Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Majid Ali Siddiqi, October 2, 2009

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:00 - Work / transportation

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Partial Transcript: --Amber Abbas.

Segment Synopsis: Siddiqi provides an overview of the various occupations he has held in the civil engineering field. Additionally, the conditions and nature of India's transportation and infrastructure systems are examined.

Keywords: Aligarh (India); Buses; Daughters; Expressways; Gurgaon (India); Irrigation department; Moving; New Delhi (India); Postgraduate; Roorkee Institute of Technology; Superhighways; Uttar Pradesh (India)

Subjects: Cement plants; Civil engineering; Irrigation; Life; Transportation; Work

GPS: Uttar Pradesh (India)
Map Coordinates: 26.85, 80.91
00:09:00 - Early life and education

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Partial Transcript: Where were you born?

Segment Synopsis: Siddiqi discusses his early life spent in India. The interviewee's educational path is also outlined. Reasons as to why Siddiqi chose to pursue engineering are also mentioned. Then, Siddiqi's early engineering career is described.

Keywords: Aligarh Muslim University; Competition; Engineering college; Entrance exam; Gorakhpur (India); Hostel; Lifestyle; Villages

Subjects: Apartments; Education; Electrical engineering; Electricity; Engineering; Irrigation; Marriage; Radio; School

GPS: Gorakhpur (India)
Map Coordinates: 26.7588, 83.3697
00:17:12 - Life in Gorakhpur / Hindu-Muslim relations

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Partial Transcript: When you were growing up in Gorakhpur...

Segment Synopsis: Siddiqi recalls what his hometown of Gorakhpur describes what life was like prior to the partition. Within this, the Hindu-Muslim relations during that time are compared to the situation between these two groups currently (in India primarily). The standard of living between the two groups is also considered.

Keywords: All-India Muslim League; Caste system; Castes; Community; Competition; Dishonesty; Divisions; Gorakhpur (India); Houses; India; Landlords; Pakistan; Politics; Power

Subjects: Corruption; Father; Festivals; Food; Hindus; Identity; Life; Meat; Money; Muslims; Partition; Population; Prime minister; Religions; School; Work

GPS: Gorakhpur (India)
Map Coordinates: 26.7588, 83.3697
00:26:49 - Impressions of Aligarh Muslim University

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Partial Transcript: Um, tell me about when you first went to Aligarh.

Segment Synopsis: Siddiqi remembers his first impressions of Aligarh Muslim University, as well as an overall summary of student life at the university during the 1950s. Topics of conversation include: food, hostels, and the most common language spoken at the university.

Keywords: Aligarh Muslim University; Blocks; Class representatives; Cordial; Dining hall; Divisions; Engineering hall; Hostel; Languages; Meals; Open enrollment; Regions; Urdu language; Vegetarians

Subjects: Art; Education; Engineering; English; Food; Grandchildren; Harmony; Hindus; Kitchen; Meat; Muslims; Mutual friend; Partition; Students

GPS: Aligarh Muslim University
Map Coordinates: 27.915009, 78.078793
00:37:17 - Urdu / general interests

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Partial Transcript: Tell me about Urdu. Urdu at Aligarh University.

Segment Synopsis: Siddiqi explains the role of Urdu at Aligarh Muslim University. The overall influence of Urdu in state schools in India is also mentioned. Additionally, the interviewee gives a broad overview of his hobbies and interests: including literature, philosophy, theology, among other topics.

Keywords: Aligarh Muslim University; Arabic language; Cassettes; Doctors; Examination; Languages; Media; Movies; Persian language; Public schools; Urdu language

Subjects: Books; Career; Christianity; Civil engineering; Courses and lectures; Cricket; Education; Engineering; English; High school; Hobbies; Life; Literature; Movies; Philosophy; Reading; Religion; Science; Television; Theology

00:46:41 - Childhood / education

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Partial Transcript: You said that when you were a child...

Segment Synopsis: Siddiqi briefly talks about his primary school education. This is compared to that of his grandchildren today. Subsequently, the interviewee details his experience at Aligarh Muslim University, emphasizing the athletic and student organizations that the university offered. The dynamics between the juniors and seniors are also explored.

Keywords: Arabic language; Badminton; College; Dances; English school; Family; Friends; Greetings; Hostels; Juniors; Lucknow University; Salaam; Seniors; Siblings; Students' union; Tutors; Urdu language

Subjects: Behavior; Billiards; Brother; Captain; Childhood; Education; Engineering; Field hockey; Grandchildren; Life; Mother; Sports; Table tennis; Teaching; Track and field; Travel; Winter

GPS: Aligarh Muslim University
Map Coordinates: 27.915009, 78.078793
00:58:30 - Aligarh Muslim University vs. Roorkee Institute of Technology

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Partial Transcript: If you had to--I mean, how do you feel about your experiences from Aligarh?

Segment Synopsis: Siddiqi compares the engineering programs of Aligarh Muslim University to that of Roorkee Institute of Technology. The preparedness of the students for their career is emphasized. Aligarh Muslim University is then compared to other universities in India, with their respective customs and cultures being analyzed. Lastly, the culture fostered in Aligarh is praised.

Keywords: Accommodation; Aligarh Muslim University; Australia; Bosses; Classes; Elders; Government; India; Introduction; MPs; Members of Parliament; Old Boys' Association; Quality; Rankings; Roorkee Institute of Technology; School dress; Service department; Structure; Studies; Technical knowledge; University of Lucknow; Wiring systems

Subjects: Administration; Boys; Comparisons; Culture; Designs; Education; Engineering; Irrigation; Learning; Parents; Prime minister; Teaching; Values; Work

GPS: Roorkee Institute of Technology
Map Coordinates: 29.905278, 77.838333
01:13:01 - Changes / university life

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Partial Transcript: If you had one--if you had to encapsulate your Aligarh experience in one small story, what would you tell me?

Segment Synopsis: Siddiqi assesses the changes to society since his time at university. The interviewee then highlights what his life used to be like in detail.

Keywords: "Proctor seat"; Aligarh Muslim University; Bicycles; Cars; Changes; Cinema; Dinners; India; Lifestyles; Outdoors; Singing competitions; Television (TV); Tensions; Uniforms; Unmaterialistic

Subjects: Field hockey; Life; Pajamas; Singing; Sleep; Socialization; Sports; Television; Time

GPS: Aligarh Muslim University
Map Coordinates: 27.915009, 78.078793
01:20:32 - Field hockey

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Partial Transcript: You know in the end of the year, there are hall-team hockey teams.

Segment Synopsis: Siddiqi recalls his experiences with field hockey at the university level, including interactions with fellow players. The enthusiasm of the students and players is emphasized.

Keywords: Aligarh Muslim University; Back row; Goals; India; Matches; News; Players; Rows; Scoring; Seating; Seniority; University; Urdu language; Vice chancellors

Subjects: Boys; Captain; Electrical engineering; Engineering; Field hockey; Life; Sports

GPS: Aligarh Muslim University
Map Coordinates: 27.915009, 78.078793