Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Ahmad Saeed, October 10, 2009

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:00 - Childhood in Aligarh (India)

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Partial Transcript: --and I'm here with Ahmad Saeed, of--graduate of Aligarh University Engineering.

Segment Synopsis: Saeed talks about his basic biographical information, such as his birth place and date. He discusses moving to Aligarh (India) when he was a very young child, as well as his home.

Keywords: Aligarh (India); Aligarh Muslim University; Aligarh Muslim University City High School; Brothers; Childhoods; Engineers; Fathers; Food; Halls; Homes; Hostels; Lucknow (India); Saiyyid Hamid Senior Secondary School; Sir Shah Sulaiman Hall; Sisters; Woods, J.C.

Subjects: Aligarh (India); Aligarh Muslim University; Brothers; Childhood; Engineers; Fathers; Food; Houses and homes; India--History.; Lucknow (India); Sisters

GPS: Aligarh (India)
Map Coordinates: 27.88, 78.08
00:06:55 - Role of Aligarh Muslim University in his life

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Partial Transcript: When you think of the university and its role in your life, what do you--what is the first thing that you think of?

Segment Synopsis: Saeed discusses the role of Aligarh Muslim University in his life, as well as the uniforms that were required when he was a student.

Keywords: Aligarh Muslim University; Cinema monitors; Discipline; Professors; Students; Teachers; Uniforms

Subjects: Aligarh Muslim University; Discipline.; India--History.; Students; Teachers.Professors.; Uniforms

GPS: Aligarh Muslim University
Map Coordinates: 27.915009, 78.078793
00:09:44 - Aligarh Exhibition

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Partial Transcript: So, what about the exhibition? Tell me about the exhibition.

Segment Synopsis: Saeed talks about the Aligarh Exhibition, an annual gathering to showcase trade and industry in Aligarh (India). He then talks about his experiences with women while he was in his teenage years.

Keywords: Aligarh (India); Aligarh Exhibition; Aligarh Girls College; Aligarh Muslim University; Girls; Women

Subjects: Aligarh (India); Aligarh Muslim University; Girls.; India--History.; Women.

GPS: Aligarh Muslim University
Map Coordinates: 27.915009, 78.078793
00:13:04 - Aligarh Students’ Union

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Partial Transcript: So you contested for the same seats in the elections.

Segment Synopsis: Saeed talks about being the secretary of the Aligarh Students’ Union. He then talks about his feelings about the All-India Muslim League.

Keywords: Aligarh Muslim University; Aligarh Students Union; All-India Muslim League; Elections; Electrical engineering; Engineering unions; Mechanical engineering; Secretaries; Senior cabinets; Students

Subjects: Aligarh Muslim University; All-India Muslim League; Elections.; Electrical engineering; India--History.; Mechanical engineering; Secretaries; Students

GPS: Aligarh Muslim University
Map Coordinates: 27.915009, 78.078793
00:18:22 - Views of students and vice-chancellors at Aligarh Muslim University during the Pakistan movement

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Partial Transcript: So, tell me, you--remind me when you left the university from your engineering. Nineteen--

Segment Synopsis: Saeed talks about his fellow students’ views of the Pakistan movement. He then goes on to talk about several of the important vice-chancellors at Aligarh Muslim University, who were involved in the movement for an independent India and the Pakistan movement. Saeed also talks about the violence that occurred before and after the partition of India.

Keywords: Administration; Ahmad, Dr. Sir Ziauddin; Aligarh Muslim University; All-India Muslim League; Gandhi, Indira; Gandhi, Mahatma; Husain, Zakir; Indian National Congress; Jinnah, Mahomed Ali; Khan, Nawab Mohammad Ismail; Leaders; Nehru, Jawaharlal; Pakistan movement; Partition of India; Riots; Students

Subjects: Administration; Ahmad, Ziauddin, 1930-; Aligarh Muslim University; All-India Muslim League; Gandhi, Indira, 1917-1984.; Gandhi, Mahatma, 1869-1948.; Husain, Zakir; India--History--Partition, 1947; India--History.; Indian National Congress; Jinnah, Mahomed Ali, 1876-1948.; Leaders; Nehru, Jawaharlal, 1889-1964.; Pakistan movement; Pakistan--History; Riots.; Students

GPS: Aligarh Muslim University
Map Coordinates: 27.915009, 78.078793
00:26:32 - Islam

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Partial Transcript: Don't want to keep you from your coffee.

Segment Synopsis: Saeed discusses the importance of religion in his household growing up, as well as his religious education. He also talks about his mother, who could read and speak several languages. Saeed then talks about the importance of religion to the students at Aligarh Muslim University, as well as the conflict between left-leaning Communist students and right-leaning religious conservatives. Saeed talks about a company for which he worked in the 1950s that insisted that Muslim staff migrate to Pakistan.

Keywords: Aligarh (India); Communists; English language; Hindus; India; Islam; Islamic fundamentalism; Kolkata (India); Lenin, Vladimir; Lucknow (India); Marx, Karl; Mothers; Muslims; Pakistan; Persian language; Prayers; Religious education; Urdu language

Subjects: Aligarh (India); Communists; English language; Hindus; India; India--History.; Islam; Islamic fundamentalism.; Kolkata (India); Lenin, Vladimir Ilʹich, 1870-1924.; Lucknow (India); Marx, Karl, 1818-1883.; Mothers; Muslims; Pakistan; Persian language; Prayer; Religious education.; Urdu language

GPS: Aligarh Muslim University
Map Coordinates: 27.915009, 78.078793
00:38:05 - Extracurricular activities

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Partial Transcript: Um, when you were in Aligarh, did you do any sports?

Segment Synopsis: Saeed talks about horseback riding and wrestling during his time at Aligarh Muslim University. He also talks about students who joined the military after their time at Aligarh Muslim University.

Keywords: Aligarh (India); Aligarh Muslim University; Aligarh Riding Club; Aligarh Riding Squad; Horseback riding; Horses; Husain, Wajahat; Pakistan Army; Wrestling

Subjects: Aligarh (India); Aligarh Muslim University; Horses; Husain, Wajahat; India--History.; Pakistan. Army.; Wrestling

GPS: Aligarh Muslim University
Map Coordinates: 27.915009, 78.078793
00:41:54 - Students at Aligarh Muslim University

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Partial Transcript: Probably my uncle is senior to you.

Segment Synopsis: Saeed discusses the relationship between seniors and juniors at Aligarh Muslim University. He then talks about women students and Hindu students that attended the university.

Keywords: Aligarh Muslim University; Boarders; Cafes; Engineering; Girls; Hindus; Hyderabad (India); Juniors, college; Muslims; Seniors, college; Students; Universities; Women

Subjects: Aligarh Muslim University; Cafés; Engineering; Girls; Hindus; Hyderabad (India); India--History.; Muslims; Students; Women

GPS: Aligarh Muslim University
Map Coordinates: 27.915009, 78.078793
00:50:13 - Assassination of Mohandas Gandhi and death of Mahomed Ali Jinnah

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Partial Transcript: Do you remember when--where you were when you heard the news that, um, Gandhiji had been assassinated?

Segment Synopsis: Saeed discusses his reaction to the deaths of Mohandas Gandhi and Mahomed Ali Jinnah.

Keywords: Aligarh Muslim University; Assassination; Death; Gandhi, Mohandas; Jinnah, Mahomed Ali; Nehru, Jawaharlal; Tuberculosis

Subjects: Aligarh Muslim University; Assassination; Death.; Gandhi, Mahatma, 1869-1948.; India--History.; Jinnah, Mahomed Ali, 1876-1948.; Pakistan--History; Tuberculosis

00:52:37 - Succeeding as a Muslim

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Partial Transcript: And, when you came out of the university and you were looking for a job in engineering, tell me about looking for your job and what you--how you ended up in the U.P., um, doing the job that you spent most of your career doing.

Segment Synopsis: Saeed talks about his time working for the Uttar Pradesh Electricity Board. He also discusses his opinion that Muslims can succeed with hard work and dedication.

Keywords: Aligarh Muslim University; Discrimination; Engineering; Islam; Lucknow (India); Muslims; Ummah; Uttar Pradesh (India); Uttar Pradesh Electricity Board; Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited

Subjects: Aligarh Muslim University; Discrimination; Engineering; India--History.; Islam; Lucknow (India); Muslims; Ummah (Islam); Uttar Pradesh (India)

GPS: Uttar Pradesh (India)
Map Coordinates: 26.85, 80.91
00:58:51 - Identity

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Partial Transcript: So, one thing that is very much a part of the narrative of Islam, in the world, is that there is a kinship between Muslims no matter where they are.

Segment Synopsis: Saeed talks about his identity as an Indian. He also talks about the importance of Aligarh Muslim University in his life, as well as his feeling about fellow graduates of Aligarh Muslim University.

Keywords: Aligarh Muslim University; Doctors; India; Indians; Interpersonal relationships; Partition of India; Physicians; Students; Ummah

Subjects: Aligarh Muslim University; India; India--History--Partition, 1947; India--History.; Indians; Physicians.; Students; Ummah (Islam)

GPS: Aligarh Muslim University
Map Coordinates: 27.915009, 78.078793
01:04:03 - Mr. University competition

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Partial Transcript: Is there anything else that you feel, for me, going forward in my research, that it's very important for me to understand about Aligarh during the period that you were there?

Segment Synopsis: Saeed discusses competing in the Mr. University competition, a wrestling competition between male students.

Keywords: Aligarh Muslim University; Artists; Christians; Cricket; Fathers; Finals; Gyms; Husain, Zakir; Lucknow (India); Mothers; Mr. University competition; T20 Cricket; Wrestling

Subjects: Aligarh Muslim University; Artists; Christians; Competition.; Cricket; Fathers; Husain, Zakir; India--History.; Lucknow (India); Mothers; Wrestling

GPS: Aligarh Muslim University
Map Coordinates: 27.915009, 78.078793