Jamia Millia Islamia University in South Asia

Jamia Millia Islamia University form an important part of the history of Independent India. Jamia Millia Islamias is an Indian Central University located in Delhi. It was established at Aligarh, in United Provinces. Jamia means ‘University’, and Millia means ‘National’. Under the British rule, anti-colonial activism joined with a politically radical section of western educated Indian Muslim intelligentsia, to founded Jamia. They wanted to project Indian Muslims as nationalist and anti British.

In 1920 the political climate, the two trends gravitated together with Mahatma Gandhi as a catalyst. Responding to Gandhi’s call to boycott all english educational institutions, a group of nationalist teachers and students quit Aligarh Muslim University, protesting against its pro-British inclinations. The foundation stone of Jamia Millia Islamia was put at Aligarh on Friday, October 29, 1920, during the meeting of the Foundation Committee of Jamia Millia Islamia.

The political crisis with the British made a difficult start to Jamia, and it seemed it would never survive the intense political struggle of the time. Jamia encouraged people across the country to fight for the freedom of India. The colonial British government imprisoned many of its teachers and students. As the crisis escalated in 1925, Jamia shifted from Aligarh to Karol Bagh, in New Delhi.

The times where difficult and financial problems stroked on Jamia. A group of young teacher took a pledge to serve Jamia for the next twenty years on a salary not more than Rs. 150. The group was named the “Life Members of Jamia”. By the time of independence, riots following partition shook the northern India and affected Jamia, but not its campus, which became a peaceful place within all the struggles.

After Indian Independence, Jamia continued to grow as an academic institution and became a point to visit for people who came to New Delhi. The good fame of Jamia as very innovative education movement spread and several dignitaries from foreign countries began visiting Jamia.

Jamia have survived a lot of obstacles and opposition, but today its the most important nationalist institutions in India.