“Madrasas have to take right decisions to keep up with the current times.”

PROFESSOR Waseem Akhtar is the Vice Chancellor of Integral University in Lucknow, UP. In an exclusive interview with Muslims Today, Prof. Akhtar speaks at length on how education can transform minorities.

MT: Please tell us about your journey so far.

Prof. Waseem Akhtar
Prof. Waseem Akhtar

WA: I remember as a child often diving into my world of dreams. Sometime I swam, sometime I drowned and at times even flew. In real life too wherever I worked, be it in India or the Middle East, I always strived for innovation. By the grace of God my efforts were appreciated.

Years back while working as a Principal in a school I wanted to bring about some major changes, but couldn’t, because of certain limitations. The thought stayed with me and I bought a 25000 sq mt of land to build a school of my own vision. We started in a hut with four students and two teachers, including me. Dreams started shaping up fast, first came the high school, and then followed a polytechnic, an engineering college, a pharmacy college, a management college and other professional offerings. Continue reading ““Madrasas have to take right decisions to keep up with the current times.””

A new book explores Lucknow

Book launch of Fida-e-Lucknow
Book launch of Fida-e-Lucknow

NEW DELHI. The Vice President of India Hamid Ansari recently released a book entitled “Fida-e-Lucknow – Tales of the city and its people” authored by Parveen Talha, former Member UPSC. Addressing on the occasion, he also said that many renowned authors and poets have written about Lucknow and its culture earlier. There is something special in the roots of Lucknow that a cultural civilization grew there.

The book, a collection of 22 short stories, is peeped in the flavours and textures of life in Lucknow. Woven through these stories is the history of its Ganga-Jamuni culture and the changes which came over the city and its people in the post-Independence period. It is also the story of Lucknow’s women.

Life of a Painter

[youtube=http://youtu.be/S1CTUDpC-s8]DOCUMENTARY ‘Road Map of Yasin‘, produced by Aseem Asha Foundation, is based on 85 years old veteran artist Mohammed Yasin.

Yasin’s most important contribution goes to the art of calligraphy. He chose to work in an abstract symbolic manner. Geometrical elements – the circle within the square, concentric circles, comprise the basic structure emphasising a symmetrical arrangement and abstract formal values, calm and quiet they are nevertheless active fields. They seem to be deeply influenced by Buddhist art. They generate impulses of colour and focus attention on the images- the symbolic images- they contain.

His early works have explored all available mediums from lithography, etching, aquatint, engraving, dry point, serigraphy, mezzotint water colors, oils, gouache and egg tempora. His works are very poetic and also dramatic.

Tantric symbolism, Sufi mysticism, echoes of the miniature schools, shades of thankas and pictorialised Arabic calligraphy – all these inspirations could be identified in Yasin’s work.