Jamia Millia Islamia University is set to celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of its first chancellor Hakim Ajmal Khan -- a man who spent from his own pocket to sustain the institution that was formed out of resistance against the British rule. Unanimously elected as the university's first chancellor on November 22, 1920, Khan along with Ali brothers, Dr Mukhtar Ahmed Ansari and Maulana Azad among others, were instrumental in the formation of the university, a product of the Khilafat and non-cooperation movements. The university for the first time is gearing up to celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of 'Masih-ul Mulk' Hakim Ajmal Khan with various events starting tomorrow. Khan was born on February 11, 1868. "When Jamia was inaugurated on October 29, 1920 in Aligarh, it started in a few tents with generous contribution of some well-wishers, especially one of its founders Hakim Ajmal Khan, to ensure the basic needs and countless essentials of the new set-up," Director of Jamia's Premchand Archives and Literary Centre Prof Sabiha A Zaidi said. On November 22, 1920, Hakim Ajmal Khan was unanimously elected as its chancellor. "During his tenure till 1927, Khan ensured the university overcame its formative issues including financial crunch by raising funds and often bailing it out using his own money and resources," she said. Khan even oversaw the university being move to Delhi (Karol Bagh) from Aligarh in 1925, Zaidi said. Khan, known for his secular values, was also the only Muslim to have held a one-time position of Chairman of the reception committee of Hindu Mahasabha in November 1921, apart from holding the presidential offices of the All India Muslim League, Indian National Congress and the All India Khilafat Committee. As part of his birth celebrations, an exhibition showcasing photographs, testimonials, archives and other works of Khan, will be held from tomorrow till February 28. The exhibition will be inaugurated by Jamia Vice Chancellor Talat Ahmed.
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