The Missing Records of Visiting Lakhnavi Scholars in Germany

Arif Naqvi, Berlin, Germany

Many prominent Indian scholars have visited Germany, particularly Berlin in the early twenties and made academic contributions. They include personalities like Dr. Zakir Husain, former President of India, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia, Dr. G.S. Adhikari, Dr. Abdul Aleem, Virendra Chatopadhya, Lala Hardayal, P.T.Acharya, Mansoor Ahmad, Barkatullah, A.C. Bhattacharya, B.N. Das Gupta, Hiramba Lal Gupta, Abdul Jabbar Khairi, Abdul Safar, Mahender Pratap, Tara Chand, Mujeebur Rahman etc. even M.N. Rai was also here for some time.

It is a pity that many of them have been forgotten. While there is some record available about Dr. Zakir Husain and the library of the Indian Embassy in Berlin is named after him, the records about Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia and Dr. Abdul Aleem etc, who were also directly connected with the Humboldt University Berlin is not available today. Even Dr. K.M. Ashraf, who came here much later during G.D.R. time as a visiting Professor of history in the Humboldt University Berlin and died of heart attack at his residence In Berlin area Karlshorst in 1962 and was buried at the graveyard of socialist martyrs in Friedrichsfelde Berlin, has been forgotten.

This was deplored during a meeting of some scholars held in the presence of Dr. Ammar Rizvi on 2nd. June at the residence of Mr. Arif Naqvi, president of Urdu Anjuman, who has been Assistant Professor at the Humboldt University in the past. It was decided to contact some of the German scholars and institutions and collect maximum possible information about these personalities, particularly about their academic contributions in Berlin and also contributions for Urdu language and literature, what ever is available. It was also agreed to find out the material available about Allama Iqbal, Mirza Ghalib and Other Urdu writers and poets and their translations in Berlin.

A committee was formed on the occasion with Mr. Arif Naqvi President Urdu Anjuman (as Chairman), Mr. Anwar Zaheer, Dr. Sunil Sen Gupta, Mr. Uwe Feilbach and Mrs. Ishrat Moin Seema to collect maximum possible information and records in this connection.

Appreciating the decision Dr. Ammar Rizvi founder and Chairman of the proposed Maulana Azad Rural University Sitapur, India, assure maximum possible support. He also deplored that the great academic contributions of prominent Scholars such as Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia and Dr. Aleem, who were directly connected to the Humboldt University Berlin have been forgotten here today and the records are not available.

Dr. Ammar Rizvi visited Berlin at the invitation of the President of Urdu Anjuman Berlin Mr. Arif Naqvi to attend as a Chief Guest of the Centenary Celebration of Ismat Chughtai and Rajinder Singh Bedi on 31st. May 2015. During his stay in Berlin he was also received by the Indian Ambassador Mr. Vijay Gokhale and had meetings with scholars and writers and also visited historical, cultural and academic places including the Humboldt University Berlin.

(Published in The Lucknow Observer, Volume 2 Issue 16, Dated 05 July 2015)

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