A Remarkable Life : Remembering Prof Syed Abdul Hamid

A committed educator plays key role in creating the best citizenry and strengthening the society's foundations
"A teacher is regarded as an important pillar in the process of changing the world."
"A teacher is regarded as an important pillar in the process of changing the world."Special arrangement

Education and training play an important role in determining the economic prosperity of a nation. Education - a continuous process of learning, seeking and updating information/knowledge, understanding and learning varied skills - has been described as the most powerful weapon for bringing about global change.

Imparting education becomes effective only when our society has dedicated teachers who adopt teaching not only as a profession but are also passionate about it. A teacher is regarded as an important pillar in the process of changing the world.

A committed educator plays a key role in creating the best type of citizenry and strengthening our society's basic foundations. A good teacher not only focuses on the academic performance of an individual but also their overall learning and mental development.

After our parents, they are the ones who care for our well-being. Regardless of our age or profession, some beautiful memories with our favourite teachers make us cherish those lovely and nostalgic moments in our lives.

Beginning from nursery to primary school, high school, college, university and beyond, we always meet a new teacher or educator who imparts the best knowledge, education and remarkable principles, thereby helping us to develop a strong personality.

There may have been many teachers in our past who have put in their efforts and given their hearts, minds, and souls to instill in us the qualities they believed were vital to our future prosperity, therefore making a profound impact on our lives. It is rightly said that behind every successful person is a good teacher and yet they barely get due recognition for their contributions they make in building the society.

One of our beloved teachers, Dr Syed Abdul Hamid Baqai, passed away on Wednesday, January 11, 2023 after a brief illness. He was laid to rest at his ancestral graveyard with moist eyes. Born in 1941 at Shah Mohallah, Nawab Bazar, Srinagar, Dr Abdul Hamid lived a remarkable life.

He received his early education from the Khalisa High School, Srinagar, was among the first very few individuals who graduated in Commerce through Islamia College of Science and Commerce, Srinagar, in the early 1960s’ and attended Aligarh Muslim University to obtain his MCom and DBA degrees.

His doctorate in the area of Small Scale and Cottage Industries was later awarded to him by the University of Kashmir. Dr Syed Abdul Hamid spent a brief time working with JK Industries right after completing his post-graduate studies.

As he had a passion for teaching, he joined the valley’s premier educational institution, Islamia College, as a regular faculty member in the Department of Commerce in the late 1960s’ and worked there with dedication and devotion till his retirement in 1999.

All those who have been his students and colleagues are indeed deeply grieved by the belated news that Dr Abdul Hamid bade adieu to this mortal world.

He was an extraordinary human being, an efficient teacher and an effective mentor who always motivated students to work harder, stay focused on grades, goals and relevant in the competitive market and, thus, made an indelible mark in their respective lives.

He was known for his great sense of humour, quick wit, civility and commitment to the field of business studies. With his demise, the commerce fraternity of J&K has lost one of its foremost visionary commercists who were well-versed in business, trade and industry.

In addition to being a truly eminent scholar, a great educator, an accomplished author, a dedicated knowledge worker with extraordinary leadership and mentorship skills, tremendous administrative energy and enormous capacity with an inquisitive bent of mind, Dr Hamid was an amiable fellow with a warm demeanour who took a personal and keen interest in his students’ studies and welfare.

His fertile imagination, erudite perceptiveness and unbridled excitement for analyzing actual events were beyond compare. He embodied best of the qualities that inspired his students, friends as well as colleagues to be better persons.

It may be stated here that meeting an incredible teacher like him only happens once in a lifetime. These writers (who never thought they would be writing this) got to know him very closely, first as students and then as colleagues. It was such bliss.

We still vividly recall enrolling in PUC at Islamia College in 1971, and on the first day of class, a tall, handsome, yet smart professor with a vibrant personality entered the classroom wearing a green blazer coat with an AMU badge fixed on the left upper pocket.

After marking the students’ presence, he started his lecture in fluent English with a hearty welcome note. He then gave a detailed account of the course content for ‘Book-Keeping’, the subject he would be teaching-moving hither and thither gracefully and thus inviting the attention of students who were highly mesmerized.

As young students coming from a relatively lower economic background, we were fascinated by his infinite energy and help that he would extend to us in one way or the other. He was always supportive and encouraging and inspired us to open our minds and look at Business Education through a broader perspective.

He guided in our difficult times giving strength and advising us to go ahead in the right direction and leave a mark in our respective fields. He was a smartest, finest and wisest and undoubtedly the most caring teacher we have ever met. He always made the classroom livelier with his knowledge, wisdom, creativity, enthusiasm, sharpness and superb communication skills.

Dr Hamid would always try to make students feel that they could approach him easily on any subject in commerce any time. He used to put his heart and mind into developing thought-provoking, innovative and remarkably diverse academic programmes.

The first training programme in our studentship conducted, in 1974, outside the college campus with practical exposure was a two-week Entrepreneurship Development Programme organized by Small Industries Service Institute, Karan Nagar.

This programme was efficiently coordinated by Dr Hamid, with the active assistance of Prof Sidhu from IIM, Ahmadabad. Shortly after completing our studies at Islamia College, one day we incidentally met Dr Hamid Sahib at Lal Chowk, Srinagar. He stopped, smiled, shook hands and said, “We are now at par. So, let us rub our shoulders”.

A very special thing about him is that he would always leave deep impression on anyone he would come in contact with. As colleagues, Dr Hamid would treat us as a part of his family. On particular holidays, we together used to enjoy the numerous gatherings and parties he hosted in his home.

Dr Hamid, in addition to teaching and guiding us, took us along to attend various business conferences and workshops to broaden our training and exposure. Indeed, we learned many things under his leadership and thus owe him a lot. He did have a decisive influence on our lives and career paths. We salute him.

It may be indicated here that our teachers had a professional glamour in their walk and talk. To quote Prof. Rahman Rahi, "Natae Czhav Bagh Kustaan Madae Mauer Puir Trawan". From the very first day of college, their leadership, mentorship and teaching style motivated and inspired us to take our studies seriously and pursue a career.

This proficient glitz was displayed by all of our teachers at Islamia College, from Dr Waji-u-Din Jeelani to Prof. Chuni Lal Trisal, Dr Khurshid A. Khan, Prof. M. Yusuf Baba, Prof. M. Amin Andrabi, and Mukhmoor H Badakshi to Dr Syed Abdul Hamid. But alas! This professional glamour is missing everywhere nowadays.

Last but not the least; we feel that in Dr Syed Abdul Hamid, we have lost a beloved teacher, an excellent orator, a competent guide, an affectionate colleague as well as a wonderful human being. Though Dr Hamid has left this world, his contribution to the commerce stream will live for all times to come.

It is indubitably a huge loss to the commerce fraternity. We pay our earnest tributes to him and pray to Allah Almighty to grant enough strength to his family members to overcome this situation. We all will miss Dr Hamid Sir invariably. May his soul rest in peace in Jannat-ul Firdous….Aameen.

The writers are fortunate to have been the students of Dr Syed Abdul Hamid Baqai

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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