“It is an honor to recognize the contributions of Dr. Omar Khalidi and play a part in bringing this marvelous collection of materials to Hyderabad. Dr. Khalidi’s life and career acted as a bridge between India and the United States in academic and social circles”, said Ms. Jennifer Larson, Consul General, U.S. Consulate General, Hyderabad at Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) on Thursday.
She was speaking as the Chief Guest at the inauguration of the Omar Khalidi Hall and a Conference on Revisiting Brand Hyderabad’s Cultural Legacy jointly organized by H.K. Sherwani Centre for Deccan Studies (HKSCDS), MANUU and U.S. Consulate General, Hyderabad to celebrate the birth anniversary of late Dr. Omar Khalidi as a befitting tribute to his scholarship on Deccan.
Prof Syed Ainul Hasan, Vice-Chancellor, MANUU alongwith Ms. Jennifer Larson inaugurated the Omar Khalidi Hall having huge collection of books, manuscripts in different languages donated by the Khalidi family.
Omar Khalidi, a U.S. citizen born in Hyderabad, was an eminent scholar on minority rights, history, architecture, economics, demography, politics, Urdu education, and nationalism.
He authored several books and articles on Deccan’s history and culture in general and Hyderabad in particular.
Ms. Jennifer Larson in her address appreciated the efforts of Dr. Omar Khalidi to bring two countries closer.
“This book collections will be a reminder for others to follow in his footsteps and foster even stronger relations between the United States and India,” she hoped.
Prof Ainul Hasan spoke about the nostalgia that the book collection evokes in the people of Hyderabad and the value it will hold for researchers who are working in various fields of Deccan studies.
He described Umar Khalidi as a versatile writer. Prof. Ishtiaque Ahmed, Registrar spoke about the importance of the agreement to donate this rare collection.
Prof. Salma Ahmed Farooqui, Director, HKSCDS informed that the centre was on a mission to get the Omar Khalidi book collection to Hyderabad as it isn’t just a mere book collection.
“Many American universities and Hyderabadis were clamoring for as this collection evokes a great amount of sentimental value and housing this collection in a university in Hyderabad seemed most appropriate”, she added.
Ms. Aliya Khalidi, Attorney & daughter of Dr. Omar Khalidi in her video message recalled the craze of her father to collect & read books.
Mr. Mir Ayoob Ali Khan, Former Media Coordinator, MANUU & Senior Journalist, Hyderabad spoke about Omar Khalidi and said that he had immense interest in the history and culture of Hyderabad and authored 25 books.
Later, the technical session was chaired by Mr. Sajjad Shahid, Heritage Conservation Consultant and Co-convener, INTACH Hyderabad Chapter.
The speakers – Ar. Yeshwant Ramamurthy spoke on ‘Cultural Significance of Bowlis in Hyderabad’, Mr. Mohammed Ayub Khan on ‘Insignia and Cultural symbols of Hyderabad State’ whereas Prof. I.
Thirumali spoke on ‘Culture, Language and Nationalism: A Saga of Deccan’s Transition to Democracy’.
The Panel discussion on “Hyderabad’s Heritage through a Young Lens” was chaired by Ms. Anuradha Reddy, Convener, INTACH Hyderabad Chapter. Mr. Syed Mohammad Aun Mehdi, Mr. Yunus Lasania, Mr. Mohammad Sibghatullah Khan, Ms. Mudita Dubey, Ms. Tanya Srivastava, Ms. Lolitha Santhoshini were the panelist.