Governor inaugurates Allama Iqbal Academy,
The Hindu

KOZHIKODE: The name of Dr. Mohammed Iqbal, hailed as the poet of national integration, and his immortal song `Sare jahan se achha’ remained on everyone’s lips on Thursday after the Governor, R.L. Bhatia, paid rich tributes to the core values the poet-philosopher had espoused in his writings.

The occasion was a function of the Allama Iqbal Indian Humanitarian Foundation at which the Governor inaugurated the Foundation’s publication wing, Allama Iqbal Academy, at Cherooty Nagar here on Thursday.

Mr. Bhatia also recited the first few lines of `Sare jahan se achha.’ Two young girls picked up from where the Governor had left. And the immortal song blossomed in all its melody in its lilting tunes. The Foundation’s Director and Rajya Sabha MP, Abdussamad Samadani, reminded the audience that lovers of `Sare jahan se achha’ were celebrating the centenary of its composition. Mr. Samadani was quick to point out that passage of time had not staled the popularity of Iqbal’s song. This was evident from the fact that it was still being heard as mobile ring tone and from reverse gear horns in cars.

Gandhiji had written about its mesmerizing quality in his letters. Rakesh Sharma, the first Indian astronaut in space, used Iqbal’s lines when asked by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi how India appeared to him from outer space.

“The Issues that Iqbal raised in his poems are more relevant today than ever,” the Governor remarked in his inaugural address. He wanted Mr. Samadani, himself an orator of repute, to use the facilities at the Iqbal Foundation in Kozhikode to spearhead a movement that would help in restoring the values of patriotism, universal love and compassion that are embodied in Iqbal’s poems.

The Governor, who had spent many years of his life in Lahore where Iqbal had lived, also spoke in Urdu much to the delight of a sizeable of the audience who know the language well.