PROF Dr Moinuddin Aqeel speaks at the reference.—White Star
PROF Dr Moinuddin Aqeel speaks at the reference.—White Star

KARACHI: Speakers at a condolence meeting held in the arts auditorium of Karachi University on Thursday remembered the great literary and academic services of Prof Dr Jameel Jalibi, and described his Tareekh-i-Adab-i-Urdu (the history of Urdu literature) as a supreme scholarly work.

“Prof Jameel Jalibi, a former vice chancellor of the KU, was an era of Urdu literature that came to an end on April 18, 2019 when the prominent scholar died after a protracted illness. The completion of the fifth volume of the book is greatly needed. The donation of more than 100,000 books to the largest university of the metropolitan city was a generous act of Prof Jalibi and his family,” they said.

KU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Ajmal Khan, and former VCs Prof Dr Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui and Prof Dr Muhammad Qaiser, Prof Dr Moinuddin Aqeel, head of the Urdu department; Dr Muhammad Khawar Jamil, son of Prof Jalibi; Dr Shair Muhammad Mirani of the department of Sindhi, Pervez Iqbal, former Olympian, and many others spoke at the event. Prof Dr Shakil Farooqui conducted the meeting.

Prof Ajmal Khan, in his brief speech, stressed the need to record the history of the university’s vice chancellors for playing a great role in progress of academia and capacity-building of the country’s scholars.

KU plans library to be named after Dr Jalibi

Paying homage to the deceased, he said that an era of literature ended with his demise. Prof Khan condoled with the bereaved family over Jamil Jalibi’s death.

Renowned literary and social figure Prof Pirzada Qasim stated that the gathering was held as a condolence meeting but it turned into a seminar.

He said Prof Jalibi was famous not only for his intellectual capacity, but also for his administrative acumen. Every institution where he played a role as an administrator spoke volumes of his administrative expertise and wisdom, he said, adding that although the university was passing through a hard time, Prof Jalibi used his managerial acumen to drive the “mother of learning” out of the academic, administrative and political disorder.

Talking about Prof Jalibi’s strong association with books, Prof Qasim said that Jamil Jalibi was the only vice chancellor who greatly focused on the development of the university’s library, and allocated generous funds for its growth and expansion. The library was the main area of his academic and intellectual attention, he said.

Dr Jameel Jalibi library planned

Prof Muhammad Qaiser said that the KU was setting up a separate library to be named after Dr Jalibi. This is really a generous step taken by the deceased’s family to provide funds for the establishment of the library in which more than 100,000 books, gifted by Prof Jalibi, would be stored, he said.

A memorandum of understanding has already been signed between KU and the family of the late scholar for the establishment of the library.

Prof Qaiser said that the late vice chancellor should not only be graded as a premium scholar, writer and researcher, but as a great human being also.

Prof Moinuddin Aqeel, highlighting the great research works of the late scholar, said that the four-volume history of Urdu literature was simply a great achievement of Prof Jalibi. He maintained that the volumes covered the 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. He regretted that the fifth volume could not be published. Not a single history of Urdu literature, written by many scholars, including Dr Baburam Saxena, could match Tareekh-i-Adab-i-Urdu.

Dr Muhammad Khawar Jamil said that he had written some lines to express his feelings at the meeting. “This meeting has, however, made me so sad that I’m unable to utter even a few words here,” he remarked. He urged the participants to just pray for his late father.

“As a student leader I was the first person whose statement against the appointment of Prof Jalibi as an external vice chancellor appeared in the press,” Prof Shakil Farooqui told the participants. But soon, the great professor won the hearts of students, teachers and staff by his administrative intelligence and expertise that made him successful even in the worst time of the university, he said. It was the time that made us realise the importance of austerity, he said, adding that Prof Jalibi did not bow his head to the worst circumstances. He showed his extreme patience and took the varsity out of the turmoil of that time.

Published in Dawn, May 3rd, 2019