Ramjas Colllege will complete 100 years in January next year. To mark the occasion, the college has launched year-long celebrations from 17 January this year.
Delhi Lieutenant-Governor Najeeb Jung inaugurated the centennial celebrations at the college campus on 18 January. Events were organised to recall the history of the college and the ethos of the city over the years.
A mega cyclothon and tonga rides were organised around the campus to reconnect with the college’s history. These were followed with a unique performance by a medley of snake charmers. The students also released as many as 5,000 balloons into the sky to symbolise the college’s motivation to inculcate “freedom of thought” and nurture aspirations of the young.
“These celebrations mark the culmination of a long journey. From noble intentions to abiding struggles, Ramjas has come a long way. It has seen many ups and downs and turmoil. However, today it stands tall as an institution that is recognised by top-ranking bodies for its exemplary education. Today, we are celebrating the excellence of this institution, on the threshold of history, as it enters its second century of existence,” said Dr Rajendra Prasad, principal of Ramjas College, who has been serving as the principal of the college for over 31 years.
Founded in 1917 by Rai Kedar Nath, a former sessions Judge, Ramjas College came up five years before the University of Delhi was itself established in 1922.
The founder named the college after his father Lala Ramjas Mal. The foundation stone for Ramjas College was laid by Mahatma Gandhi along with Rai Kedar Nath at the “Kala Parvat” (presently known as Anand Parvat).
From its humble beginning in Old Delhi, the college shifted to its present campus in 1954 and the foundation stone of the new building was laid by the first President of India, Dr Rajendra Prasad in 1951.
“Today the college has a state-of-the-art infrastructure and a highly acclaimed and trained faculty. The primary emphasis of the college is on achieving academic excellence and providing opportunities to students to enhance their knowledge and skills. The broad philosophy of Ramjas is to nurture today’s youth to face tomorrow’s challenges,” said Dr Prasad, the principal.
The early decades of the college saw it having a close relationship with the freedom movement and the college became a hub of political activities. Mahatma Gandhi had visited the old campus to motivate students during the freedom movement. During the Quit India Movement, students of the college actively participated in the struggle against the colonial masters. A large number of students and teachers were also arrested and sent to jail during that period.
The college has also seen its “dark days” during the 1970s, when it witnessed a decade-long period of turbulence. The college became the hotspot of political ideologies that led to frequent clashes among the teachers and students.
Over a short period of time, the college witnessed the exit of 14 principals. However, since the joining of Dr Rajendra Prasad as the principal of the college in 1985, the college has seen stability return.