25 June 2015


A graceful stylist, a sensitive soul vibrant with deep emotions, practicing educationist of long standing, Dr. Hussain is by far one of the best representatives of a secular, free and civilized India. Known for his devotion and sacrifice to the educational cause he is one of the chief exponents of Basic Education. It is a great privilege for the people of our country that two of her most eminent educationists, Dr. Radhakrishnan and Dr. Zakir Hussain, have functioned as presidents of our country. By virtue of their office they have dignified the teaching profession and given a new leadership and direction in national practice.


Dr. Zakir Hussain was born on February 8, 1897 in Hyderabad. When he was hardly nine years old his father died and his family returned to his ancestral home in Qaimganj in Uttar Pradesh. After finishing his schooling in Etawa, he joined the Mohammedan Anglo-Indian College in Aligarh. While studying for M. A. zakir Hussain responded to the clarion call of Gandhiji and left the college to join the Non-cooperation Movement with the British. Along with other students, he founded Jamia Milia Islamia (National Muslim University) in 1920 at Aligarh. To satiate his hunger for higher education, he went to Berlin University wherein he earned his Ph. D. degree in Economics. On returning to India in 1926, he took over as Vice Chancellor of Jamia Milia Islamia, Delhi, at the age of 29 only.

DR. ZAKIR HUSSAIN : PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION, Philosophy of Education, B.ED, M.ED, NET Notes ( Study Material), PDF Notes Free Download.In 1948 he was made the Vice Chancellor of the Aligarh Muslim University. In 1952, he was nominated to the Rajyasabha. In 1957, he became the Governor of Bihar. In 1962, he was elected to the office of the Vice President of India. In 1967, he became the President of India and remained at this post till his death in 1969. On being elevated to the presidentship of India he said, ―My choice of this high office has mainly been made on account of my long association with the education of my people. It is, indeed a great honour that the nation has bestowed on a mere teacher who some 47 years resolved to devote the best years of his life to national education‖.


Dr. Hussain was an idealist. A clear evidence to this is his zeal to translate Plato‘s Republic in Urdu. ―Belief" to him was an essential prerequisite of character. He said, "Feeble beliefs must be replaced by healthier habits and irrelevant institutions by progressive institutions. Our will should get guidance not form the twilight of the intellect but from the broad daylight of true beliefs".

Secularist to the core, he was a humanist with a broad vision and never allowed his Islamic principles and his nationalism fall into narrow grooves but set them in the context where the East and West, the ancient and the modern, the Muslim and the Non-Muslim could find a happy meeting ground. In the words of Moraes, ―He loved India, he loved the world‖. He loved truth, justice and humanity. He advocated humanistic education, the foundations of which are best laid in the early years of life.

About reality he says that this universe is real. There are two worlds; the material world and the spiritual world. Material world is of senses and deals with things of the world. The spiritual world is of soul and  spirit.  Hence  pleasures  of  world  are  considered  secondary.  The spiritual world is to be realized by mind through its ideas.

He attaches the highest value to man in his educational philosophy and seeks to evolve man to the best of his potentialities. He had faith in 'man‘ and it is clearly visible in his philosophy and educational ideas.


According to Dr. Zakir Hussain education in this country is sadly handicapped. He considers education as the very life sustaining sap of a cultured society. The problems for this state of affairs are as follows:

                     Sitting for long hours silently in the classroom receiving lessons in complete passivity in a manner, which is most un-child like conformity. This system kills the natural ardor the child once had and transforms him into a listless non-reaching entity.
                     Scarcity of good teachers. What is available in the system are teachers with cruelty, harshness and strict regimentation.
                     Another source of indiscriminate hardship is the heavy and meaningless curriculum.
                     The existing educational system enables the democratic educator to dispose of the mistaken notion that education must be the shaping of the educand according to a given generic type, according to a ready-made educational ideal with a sharp delineated content. He believes that education is not the process of pressing into shape but a letting loose and setting free which respects the the unique and specific individuality of the educand. The success of Indian education depends on the ideas and principles and how its evolution helps in the growth and development of the democratic way of life, on how it provides for the full growth and development of individuality, on how it harnesses harmoniously developed individuality to social ends, and how it masters the mysteries of selflessness.

To him the basic principle of education in a democracy should be reverence to the individuality of the child, the child who is to grow into the citizen through his intelligent and willing participation in education. For democracy is nothing but the full discharge of duties to himself and to the society by every citizen. This is possible only if the competencies are discovered and developed to their fullest by education.

Regarding the process of education, he compares it with the growing development of human body, from its embryonic beginnings grows and develops to its full stature by means of agreeable, assimilable food, movement and exercise, in accordance with physical and chemical laws, so does the mind grow and develop from its original disposition to its full evolutionary cultivation by means of mental food and mental exercise according to the laws of mental growth. This development of individual human mind must start from infancy. He firmly believed that the process of education is a continuing one in which the journey is as important as the destination.

Dr. Hussain expresses his deep concern for the fact that more often than not the means become the ends in due course. It appears to him that schools are the creation of an evil mind; otherwise they could not have been what they actually are. He says, 'Schooling is not equated with learning the three R‘s but it is on the other hand, a gradual initiation to life‖. He would like schools to be familiar with the society, family and individuals.

He believed in having and acquiring only that knowledge which is functional and in support of this he cites an English educator:- ―knowledge is idle in a community if it becomes the private possession of an esoteric coterie‖. He wanted education to provide effective leadership in a world of change. Dr. Hussain‘s primary objective is to provide leadership to community, which gives sustenance to its academic organ.

His views on university education are very clear. He considers 'work‘ as the main instrument of education. He wants education to be life long. It should be relevant and provide effective leadership to the community to which they belong to. This is possible only by learning to respect ‗work‘ and treat it as an instrument of educating mind so that universities could repay their debt to the society. In this connection Ramaswamy Iiyer observes that the principal purpose of university education is to enable one to serve the country in its variegated scientific and technological necessities.

He dislikes the peculiar reaction to a problem by an Indian, which he says, is 'evasion‘. No matter a university has to face it must never evade an issue but face it boldly and squarely. A true university should possess a passion for excellence. He has reservations on the people having patience especially with poverty, dirt, disease and incompetence. He says, unless patience is combined with diligence, it is a crime. If a university discharges its obligations well, there is no earthly reason why a new world of which Dr. Hussain so fervently and sincerely dreams of may not come to pass.

Dr. Hussain has his clear view on the long-standing controversy between 'science‘ and 'humanities‘. He believes that that the advance modern world has made in the recent past is entirely due to the application of scientific knowledge and its application to social and political problems that man is faced with. He laments that the specialization in each field of technology has reached to such an extent that the jargon of is hardly understood by those in the other field of specialization. This phenomenon is rightly described by C. P. Snow, "never was the exclusion of one branch of knowledge from another so pronounced, and neither was one faculty so developed at the expense of the other as we find today". Dr. Hussain concludes that humanities and science are not something mutually contradictory but complimentary. One should realize the fact that science is devoid of values especially moral and ethical values. He points out that science is a system of philosophy without ethics. Science devoid of ethical judgment becomes an ally of everyone – of the good as well as the bad- and is of service in changing the world into a paradise or reducing it to a veritable hell.

Regarding the importance of education, he said in his speech after being sworn in  as the President  of India in the following words. "I maintain that education is a prime instrument of national purpose and that the quality of its education is inseparably involved in the quality of the nation".

Dr. Hussain laid stress on the following aims of education:
1.                  Education  should  develop  a  sense  of  common  national ethos.
2.                  Education should develop higher values of life.
3.                  Education should develop qualities of citizenship.
4.                 Education should also derive inspiration from traditional knowledge and real work experience.
5.                  Education should develop positive attitude.
6.                  Education should develop a sense of social responsibility.
7.                  Education should develop vocational efficiency.

His views on education and politics are that education is the master and politics is its servant. About education and morality he says it is necessary to combine power with morality as well as with science and technology. Regarding education, science and technology his views are very distinct. The scientists and technologists must keep in mind social welfare. Education thus should develop the totality of the child. He laments that Indian education is lacking in the following major drawbacks.
(1) Indian education has been like stagnant water for quite some time. (2) Indian education ignores new ideas and fresh thinking in educational matters.