Zahira’s first 100 years

Foreign rule


(21st August, 1961 – 31st December, 1966)

With effect from 21.08.1961 the school was taken over by the Hon Minister of Education and Broadcasting for Director-Management for alleged contravention of section 6(1) of Act 5 of 1960 Mr. A. M. A. Azeez was appointed Honorary Principal of Zahira College under government management. This was followed by the Vesting of Zahira College premises etc in the crown as from 20th December, 1961 and Zahira College the once proud possession of the Muslim community became just another government school . Mr. A. M. A. Azeez thereafter resigned.

The darkest period in Zahira’s proud history had began. On 01st of January, 1962 Mr. I. L. M. Mashoor, former Principal of Govt. Teachers College Addalaichenai for several years assumed duties as Principal of Zahira College. The Zahira Evening School was absorbed into the main school. The cadet platoon which has been withdrawn when the school became private was restored. In sports activities a steady progress was maintained. In early 1965 Mr. Mashoor resigned and Mr. M. F. M. H. Fakhir, the Vice-Principal was appointed Acting Principal.


Campaign – Community Agitation

In the meantime the “take over” of the College for Director – Management and the subsequent vesting of the College premises led to continued and persistent agitation by the Muslim Community against the government organised by the Zahira College Old Boys Association led by Mr. A. C. M. Ameer, its President. Protest meetings were held at the Maradana Mosque grounds, Beruwela, Mawanella, Gampola, Kurunegala and several other places. It was said that the unity of the Muslims community in regard to this problem was similar to the unity shown by the Muslim in regard to the “Fez Question” in 1905.

Encouraged by the support extended by the Muslim community and particularly the OBA, the Maradana Mosque committee appealed on 14th December, 1961 to the Supreme Court to have the Order of the Minister dated 21st August, 1961 quashed. The case was argued in the Supreme Court on 22nd March, 1962 and on the 3rd of September, 1963 (after a question in Parliament regarding the delay), the application of the Maradana Mosque was dismissed. The Mosque committee thereafter appealed against the order of the Supreme Court to the privy council which heard the appeal on 19th January, 1966. The Privy Council allowed the appeal and set aside the Order of the Supreme Court. The Ministers order taking over Zahira College on 21.08.1961 was thereby quashed.

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