By: Maulvi Mohammad Soltan Alam Ansari
Advocate Supreme Court of Pakistan
President The Emersonians (2017-19)
In 1920, the efforts of a great lover of education, Sir Herbert William Emerson, the then Deputy Commissioner, Multan and who was later elevated to the position of Governor Punjab, resulted in establishment of The Emerson College in the city of Multan, which in those days was the center of political, social and economic activity in the Southern Punjab. Since then, it is imparting knowledge in this important part of the Indian Sub-Continent. Lacks of people educated from this institution in the last hundred years have been contributing towards the development of the area and thousands reached the highest significant positions as jurists, judges, politicians, statesmen, economists, educationists, businessmen, social workers and in bureaucracy. Their works in the fields of literature, poetry, trade and business have always been admittedly exceptional and well recognized even internationally.
Although the necessity of a solid platform for promoting and propagating the services of the students of the college had all along been felt, yet no serious step was taken in this regard till 2012 when for the purpose, Mr. Farogh Naweed, Mr.Riyaz-ul-Haque, Mr.Naeem Chaudhary, Mr.Fayyaz Tahsin, Dr. Anwar Ahmad and myself joined hands to form an association of the Ex-students of the college. Dr. Malik Abdul Jabbar, the then, Principal of the college played a pivotal role in the formation of the association. Many meetings were held with the available old students and finally the association, came in to being to work for and achieve the following aims and objects;
Ø Promote social, cultural, educational and such other activities which foster and strengthen the ties of the Emersonians with their Alma Mater.
Ø Strengthen the feelings of amity, friendship and fraternity among the members of the Association and their families.
Ø Be a source of inspiration and guidance for the current and future students of the college.
Ø Institute scholarships, prizes, trophies and other suitable incentives to encourage bright students to bring future laurels to the college.
Ø Collaborate with the administration of the Alma Mater in achieving the above objectives.
I was assigned the task of preparing its Constitution and the Election Rules, which I proposed and were finally approved in the first General Meeting of the association held in the main hall of the College and which was attended by as many as 120 initial members/ex-students. The association was named as “The EMERSONIANS”. Finance Rules, to regulate the finances, were also framed and approved in a subsequent General Meeting. Elections for posts of office bearers and the Executive Committee are held in the last week of October every 2nd year in a democratic and peaceful manner, of course following the Rules and the provisions of the Constitution of the association.
Mr. Farogh Naweed was elected as its first President and Mr. Fayyaz Tahsin as General Secretary for the session 2013-15, then Mr. Riyaz-ul-Haque as President and Dr. Anwar Ahmad as its General Secretary for the session 2015-17, while I was honored with the position of Senior Vice President for both the above sessions. For the next session of 2017-19, the members graced me with the prestigious position of Presidentship and of General Secretary to Mr. Shakil Chaudhury. In elections for the coming session of 2019-21, Dr. Anwar Ahmad has been elected as President and Dr. Abdul Razzaque Shahid as General Secretary. Other prominent elected office bearers of Executive Committee of the association are Prof. Hamid Ali Hashmi, SVP, Dr. Hameed Raza Siddiqui, VP, Mr. Maqbool Gilani, VP, Mr. Bilal Sheikh, Mr. Jamshed Rizwani, Mr. Tariq Mehmood Qureshi, Dr,G.M.Malik, Prof. Hashim Khan, Prof. Abdul Khaliq, Khauja Muhammad Farooq, Mr. Azam Khan Khakwani and Mr. Abrar Ali. The services of Eng. Mumtaz A. Khan and Mr. Altaf Rasool Shahid as Finance Secretaries are also highly commendable and worth appreciation.
Since its inception, the Emersonians and all its members are working day and night for the achievement of its aims and objects. It will not be out of place to pay tributes to Dr. Muhammad Saleem, now Principal, for the extraordinary interest and help rendered by him in all activities of the association. He and Dr. Abdul Jabbar in all sincerity justified and proved their worth and status as Chief Patrons of the association. The services Dr. Farid Sheikh and of Dr.Imtiaz Baloch, as Honorary Secretaries are also unforgettable.
Mr. Justice Jahangir Arshad made the biggest contribution of Rs. 300,000/=, while mine was of the value of Rs.250,000/=, of course in installments, besides office furniture valuing about Rs.25,000/=. Dr. Anwar Ahmad donated Rs.150,000/= in installments, Mr. Riyaz-ul-Haque contributed a total of Rs.58,000/=. Mr. Justice Jamshed Ali donated Rs.20,000 and a computer, while Mr. Mansoor Hashmi & family donated Rs. 100,000/= for chairs. Besides the above, valuable cash contributions were made by, Mr.Farogh Naweed, Mr. Naeem Chaudhary (late), Mrs. Dr. Iftikhar Raja and other members. Eng. Mumtaz provided plants worth Rs.50,000/= to make the college green while and his wife Mrs. Farkhanda Mumtaz donated jackets valuing Rs.35,000/= for the deserving students.
The association managed permission for BS Semester System for the college from the BZU University Multan. The association awards at least 26 Gold Medals, named after the senior and reputed professors of the college to the bright and top students every year, besides scholarships to deserving students of the college. Up till now, the association has gifted books worth Rs. 200,000/= for the library and above 200 chairs worth around Rs. 315,000/= for use of the students of the college. Above all, consultancy services have all along been provided to the passing out interested students of the college to assist them in deciding their future in further studies and professions.
The association celebrates its annual function on the last Saturday of October every year in a very colorful style, which up till now have been chaired by Mr. M. Rafiq Rajwana, Governor Punjab, Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Hussain Qureshi, Federal Minister for foreign affairs, Mr. Justice Jamshed Ali, Judge Supreme Court of Pakistan, sitting and Ex-Vice Chancellors of BZU and the Federal Secretaries. Programs of seminars and talk shows on various topics of modern-day importance and music parties etc. are arranged on regular basis, in which emanant and reputed people participate. Now the membership of the association has reached above 320, All events, programs, news and information respecting the association are made available to the members on the Web address: www.theemersonians.com
I feel pride to say that I studied in this prestigious institution for four years. Sweat memories of my stay in the college are still alive in my mind. Though around fifty-seven (57) years have passed, yet I dream of the same, which in fact, were the best days of my life. I still cannot forget the half-rubbed by walking floor tiles of the main entrance and of the corridors of the graceful old Red building / campus of the college, situated on District Courts Crossing, Multan and which reflected of the quantum of knowledge passed on to the users of the said building and the corridors.
I can never forget my nervousness prior to interview for admission before the towering personality of the Principal, Abdul Hameed, but found him so kind and soft that it was gone within moments due to his pleasant way of talking and I answered all his questions confidently.
First Year Fooling activity, which lasted for as many as three days is still fresh in my mind. No one could escape from the naughty questions, instructions and orders for entertaining the seniors. But this all was always very gentle and nice. No obscenity or indecency ever occurred. Those teased, later on used to become good friends and a source of inspiration for the juniors. The medical by the College Doctor was another experience. The fear of body examination to determine health etc. made me change the long que of candidates many times, but there was no escape. This fear, in fact, was a creation of the seniors for fun only and the things ultimately, went nice and smooth.
As opener-cum-wicket keeper for the college Cricket team, my days would pass in classes and afternoons in grounds. After Maghrib, we, all the cricketers used to be served with milk and occasionally with Mutton Champs. If absent from practice, one would be marked absent in lectures / classes. The memories of tours with Cricket Team to Lahore, Faisalabad and Quetta can never vanish. Despite sustaining injury breaking my jaw and disabling me to eat for more than seven days, my performance as wicket keeper during the match was excellent, in as much as I held three caches and stamped one batsman of the opposite team. Thousands of spectators / students of Govt. College Quetta, as a result started hooting labeling me as “Gorkun” (Grave Digger), but after the fixture, we all were together as good friends. In Faisalabad, our senior and the best player Umar Ali, finding the charges of breakfast, including two eggs very nominal, to the surprise of the Canteen Manager and to entertain the team members ate as many as 21 boiled eggs, but resultantly lost his wicket on only 10. For this activity, he suffered punishment at the hands of the In-charge Teacher as well as from the team mates. In recognition of my performance. I was awarded college colors.
The Emerson College has completed hundred years of its mission for advancement of the mental growth and development of the people of the Southern Punjab. Millions have been benefited through this institution and its able and devoted teachers. Now, its hundred years celebrations are underway. The Emersonians held it opening ceremony in the month of March 2019 in a dignified way and shall hold the concluding one in March 2020. Move for issuance of “MEMORY COIN” and “MOMERY POSTAL STAMP” to record this historic moment have already been initiated and which shall now be got implemented by the incoming new Executive.
We, the members of the Emersonians, solemnly affirm and declare that we are and shall remain under pledge to the aims and objects of the association and shall leave no stone unturned to achieve the same. May Allah bless us with the required strength, unity and direction for the purpose.
Finally, I request the readers of this article to join this group of Emersonians and be part of the movement being launched for placing the Emerson College and its students to the heights of glory in all fields.
Praying and wishing for the best of us all.
Maulvi Mohammad Soltan Alkam Ansari
Advocate Supreme Court of Pakistan
President, The Emersonians (2017-19)