LAHORE - The Kutchehri Road, Lahore must be renamed as Leitner Road to honour the man who founded the Government College, Lahore, the Punjab University, Lahore, and the Oriental College, Lahore (all of them located on Kutchehri Road).
This demand was raised by Old Ravians while addressing a seminar on “Cultural landscape of 150-year-old Government College (University)”. The sitting was chaired by Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Khaleequr Rahman.
Eminent Indian writer Pran Nevile, the author of Lahore – A Sentimental Journey, was the chief guest. Punjab Higher Education Secretary Abdullah Khan Sumbel, Allama Iqbal Medical College Principal Prof Mahmood Shaukat, eminent historian Majid Shiekh, educationist Prof Sabir Lodhi, noted actress/director Madiha Gohar and Chief Librarian Abdul Waheed also spoke on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, Majid Shiekh said that Dr Leitner was one of the greatest linguists that ever lived, certainly the greatest educationalist to work for Lahore and the Punjab, and definitely an outstanding researcher of the Orient. “Our government colleges and our central model schools all flowed from the foundations De Leitner laid,” he added.
Vice Chancellor Prof Rahman agreed with the points raised by Majid Shiekh and that Dr Gottlieb Wilhelm Leitner, (1840 – 1899), the first principal of GCU, was also the great scholar of Islam and oriental languages, and had even memorised many parts of Holy Quran to understand Islam. The VC also announced that the main building of GCU Kala Shah Kaku would also be named after the first principal of the GCU.
Pran Neville, who came all the way from India to attend 150th year celebrations of GCU, revealed that two former Indian Air Marshals and two army chiefs were also students of Government College, Lahore. “GC is still almost same, but just the ratio of girls on the campus have increased,” he added. He also read his Punjabi poem “420” and enthralled the audience.
Secretary Abdullah Khan Sumbal, the former captain of GCU cricket team and editor The Ravi 1992, said rigorous academic work and literary and curricular activities of the GCU prepared a Ravain to pass any examination of the world. He shared his memories of studying at GC with the audience, saying that everybody must have courage to know and a will to something for his country.
AIMC Principal Prof Dr Mehmood Shaukat said: “Ravian community has specific culture and GCU represents common people of the society.” He said that the GCU gave the brilliant students a chance to groom their personality and polish their abilities. He told students a difference between knowledge and education. He called on universities to pay more attention on education which was about grooming the personality of a student and making him a good human being.
Prof Sabir Lodhi, who taught at the GCU for 33 years, also shared his golden memories with the audience and congratulated the GCU Library Society on holding the seminar.