Mohammad Mujeeb, the Padma Bhushan awardee was an eminent historian, educationist and scholar. Born on 30 October 1902 in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh in a reputed family, Mohammad Mujeeb had the privilege to acquire education in the best national and international institutions. Committed to secular and democratic ethos, Mohammad Mujeeb served the nationalist cause through his commitment to academics and education and serving Jamia Millia Islamia (Delhi based Central University) since 1926 as Professor of History and as Vice Chancellor from 1948-73. Mohammad Mujeeb mastered several languages including Urdu, English, Russian, German and French. The Indian Muslims is his magnum opus though Mohammad Mujeeb has many more books, dramas and articles in Urdu and English to his credit.
Mohammad Mujeeb was widely travelled and represented India at the UNESCO and UN General Assembly. He was member of several prestigious institutions including Taraqqui Urdu Board, Hindustani Talimi Sangh and the Sahitya Akademi. The Government of India honoured him with the Padma Bhushan in 1965 for his contribution in the field of literature and education.
Meher Fatima Hussain is teaching in the Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy, Jamia Millia Islamia since 2008. Her areas of specialization are Modern Indian History and Minorities, Studies and her publications include Monograph from Nehru Memorial and Museum Library, Teen Murti and two books titled, Celebrating India: Reflections on Eminent Indian Muslims: 1857-2007 and Syed Zahoor Qasim: The Man, Mission, Milestones. She has published works in edited books and journals of repute. She is life member of the Indian History Congress and the Institute of Historical Studies, Kolkata.
The life and career of Mohammad Mujeeb is a saga that entails several dimensions of conviction, commitment and erudition. Brought up in an age when India was reeling under colonial rule, still gasping for independence, Mujeeb could not remain untouched with the developments around him. He was an agent of change contributing to the transitions that took place, both in colonial and free India. As the country longed to break free from shackles of slavery and servitude, Mujeeb made his foray in serving the country in his own ways. Under Mahatma Gandhi movements for swadeshi and boycott of British aided institutions, Jamia Millia Islamia was founded by stalwarts including Hakim Ajmal Khan, Mohammad Ali Jauhar, Maulana Mehmud Hasan, Abdul Majeed Khwaja, Mukhtar Ahmad Ansari, Saifuddin Kitchlew and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad at Aligarh in 1920.
Mohammad Mujeeb was studying in Germany when he responded to the cause of the nation by choosing to work with Zakir Husain and Abid Husain for Jamia Millia Islamia. Jamia abhorred colonial subjugation and experimented in Gandhian ways and in furthering the cause of nationalist interests, Mohammad Mujeeb provided yeoman service. He served closely with Zakir Husain, Shafiqur Rehman Kidwai, Abid Husain and other nationalists in building the institution along secular and progressive lines. Mohammad Mujeeb's career is inseparably imbedded in the life of Jamia Millia Islamia as an architect, teacher and scholar. Gandhiji wrote a couple of letters to Mujeeb expressing his happiness and satisfaction in his joining and serving the institution that are aptly incorporated in the monograph. After India won its independence in1947, great emphasis was laid towards streamlining the educational and cultural institutions in consonance with the principles that formed the bedrock of the freedom movement and Mujeeb played instrumental role in shaping such developments.
A polyglot, Mohammad Mujeeb mastered several Indian and foreign languages. He left behind several valuable literary works that forms important part of the monograph both at the level of analysis and as corpus that helped constructing facets of Mujeeb's literary career and his life in the university wherein he dispensed responsibilities in several capacities, being the Vice Chancellor, one among them. Though not formally trained in Urdu, Mujeeb was a regular contributor to Jamia, an Urdu journal of Jamia Millia Islamia and authored several original works in Urdu and English with Indian Muslims being his magnum opus. His compositions have strong nationalist and cultural concerns bearing robust reflections on issues of national pride and integration. Mohammad Mujeeb was widely travelled and his education in coveted institutions in India and abroad coupled with his understanding of Indian and western literature and culture shaped indelibly his literary formulations.
The monograph is but a modest attempt to chronicle the career and literay contributions of Mohammad Mujeeb and I am greatly indebted to Sahitya Akademi for giving me the opportunity to write the monograph.
I am thankful to Dr. K. Sreenivasrao, Secretary, Sahitya Akademi, Dr. Mushtaque Ahmad and Dr. Sufian Ahmad for extending cooperation during my writing the monograph.
I extend my gratitude to Prof. Sabiha Zaidi, Director, Jamia's Premchand Archives and Literary Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia and Dr. S.M. Amir for supporting my work by facilitating access to usage of primary materials and other valuable sources on Mohammad Mujeeb including his photograph. I am indebted to Zubair Mahmood and other staffs in the Zakir Husain Library, Premchand Archives and Maktaba Jamia of Jamia Millia Islamia for the support extended to me during my writing of the Monograph on Mohammad Mujeeb.
I would further like to extend acknowledgement to friends, relatives and colleagues as the monograph draws a lot from their encouragement and support.
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