GUWAHATI, Jan 9 - Late Prof Syed Mazharul Islam, a renowned History teacher of the centurion Cotton College here and a descendant of the great Sufi saint of Assam Azan Fakir, had made a significant contribution towards the corporate life of Cotton College.
“The reputation of Cotton College for its rich corporate life owes no less to the role of teachers like Prof Islam,” observed noted academician and a former Principal of the historic Cotton College, Prof Anil Kumar Goswami.
Speaking at a function held on the occasion of the birth centenary of the renowned teacher, Prof Goswami, who was a student of Prof Islam in Cotton College, said that the Late Professor was a man of high values and compassion. He treated his students as his own children and stood by them during their hour of need. He held lofty secular ideals as a true descendent of saint Azan Fakir.
Besides teaching History for 22 years in Cotton College, he also led the Cottonians of the period between 1946 and 1968, as a professor-in-charge of tennis, cricket and minor games of the Union Society of this historic college. In 1968, he joined the Directorate of Education and retired on December 31, 1972 as the State’s Director of Public Instruction-in-charge. He breathed his last on November 27, 2000 at his Hedayetpur residence in Guwahati, said Prof Goswami, who released the souvenir brought out on the occasion.
Addressing the function, Prof Udayaditya Bharali, also a former Principal of Cotton College, reminisced his relations with Prof Islam and described the Late Professor as a forerunner of the study in Sufism in Assam. He was one of the awe-inspiring representatives of the heritage of Azan Fakir, said Prof Bharali, a student of Prof Islam.
He also described Prof Islam as one of those who laid the foundation of the great heritage of Cotton College. Going by his teachings, Assamese people must realise that it is high time to renew their bond with their native place irrespective of their religious beliefs. Assamese nationality has some unique bonding elements which have nothing to do with religion, asserted Prof Bharali.
Because of his love for his own nationality –Assamese, Prof Islam also learnt to love Cotton College. As, for him, it was the factory, which can mould the character of the future generations of the Assamese people.
Prof Islam’s best friend Late Prof Dimbeswar Sarma was a Brahmin and both of them were so attached to each other spiritually that the difference in their religious beliefs could not stand between them, said Prof Bharali.
Prof Abu Nasar Syed Ahmed, also a direct student of Prof Islam, said in his address that Prof Mazharul Islam had a very colourful personality and was full of jest. As a teacher, Prof Islam had the calibre of taking his students to the profundity of the subject he was teaching. This was because of his in-depth knowledge of his subject, said Prof Ahmed.
The function was also addressed by Pub-Kamrup College Principal Dr Balen Dev Choudhury, Mahananda Sarma, Atifa Amin and Syed Hakikur Rahman. It was presided over by Prof Islam’s eldest son Syed Raisul Islam, a former bureaucrat.