IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


12th November, 2022 Culture

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Context:  Every year, 11th November is celebrated as National education day, which commemorates the birth anniversary of independent India’s first education minister, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.



  • Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, originally named Muhiyuddin Ahmad, was born on 11th November 1888 in Mecca, Saudi-Arabia.
  • He donned many hats of being a journalist, freedom fighter, politician, and educationist.
  • He was a proponent of Hindu Muslim unity, opposed to Partition.
  • In 1912, he started a weekly journal in Urdu called Al-Hilal which played an important role in forging Hindu-Muslim unity after the bad blood created between the two communities in the aftermath of Morley-Minto reforms (1909).
  • The government regarded Al- Hilal as a propagator of secessionist views and banned it in 1914.
  • Maulana Abul Kalam Azad then started another weekly called Al-Balagh with the same mission of propagating Indian nationalism and revolutionary ideas based on Hindu-Muslim unity. In 1916, the government banned this paper too and expelled Maulana Abul Kalam Azad from Calcutta and exiled him to Bihar from where he was released after the First World War 1920.
  • Azad supported the Non-Cooperation Movement (1920-22) started by Gandhiji and entered the Indian National Congress in 1920.
  • In 1923, he was elected as the president of Indian National Congress. At an age of 35, he became the youngest person to serve as the President of the Indian National Congress.
  • Maulana Azad was arrested in 1930 for violation of the salt laws as part of Gandhiji’s Salt Satyagraha. He was put in Meerut jail for a year and a half. He again became the president of Congress in 1940 and remained in the post till 1946.
  • He was one of the founding members of the Jamia Milia Islamia University, originally established at Aligarh in the United Provinces in 1920.
  • His Works: Basic Concept of Quran, Ghubar-eKhatir, Dars-e-Wafa, India Wins Freedom, etc.
  • Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was posthumously awarded India's highest civilian honour, Bharat Ratna in 1992.