15-OCT-2019: CAS observes Emperor Akbar's birth anniversary
Aligarh, October 15: The Centre of Advanced Study (CAS), Department of History, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) observed the 477th birth anniversary of Mughal emperor, Akbar with a symposium elaborating the Mughal as the precursor to the secular values of modern day India.
During a technical session of the symposium chaired by eminent historian of ancient and medieval India, Professor Emeritus Irfan Habib and renowned writer and historian, Ms Rana Safvi; Prof Shireen Moosvi pointed out that the first prime minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in his book, 'Glimpses of World History' applauded Akbar for choosing reason over intolerance.
"Akbar's ideas relating to coexistence and mutual tolerance of each other's faith and recognition of talents have to be seen as part of a rich legacy he left behind," she said.
Prof Shireen emphasised Akbar created an environment of knowledge building and intellectual engagement in participatory learning and works like Urfi's poetry produced during Akbar's time are reflective of religious tolerance during his administration.
"Akbar supervised translations of Singhasan Battisi, Atharva Veda, Mahabharata, Harivamsa and other scriptures into Persian," said Prof Shireen adding that Sulh-I-Kul of Akbar, was a result of genuine considerations to suit a multi-religious country like India.
She spoke on how Abul Fazl referred to the idea of the nation, where he identified Akbar with India and the Proto Nationalism based on religious conciliation practiced by Akbar.
"Akbar travelled incognito from Mathura to Agra to realise that it is not justified to tax a person on pilgrimage. On his return, Akbar abolished the Pilgrim tax," said Prof Shireen.
Prof Ali Nadeem Rezavi (Chairperson and Coordinator, CAS, Department of History) elaborated how Akbar is relevant in the present time and it is the duty of the Department of History to celebrate his legacy.
He shed light on Akbar's works on religious tolerance, his concentration on establishing a stable administration based on moral and material welfare of his subjects and how Akbar brought policies for an environment of uniform opportunities to people irrespective of their religion.
Prof Irfan Habib, Prof Shireen Moosvi and Ms Rana Safvi also released Mr Manimugdha Sharma's book, 'Allahu Akbar' (Times of India, New Delhi), which elaborates how Akbar, with a progressive bent of mind, dared to look ahead to find the common ground for all his people to stand together.
In the discussion after the book release, the author of the book Mr Manimugdha discussed concerns and inspirations that went into the writing of the book.
He referred to Akbar being not just a revered monarch in India but an inspiration to Europeans as well.
Prof Irfan Habib said that the book contests the historical fallacies which the masses believe like that of Jodha Bai's existence.
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