History Annie Besant Not Found

R.D. National College is the first college of the Hyderabad (Sind) National Collegiate Board. Today this Board has over 22 educational institutions catering to students from all backgrounds. A variety of courses are offered, ranging from Engineering, Pharmacy and Education to Arts, Science and Commerce.

The college rose like a phoenix from the ashes of communal fires of the partition of India in 1947. Established originally in 1922 with the blessings of Dr. Annie Besant and Rishi Dayaram Gidumal, the college saw a shift in its location from Hyderabad (Sind) to Bombay in 1949. This was brought about through the tireless efforts of the founder Principal Mr. K.M. Kundnani with unstinted support from barrister H.G. Advani. Mr. Kundnani was the Principal of the college in Sind and in a moment of emotional impulse promised his harried and anguished teachers that he would give them jobs in Bombay where he intended to start a college. Having said that, he was a man possessed and did not rest till he laid the foundation stone of a transplanted college in its present location. Rishi Dayaram National college was born on Linking Road, Bandra, in June 1949. Other colleges of the Board grew from this parent college due to an extremely focused attention of the two stalwarts Principal Kundnani and Barrister Advani.

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In the mission statement, the college has emphasized a "liberal, secular and an open minded education". In this National College is carrying forward the vision and dream of the founder Principal.

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In fact an interesting incident speaks volumes about Principal Kundnani's broad-mindedness and his secular nature. The incident concerns the enrollment of the very first student to the college. While Mr. Kundnani was laying the bricks of the college (literally - because he actually did the brick work himself) a young boy came up to him and pointed at the board "Admission Open" and asked if he could get admission. Kundnani nodded and directed him to a clerk who was asked to give the boy a form. When the student filled his name as "Mohd. Shakir Gaya", the horrified clerk whispered to Mr. Kundnani, "Sir, he is a Muslim!". Kundnani immediately retorted "So what? Education knows no religion". This, coming from a man who still nursed the wounds of partition, having lost everything, was remarkable. The boy, Mohd. Shakir Gaya, was to become the apple of the eye of Principal Kundnani. He became the General Secretary of the college. He later joined the college as a lecturer in Persian and retired as its Head of Department. He became the founder president of the Alumni Association and even today takes great interest in the association activities, organizing cultural programs among others. The first student of National college has kept his tryst with the college thanks to the vision and inspiration of the founder Principal. National college proudly continues the tradition of secular education.

Dayaram, a peon in the college, who retired many years ago, recalled the days he spent with Principal Kundnani. He was the Principal's personal peon in Hyderabad (Sind) and traveled with him to Bombay in the wake of the partition. He had many tales to tell but the all time favorite was when he and Kundnani "smuggled" some books and laboratory equipment from the original college in Sind for the proposed "dream" college in Bombay. Dayaram recalled that at Marwar station in Rajasthan, some nasty National Guard personnel entered the train and began to search the belongings of the passengers. One burly fellow asked Dayaram "What is in the trunk?" Dayaram began to sweat. Kundnani replied nonchalantly "The trunk contains a huge treasure." The word 'treasure' sent the imagination of all the guards running wild. They forced the lock open and were shocked to see that the contents were nothing but 'books and laboratory equipment'. They declared, "You call this treasure? You must be mad." They gave a rude shove to Dayaram and left the train in a huff. The 'treasure' is still in the college today, finding a place of pride in the library and the Physics department because these were the academic foundation of the college.

The college stage has been the launching pad of many creative talents. Amjad Khan, the fiery dacoit of 'Sholay' learnt and developed his acting talents on the college stage. Jaaved Jaffri, put on his dancing shoes first on this stage. There are many more to whom the college has given unflinching support in the realization of their talents. The College has a very dynamic faculty and has had stalwarts like Prof. Sadanand Varde, ex-Education Minister, Prof.Vasant Bapat the great Marathi playwright, Prof. Lila D'Souza, former principal at St.Andrew's College, imparting education to students. National College is committed to fulfilling the dream of the founding fathers – Principal Kundnani and Barrister Advani and has kept the college motto "Play the Game" as the guiding star. In 1949, as the college flag unfurled for the first time, the founders knew that it would never sag. Those who followed them would keep the flag flying. National is proud to say that the colors of the flag have not faded and that it is still flying high with full dignity, glory and splendor.