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Raja Sahib of Mahmudabad

Raja Sahib Mahmudabad راجا صاحب محمود آباد
Born
Amir Ahmed Khan امیر احمد خان

(1914-11-05)5 November 1914[1]
Died14 October 1973(1973-10-14) (aged 58)[1]
Resting placeNear Tomb of Imam Raza Mashhad, Iran
CitizenshipBritish India, Pakistan, United Kingdom
Alma materLa Martiniere Lucknow
Occupation
  • Politician
  • Writer
  • Scholar
Spouse(s)Rani Kaniz Abid
Parent(s)

Mohammad Amir Ahmed Khan راجا صاحب محمود آباد, Raja of Mahmudabad (5 November 1914 – 14 October 1973) popularly known as Raja Sahib of Mahmudabad[1] was a prominent politician and leader of the All India Muslim League, during the Pakistan Movement.[1]

He served as Managing Trustee from 1940–1944 of Madrasatul Waizeen, a centre of Shia Islamic education founded by his father located in Lucknow.

Titles and honours

  • Khan Bahadur Khan
  • Amirul Omara
  • Saeedul Mulk Muzzafar Jung Ghanzanfaru-daula

Literary and cultural aspects

He carried on the family tradition and was an accomplished poet in Urdu and Persian. He composed a number of ruba'iyat, salaams, and marsiya as well as some ghazals and nazms under the takhalus (nom de plume) of 'Bahr' and 'Mahbub'. One of his previously unpublished marsiya, entitled Jawn Martyr of Karbala Lamented, has been recently published in London.

Inheritance and legacy

He inherited the Estate of Mahamudabad [2] in 1931 upon death of his father Maharaja Sir Mohammad Ali Mohammad Khan.[1] After his demise, his Estate was taken over by the Government of India under 'Enemy Properties Act'. His wife Rani Kaniz Abid and his only son and heir Raja Mohammad Amir Mohammad Khan remained an Indian citizen and fought a case for recovery of their ancestral Estate for reclaiming their heritage worth millions of rupees and the case is, at present, in high profile legal dispute in India. He won the case after 37 herculean years winning through district court, High Court of Bombay, and the Supreme Court of India which gave a landmark judgement in 2005 ordering "vacant possession" to his properties. Yet to date, the order is far from implementation as the Indian Government continues to bring emergency ordinances in order to block the Supreme Court order; so the case is back in the courts.[3]

Freedom Movement

He was one of the youngest members of Working Committee of All India Muslim League in 1937. In the same year 1937, he founded All India Muslim Students Federation, which later mobilized into a strong vocal support for Pakistan Movement.[1][4] However, he was against the Pakistan Movement during early 1940s. When the Muslim League passed the resolution at Lahore, he stood against it and formed All-India Jamhur Muslim League in 1940 to counter the move. The first session of this party was held at Muzaffarpur, Bihar. Raja Saheb was elected its President and Dr. Maghfoor Ahmad Ajazi as General Secretary.[5]

Later on, he changed his mind under the influence of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who was a long time family friend and eventually supported the idea of a separate Muslim state. Maharaja Mohammad Ali Mohammad Khan had created a trust with Motilal Nehru, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Deputy Habibullah and Chaudhary Bam Bahadur Shah amongst others to administer the estate as his son was still a minor. Motilal Nehru died before the Maharaja and after the latter's death in 1931, Mohammad Ali Jinnah became the dominant personality on the board.[6] He said that "...the idea of a separate Muslim state in India stirred the imagination of the Muslims as nothing else had done before."[6]

Migration

In 1945, before the Independence of India, he migrated to Iraq.[7] He subsequently moved to Pakistan in 1957.[7] He later settled down in London.[1]

Life in London

He was the first Director of the Islamic Cultural Centre in London, and devoted rest of his life in supervising the building of the Regent Park Mosque.[1][4] He was the moving force behind the World of Islam Festival [1] held in 1976 in the United Kingdom. Ali Allawi reminisces about the events of 1976.[8]

Death

He died in London on 14 October 1973 but was buried in Mashhad in Iran.[1][4] He was succeeded by his son Raja Mohammad Amir Mohammad Khan who has been a Member of the Legislative Assembly of Uttar Pradesh.[citation needed]

Legacy

The Mehmoodabad area of Karachi is named after him. Raja Sahib of Mahmudabad used to practice strict self-denial and self-discipline for religious reasons in his personal life. That is why his house in Karbala, Iraq and all his wealth was gifted to the Government of Pakistan.[4]

In 1990, Pakistan Postal Services issued a commemorative postage stamp in his honor in its 'Pioneers of Freedom' series.[4]

Further reading

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Raja Sahib of Mahmudabad". Pioneers of Freedom website. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  2. ^ Kothi, Qila Mahmudabad on World Monuments Watch website Retrieved 6 May 2018
  3. ^ "Enemy Property Bill: A Raja's Lost Legacy". NDTV. 26 August 2010. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e Profile and commemorative postage stamp info of Raja Sahib of Mahmudabad on findpk.com website Retrieved 6 May 2018
  5. ^ South Asian History And Culture,Routledge,London,ISSN.1947-2498.Vol.2.Taylor and Francis Group.pp16-36
  6. ^ a b Pandey, Gyanendra (2001). "Remembering Partition: Violence, Nationalism, and History in India". Questia, Your Online Research Library. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  7. ^ a b The Riyasat of Raja of Mehmoodabad by Farzana Behram Contractor. Retrieved 6 May 2018
  8. ^ Ali Allawi, former Iraqi Minister, fondly remembers the instrumental role of Raja of Mahmudabad in the organisation of the Festival in The Crisis of Islamic Civilization Retrieved 6 May 2018