The London Mission established a school at Pudur under the name of London Mission School. The medium of instruction was English and the study of Bible was compulsory. The British Government had allowed various sects of Christian Missionaries to establish schools in India and to preach Christianity. To counteract the moves of Christian Missionaries, Darul Uloom was established at Deoband in 1867.
The Muslims of Vaniyambadi started Madrasae-Mufeed-e-Aam in 1867 on the pattern of Darul Uloom Deoband, and darse nizami was its syllabus. The purpose of this madrasa was to make the new generation steeped in Islamics, so that they could not be corrupted by the lure of modern education. Later, with the passage of time, this madrasa switch over to secular education. At present this school is a recognized and aided school. Similarly another was opened inside the premises of the Old Mosque, and this school Nasirul-Islam is still functioning as a recognized and aided school. With the same spirit Madrasa-e-Azam was started in Fort.
Aligarh Movement and Islamiah School
Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, a civil servant of British Government, was a product of traditional school. Born in 1870, he was a witness to the uprisings of 1857 and its aftermath. Muslim economy was completely devastated. Sir Syed realized that the only way the Muslims of India could regain their lost dignity and economic prosperity was through education. He held Mohammedan Educational Conference at Madras in 1901. A large delegation attended the conference and founded Vaniyambadi Mohammedan Educational Society in 1902. The Society started ‘Madrasa-e-Islamiah’ on 26 August 1903, with three students. With the passage of time this Elementary School developed into a High School.
The Management wanted to open Islamiah College in 1914, but unfortunately the First World War broke out and the opening of the college was delayed. Eventually, Islamiah College was started in 1919. It became a first grade College in 1946, and a post-graduate College in 1974.
VME Society held an epoch making educational conference in 1916. It was presided over by Sir Akbar Hyderi. Sir Ross Masood also participated in it. This conference put Vaniyambadi on the educational map of India.
Proposal to change the name of Islamiah College
Khateeb Ahmed Hussain was the first graduate of Vaniyambadi. He joined the services of Nizam of Hyderabad. Appointed as a personal secretary to the Nizam, he rose to the position of Dewan, with the title of Sir Ameen Jung. In the initial stage of the opening of the college, VME Society was not financially comfortable. So, the General Secretary Janab Ghulam Ahmed Kalami Saheb and the Secretary Janab Yaqoob Hasan Sait and the Head Master Janab Mohammed Ibrahim Quraishi went as a delegation to Hyderabad to seek financial help from the Nizam.
Kalami and Sait were not from Vaniyambadi, but because of their commitment to the cause of Muslim Education, they were selected as General Secretary and Secretary of VME Society.
The delegation met Sir Akbar Hyderi, secretary to the Government of Nizam of Hyderabad, Sir Ross Masood, the director of Public Instruction, and Khateeb Ahmed Hussain, the Dewan. The three officials came out with the proposal that required financial help could be provided on a condition that the name of Islamiah College be renamed as Osmania College. The delegate, little realising the sentiments of Vaniyambadi, agreed to the proposal. The met the Nizam and presented their request formally, and the Nizam consented to it.
The members of the VME Society rejected the proposal to rename the college as Osmania College. Meetings were held in many localities and resolutions were passed, urging VME Society to retain the name of Islamiah College.
Jamia Milla was established in Delhi by Hakeem Ajmal Khan, Moulana Mohammed Ali, Moulana Showkath Ali, Moulana Abul Kalam Azad and Dr. Ansari. This institution did not receive any aid from the Government. On these lines Jamia Islamiah was establish in Vaniyambadi. And this Jamia Islamiah started a school known as Qhaumi Madrasa. The school was housed in the premise of Muslim Society. Leaders of national movement were invited by the Muslim Society to address the meetings in the town. Muslim Society brought out dailies in Urdu and Tamil to mobilize public opinion on national issues. ‘Rahebar’ in Urdu and ‘Mohammedia Mitran’ were brought out by the Society.
It was established in 1887. It was first started in a house endowed by Haji Abdus Samad Saheb. As the strength of the student increased, the Madrasa was shifted to the present place, with hostel and mosque inside the campus.
Madrasa-e-Niswan was a brain child of the members of Khairkha-e-Aam. The members of this organization were the young social workers who played an active role at a time when Vaniyambadi was ravaged by cholera and plague. There were many houses in the town where all the members had died and there was nobody in the family to bury the dead. During 1912, within three months, from 28 January to 28 March 621 persons had died due to plague and cholera. The Anjuman raised a separate fund known as ‘Ghurba Kaafan Fund’ to meet the expenses of burying the dead bodies. These young members joined together and arranged for the decent burial of the dead bodies. The members of this association were for a smooth and cordial relationship with the British Empire. They were not in favour of any conflict with the British Government. It was one of the objectives of the constitution of Anjuman-e-Khairkha-e-Aam.
Under the presidentship of Moulana Mohammed Abdur Rahman who was popularly known as Bade Hazrath and he was the Head Master of Madrasa-e-Mufeed-e-Aam, a meeting was held on 11th March 1910. In these meeting a resolution was passed to establish Madrasa-e-Niswan. The foundation of the present building was laid on 21st October 1912 by Hazrath Shah Abdul Latheef, who was also known as Khutbe Vellore.
Madrasa-e-Faiz-e-Aam and Madrasa-e-Banaath
Periapet is one of the oldest localities of Vaniyambadi. As the boys had to cross the Palar River to come to school at Fort, a school was established at Periapet by Meerlappaai Haji Abdus Salam Saheb. This school is known as Madrasa-e-Faiz-e-Aam. After five years of study here, the students come to Islamiah High School. Though it is one of the oldest school in Vaniyambadi, it is unaided by the Government.
Madrasa-e-Banaath was established by the wife of Meerlappaai Haji Abdus Salam Saheb, the founder of above school. It provides religious education besides learning in Tamil, English, Arithmetic and handicrafts. It is also an unaided school.
This school was established who wished to remain anonymous. The managerial committee of Mufeed-e-Aam school is also in charge of this school. This is recognized and aided school.
Anjuman-e-Khuddamul Islam was established in 1916. It established a school Madrasa-e-Khaderia and built a choultry at Khaderpet. The school was providing religious education to the boys. Later, the school was converted into a school for secular education and got recognized by the Government. Now this school has classes up to 12th standard.
The London Mission which had its head quarters at Salem started a school at Pudur under the name of Mission School. There was a rivalry between London Mission and the Arcot Mission which was older than the former in this part of the state. The London Mission could not succeed in its mission in Vaniyambadi as the Muslims and the Hindus were very religious. At last, the London Mission left Vaniyambadi and the school was taken over by the Arcot Mission. It as a Elementary School and it was recognized by the Government in 1924. It was upgrade as a higher elementary school in 1940, and high school in 1979. At present it is a higher secondary school.
The majority of the Hindus in Vaniyambadi belong to Vanniyar community. They turned towards education very late. Thiru Muthulingam Arunagiri Chettiyar started a school in 1914, and managed it with his own funds. Later prominent Hindus joint together and formed Hindu School Committee. This committee took over the management of the school started by Arunagiri Chettiyar. It became a high school in 1942.
Besides this school there is Thiru Ve Ka Higher Elementary School, it is a recognized and aided school.
Islamiah Girls Higher Secondary School
In 1957, VME Society started this school. It remained a middle school till 1968. After a gap of 10 years higher secondary school classes were started in 1978.
VME Society was all set to open the college in 1913, but the First World War broke out in 1914. As a result of this war, the opening of the college was delayed. In 1914, His Excellency Lord Pentland, the then Governor of Madras Presidency, laid the foundation stone of the building in which Islamiah College is now functioning. The college was started in 1919. The building in which college is functioning today was declared opened by Nawab C. Abdul Hakeem Saheb.
In 1946, the college was upgraded, offering B.A., Economics and B.Com. At present the college is a full-fledged P.G and research institution. After the establishment of Thiruvalluvar University at Vellore, Islamiah College is affiliated to this University. The College has been accredited by NAAC at the ‘A’ grade level.
The college has introduced M.Sc. (Physics) and M.Sc. (Computer Science), and B.C.A. under self-financing scheme. The college has full time M.Phil in Mathematics and Chemistry, and part time facilities for M.Phil in Commerce, Mathematics, and History. And full time and part time Ph.D facilities in Chemistry, Mathematics, Commerce and History.
It is the only college that offers B.Sc Biotechnology as an aided course. The Department of Biotechnology offers a certificate course in aquaculture and ornamental fishes.
Islamiah Industrial Training Institute
The society was very much concerned to find ways to uplift the community economically. In order to help those boys who could not continue their studies beyond high school, the society started the Islamiah Training Institute (IITI) in 1984 to help them acquire technical education. This Institute offers two-year courses in five trades, viz., Motor Mechanic, and Refrigeration and Air Conditioning.
Islamiah Women’s College of Arts and Science
Islamiah Women’s College, a long felt need for higher education, was opened on 16th October 1997. The College got provisional affiliation from the Madras University on 7th October 1997 and was inaugurated on 16th October, 1997.
Now, under the aegis of VME Society, more than 6000 students - both boys and girls - study at different levels from the elementary to the Ph.D level.