Sir Syed Day


For prelims: 

Aligarh Movement

For Mains:

Sir Syed day Ahmed Khan’s contribution as a social reformer 

Why in discussion?

October 17, 2020 at Sir Syed Ahmed Khan (Sir Syed Ahmad Khan) of the birth anniversary of Sir Syed Day was celebrated as (Sir Syed’s Day).

Key points

Sir Syed Day
Sir Syed Day
  • Early life: Sir Syed Ahmad Khan was born in the year 1817 in a family which was close to the Mughal court. He was a rich man of many talents (civil servant, journalist, educationist, social reformer historian).
    • Prior to the Revolt of 1857, he was in the service of the British administration.
    • He wrote a book titled ‘ The Causes of the Indian Revolt ‘ to explain the reasons for the 1857 rebellion keeping the Indian perspective in mind .
  • Educationist: Sir Syed is known as one of the important Muslim reformers who played a leading role in transforming educational opportunities for the betterment of Muslim society.
    • Sir Syed felt that if the Muslim community embraces modern education then their progress is possible. For this, he started the Aligarh movement.
  • Social reform: Social reform work was emphasized by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, as well as he was in favor of democratic ideals and freedom of expression.
    • He was against religious intolerance, ignorance and irrationality. He condemned practices such as pardapratha, multi-marriage and triple talaq.
    • Through his magazine Tehzeeb Akhlaq (Social Reformer in English) he tried to awaken people on social and religious issues in a very emotional / poignant manner.

Critics of the independence movement:

  • In later years, Sir Syed encouraged Indian Muslims not to join the national movement. 
  • Thus he promoted the ideology of communalism and separatism at one level.

Aligarh Movement

  • It was a systematic movement whose basic objective was to improve the social, political and educational aspects of the Muslim community.
  • This movement was started to convert Muslim education into modern education through English learning and Western education, instead of focusing only on traditional teachings.
  • By Sir Syed year 1864 to be translated into the languages of Western actions in Aligarh, Muslims continue to develop scientific attitude between the adoption of Western education and Muslims Scientific Society went founded (Scientific Society).
    • The Aligarh Institute Gazette was a part of the Scientific Society, a magazine published by Sir Syed.
  • In the year 1877, Muhammadan Anglo Oriental College was established by him on the lines of Oxford and Cambridge Universities which later developed into Aligarh Muslim University.
  • The Aligarh movement worked for the revival of Muslims, as well as a common language (Urdu) was given to the Muslim society by this movement.


When did Sir Syed get the title Sir?

1867 Sir Syed Ahmed was entitled with the title of Sir in 1867 on the 1st of April.

Is Syed a high caste?

The Sayyad, also spelled Syed or Saiyed, are a large Muslim landowning rural community. The Sayyad are an influential community that is at the top of the Indian Muslim social hierarchy and as such they can be compared with the Brahmin, the highest Hindu priestly caste.

Source: The Hindu


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