Abdul Qaiyum Ansari
Secretary, Anjuman Taraqqui-e- Urdu Bihar
The Anjuman Taraqqui-e- Urdu Bihar has enjoyed a glorious history as a premier nationalist organization and literary institution. It has never had any political affiliation and has tried to build bridges between Urdu and Hindi which fizzled out when the Urdu-Hindi controversy erupted in the 19 the century. The Anjuman owes its origin to the All India Muslim Educational Conference, setup in 1886 by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan. The basic objective of the Conference was said to have been not merely to encourage Indian Muslims to adopt modern education but also to keep themselves away from all kind of political activity. To achieve the former, schools and colleges along the lines of the Mohammedan Oriental College (which graduated into Aligarh Muslim University in 1920) were to be established. The Conference had three sections: Women’s Education, Educational Census and Schools. The Shoba-e Taraqqui-e Urdu was a subsidiary organization of the All India Muslim Educational Conference. In a conference held in 1903, the Shoba-e Taraqqui-e Urdu was rechristened as Anjuman Taraqqui Urdu and noted writer and orientalist Allama Shibli Nomani became its Secretary while Maulana Abul Kalam Azad became Assistant Secretary. Shibli had parted ways with the Aligarh movement due to serious differences with Sir Syed, whereas his affection for and reliance on Maulana Abul Kalam Azad were firm. The historic association between the two visionaries took place around the same time as when Anjuman asserted its independent identity. Maulana Azad, who had started his political career at the exceptionally early age of 13.