He was born in Delhi on 17th October 1817. Sir Syed Ahmed Khan was a great reformer. He belonged to a prominent family of the city. After completing his formal education, he entered service with the British East India Company in 1839. He rose to the position of judge in 1846 and later on he was transferred to Banglore as the Chief Judge.
The First Task
Sir Syed Ahmed Khan began his first task to soften British hostility towards the Muslims of subcontinent. He wrote a book “Essay on the causes of the India Revolt” on the war of independence. This book was sent to British Members of the parliament and was circulated among British officials.
Sir Syed Ahmed Khan knew that the Muslims could not achieve this goal without education. He set up a Persian school at Muradabad in 1859. This school was upgraded to the college in 1875. This college was upgraded to the college and the university level after his death. The educated Muslims of the early twentieth century were the product of this institution.
He urged the Muslims to acquire knowledge first and then they should take part in the politics of the subcontinent. After the war of independence, his position was not less than that of a great political reformer for Muslims.
Aligarh Movement had the following objects:
1. To build confidence between the British and the Muslims.
2. To persuade the Muslims to get scientific knowledge and learn English language.
3. To hold back the Muslims from the collective politics.
Effects of Aligarh Movement
His main focus was on Aligarh to achieve his goals. he estabished Mohammad an Anglo Oriental School. It was a symbol of a broad movement affecting every phase of Muslim life. The actions taken by Sir syed Ahmed Khan for the educational uplift of the Muslims left a far-reaching impact on the political, social, economic and religious aspects of the Muslims. The Aligarh movement showed new ways to press and opened the doors of economic prosperity for the Muslims of the sub-continent.
Congress and Sir Syed Ahmed Khan
In 1883, Lord A.O.Hume formed an organization called Indian National Congress. The aim of this party was to provide a political platform for the Indians. Many Indians joined this party. Sir Syed Ahmed Khan was an open minded and large hearted person. He was a great patriot, At first he considered all who lived in India as one nation and was a great advocate of Hindu-Muslim unity. He looked both Hindus and Muslims with the same eyes. He said,
“By the word “Nation”, I mean only Hindus and Muslims and nothing else. Our interests and problems are common and therefore, I consider the two factions as one nation.”
But unfortunately the attitude of Hindus and Congress compelled him to reconsider his ideas about one nation. He felt sorry to see that both Congress and Hindus looking against the interests of the Muslims. Congress ignored the Muslims totally. He failed to bring Hundus and Muslims closer a one single platform He saw that the Hindus never come forward with open mind and always adopted a policy to damage the Muslim cause, so Sir Syed Ahmed Khan advised the Muslims to keep themselves away from it. On 1st October 1906 Sir Agha Khan led a Muslim delegation and met the Viceroy Lord Minto at Simla to demand a separate electorate for Muslims in the coming reforms. The viceroy save a good response to them. There being no political party for Muslims at that time a strong need for it was felt. God Almightly enabled them to form Muslim League.
In 1867, Hindus demanded that Hindi should be made on official language of India in place of Urdu. They started an agitation. The Hindus were against Urdu because it was the language o the Muslims, Sir Syed felt sorry and he was now convinced that the Hindus would never be friend with the Muslims.
The Real Founder of Pakistan
Sir Syed Ahmed Khan saw the attitude of Hindus towards the Muslims and felt sorry for it. He declared,
“I am convinced now that Hindus and Muslims could never become one nation.”
Hindus and Muslims are two separate nations because their religion, culture, history and way of life are quite distinct from each other. In this way we can say this great hero and reformer, the real founder of Pakistan.
Sir Syed passed away on 27 March 1898 but his work was continued by Nawab Mohsin-ul-Mulk. Due to the Sir Syed’s efforts the Muslims emerged as a separate identity.