German resident returns heritage letters to Jamia

Last Updated: Apr 12, 2011, 09:07 AM IST

New Delhi: Rare calligraphic sheets and priceless letters, including those written by country`s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi, were gifted by a German national to Jamia Millia Islamia here.

Mustahsan Hamid Khan, a resident of Hattingen in Germany and an alumnus of the university, got articles after the death of his father.

When asked what prompted him to gift these to the university, Khan said: "I wanted to return the nation`s heritage back to Jamia, where it belonged."

The gifted articles include nine letters written in Urdu, one by Gandhi and eight by Zakir Hussain, to Khan`s father who was the director of publishing centre of Urdu Maktaba Jamia way back in 1928.

In addition, there were another 22 letters written in English by Nehru and freedom fighter and diplomat Vijaylakshmi Pandit, among others, said the Jamia official official.

Apart from the letters, 30 calligraphic sheets in Persian, Arabic and Urdu, including three written by Mughal emperor Shahjahan`s teacher, were also gifted by Khan, added the official. Shahjahan ruled from 1628-58.

Jamia Vice Chancellor Najeeb Jung said: "I thank him for his generous gift to Jamia Millia Islamia. I am sure this collection will be of great interest to historians and other researchers."

"We will preserve these in the university archive with great care," added Jung.