A very warm welcome my dear students. It is good to have the young blood of Aligarh Muslim University back in action. You are the souls of this institution and share a big responsibility of contributing actively towards the progress of the University. I encourage you to make the most of all that the University has to offer.
I also want to congratulate the new students. In joining us at A.M.U you are doing more than enrolling at one of India's the oldest university. You are now a part of the family which places great importance on academic excellence and service to society; a family which was fathered by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, an educator, politician, Islamic reformer and a modernist.
Tradition is at the heart of AMU, and you only have to look around the campus to see it. It is one of the first institutions established during the British Raj and has witnessed the pre-independence freedom struggle. It has seen generations of nervous students enter for their examination. Many of those same students would return to it later, excited and confident for their convocation ceremony.
Great traditions also live on in people, and generations of the AMU family have proudly demonstrated the University's traditions of commitment to the world, a sense of duty to society and loyalty to the University. You have a plethora of alumni to look up to. These eminent personalities have achieved International acclaim in diverse fields, be it the famous freedom fighter Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (also known as frontier Gandhi), Dr. Zakir Hussain (former President of India), Mohammad Hamid Ansari (The current Vice President of India), Mrs. Syeda Anwara Taimur (The first and only lady Chief Minister of Assam), Dhyan Chand (Former Field Hockey Player and Olympian), Javed Akhtar (Famous Lyricist) and Naseeruddin Shah (Veteran Actor) Javed Usmani, IAS topper and S. Zahur Qasim, leader of first Indian expedition to Antarctica to name a few. These traditions are now being passed on to you. You must hold the baton firmly.
The future awaiting you will be more challenging and globalised than for any previous generation. As it is we have a culturally diverse student population from various states and various countries.
We intend to increase the number of international students, and soon our curriculum will be in sync with the majority of education systems around the world. Now it is also the time for our students to embrace a wider, richer, more international and multicultural world view- because regardless from which state or region you are from, you all share a common destiny of an internationalized future. Embrace differences and be open to them, stay true to what is right and prepare yourself to be a global citizen.
Global citizenship means feeling a sense of responsibility for the impact that your choices will have on others- locally and across the boundaries of nation, races and religions. It means learning about other cultures and taking up new languages. It means becoming independent- thinking; culturally aware individuals who are prepared to make a difference to the world.
I hope you will be generous in sharing your home cultures with your classmates and that your time with us at AMU will be intellectually and culturally rewarding. There are many ways to begin your global citizenship and there is no better time to start than now. I am counting on you to strengthen its tradition here at AMU and make it - a university already rich with tradition - one of our strongest and proudest.
Besides this, I expect you to refrain from any activity which may be seen as trying to dilute the 'Tehzeeb' of Aligarh Muslim University. Nelson Mandela said "Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world". Thus my dear students make the most of what the University offers you, educate and enlighten yourself. Make us proud by your accomplishments.
Remember, YOU ARE WHAT YOU THINK YOU ARE, and Inshallah, YOU WILL BE WHAT YOU WANT TO BE-provided you educate your self. My prayers and good wishes are with you.