Allahabad : A University Town of the ‘Oxford of East’
In course of my autobiography correction from Dr.Jaykant Mishra, I had been at Allahabad for good many days at the MLN Medical College and have visited Prayagraj many times before and after crossed by railway innumerable times.
The city is civilized not only in civil lines bit all over having wide roads and old buildings and it has a fading look of an Oriental city. True to Maithili legacy there is Dr.Amarnath Jha Road and hostels named on father and son Sir Ganga Nath Jha and Amarnath Jha. Both remained vice-chancellors for about a decade each but not the son had taken direct charge from father as per popular belief but after one person’s(Iqbal Narayan guru probably) interim period of one and half years.
A.U.’s official site says,
“Founded on 23rd September in 1887, the University concerned itself mainly with examinations having no teaching staff (except that of its School of Law) until 1914. Thereafter it established chairs and readerships, etc. for research work in Economics and Modern History for graduate students. In 1904 the university, along with all other existing universities of India, was brought under the fold of Indian Universities Act. In 1921 an act was passed for the re-organization of the University as a unitary teaching and residential institution, with control, however, over the quality and character of the teaching in constituent colleges. The Muir Central College, established in 1872, became the nucleus of a teaching university. In 1955, by a further amendment of the University act, three categories of colleges came into existence: university colleges (which are residential colleges for students of the University or recognized by the University in which tutorial and supplementary instruction is provided); associated colleges (which are also residential but provide full degree courses as distinct from tutorial instruction); and constituent colleges (which are also residential and provide full degree courses but are maintained by the state government). Teachers in all three categories of colleges are appointed by the college management. The University is located in Allahabad which is situated at the confluence of rivers Ganga and Jamuna, 350 miles south-east of Delhi. The University's jurisdiction is within 16 km radius of the Convocation Ground in the Senate Campus. The Parliament passed a bill and the university earned back its Central Status wef 14th July,2005.”
A.U. was called ‘Oxford of the East’ and contribution of Jhas have been unique.
In 2009, I found the city not so progressive in line with many other cities in Eastern India. Yet, I admired the chowks had big statues of Maharana Prata, Swami Vivekananda and Netaji Subhasg Chandra Bose..I also crossed through Anand Bhavan but did not ask my rikshaw to stop not because I did not not like Nehru dynasty but because I had not much time before I meet Dr. Jaykant Mishra but I feel I should have stopped for a few minutes there.
I saw hostels named after Tara Chand, the great historian and Sir PC Banerjee. We had lost road and took a bit more time to reach Dr. Jay Kant mishra’s house. While retuning I saw the hostels dilapidates, Holland Hostel as a memory of old days and many more things.
Every city is alike almost that it has streets of common use and so I saw university nearby streets full of book shops-old and new, also ABVP Choraha on ABVP’s name and then a street where carpenters were making several items notably Choki, maybe for students.
I had never an occasion to stay in A.U.’s hostels and I do not knpw muchj of its life’s inner pictures but surely the posters and wall writing shows that it is a house full of the scope of future leaders and the wikipedia mentions
• Prof. Harish Chandra, mathematician
• Motilal Nehru
• Govind Ballabh Pant
• Mahadevi Varma, poet and writer
• Gulzari Lal Nanda, former Prime Minister of India
• Murli Manohar Joshi, B.J.P leader and former Minister for Human Resource & Ocean development
• Vibhuti Narain Rai, writer, IPS officer and presently Vice Chancellor of Wardha-based Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishwavidyalaya
• Harivansh Rai Bachchan, poet
• Krishna Prakash Bahadur, author
• Acharya Narendra Dev
• Mohammad Hidayatullah, former Chief Justice, Supreme Court of India
• Gopal Swarup Pathak, former Vice President of India
• Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma, former President of India
• Chandra Shekhar, former Prime Minister of India
• Satyendra Narayan Sinha, former Chief Minister of Bihar
• Prof. Ram Chandra Shukla, painter
• Surya Bahadur Thapa
• Kamal Narain Singh, former Chief Justice of India
• Nikhil Kumar, former IPS, Member of Parliament India
• Prof. Daulat Singh Kothari, physicist
• Udit Raj, social activist
• Bhagwati Charan Verma (1903-1981), Hindi writer
• Pankaj Mishra, author
• Krishna Kumar Sharma, Quit India Movement activist, poet and literary figure
• Vishwanath Pratap Singh, 10th Prime Minister of India
• Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
• Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna, former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh
• Ravindra Khattree, statistician, academic, author
• Dharamvir Bharati, writer
• And teachers of eminence Prof. G. R. Sharma
• Sir Ganganath Jha
• Dr R.D.Ranade
• Megh Nad Saha
• Amiya Charan Banerjee
To which I have added Dr. Amar Nath Jha (Teacher who became Vice chancellor) Prof. Rajendra Singh (Prof. of Physics later Chief of the RSS).
Surely Dr. Jay Kant mishra’s contribution to Maithili literature will bring his name one day one the fore of AU.