Prof. Akhtarul Wasey is among the Recipient of Padamshree Awards 2013

 Among the recipients of the national Padmshree honor awards -  the fourth highest civilian award - given by the Indian government on Republic day this year is Prof Akhtarul Wasey.  Prof Dr Wasey is chairman of Islamic studies department at Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi for many years.  He is a graduate and PhD in Islamic studies from Aligarh Muslim University. In addition to his subject of Islamic studies in which he has outstanding expertise, Prof Wasey has conducted extensive study in the field of social, political, educational situation of India's Muslims. His essays have been published in many English and Urdu journals in India. In New Delhi and in UP Prof Wasey is very active in the Muslim community's political and social movements.
My first introduction to Prof wasey was when I read the Indian Foreign Ministry's high quality pictorial book entitled, "Muslims in India" about 20 years ago.  This book contains about a dozen articles on various aspects of Indians Muslims from the last one hundred years. This book has been translated into several Indian languages. In that book I read Prof Wasey's very enlightening article, "The Muslim Mind". From then on I have tried to find his articles whenever I could and listen to his speeches when I could. His articles on the situation of Indian Muslims often appear in Times of India and Hindustan Times of New Delhi.

Prof Wasey is also a spellbinding orator; his knowledge on the subject of the various aspects of Indian Muslims in the last 1,000 years is so wide and his recollection of facts and figures so accurate, that listening to his speeches and presentations is a real treat.

Prof Wasey's selection for the Republic Day Padamshree honor award is a rare phenomenon as usually such awards are given to those Muslims who are musical artists, or poets or novelists or masters in handicrafts.  Usually the prestigious Padamshree award is not given to one who is an analyst and scholar of the social-political-educational situation of India's Muslims - a rather serious subject.  Thus Prof Wasey receiving this recognition is a recognition of the efforts that the Indian Muslim community is making to improve itself and be in the mainstream of the nation.

We wish Prof Wasey much success in his continuing endeavor to highlight the rich heritage of Indian Muslims and their current efforts to develop themselves and again be first among equals in India.
Kaleem Kawaja
Association of Indian Muslims of America
Washington DC         


  1. Indian Muslim Community (IMC) since Independence and particularly after the tragic partition has been irking the Indian polity at large. The magnitude of success on all fronts IMC achieved until now, the edifice of achievements was raised by our great and ancestral Muslim leaders of the subcontinent of their time. Their services for the community are massive and are still living afresh in the minds of todays’ Indian Muslims. As of now, unfortunately, the legacy of those stalwarts is missing. IMC by and large is continuously on decline particularly on political front. Don’t we need to revive the legacy what we had years back? Plans in the selfish hand are seemed doomed to failure. The stake holders have taken over the community for granted and honked away when the need arises. This gray area is forcing us to retrospect.