At a book launch organized by Jamia Millia Islamia, former vice-chancellor, Najeeb Jung, formally released his book, “The Sting of a Bee,” on Monday, 26 August 2013 at the Edward Said Hall, JMI.
Jung is currently the Lt. Governor of Delhi, a position he was appointed to in July this year, before that he served as the vice-chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia from 2009 to 2013.
“The Sting of a Bee” is his debut book which is basically a compilation of all his newspaper and magazine articles he wrote during his tenure as vice-chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia. The subject of his articles relate to topics such as education, politics, and society.
This was Jung’s first appearance on campus since his departure from the university. He started his speech by saying that “it feels like coming home.” He then humorously said that he basically engineered the event himself because Jamia did not give him a proper farewell when he left for his new job. Therefore he took the opportunity to thank all the people who had helped him during his time as vice-chancellor of Jamia. He then went on to thank the people involved in the writing of the book, especially Prof. Akhtarul Wasey, professor at the Department of Islamic Studies, to whom he credited for having pushed him to publish the book and said that without his help “this book could have never been published.” He also thanked Dr. Khalid Mahmood, professor at the department of Urdu, for helping him in compiling all the articles for the book, and also thanked him immensely for giving him lessons in Urdu poetry during his tenure at Jamia.
Speaking of his time at Jamia as vice-chancellor, Jung stressed that the only way Jamia would become an institution that could help the Muslim community out of its current situation was by people going beyond the call of duty. He said, “I really believe that this is a great place. But there is something that keeps us back from the frontlines of the country. We have to look within us.” Addressing the faculty of Jamia, he said “A lot of you are not doing things that go beyond the call of duty. We have to go beyond just getting a salary cheque,” suggesting that the teaching faculty be more proactive in their departments. According to him, the establishment of departments such as the new Faculty of Dentistry and the Pakistan Studies Programme was only thanks to the sole-effort made by professors who were proactively involved in their establishment.
In addition, while comparing Jamia to other universities in Delhi he said: “we are more meritorious than Delhi University and Jawaharlal Nehru University,” because teachers there have a say in the admission process, while Jamia did away with interviews and only requires students to qualify the entrance exams. He also spoke on Jamia’s role in the upliftment of Muslim women and said: “We need to give Muslim girls a chance and not just marry them off.” Jung said that though he thought Jamia was doing a great job for their upliftment, the Muslim community needed to do much more and send them further off to educate them.
In closing, Jung was extremely grateful to Jamia and its students for giving him the opportunity to speak to them once again.