A view from the Jharoka (Balcony
There has always been a large number of former students of both Anglo Arabic School and Delhi College in its various avatars who have remained deeply attached to their alma mater and sincerely wished to do something for the overall betterment of these institutions even long after they passed out from here.
Consequently, there have been many attempts at forming old boys or alumni associations for the purpose but not all those efforts have yielded the desired results. They did provide a forum for a reunion of old boys to reminisce about their good old days in school and college and talk about the past glory of these great institutions but couldn’t go much farther than arranging a few meetings and organising dinners once in a while. No concrete results were borne of those efforts for one reason or the other.
An association called the Arabic Schools and College Old Boys’ Association was registered under the Societies’ Registration Act on 18th July, 1941. The Executive Committee of the Association consisted of twenty members headed by K.B. Nawab Abul Hasan Khan with the object “to provide a centre of social intercourse between the old boys of the Schools and the College and to adopt all possible means to help the cause of education and the ALMA MATER.” Another association called Anglo Arabic Schools and College Old Boys’ Association is learnt to have been formed in the early 60s with an active participation of late Mr. Muslim Ahmed Nizami. In 1992, Mr Nizami, in his capacity as the President of the said Association, presented a Welcome Address to Prof. Bashiruddin Ahmed, Vice-Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia and President of Delhi Education Society. This Association is said to have ended in controversy. A group called Anjuman Yaran-e-Qadeem was also formed long back but it is neither an association or does it have any functional body. It merely serves to provide a forum to former students of Delhi College belonging to the batches of 50’s, 60’s and 70’s to have occasional get-togethers.
In recent years, there were again efforts to revive or reconstitute old boys association, either for Anglo Arabic School or Delhi College separately, and a few meetings were also held by different sections of old boys but no consensus could be arrived at as to how it should be named and constituted. As such, all such efforts either petered out or remained inconclusive and the idea more or less remained on paper.
However, a section of old boys who shared serious concerns at the failure of concerned players to deliver the goods and the consequent plight of education in the walled city of old Delhi, especially among Muslims, refused to be demoralised and disheartened by this sorry state of affairs and decided to wrest the initiative and make a beginning, however small it might be. Although small in number in the face of the daunting task ahead, they rededicated themselves to the cause of education and development and decided to start coaching classes immediately without going through the formalities of forming an old boys association and wasting time in getting it formally registered. This group was small, it had no name and there were no offices or posts to be held and flaunted to the world. They raised money from their own limited resources with the help of a few sympathisers and started coaching classes for students of Class X and Class XII in many subjects. In the meantime, the process of registration was also initiated and Anglo Arabic Schools and Delhi College Old Boys’ Association was finally registered with the Registrar of Societies on 24th February, 2012.
The Association has the unique distinction of having among its founder members such eminent personalities as Dr. S.Y. Quraishi, former Chief Election Commissioner of India, Mr. Sirajuddin Qureshi, leading exporter and President, India Islamic Cultural Centre, two eminent Urdu journalists and former Parliamentarians, Mr Meem Afzal and Mr. Shahid Siddiqui, the former having also served as Indian Ambassador in three countries.