Condolences Pour In Over Legendary Educationist Agha Ashraf Ali’s Demise

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SRINAGAR: Various political parties, associations and leaders have expressed condolences on the passing away of legendary educationist, Agha Ashraf Ali,  who breathed his last at Rajbgah Srinagar on Saturday morning.

National Conference

In a statement, Jammu and Kashmir National Conference President, Member of Parliament from Srinagar Dr Farooq Abdullah and Vice President Omar Abdullah expressed profound grief and sorrow over the demise of Kashmir’s noted iconic educationist and one of the foremost intellectuals Agha Ashraf Ali.

Agha Ashraf Ali Is No More

“The light has gone out of our lives, Agha Sahib’s demise is a great loss for the entire society, such great souls are rarely born,” said  Party President while expressing grief over the demise of the great son of soil Aga Ashraf Ali. “One of the most distinguished scholars, who was endeared and revered by all. A renaissance figure of Kashmir, his philosophy of life was firmly grounded in the progressive philosophy of humanism and secularism.  A polymath, he authored many books and many lucky ones had the honor of having him as their teacher.  He was an institution in himself and guided generations. He was spotted by Sher-e-Kashmir when he had returned from abroad after completing studies there. He got appointed as Inspector of schools. Later he served in various key positions including Principal of teachers training college and other important positions. His contribution towards education, his life and works will continue to guide millions in the coming decades also. I pay my earnest homage to Aga Sahib, and pray to Almighty to grant him the highest stations in Jannah. I express my unison with the entire Aga family, scores of his admirers in their hour of grief. May the deceased have eternal repose in paradise,” he said.

A great educationist, an outstanding academician, Agha Sahib’s demise has created a great vacuum in the field of education, Party Vice President said while expressing grief over the demise of Aga Ashraf Ali.  “Widely remembered for his wit, inspiring lectures, his contribution to the field of education will be written in golden letters in the annals of history. I pay my earnest homage to him. I pray for peace to his soul and fortitude to the bereaved family of his in their hour of grief. I express my solidarity with the thousands of admirers, students of his in their hour of grief. I pray to Almighty to grant him the highest echelons in Jannah,” he said.

Party general secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar, provincial president Nasir Aslam Wani, Members of parliament Mohammad Akbar Lone, Hasnain Masoodi and party spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar have also expressed grief over the demise of Aga Sahib, and prayed for peace to his soul, strength to the bereaved family.

Peoples Democratic Party

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) also paid glowing tributes to Kashmir’s renowned educationist and scholar Agha Ashraf Ali on his sad demise.

In a condolence message, the party spokesman termed Aga Ashraf an institution in himself and is credited worldwide for enlightening and educating generations of students and teachers.  “Kashmir today lost one of its brightest stars. Agha Ashraf Ali was no ordinary scholar. May his soul rest in peace. Our condolences to the bereaved family,” PDP spokesman said a statement.

 Congress

Former union minister and senior Congress leader, Prof. Saifuddin Soz also condoled the demise of renowned educationist Dr Agha Ashraf Ali, saying his death will be mourned by a vast community of teachers and teacher-educators”.

His death is a great loss to the wider community of teachers and researchers in the J&K State, said Soz, in a statement.

“Prominent alumni of Jamia Millia Islamia, where he taught for many years and came closer to the life and teachings of Dr. Zakir Hussain Khan, he left for America where he enlightened his mind on Modern System of Education, particularly the American system of Teacher-Education.”

Soz said that he returned to Kashmir in early 60s to run the system of education, where he had already made a mark in the field of Teacher Education in the State.

“He became the Principal of Teachers College, Srinagar. There was then only one Teachers College in Kashmir and the alumni of that College became fore-runners of the system of Education in Kashmir,” Soz added.

He said that apart from other things, Aga Ashraf Ali inculcated among the teachers the habit of ‘reading of books’.

“A voracious reader, he was now reading a book titled ‘GOD’. I pay a thoughtful tribute to late members of ‘Sulfia Nishan’ (Agha Ashraf’s abode)- Agha Syed Hussain, Begum Zaffar Ali, Sufia Ashraf, Agha Shahid Ali and now Agha Ashraf Ali! When he grew old, he patronised an Elementary School at Maisuma Srinagar,” said Soz.

“Aga Ashraf Ali stood firmly for the fact that if any country wanted to reform education, the primary education should get the first attention. May God rest his soul in peace!,” said Prof Soz.

CPI(M)

While terming the death of Dr Agha Ashraf Ali as a great loss to the society, CPI (M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami Saturday said late Agha sahib was a progressive mind who always believed in pluralistic values.

The contributions of Agha sahib, one of the foremost intellectuals of Kashmir, are immense and his death is an irreparable loss to the society. He always believed in a composite pluralistic culture.

He tirelessly worked for the education of the people of Kashmir and was widely known as a public speaker. In his death, Kashmir has lost a compassionate man of great conviction.

While expressing solidarity with the bereaved family, he said that Agha sahib’s death has created a void which is very difficult to be filled.

Agha Shahid Ali Writers, PSAJK, CCK

Agha Shahid Ali Writers (ASAW), Private Schools’ Association of Jammu and Kashmir (PSAJK), Coaching Centres Association of Kashmir (CCK) have also expressed their deepest condolences on the death of educationist, scholar, thinker, orator, teacher Dr Agha Ashraf Ali.

A joint meeting of all the associations was held in which people expressed their condolences on his demise. Dr Agha Ashraf was also the chairman of ASAW.

G N Var who is also the General Secretary of the ASAW said that the demise of Dr Agha Ashraf Ali is a great loss to the society. “He was one of the rare personalities who knew what can be the solution to our seething problems. He was a revolutionary who wanted to ignite a revolution by advocating education. Every time he would suggest reading a book, enrich yourself and thus be ahead of others.”

The Coaching Centres Association also highlighted his role in giving new shape to learning for competitive examinations in Kashmir. “He was always worried that Kashmiris are not cracking civil services and other competitive examinations. For this he became instrumental in establishing SN Das Gupta College where he taught and delivered lectures to aspirants for seven years without taking even a single penny,” said Var. “He would identify needy students, bring them home and help them financially besides giving them books. He also built a rich library at ASAW which was unfortunately lost during 2014 floods.”

The PSAJK termed his role as an educationist as the golden period of education in Kashmir. “When he was head of the Board of School Education and education department he initiated reforms that had far-reaching effects. He started Carry-On and Re-appear system as he believed that it would arrest the trend of students dropping out of studies because of failure in a single subject. It greatly helped our students and our literacy rate increased due to this policy,” said Var. “Till date no director of education or Secretary BOSE has matched his legacy, in fact, they are even following his path albeit not with dedication.”

Dr Agha Ashraf Ali was a great proponent of emergence of local talent and institutions. “He would often guide schools on how to match the global standards and groom the talent. He wanted the emergence of good educational institutes in Kashmir. He was against the chain of schools coming from outside and wanted locals to match the best at the national and international level,” said Var in a statement.

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