It is the 98th Foundation day of Jamia millia Islamia and my mind is flooded with the memories associated with the grand celebrations held in the lawns of the MA Ansari Auditorium. The memories of the crowd, stall hopping, bunking classes and clicking innumerable selfies rushes into my mind.
The celebrations is a three day affair from 29th to 31st October. The Talimi Mela (Education fair) is the star attraction of the celebrations. The schools under the university compete in several categories in the first two days and it is a pure delight to watch young kids give their best shot on stage. Third day is reserved for the university students and one should see the turnout of the students. People go just bat shit crazy!
Before we move forward, let me take you through the history of Jamia millia Islamia to understand why Foundation day is such a big deal in university.
Founded in 1920, Jamia was born out of the fire called Freedom movement. When Mahatma Gandhi called for boycott of the British, thousands of students and teachers quit Aligarh Muslim University which had pro-British tendencies. Called as ‘one of the most progressive educational institutions of India’ by none other than Rabindranath Tagore, Jamia was the product of pro-independence aspirations.
Thus the foundation day celebrations is not just the celebration of the university’s birth but also the commemoration of those students, teachers and nationalist leaders who took every risk possible and fought for the independence of this country. This institution is the result of their sacrifices and foundation celebration is a way to honour that sacrifice.
Some of the things that I would not have experienced anywhere else but in Jamia was the Mushaira night. The medium is Urdu but trust me, the language sounds like music to me. People from different parts of the city flock to Jamia only to witness world renowned artists performing on stage. The experience is spell bounding.
Another unique feature is the Baith Baazi which in simple terms is the antakshari of shayari. The competing team should produce shayari starting from the alphabet the other ended theirs just like we do with the songs. This event usually happens in the auditorium and it is always a full house event to the extent that we go for the event an hour before to get the best seats. Like I had said before, it is not necessary that everyone present in the room understands every single word because the medium of the delivery is Urdu which is the twin sister of Hindi but the way it is delivered, the tone used makes the event worth visiting.
So this was all about Jamia Millia Islamia’s foundation day celebrations. This university shaped my thought and introduced me to a wide variety of ideas and has played an important role in developing my opinions. I would be always thankful to God for giving me the chance to study one of the best institutions of the country.