Who Founded L.S College, Muzaffarpur?
Dr.Md SajjadLecturer, Centre of Advanced Study.Deptt. Of History, AMU, Aligarh
The district gazetteer of Muzaffarpur, written by LSS'O'Mally, informs (rather reveals) to us that the college at Muzaffarpur, now named after Langat Singh, was founded by the Bihar Scientific Society, Muzaffarpur.The Bhumihar Brahman Sabha (founded by the Raja of Banaras, at Patna, in 1889)had its annual conference at Muzaffarpur in 1899, where it was decided to open a college for higher education.Therefore, the Sabha deposited an amount of Rs.50 thousand to the Trust of the Bihar Scientific Society, Muzaffarpur.(p.134).This amount was provided by the Jaintpur Zamindar, Mahanth Raghunath Das, which was deposited at the Syndicate/Senate of the Calcutta University, to obtain permission/recognition/affiliation for the college. In July 1899, this college was founded and got the status of a "Second Grade College"(Pre-Graduate). In the subsequent year ie in 1900 A.D; it got the status of "First Grade" college i.e, Degree college.WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE BIHAR SCIENTIFIC SOCIETY, MUZAFFARPUR?On 24th May 1868, the Society was set up in Muzaffarpur by the then Sadar Amin(subordinate Judge) of Muzaffarpur, Syed Imdad Ali, who was the founding Secretary as well.The President of the Society was Nawab Syed Mohd. Taqi, the Raja of Jogiara(Darbhanga), who was the founder of Zilla School, Muzaffarpur in 1845.The Life Honorary Secretary of the Society was the founder of the college at Aligarh, Syed Ahmad Khan(1817-98).Most of the details of the activities and achievements of the Society are provided by a French Professor, named Garcien de Tussey, who had visited India during the period and has published all these details in his annual lectures delivered in a French University. He was a great admirer of the Indian literature and culture.The Society had its fortnightly newspaper in Urdu called, Akhbar ul Akhyar, edited by Ajodhya Prasad, who was not only a scholar of Persian but also an author of a book,"Gulzar-e-Maaroof, Ba Yaaz-e-Tirhut".Garcien de Tussey was the subscriber of the newspaper. Another famous Urdu writer and a freedom fighter, Qazi Abdul Wadood, had read some 31 issues of the newspaper, in 1960, at Patna. THE OBJECTIVES OF THE SOCIETY:To set up schools and colleges and make available Urdu translations of the books of the modern European sciences, history and philosophy.Syed Imdad Ali expressed that, to have an access to the modern sciences of Europe, it is necessary to make available those books in vernaculars, ie, in Hindustani(Urdu/Hindi).This is what he explained in a letter to SW Fallon, the Inspector of Schools, Danapur, Patna. He further explained that European nations had made progress only because after, 1453 AD, they could get knowledge stored in Latin and Greek languages from Rome, translated into their own mother tongues. This movement came to be known in History as Renaissance.With the efforts of syed Imdad Ali and many others, on 31 July 1870,the Govt. of India and the Calcutta University on 12th May 1871 agreed to conduct Middle class examinations in the Indian vernaculars.By that time, the Society had established about 5 schools in and around the 'city' of Muzaffarpur.The Narhan Zamindar, Parmeshwari Pd. Narain Singh donated Rs. 5 thousand and the Jaintpur Zamindar, Mahanth Raja Ram Das donated Rs 2 thousand to the Society to set up schools in their respective villages. Hardi and other zamindars(Estates) also established schools in their villages.In a letter written to the Vice chancellor of the Calcutta University, Syed Imdad Ali demanded to establish a college for the pass-outs of the Zilla Schools. According to Garcien de Tussey, On 7th November 1871, the Society laid the foundation stone of "the Muzaffarpur Central College, in the centre of the city, amidst mango orchards. on the day right since the early morning, thousands of people gathered there. The Lt. Governor, G.Campbell, laid the foundation of the building. Syed Imdad Ali delivered a stirring speech in Hindustani whereas MrCampbell and Mr Fallon addressed in English. Campbell, however did emphasise that in order to pursue higher education, the Indians will have to learn English....".The Society of Syed Imdad Ali also established a department of translation (a Team of translators was paid Rs. 300 a month in total).Trigonometry, Materia Medica, Optics, Physiology, Algebra, Mechanics, Philosophy, History, Agricultural Sciences, Masonry etc were the subjects being translated. Syed Imdad Ali sent Rs 1000 to Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, during his stay in London, requesting him to hire a team of the scholars of the Oxford, Cambridge to prepare syllabi and recommended books to be sent to the Library of the Muzaffarpur's Scientific Society. Qazi Abdul Wadood informs us that the books were sent to Muzaffarpur (for details, see his essay, "Akhbar ul Akhyar, Muzaffarpur aur Sir Syed" published in the 'Fikr o Nazar', Aligarh, July 1960). Garcien de Tussey also authenticates about the library having brought over 200 books from abroad.The Society published several translations in collaboration with the Scientific Society of Aligarh. In 1869, the Society also established,"Anjuman-e-Tehzeeb", to conduct seminars, conferences, researches, debates and social welfare efforts like setting up an orphanage.In 1872, Syed Imdad Ali was transferred to Gaya where he established a branch of the Society and also a school.In August 1886, Syed Imdad Ali died of a paralytic stroke.(For details, see BK Sinha's essay on Syed Imdad Ali, published in the journal of Historical Research, Ranchi, vol. 13, 1970)THE BIGGEST IRONY:The extremely sad irony is that while we do remember the Bhumihar Brahman Sabha and its members like Langat Singh, Ganesh Dutt Singh etc who did a lot for the educational uplift of their caste fellows, we forget the more significantly progressive, socially all inclusive contributions of the Bihar Scientific Society and its moving spirits like Syed Imdad Ali, Syed Mohd. Taqi etc. The LS College got several names at different times. In 1899, it was called Bhumihar Brahman College, in 1915, Greer BB College and in 1951, LS college. In 1920, it constructed two hostels, one named after Duke and another after Langat Singh but the Bihar Scientific Society and its founding Secretary, Syed Imdad Ali and the founding President, Mohd Taqi remains inexplicably un-acknowledged in the entire politics of the nomenclature of the college.Does it not amount to historical injustice ? Will this injustice be undone ? If yes, how and when?
Although I was a student of L.S. College during the years 1997-2001, I never knew that L.S. College had come up as a consequence of such a commendable social reform that took place in the 19th century. And I fully condemn the political system that has been so partial in hiding the contributions of Bihar Scientific Society (in particular the contributions of Sir Syed Imad Ali and others who were the pioneers of the movement). Atleast, for the knowledge of the students (and even general people), the history of the college should be made available at the college premises as is done at some museums and historical monuments. I would personally like thank Dr. Md Sajjad for bringing live these (almost dead) facts to our knowledge.
Ved Prakash Guptaacharyan@gmail.com
This is in response to Sajjad's essay on LS College.It is indeed quite ironical that the contribution of the Bihar Scientific Society remains not only un-acknowledged but the irony is even greater because this does not exist in the popular memory of the people of Muzaffarpur and Bihar.here I would like to quote what Sajjad himself told me. He says :"As a student of history it does intrigue me as to if the college was founded by 2 societies,viz. Bihar Scientific Society and Bhumihar Brahman Sabha, why and how did the contribution of the one(only one)of them got erased from the public memory?The question assumes all the greater importance because the Scientific Society had initiated and sustained a kind of significant movement for modern education in the district/province.Socially it did not remain parochial, despite the fact that the 19th century was witness to communitarian and caste particularism in terms of the movements for social reform and educational pursuits.Even the much celebrated movement of Ram Mohan Roy was no exception to this kind of particularism. I think we must probe into these. One must also explore as to what happened to the College established on 7th November 1871, the one which has been called by Garcien de Tussey as the Muzaffarpur Central College? (few people of the town/city told me that the college is present day's BB Collegiate School, I could not check it).This was four years before Sir Syed could establish his MAO College in Aligarh in 1875.(Here too the Lt. Governor of UP had come to lay the foundation stone). Not only this, Sir Syed's Scientific Society did not have its schools in rural areas.Moreover,compared to the Society of Muzaffarpur, the Society of Aligarh had far less participation of Hindus.The schools established under the auspices of the Bihar Scientific Society had earned admirations for their good standards from many quarters.I have gone through those documents.I could not fin such things about the Aligarh's College. (In fact Garcien de Tussey was extremely surprised that Hindu and Muslim students studied together in great harmony unlike Ireland and France, where Catholics and Protestants could not do so).Such details about the, now forgotten, Society are bound to provoke the students of History.One must find out the reasons for the non- acknowledgement of its unprecedented contribution.I hope , concerned/interested people will suggest some probable reasons for this collective amnesia of the people of Muzaffarpur in particular, and of Bihar in general.Can't I make a conjecture that ever since the foundation of the College in 1899,many ceremonies/functions/events would have been hosted/venued by the College,in which the Bihar Scientific Society was not mentioned(for whatever reasons)and gradually its contributions could not be engraved in the people's(who matterd)memory?"YoursZafar Khangetzafarkhan@yahoo.com
It was really a great news to know about Syed Imdad Ali's movement for modern education, an extension of the Aligarh Movement and socially far more inclusive than the Aligarh Movement.Imdad's movement had spread even to the rural areas and Hindu Muslim co operation was commendably high in the days when communalism was emerging (due to Cow and Hindi-Urdu controversies) or 'being constructed' to use Gyan Pandey's expression.The greatest tribute to Imdad Ali would be to name the Library (of the LS College/ or of the BRA Bihar Univ.) after him(i.e Imdad Ali).Hope, the popular platform of this website(bihartimes.com) will raise this absolutely justified demand and will clique success.Tabir Kalam
It was quite encouraging to know that Muzaffarpur, Bihar had witnessed such a powerful movement for modern education in the 19th century.Simultaneously, It was rather disappointing to learn that we have forgotten the proud legacy.May I propose before the people and the government of Bihar including the authorities of the College/University that the library of the LS College or of the BRA Bihar University should be named after Syed Imdad Ali(d.August 1886).A stone should also be erected containing text on the contributions and life sketch of the founder of the BIhar Scientific Society.I hope Dr. Sajjad will provide the necessary informations about the life of Syed Imdad Ali.