Prof Mohammed Amin

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Prof Mohammed Amin

Naved Masood*

Prof Mohammed Amin former Vice Chancellor Jamia Hamdard and for long Vice Principal of St Stephens' College passed away last evening at Sir Gngaram Hospital.

After obtaining his M.A in History from AMU in 1948 he was asked to join St Stephens' College as Lecturer in History in his alma mater from where he had obtained B.A degree in 1946. He remained with the College till 1991 when he took over as the second Vice Chancellor of Jamia Hamdard. He had a PhD from some American University but his forte was teaching and not research - and a great teacher he was. Possibly, he was amongst the last in the vanishing breed of academics who were legends not for their contribution to creation of new knowledge but mainly for imparting knowledge to others who managed to create much knowledge. In this he was in the company of stalwart teachers like Sushobhan Sarkar and Bhabhatosh Datta (Presidency College Calcutta) Amarnath Jha and P.E Dastur (Allahabad University) Babar Mirza and Hadi Hasan (AMU).

Though generations of Indian bureaucrats, politicians and intellectuals coming out of St Stephens were the main beneficiaries of his pedagogy, people like me who had occasion to see him in action as teacher for a very brief while (when he was a Guest Lecturer in the National Academy of Administration at Mussoorie in 1977 for three days) wished that they had studied under him for longer spell.

In real life he was an affable man, ever willing to listen and to share what he knew. A great raconteur, he was full of anecdotes with a knack of find middle ground in contentitiuos situations. His students adored him - it was that adoration which got him a Padma Bhushan in 2012. If he had neglected research, this was more than made good by his illustrious son, Prof Shahid Amin of Delhi University - one of the most eminent name in Modern Indian History and a rare Rhodes Scholar who chose to be an academic in India. His daughter Ghazala, besides being a teacher at Jesus and Mary College is a noted tv and stage personality.

It is a pity that Aligarh did not try to draw on the immense talents of this teacher. Possibly this was on account of his lack of interest in research; one does hope that this was not envy for someone who was extraordinarily gifted in handling classes of bright young students desirous of gaining knowledge. It is not too late to mourn the passing away of a venerable Alig who should be a role model for those who wish to excel as teachers.

*Mr. Naved Masood is an AMU Alum and a senior Civil Servant in Govt. of India and he is based in New Delhi. He can be reached at

Re: Prof. M. Amin

As always a pleasure to read our respected senior Mr. Naved Masood to know more and more about Indian Muslims and specially about Aligarians.
Thanks Naved Bhai.

I never heard the name of Prof. Mohammad Amin Sahab due to my ignorance. This is for the first time I heard his name and when I searched the name on Google found many links of the news of his death and that also in the mainstream newspapers. People like Mr. S.M.Y. Quraishi (Former Chief election Commissioner of India) and Ms. Barkha Dutt tweeted about his death and many others mourn the great loss. Indeed a great loss. He was indeed among the last people of his kind who were known by his students after many many years which shows his teaching abilities and communication skills.

While searching on internet, I found his interview on voices of India's partition taken by Ms. Amber Abbas, a research scholar at UT Austin Texas (US), who traveled all the way to India, Pakistan and Bangladesh to interview people to know the trends during the partition.

Ms. Amber Abbas did her Ph.D. with Prof. Gail Minault at UT Austin Texas. She interviewed few others at Aligarh which includes Prof. Masoodul Hasan Sahab, Prof. Irfan Habib Sahab and Mr. S.M. Mehdi Sahab.

We all pray to Allah to shower his mercy on departed one and grant him highest place in Jannah and give patience to the family for their irreplaceable loss. (Aameen)

Afzal Usmani
Thousand Oaks, CA

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