Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Syama Prasad Mookerjee was an underrated academician: Dr Jitendra
JammuExpress. Dated: 10/18/2021 2:07:58 PM

NEW DELHI,Oct 17: Introducing a new narrative to the profile of Bharatiya Jan Sangh founder, Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee, Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh said today that Mookerjee was an under-rated academician and while the history failed to do justice to him by not adequately acknowledging his self-effacing contribution in public life, a greater injustice was meted out to him by not adequately acknowledging his sterling role as an academician which was recognised even by the British rulers.
Delivering an Academic Lecture on the subject “Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee and his contribution to Higher Education”, Dr Jitendra Singh described Syama Prasad Mookerjee as a ‘prodigal child’ who grew up into a ‘versatile genius’, which enabled him to achieve so much in life in a short span of just 52 or 53 years of age. At a time when there were very few Universities in India, which were mostly controlled by the British and dominated by the British faculty, he said, Syama Prasad Mookerjee rose to become the Vice-Chancellor of Calcutta University at the age of 34 and in spite of his multifarious activities, Mookerjee delivered as many as over 22 Convocation addresses in different Universities of India and some of the thoughts expressed in his convocation addresses are timeless quotable quotes with a universal relevance.
Describing Mookerjee as an emancipated thinker, Dr Jitendra Singh quoted from his Calcutta convocation address on March 2, 1935, where he had said “Surrender not the convictions you hold dear, but learn to appreciate the points of views of your opponents”.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, Mookerjee’s political vision was also guided by sound academic logic and as an evidence, he quoted from his Nagpur University Convocation address of 1936, wherein he said, “India fell mainly because her people were at the critical hour divided and disorganized. We revelled in internal strife, which ceased for a time when great things like Asoka and Akbar ruled over destinies of India.”
Lashing out at some of the left-leaning intellectuals for dubbing Mookerjee as a “Hindu protagonist”, Dr Jitendra Singh quoted from his Agra University Convocation address of November 23, 1940 to explain what Hinduism meant to Mookerjee in the context of India when he had said, “I would ask you to fulfill in abundant measure your obligation for the revival of the glory of Hindu culture and civilization, not from a narrow bigoted point of view, but for strengthening the very root of nationalism in this country.”
Describing Mookerjee as a perfect blend of conviction and courage of conviction, Dr Jitendra Singh recalled that Mookerjee resigned from the post of Vice-Chancellor when he got involved in agitation against the British Government and resigned from the Union Cabinet because of his ideological differences with the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
Even in his political thoughts, Dr Jitendra Singh said, Mookerjee was inspired by a deep sense of academics that reflected in the slogan “Ek Nishan, Ek Vidhan, Ek Pradhan”, which he gave before making the ultimate sacrifice of his life for the integration of Jammu and Kashmir. Even today, he said, these six words’ acronym sums up the entire 75 years’ history of post-independence Jammu & Kashmir.


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