NEW DELHI: To honour the memory of the noted Urdu novelist and short story writer Qurratulain Hyder who died this past August, Jamia Millia Islamia is going to institute a Chair in her name on the campus.
Initially pegged to the Department of Urdu, the Qurratulain Hyder Chair, which is a professor-level chair, will rotate among the different departments of languages and humanities.
“We had written to the Ministry of Human Resource Development immediately after the death of Ms. Hyder regarding this proposal and received a prompt response. The decision to initiate such a Chair in the name of the illustrious writer received unanimous approval both in the Academic Council and the Executive Council of the University,” said Jamia media coordinator Rakhshanda Jalil. The Chair will be funded under the 11th Plan allocation which is already under way from this financial year. Born in Aligarh in 1926, Ms. Hyder was one of the most celebrated Urdu fiction writers. The Jnanpeeth awardee was also an academic who taught at Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia. She was associated with the latter as a visiting professor under the Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan Chair. Jamia has also decided to confer a posthumous degree of honoris causa on Ms. Hyder at its convocation ceremony on October 30.
“In honouring Qurratulain Hyder, we at Jamia pay homage not just to a great literary figure, a champion of women’s rights and a woman of remarkable convictions, we also pay tribute to one of the last living embodiments of our secular nationalist heritage and a vocal proponent of composite culture,” said Ms. Jalil. “Imbued by an all-consuming Nehruvian idealism, Ms. Hyder remained, till the very end, a profound scholar and aesthete and the high priestess of pluralist inheritance,” she added.