The time capsule was buried 30 feet deep in the park opposite Victoria Gate during Republic Day celebrations to mark the university’s eventful centenary year on Tuesday. (HT Photo)
The time capsule was buried 30 feet deep in the park opposite Victoria Gate during Republic Day celebrations to mark the university’s eventful centenary year on Tuesday. (HT Photo)

On Republic Day, time capsule buried to mark 100 years of AMU

A committee has been constituted to sort out the modalities for excavating a capsule buried on January 8, 1877 by Lord Lytton (the then Viceroy and Governor General of India)
UPDATED ON JAN 26, 2021 04:36 PM IST

A 1.5 tonne time capsule encapsulating the history of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) history spanning over a century was buried 30 feet deep in the park opposite Victoria Gate during Republic Day celebrations to mark the university’s eventful centenary year on Tuesday.

The historic cache of information built with high tempered steel for communication with future generations contains a copy of Sir Syed Album (by Khaliq Ahmad Nizami); essays and speeches related to the Mohammadan Anglo-Oriental College, Aligarh from 1875 to 1919 (compiled by Nawab Mohsin ul Mulk); History of MAO College, Aligarh (by Theodore Morrison); The Life and Work of Syed Ahmad Khan (by GFI Graham); Glimpses of Muslim Education in India, Vol. 1 and 2 (By Prof Shan Mohammad); The Aligarh Muslim University ACT XL of 1920 and Statutes of the University; Syed Ahmad Khan (by Prof KA Nizami); Jahan-e-Syed (by Prof Mohammad Asim Siddiqui and Dr Rahat Abrar); Hayat-e-Jawed (by Altaf Husain Hali-Urdu); Hayat-e-Jawed (translated by Prof Rafi Ahmad Alavi in English; Hayat-e-Jawed (translated by Dr Rajeev Lochan Naath Shukl in Hindi); History of MAO College, Aligarh (by SK Bhatnagar); Convocation Address by Dr APJ Abdul Kalam; Convocations at a Glance (1922-2018); Mohammadan Anglo-Oriental College Calendar (1911-1912); Aligarh Muslim University Calendar (1932); AMU Diary 2020; a single colour print out of Aligarh Muslim University Campus’ satellite image captured by Cartosat-2 on 28 October, 2018; list of chancellors and vice-chancellors of AMU; chronological history of AMU by Dr Rahat Abrar (1920-2020); postal stamp and speech of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the centenary celebrations on December 22, 2020.

Also Read: On Republic Day, AMU to bury time capsule: Here’s what you need to know

“This time capsule is for the benefit of future generations and includes the salient features of the glorious history of AMU,” said AMU vice-chancellor Professor Tariq Mansoor, while presiding over the online function.

He added that the most modern methods of preservation have been used.

Mansoor pointed out that the line of demarcation between prehistoric and historical times is crossed when people cease to live only in the present, and become consciously interested both in their past and future.

“History begins with the handing down of tradition; and tradition means the carrying of the habits and lessons of the past into the future,” said the vice-chancellor, emphasising the need of keeping the records of the past for the future.

Quoting George Santayana, the vice-chancellor said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Meanwhile, he also said that a committee has been constituted to sort out the modalities for excavating a capsule buried on January 8, 1877 by Lord Lytton (the then Viceroy and Governor General of India) during the foundation stone ceremony of the MAO College.

He also spoke on the works of 5th Century BC historians, Herodotus and Thucydides, who helped form the foundations for the modern study of human history and the meticulous methods of Egyptians for preserving history.

The vice-chancellor extended thanks to the time capsule committee members, AMU registrar, Abdul Hamid (IPS), Prof Mirza Faisal S Baig (chairman, Department of Mechanical Engineering), Prof MK Pundhir (Department of History), Dr Rahat Abrar (former director, Urdu Academy), Rajiv Kumar Sharma (university engineer), Dr Mohd Shahid (deputy director, Sir Syed Academy), Prof Ishrat Alam (chairman, Department of History), Dr Mohammad Yusuf (university librarian), Dr Mohammad Nadeem (Department of Computer Science), Dr Mohd Irfan (Department of Museology), Dr Rizwan Ahmad (Department of Remote Sensing and GIS Applications), Dr Parvez Mehmood (director, Computer Centre) and Mr Phool Chand Gond (IIT Kanpur).

AMU registrar Abdul Hamid conducted the programme and highlighted the work of the time capsule committee.

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