Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Nawab Sir Khwaja Saleemullah Bahadur

Date of Birth: 7th June, 1871 and Date of Death: 15th January, 1915
            Nawab Sir Khwaja Saleemullah Bahadur, who worked not only for Indian Independence but also for the welfare of the Muslim community, was born on 7th June, 1871 in Dhaka, the capital of present Bangladesh.  Nawab Saleemullah became Deputy Magistrate in 1893.  But he quit the job in 1895 as he could not tolerate the exploitation by the European merchants and officials.  He started his own business and entered the field of social service.  He served in different ways for the development of poor Muslims.  He gave importance to educate people.  He donated huge amount of money for the development of the Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental College in Aligarh.  He became the fourth Nawab of Dhaka in 1901 after the demise of his father Nawab Ahasanullah.  He supported the division of Bengal in 1906, as he thought that this measure would prove beneficial to the poor Muslim peasants who were being exploited by the Landlords.  Aiming at the educational development of poor Muslims, he organised the East Bengal-Assam Provincial Educational Conference in 1906.  He demanded for the establishment of a University in Dhaka to improve the academic opportunities for the Muslims.  He wanted the establishment of a separate political party for Muslims to protect their interests and wrote letters to about two thousand Muslims leaders in this regard.  He invited them to discuss this matter at his palace, ‘Ahasan Manzil’ in Dhaka.  He also organised All India Muhammadan Educational Conference from 27th December to 30th December, 1906 in Aligarh.  Prominent personalities like the Begum of Bhopal, Ali Brothers, and Moulana Abul Kalam Azad attended the Conference.  On the final day of the Conference, Nawab Sir Khwaja Saleemullah Bahadur moved the proposal of the All India Muslim League and explained the need for its establishment.  His efforts led to the formation of the ‘All India Muslim League’, in which, he held different key posts.  He submitted a representation to the British government in 1911 for the development and welfare of the Muslims.  Though he had voluntarily stayed away from active politics since 1914, he not only spent his wealth for the development of educational institutions and student hostels but also restlessly worked to get the government funds for them.  Nawab Sir Khwaja Saleemullah Bahadur passed away on 15th January, 1915.

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