OU Centenary Celebrations To Go On Throughout The Year

The President of India Pranab Mukherjee, Governor Narasimhan and CM KCR would participate in the inaugural function of the OU centenary celebrations.

Hyderabad: Seeking the cooperation of everyone for smooth conduct of the centenary celebrations of Osmania University, Deputy Chief Minister Kadiam Srihari said that the celebrations will continue for a year.  A review meeting with the concerned authorities was held on Thursday.

President Pranab Mukherjee, Governor Narasimhan, Chief Minister KCR will participate in the inaugural function of the centenary on April 26, he said. The next day, old students convention would be held in which Maharashtra Governor Vidyasagar Rao will participate. The Vice Chancellor’s congress would be inaugurated by Union Minister Javadekar. Cultural programmes will be held reflecting the Telangana history and culture before Arts College. He said that the government release Rs. 50 crores to conduct the celebrations.

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Why KCR Could Not Speak At OU Centenary?

Governor Narasimhan and Chief Minister KCR could not speak at OU centenary celebrations inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday. Why?

Hyderabad: It was an auspicious occasion. Osmania University’s Centenary celebrations were being inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday. Governor ESL Narasimhan and Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao (KCR) were there on the dais. They were scheduled to speak. But they chose to keep quiet. Why?

The invitation card has the programme details printed on the inside leaf. According to the programme, both Governor and the CM were listed as speakers. KCR is not only the CM and an accomplished speaker, he is also an alumnus of the university which played a pivotal role in the Statehood movement. The function which should have been a grand affair ended as a damp squib. VC welcomed. Pranab delivered his speech. Registrar proposed Vote of thanks. It was all over. The solemn occasion should have got embedded in the hearts and psyche of Osmania lovers. But it could not happen.

The fact of the matter is that KCR has made a lot of political gains from the Statehood movement and a separate State being formed. But he could not win over Osmania students. Opposition leaders and leaders of caste groups, occupations, trades and employees had fallen in line and accepted his command. KCR had rewarded a couple of student leaders like Balka Suman. But the larger student community remained hostile to KCR. The students chose to fight rather than surrender. They have been defying. They have their demands. But the government did not make a concerted attempt to talk to the students and resolve the issues. Instead, it preferred to use the police force to suppress them. They were not allowed to demonstrate. Their protest programmes were preempted. KCR should have known that it is not possible to subdue Osmania students by force. Had it been possible to suppress the Osmania students by force, there would have been no Telangana State and no chief ministership for KCR.

The students have been demanding that the government should come up with an employment policy. They wanted the government to fulfil the promise of creating one lakh jobs. They went to court to stop the government from regularising the services of contract employees. The High Court has granted a stay on the government move the students expected the government to fill the vacancies in the faculty. The government was asked to allocate ₹1000 crore to OU on the occasion of the centenary. The government has sanctioned ₹200 crore and released ₹50 crore, said one SFI leader. ABVP leaders said KCR has no guts to speak on Osmania campus since he did not bother to develop the institution. Student bodies owing allegiance to different political parties created trouble for the CM on Wednesday. There were preventive detentions to stop the trouble makers from gaining access to the centenary venue. But there were slogans against KCR throughout the function. The intelligence sleuths advised the CM not to speak. Governor Narasimhan also followed the suit. The whole programme ended in a lacklustre fashion without messages from Governor and CM. Even the President’s address was brief and listless. What should have been a memorable occasion has ended up as inconsequential, tame affair.

Who is to be blamed for the fiasco? Students should have observed restraint keeping in view the importance of the centenary occasion which comes only once in their lifetime. It is the responsibility of the people in power to be inclusive and take everyone along. KCR himself did not find time to visit OU campus even once in the nearly three years he has been Chief Minister. His education minister Kadiam Srihari is a turncoat who defected from the TDP to become deputy CM. Students have no respect for him. The Principal Secretary of education Ranjiva Acharya is known for her arrogance and closed mindset. Harish Rao and KTR, young ministers who could have dealt with the student community, were busy with their ministerial assignments. K Kesava Rao, who is considered an intellectual among politicians, tried to talk to the student leaders but hastily withdrew from the engagement.

KCR might have tamed TDP supremo Chandrababu Naidu and he may have mobilised lakhs of people for the public meeting at Warangal on the eve of the 16th anniversary of the TRS, but OU students will remain a challenge for him to meet one day or other.

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Pranab Inaugurates OU Centenary Celebs, Stresses On Basic Research

President Pranab Mukherjee, who inaugurated the centenary celebrations of Osmania University on Wednesday, stressed the need for basic research.

Hyderabad: President Pranab Mukherjee stressed the importance of basic research in which India is lagging far behind. There has to be regular flow of funds to the universities and research organisations. The governments have to see that the universities get funded regularly.

“We are proud of the performance of IITs where hundred percent of the students are hired in campus interviews'” Pranab said. He exhorted the students and the faculty to keep ahead in pursuit of excellence.

The President who was addressing the gathering after inaugurating  the Osmania University centenary celebrations said it was founded by Nizam of Hyderabad Mir Osman  Ali Khan with a dream of making it an institute of higher learning.

Pranab Mukherjee referred to the hoary history which witnessed Second World War and the independence of India among other things. He said India was the leader in education with universities like Takshashila, now in Pakistan, and Nalanda, in Bihar, which attracted scholars from all over the world for 1300 years. He said the universities have to be places where free exchange of views and ideas take place. The teachers and the students have to engage in unbridled exchange of ideas without any interference from the external forces.

Mukherjee expressed happiness at being part of the centenary celebrations of a great university. The OU has to achieve more laurels and more milestones in future, he wished. He said there are 757 universities in India today. Jawaharlal Nehru founded University Grants Commission in 1956 with a view to encouraging higher education in the country. The IITs woe their existence to the vision of the first Prime Minister Hawaharlal Nehru.

Professor Ramachandran, Vice Chancellor of OU, welcomed the gathering and facilitated the chief guests and other guests who included Governor,  Chief Minister, Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, Deputy CM and Education Minister Kadiam Srihari, Mayor Dr Dontu Ram Mohan.

The flight from Goa with President Pranab Mukherjee on board landed at Begumpet at noon on Wednesday. Governor ESL Narasimhan and Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao (KCR) and members of the State Cabinet welcomed the President.

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OU Centenary: It Stands On The Land That Once Belonged To Beautiful Dancer, Poet, Politician Mahalakha Bai

The excellent Arts College building and other structures of Osmania University, which is celebrating it centenary, is standing on the land that once belonged to a beautiful dancer, poet and politician by name Mahalakha Bai, who was close to the second and third Nizams. Her name is embedded in the history of OU and it calls for celebration.

Be it a time of war or peace, a time of victory over sworn enemies, or an evening of a diplomatic feast, a grand show of Mahalakha Bai’s dance was inevitable. About 200 years ago, Mahalakha Bai displayed her art in every darbar in Hyderabad. She is also hailed as the first woman poet to be accepted by the scholars at a time when women were not even allowed to step into a Mushaira. Though she was only a court dancer, she was always escorted by at least hundred soldiers. She made a mark in the history of Hyderabad like no other as a dancer, poetess and a key personal advisor to the NIzams. Mahalakha Bai was lauded highly at the end of 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century. During the reign of the Second and Third Nizams her name was known to one and all in this city of Hyderabad. Mahalakha Bai, or Chandabibi has an unforgettable and indelible relationship with  Osmania University.

On the occasion of Osmania University which had brought to this city, this state and this country ideas of revolution, celebrating its centenary, it has to be remembered that the OU was built on none other than Mahalakha Bai’s own land.

Mahalakha Bai was born in Hyderabad to a dancer Mida Bai and was named Chanda Bibi. As she grew, she carved an identity for herself as a brilliant dancer, poetess and a politician. From 1768 to 1825, Mahalakha Bai had become an unforgettable part of Hyderabad’s history.

Minister of the Second Nizam, Mir Alam adored Chandabibi’s poetry. During his time Chandabibi was given the area from Nampally to Moula Ali and made a Jagirdar of that area. Beginning from Moula Ali, the Osmania University, Adikmet and Hyderguda was the extent of this Jagir. Chanda Bibi never married but had adopted Hussan Afza Banu, Hasin Lakha Banu and Mohammed Maqbool. These lands had devolved unto these three on her death. However, after some time, the Nizam government had taken the Jagir back in order to establish the present day Osmania University. Mir Osman Ali Khan had conducted an aerial survey and had deemed the area most suitable for the university.

Mahalakha Bai’s grandmother was from Ahmedabad, Gujarat, who had moved away from there along with her family with a devotional troupe. She had travelled along Aurangabad and reached Hyderabad. Midabibi, the youngest of them all along with her sisters had learnt to dance and sing in this devotional troupe. Aurangabad was the capital for the Deccan province of the Mughals. It was here that Chanda Bibi’s family members had joined as dancers for the army. The Asaf Jahis, who were the vassals to the Mughal empire, had shifted the capital to Hyderabad. It was here that Mida Bibi had given birth to Chanda Bibi. She was awarded the title of Mahalakha Bai by the Second Nizam, Mir Nizam Ali Khan. Scottish historian , Jon Malcolm was a guest in the Second Nizam’s court during that time. At his farwell ceremony after Chanda Bibi’s dance, she had gifted the young man a book of her ghazals which is now at the London Museum.

Had that book was not given to Jon Malcolm and had it not reached the London Museum, no one would have delved into the inspirational story of Chandabibi and it would have been lost in time. The stories of her dance, her prowess in poetry would never have seen the light of day. It would not be an exaggeration to say that there was no centre of culture in Hyderabad that had not witnessed her dance and was left mesmerised by her poetry. Chandabibi always ended her verses with the names of the Prophet, his daughter Fatehma, his son-in-law Ali, their sons Hassan and Hussain. Since she was a part of the Shia sect she was a very devout Muslim. Even though she sometimes wrote ghazals of a lover she would inadvertently include a word of God along with the exhibition of her freedom, independence and self-respect.

She learnt Hindustani music along with martial arts and the art of fighting with sword from the army. She had worked closely with Shah Taj Ali, a poet and painter in the NIzam court, under whom she had honed her skills in ghazals and poetry. She was also multi lingual along with being a woman of social sensibility. Her residence in Nampally, Husna Rand Mahal which presently is the Nampally girls school where Chandabibi had strived to educate several girls and had also trained them in the arts to be employed as Court dancers for the NIzams.

Chandabibi chose to be single and lead an independent life. Though many men had fallen in love with her charm, she did not marry anyone. She was, however, in love with Military commander Rajarao Ramba, but still chose to remain unmarried.

The Moula Ali dargah was of great importance to Mahalakha Bai. This can be traced from her mother’s affiliation to the dargah. When Mida Bibi had fallen ill during her time of pregnancy with Chandabibi it is said that a visit to Moula Ali had cured her of her ailments. She had built a small walled enclosure near the hillock and would invite several poets for Mushairas. When Mida Bai died in 1792 she had arranged for the burial near Moula Ali. Her grave today rests next to her mother’s in Moula Ali. This today is known as Chanda Mahal. In 2010, with Kugle’s interest and some help from American enthusiasts, Chanda Mahal was renovated.

A monument built in the memory of a remarkable woman who had made an indelible mark on history is now in a dilapidated condition without any care or concern whatsoever. The watchman who had guarded the place for the past 6 years had committed suicide recently, on April 8th this year.

Osmani University which was built on Mahalakha Bai’s jagir must take the responsibility of remembering her and reminding Hyderabad of her remarkable personality. The alumni of Osmania University is of the opinion that Mahalakha Bai’s name should be engraved into each and every brick in the University.

-Translated by Nutan Mallepally

1 Response

  1. April 26, 2017

    […] President who was addressing the gathering after inaugurating  the Osmania University centenary celebrations said it was founded by Nizam of Hyderabad Mir Osman  Ali Khan with a dream of making it an […]

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CM invites President for OU centenary fete

Hyderabad: Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has invited President Pranab Mukherjee to the centenary celebrations of Osmania University.

The Chief Minister, who is in New Delhi, called on the President on Tuesday and urged him to grace the centenary celebrations of Osmania University to be held from April 26 to 28. He also invited Union Minister for Human Rresources Development Prakash Javadekar.

The Chief Minister apprised the President of post-demonetization situation and political scenario in Telangana. KCR urged Javadekar to sanction IIM for the State as was promised by the Centre and also one Kendriya Vidyalaya for each district in the new State. The Union Minister was urged to allot funds for Osmania University development.

TRS parliamentarian Jithender Reddy told media persons later that Pranab Mukherjee was expected to attend the centenary celebrations on the inaugural day of April 26. Other dignitaries invited will also attend the event, he said. Jithender Reddy said the Centre is expected to allot funds for the Osmania University development. Also present were: Deputy Chief Minister Kadiam Srihari, MPs Jithender Reddy, B Vinod Kumar and K  Keshav Rao. –NSS

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