Srinagar: Prominent scholar,writer and Educationist Dr. Agha Ashraf Ali died at his residence Sufia Nishan, Rajbagh 12 midnight Srinagar.
He was a famous educationist and Writer of J&K.Dr.Agha Ashraf Ali (born 18 October 1924) was a distinguished Indian educationist, academician, and scholar from Jammu and Kashmir State. He is the father of Kashmiri-American poet Agha Shahid Ali. Agha was widely known as a public speaker. He has spoken widely on history, education, culture and contemporary politics. An admirer of Gandhian philosophy he has been an advocate of human rights and has been vocal on human rights issues in Kashmir.
He was PhD Comparative Education Ball State University Teachers College Muncie and Ex-Commissioner of Higher Education, Jammu, and Kashmir.
His maternal grandfather, Khan Bahadur Aga Syed Hussain, was the first matriculate of Kashmir and held a Ministerial berth in the Maharaja’s Cabinet. Agha was educated at the Mission School at Fateh Kadal, Srinagar (later the Biscoe school). After his schooling, he went to Sri Pratap College where he did his graduation and passed with distinction. A lecture by Dr Zakir Hussain (later President of India) at S.P College became a turning point in Agha’s life. Agha quotes Zakir Husain and still remembers the words, “Young friends, youth is not an attainment, it is an opportunity
Agha studied History at Aligarh Muslim University. He was enrolled in M.A History. Agha stood first in History MA and received the Morrison Medal in 1945. Later he went to Delhi and joined Jamia Millia Islamia University where he started teaching.
Agha married Sufia Nomani from Lucknow. After the Partition of India, he decided to go back to Kashmir but he was advised by Sheikh Abdullah that the state had no funds for any post and that Agha must go to England for further studies. Agha went to England and specialized in an academic diploma in comparative education and educational organization and administration. Agha was influenced by the philosophy of Martin Buber and greatly inspired by socialist ideas. For the last three months in 1951, he visited schools in France, Germany, Sweden.