Thursday, December 21, 2017

Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah

Date of Birth: 1879 and Date of Death: 4th October, 1948
            Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah, who was famous as the ‘Grand Old Man of Sindh’, was born at Shikarpur in Sindh Province, Pakistan in 1879.  He had his primary education at Shikarpur, later he studied at Karachi and Bombay.  After finishing his education, he started practice as an advocate.  But, he gave more importance to the contemporary politics and social reforms than his legal practice.  Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah got elected as the Vice Chairman of Hyderabad Municipality (Sindh).  Later on, he became an ex-officio president of the Sindh Regional Board.  Hidayatullah was elected to the Bombay Legislative Council in 1921.  He opposed the discrimination on the basis of caste, creed and religion and he also opposed untouchability.  He advocated equal rights for women and organised several programmes accordingly.  Though he was not wealthy, he never hesitated to help the needy.  He proposed compulsory primary education for all.  Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah continued as the member of the Bombay Legislative Council till 1920.  He worked for the welfare of all social groups and he took more interest in protecting the rights of the backward people and for the voting right women.  He became the minister for Local Bodies in the Bombay Government as a result of Montague-Chelmsford reforms in 1921 and continued for about seven years in that post.  Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah was selected as the member of the Bombay Governor’s Committee in 1928 and also successfully completed his term as the Deputy Chairman of the Council.  He also continued in the Central Assembly from 1934 to 1936.  He wanted separate Sindh Province dividing it from Bombay Presidency and participated very actively in the movement for the formation of separate Sindh Province.  As a result of which, Sindh was divided from Bombay Presidency in 1937.  Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah opposed the formation of separate constituencies for Muslims and Muslim League’s separatist ideology.  As a leader of prominence on the political arena of Sindh Province, Hidayatullah took membership in the League in 1936, won in the elections held in 1937.  There upon he became the first Premier of the Sindh.  Later, he became the first Governor of the Sindh Province, after the formation of Pakistan in 1947.  Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah who never hesitated to express his independent ideas till the end, passed away on 4th October, 1948 in Karachi.

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