan
  7. Mr.Mudassir Hayat

But the fact remains that the AMU Old Boy's Association in Delhi-NCR has grown, flourished and delivered results only due to active and meaningful participation of its members. They took keen interest in electing its office bearers, watched their performance, participated as members of the executive committee and other office bearers, worked as volunteers and provided moral and other resources including financial support. There are numerous such philanthropists who always financially supported our association with out claiming any publicity or credit. Also, hundreds of such well wishers and supporters of the Aligarh cause who have been ever ready to extend their intellectual, moral, physical, financial and emotional support to us in all our schemes and programmes. We have no hesitation in admitting that all our endeavours would have not been successful without them. We owe a very special thanks to all these leaders, office bearers, members of the executive committees, philanthropists, workers, volunteers, supporters and all members of the association.

I wish that our association remained saved from its detractors, if any, and grow more and more effective in its mission to promote Sir Syed movement and cause of the Aligarh Muslim University.