Paper Read by Rajkumar Mohammad Ameer Ibrahim Khan at History Congress held at Bombay
MAHARAJA OF MAHMUDABAD
- A PATRIOR AND CONSTRUCTIVE STATESMAN -
The Hon'ble Maharaja Sir Mohd. Ali Mohammed Khan Khan, Bahadur, K.C.S.I., K.C.I.E., etc., was the eldest son of Amir-Ud-Daula, Saeed-Ul-Mulk, Naseerul Millat, Ameen –ul-Haramain Raja Sir Mohammed Amir Hasan Khan, Khan Bahadur, K.C.I.E. Mumtaz Jung of Mahmudabad. He was born on the 6 th of Rajab 1295 A.H., corresponding to Sunday the 7 th of July 1878 A.D., at Mahmudabad. A town in the Sidhauli Tahsil of Sitapur District, Uttar Pradesh, situated in 27° 18' N and 81° 8E, on a metalled road from Sidhauli station on the Lucknow Bareilly railway line. He was a direct descendant of Mohammed Ibne- Abubaker who was the governor of Egypt during the time of HAZRAT ALI'S KHILFAT. Before coming to India his fore- fathers had held high offices under the Abbasid Khalifs. Shaikh Nasrullah, the Kazi of Baghdad, came to India in the twelfth century. His descendants for three generations held the office of Kazi of Delhi and about 1345 A.D. Kazi Nusra-ullah, also known as Shaik Nathoun, was sent by Muhammed –bin Tughlak to reduce the bhars in Barabanki. He was successful and received a large estate. Another member of the family, named Daud Khan was a celebrated soldier who did good services against Hinu the general of the Sures. His son, Mahmud Khan, was also a distinguished leader, and founded the town of Mahmudabad . The family maintained its position throughout the Mughal period, and their estates were largely extended under the Oudh rulers. On their joining the Mughal services the Mughal Emperors awarded them titles and donoted them the Jagir of Mahmudabad, then a vast territory whose borders met with those of the Kingdom of Nepal , as a gesture of magnanimity for their integrity, courage and bravery. His grand-father, Muqeem-ud-Daula Raja Mohammed Nawab Ali Khan, Khan Bahadur, Qaim Jung played a very prominent part in the great revolt of 1857 and defeated the British troops in Skirmishes, so much so that the British Government had to place a price over his head. But this great, valiant and brave son of India succumbed to his wound that he received during the war while trying to escape to Nepal with some of his trusted followers. By sheer irony of fate the titles and estate of Raja Mohammed Nawab Ali Khan were not impounded inspite of the rebellious role he played during the mutiny of 1857. His minor son, Amiru-ud-Daul Raja Sir Amir Hasan Khan was installed on to the “Gaddi” of Mahmudabad Estate, which was proportionately reduced to a small estate with limited powers at his behest.
Raja Sir Amir Hassan Khan also could not conceal his hatred towards the Britishers and once drew his sword at the Viceroy, as a result of which the Estate of Mahmudabad was about to be confiscated but, for the timely help given by some of his friends, who somehow, contrived to get him declared insane by an English doctor. Thus, for the second time the Estate of Mahmudabad was saved from confiscation, but the Estate was further shorn off some of its territories.
When the Young Raja Sir Mohammed Ali Mohammed Khan ascended the ‘Gaddi' on the Ist of January 1906, the place of his estate in the United Provinces as only next to that of the estate of Balrampur.
As was the custom and fashion in those days he received his education from eminent educationists in his own house. He was an excellent “Marsia Nigar”. A book containing his ‘Marsiahs' and ‘Nohas' has been published by his second son, Maharaja Kumar Mohammed Amir Hyder Khan. From the very beginning he was interested in politics and took upon his shoulders the task of uplifting his community. He was a very broad-minded and straight- forward man and was favoured by the government for his integrity. In the beginning of the century he was appointed a ‘Honarary Magistrate Munsif' at Lucknow He continued to enjoy the favour of the Government. In 1902-1903 he represented his father in the coronation ceremonies which were held at Delhi and was treated most cordinally. His camp was put up near to that of Sir James Latouche, the Governor of United Provinces. He also attended the 1911 ‘Darbar' which was held in honour of the visit of H.I.M. King George V, in which he was invited in his capacity as a Taluqedar of Oudh and member of the Imperial council. In the year 1904 he was appointed a member of the United Provinces Legislative Council. In 1907 he stood for the membership of the Imperial Council. Rai Nehal Chand opposed him and was defeated.
Thus Raja Saheb became one of the youngest member of the Imperia Council. His election was welcomed in the political circles as well as by the press. He was again elected to this council in 1910, 1913 and 1917. He was neither a revolutionary nor a reactionary. He hated both the extremes. He was a constructive statesman who understood and fought for the rights and liberties of the people of India , but he was not prepared to ignore or belittle the difficulties of the Government of India, while he emphasized on the government the necessity of understanding the point of view of the Indians, he requested the latter to move courteously. His role in the Indian politics was that of a unifier and reconciler. On an invitation from Lord Chelmsford he attended the war conference in 1918. He was decorated with the title of K.C.S.I. in 1921. The same year he was appointed Home Member in the Executive Council of the Governor of United Provinces. Thus he became the first Indian to be made Home Member in the United Provinces Governor's Executive council. He was also the first muslim to be honoured by the title of Maharaja. In 1924 the Government of India appointed him a member of the Skoon committee. In 1930 he was nominated is a delegate to the First Round Table Conference, but along with other Nationalist Muslims refused to attend it.
He was one of those aristocrats who played an important part in the political life of the country. He constantly fought and worked hard to secure for India a Dominion status and finally independence, but he never lived to see his dream come true. He always tried to guide politics along constitutional lines. He was a staunch nationalist. While presiding over the Calcutta session of the Muslim League in 1917 the Maharaja spoke thus: “The interest of the country are paramount. We need not try to argue whether we are Muslims first or Indians. The fact is we are both, to us the question of precedence has no meaning. The league has inculcated among the muslims a spirit of sacrifice for their country as their own religion”. It is on account of this friendly atmosphere that both the Hindus and Muslims participated in the non cooperation movement.
Raja Saheb was a founder member of the Muslim Leugue and accompanied the deputation led by H.H. Sir Agha Khan to Simla to place before Lord Minto the Muslims demands for separate electorates. These demands were accepted and a provision was made in the Act of 1909 for separate electorate for the muslims. But certain events and policies of the British brought Hindus and Muslims close to each other. The constitution of the Muslim League was radically changed in 1913 and the Aga Khan was forece to resign from the presidentship of the Muslim League.
After the resignation of H.H. Sir Aga Khan from the permanent presidentship of the muslim Leagues Raja Saheb was unanimously elected its permanent president. Sir Ibrahim Rahamatullah while proposing his name said, “I have been hearing the name Raja Saheb of Mahmudabad since many years. I was under the impression that Raja Mahmudabad will also be a prince in the sae nature and sense as the Rajas and Maharajas are usually found to be. I thought that he will be devoid of education and manners and involved in revelry and pleasures. But when I got the opportunity of meeting him and continually meeting him, them I had to take back my earlier impression very happily, and felt very sorry as to why I did not enquire before forming such an impression on more imagery and imagination. Raja Mahmudabad is a young prince, but to call him a prince in the sense and manner which is generally true of the princes is wrong. He is a broad- minded prince, he is an educated and well mannered prince, he is statesman prince, he is a politician prince, he is a philanthropic prince. He is a prince loved and respected by all. No other person is found better than him for the presidentship, therefore I propose his name for the presidentship. Mr Jinnah and other delegated seconded it and he was elected the permanent president unanimously.
Even though a founder member and permanent president of the Muslim League he was a strong supporter of the Indian National Congress and Supported its resolutions many a time. It was under his influence that the sessions of the Muslim League and the Congress were held at the same place for some years and an atmosphere of friend –ship and co-operation was built- up. This led to the signing of the famous Lucknow pact of 1916 between the Muslim League and the Congress.
It was his patriotic spirit which made him to work for friendly cooperation among the various communities and for the development of all parties irrespective of their policies provided they aim for the same goal “Swaraj”. Helped the ‘Khilafat Movement', and provided Leadership to the Muslims. It was he who brought Mr. Mohammed Ali Jinnah to the Muslim League. He never thought that Mr. Jinnah will one day carve out a separate state for the Muslims and leave behind a great number of his brothers and the mercy of those whom he (Mr. Jinnah) thought to be their enemies. He presided over the sessions of the Muslim League thrice (1917) 1918 and 1928) and was not a narrow communalist. He was, generally speaking, opposed to the idea of communal electorates. He considered the real and genuine interests of minority community to be national interest. However, his argument was that all the castes and communities should pool their resources to deserve ‘Swaraj'. He reminded the majority of its obligations to remove doubts and fears of a minority since various apprehensions and misgivings of a minority community were not unnatural. He also advised the minority not to formulate excessive and unreasonable terms. His view was that while Hindus and Muslims stood to lose by mutual jealousies and hatred a lot could be gained by goodwill and healthy cooperation.
It was his earnest wish to see Hindus and Muslims fighting shoulder to shoulder for the independence of their motherland. It is to be noted that the congress leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Motilal Nehru and Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya attended the sessions of the Muslim League in 1915, 1916 and 1917 and spoke from its platform in support of several resolutions. The Maharaja also several times was asked to attend the sessions of the Congress as a special invitee and he also spoke from its platform in support of several resolutions. He played a very important part and was instrumental in convening the joint session of the congress and the Muslim League in 1916 at Lucknow and played host to several of its delegates. About the Lucknow session of the Congress Pattabhi Sitaramayya writes thus: “The Lucknow session of the Congress was all together a unique one, for the fraternization of the Hindus and Muslims as well as for the formulation of a scheme of self- government. Not less important was the reunion of the two wings of the Congress which had been separated since 1907. it was truly an enlivening spectacle to see Tilak and Khapardo sitting side by side with Dr. Rash Bihari Ghose and Surendera Nath Bannerjee Mrs. Besant was there with her two co-adjutors- Aurundale and Wadia and the banner of Home Rule in their hands. Amongst the Muslims were men like the Raja of Mahmudabad, Mazhar-ul-Haq, A. Rasul and Jinnah. Gandhi and Polak were theretoo. The Congress League scheme which was passed by the Congress was, immediately, approved by the Muslim League”.
It is very interesting to note that though Raja Saheb was a key figure and an active member of the Muslim League he sometimes intervened in some of the very important issues of the Congress. On the question of the election of the Congress President at the Lucknow session of the Congress, he supported the candidature of Mrs. Besant against that of Mr. A.C. Mazumdar, and promised to contribute one lakh rupees towards the expenses of an Indian deputation, to England in connection with the Home Rule Movement if Mrs. Besant was elected President. This was informally mentioned at a meeting of the congress reception committee. The move failed and Mr. A.C. Mazumdar presided over the congress session.
The A.I.C.C. in its meeting on the 7 th of April 1917 included his name alongwith S.N. Banerjee, Dr. Rash Behari Ghosh, Bhupendra Nath Basu, Madan Malaviya, Sir K.G. Gupta, Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru and C.P. Rama Swamy Aliyar in the deputation which was to be sent to England to deal with the question of Indian Reforms. He was also one of the 19 members of the Supreme Council who signed What later came to be widely known as the ‘Nineteen Memorandum' which was sent up to the viceroy in November 1916. It embodied the principles of a scheme of self Government for India .
It was, in 1917 at Calcutta , that under his president -ship the Muslim League re-affimed the principles of Reform contained in the Congress League scheme and declared that nothing less than self –government within the Empire would satisfy the legitimate aspirations of the Indian people. A special session of the congress was convened at Bombay on the 29 th of August 1918 under the presidentship of Mr. Hassan Imam and adopted a resolution on practically the same lines as the League with whose committee there had been complete collaboration. It must be noted that this collaboration between Congress and the League of a section of the League Continued till his death.
During the years he had come so close to the Congress that he was offered its presidentship. Mrs. Annie Besant and Mrs. Sarojini Naidu came with the offer to Lucknow and virtually succeeded in their mission. It would have been a spectacle to see a founder member and an important and key figue of the Muslim League presiding over a congress session. It would also have proved the strong ties the two major political parties had developed. But this never happened, for a letter came from Sir Harcourt Butler, a personal friend whom Raja Saheb considered as his own brother, saying that he has been offered the governorship of the united provinces and that he will accept it only if he, Raja Saheb, agree to join his executive council. He showed the latter to the two eminent ladies and said that Sir Harcourt Butler is not only his friend but also a well wisher of the Indian people and that it is difficult for him to turn down his invitation. Moreover, he said that , he will be able to serve the country better if he joins the executive council of such a person as Sir Harcourt Butler a friend, sympathizer and well wisher of India . Mrs. Annie Besant and Mrs. Sarojini Naidu agreed with him and the move for his presidentship was dropped. It is a fact that as a Home member in the U.P. Government he brought about a number of reforms. He is still remembered for the services he rendered as Home Member of the U.P. Government.
The Raja Saheb was a leader of the first order and his opinion and presence was needed in every major political and national event. In the year 1918 the Viceroy convened a war Conference of Indian Leaders on the 27 th , 28 th and 29 th of April for the collection of men, material and money for the Great War. It was attended by the Governors, Chief Commissioners, Executive Councillors, European as well as Indian Members of the Imperial Council and the various Provincial Legislative Councils, Rulers of Indian states and various other distinguished European and Indian officials and non officials. The Raja Saheb along with Sastriar, Syed Hassan Imam, Sardar Bahadur Sunder Singh Majithia and Gandhi made speeches supporting the first resolution, moved by the Gaikwar of Baroda, declaring India 's loyalty to the king Emperor, who had sent a message to the effect that “the need of the Empire is India 's opportunity”.
He never hesitated to criticize whatever was against the National interest. In the 1909 session of the Imperial Legislative Council the Government introduced a bill in which more powers were given to the police. Raja Saheb opposed and criticized this bill. While speaking again in the imperial Legislative Council he criticized the Rewlatt Act thus:
It is inopportune, uncalled for, undemocratic and un-British.
Along with other nationalist leaders maharaja Saheb also boycotted the Simon Commission. Pattabhi Sitaramayya in his book' the History of the Congress' writes thus, it was a fact that the Maharaja of Mahmudabad and his place were surrounded with a cordon of police while the commission was being entertained in the neighbouring park. When Pandit Motilal Nehru came to know about this incident, he reacted sharply, and while delivering the Presidential address at the forty-third session of the Indian National Congress held in Calcutta on 29 th December 1928, asked five questions of which the last three were (3) “How would any Englishmen like his house to be broken into his quests treated to a sound thrashing and then arrested and imprisoned for a night for making a peaceful demonstration from his own terrace?
(4) How would an Englishman like to be imprisoned in his own house, for however short a time, for helding opinions against the government of the day? (5) How long would a government last in English which allowed the things mentioned in questions (3) and (4) to happen? “To clarify the questions he added,” we know that the house of the great nationalist nobleman of Oudh , the Maharaja of Mahmudabad was surrounded with a cordon of Police while his reactionary compeers were entertaining the Commission in a neighbouring park. The Maharaja, as is well known, bravely stands for the boycott of the commission and has refused to take part in any function given in its honour. Where is the liberty of the ordinary citizen when the premier baron of Oudh , a retired Home Member of the U.P. Government, decorated with the highest honours in its gifts, can be imprisoned in his own house, simply because he holds an opinion disliked by the government? Is this anything very different from the resolute government' fore shadowed by the Viceroy and the English newspapers? It has actually come upon us since”. Pandit Motilal Nehru and Maharaja Saheb were good friends and whenever Motilalji came to Lucknow he stayed with Maharaja Saheb Saheb as his guest.
In 1928 Maharaja Saheb Played host to the Nehru Commission. All its members stayed at Kaisar Bagh to draft a constitution for India . This draft later came to be widely known as ‘Nehru Report'. About his hospitality Mr. M.C. Chagla, a jurist of international repute and a fromer union Minister, in his autobiography' Roses in December' writes thus “I remember the first evening when we sat down to dinner, out host was the Maharaja of Mahmudabad, a prince famed for his hospitality. I believe Montague, who was secretary of State for India , reports I his diary that when he dined with the Maharaja of Mahmudabad he served him a dinner which had 42 courses. We were almost as liberally treated at Kaisar Bagh, as Montague was. I remember the first dinner we started with western food- soup, fish, meat and soon. Then came Muslim food Murgh Mussalam, Biryani, and all the famed dishes of the North, and finally Hindu food with puris and vegetables and then Hindu sweets. When I started I thought the dinner consisted only of the English courses, and I ate my fill. When the Muslim and Hindus dishes arrived, I could only sit and watch. Motilal Nehru and Tej Bahadur Sapru, who were relatively old men, kept pace, however, and did full justice to whatever was served at the dinner. I still rememberMotillalji telling me: ‘Young man, how will you fight for your country if you don't know how to eat?” A majority of the members of the All India Muslim League under the leadership of Maharaja Saheb approved the Nehru Report.
On the 11 th of September 1930 Maharaja Saheb wrote a letter to the Viceroy, Lord Irwin expressing his inability to attend the First Round Table Conference in England as the doctors whom he had consulted throw doubt upon the wisdom of his going to London . Lord Irwin in his reply of the 17 th September 1930, said that he is reluctant at this stage to discount the possibility of his going to London and insisted that he should accept the invitation to the Round Table Conference, which he is enclosing with the letter. It is true that, maharaja Saheb, as a staunch nationalist he was, did not attend the first Round Table Conference. He felt that the proposed Conference may not be a success owing to the uncertainty of the participation of the Congress leaders in the Council. He was also unhappy ever the Muslim Representation in the Conference and did not consider the list to be a balanced one as Muslim separatists and communist predominate. There were only a few Muslim Nationalists in the list. He was of the opinion that the absence of the Muslim Nationalist, who relly represent the majority of the Muslims in every part of India will not lead to an amiable settlement. The Maharaja was a man of courage and determination and possessed a charismatic personality. He had in his heart a soft corner for the poor and the down trodden and always helped them in whatever capacity he could, irrespective of their religion, cast or creed. By the various measures which he took to improve their lot he became very popular in his estate and won the hearts of the people. In his Estate he abolished the extraction of many of the customary Nazrana items which Zamindars of the time had taken under the old feudal practice. Both the Hindus and Muslims loved and respected him. Such was his influence on both the communities that when communal tension developed in Lucknow in 1930 and there was danger of rioting roit would have suited British imperialists in withholding reforms Maharaja Saheb published appeal to leaders of both communities as a result the two communities came to an amiable settlement.
The role he played in getting the demolished part of the Kanpur Mosque again restored and beautified is very well known. His brave and commendable stand against the U.P. Government on this issue won him the love and respect of hundreds of thousand of people throughout the length and breath of the county. His influence made the Viceroy, Lord Hardings, to descend from the heights of Simla and come to Kanpur to order the reconstruction of the demolished part of the Mosque, and to do justice to the Muslims which was hitherto denied to them by the U.P. Government, Lord Hardings' visit to Kanpur is the only example of its kind in the whole History of the British Rule in India. Protocal, demands that then a Viceroy is visiting a certain place the head or incharge of that place, institution, or organization should be present to receive him. But here the viceroy of India is visiting an important city of an equally important province on an official visit and the Governor, Commissioner, Mayer in fact all the important officials are absent. The persns who are to be seen with the Viceroy are Sir Ali Imam, Raja Saheb and some important muslim citizens of Kanpur . The Viceroy makes a round of the city not in a government Vehicle but in Raja of Mahmudabad's car. All this made Meston, the then Governor of U.P. very angry and turned him into an arch enemy of the Raja. He exerted all influence to get the Raja of Mahmudabad declared traitor and his estates confiscated. All his efforts proved futile due to the social status and influence enjoyed by Raja Saheb. The Kanpur Mosque incident shocked and flabbergasted him and completely shattered his belief in the justice and good faith of the Britishers and brought him close to the Congress rank.
He was greatly concerned about the future of his country and realized that education is the key to progress and self – determination, keeping this in mind he helped to cause of spread of education at all levels. He founded various institutions, schools and libraries such as Madrasatul – Waezeen , Lucknow , Amir-ud-Daula College , Lucknow , Amir-ud-Daula Library, Lucknow etc., and supported the Colvin School , Mahmudabad, Karamat Hussain Girls School , Lucknow . etc. He donated large amounts of money to the Colvin Taluqdar's College, Lucknow . Shia College , Lucknow , King George Medical College , Lucknow , Lucknow University , etc. In fact it was he who first mooted the idea of starting a University at Lucknow and contributed an article to the columns of the ‘The Pioneer' urging the foundation of such a University. He also gave considerable financial help to the M.A.O. College , Aligarh , and later Muslim university of which he was the first Vice –chancellor. He was also the founder of Mahmudabad Trust. The poor and hard – woring students found in hm a liberl, kind and encouraging patron. He also patronized various educational and cultural organizations.
As early as 1905, when he was 27 years old, he was made the chairman of the reception committee of the All India Mohammadan Educational Conference, which was held in Lucknow under the presidentship of Nawab Mohsin-ul-Mulk.
Such eminent personalities as Nawab Mushtaq Husain Vigar-ul-Mulk Bahadur, Dr. Nazeer Ahmed, Maulvi Altaf Husain Hali, Maulvi Shibli Nomani, etc., attended the Conference. At the end of the session a donation of 50,000 from the Raja of Mahmudabad, to the Aligarh College towards the expenses for the study of science, was announced. This caused a lot of heart- turm and resentment in the Ullema Group who were at logger heads with the Aligarh College Group. They had strongly advised Raja Saheb not to associate himself with the Aligarh camp and the proposed conference. Khan Bahadur Syed Akbar Husain Allahabadi who was well aware of the political bickerings between the two groups, composed an interesting poem potreying the displeasure of the Ullemas on Raja Saheb's participation in the conference. The poem is as follows:
Raja Saheb Se sheikh ji ne kaha - Ab Bharosa huzoor par na raha,
Mujh ko chora Imambada main – Pahunche khud natureri Akhadi main.
Jeb Khali Phirakiya banda - Leygaye ghair iskadar chanda.
Raja Saheb ne hans ke Pharmaya – kyon Mizaj aap ke hai garmaya.
Bazme Kaumi main main shareek hua – jo hua har tarha se theek hua,
Aap pai bar sirf daldi hai – Yan riyasat ki fikr gadhi hai.
Jab hukumat kare khud uska defence – kyun na koon main shareek conference.
Mujh ke hai shauk itmo-danish se - kyun main rukta phir apni khwahish se.
Naho taskeen mujuhe tauzeeh – To main kardoonga doosri tashreeh.
Mujh pe karta ye eteraz hareef- Dil main aya mere ye shairiateef
Daftare eteraz Sokhta ba- Zehuo bachinda dokta be
In December 1909 he was made the president of the Mohammadan Educational Conference which was held at Rangoon .
Though H.H Sir Aga khan was the founder of the Aligarh University Movement, but the credit of bringing it to a successful end goes to the Raja of Mahmudabad. To educate the masses on the necessity of starting a Muslim University at Aligarh (and to raise funds for the same he made a tour of Punjab, Sindh and Bombay . He was given a rousing reception at Lahore , Karachi and Bombay and addressed large public gatherings. Satisfied with this tour he came back to Lucknow and diverted all his energies in framing a constitution committee was formed and care was taken to invite members from all the provinces. Maulvi Rafiuddin, Mr. Mohammed Ali Jinnah, Sir Ibrahim Rahmatullah and Seth Yousuf Sahani came from Bombay . Mr. Mohammed Shafi, Barrister Abdul Aziz (Peshwar) and Khaja Kamaluddin Qadiyani represented Punjab . Bengal was represented by Maulvi Shamsulhuda, Maulvi Fazlul Haq and Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad. Mr. A.M. Mullick was the representative of the central provinces . Seth Yousuf Hussain came from Madras . United Provinces was represented by Maulana Mohammed Ali, Khaja Abdul Majeed, Barrister Abdul Majeed ( Allahabad ) Dr. Sha Sulaiman, Sahebzada Aftab Ahmad Khan, Mr. Syed Nabiullah etc. And Bihar was represented by Sir Ali Imam, Mr. Hasan Imam and Mr. Sultan Ahmed. Raja Saheb played host to all of them. After much deliberations and argumentations which went on for a few days the meeting was adjourned and again reconvened afte six months. Marathon sessions were held and finally a constitution was thrashed out. It is true that the credit of getting ready the proposed constitution goes to Maulana Mohammed Ali and its safe passage through the council and getting it passed without any alterations or modifications was the achievement of Raja Saheb. After some time the University was declared open by the Viceroy Lord Hardings. On this occasion Raja Saheb wa the central figure and was lauded and congratulated on this great achievement. H.E,H. The Nizam of Hyderabad , H. H. The Begum of Bhopal and dignitaries from all over the country graced the occasion. After the opening ceremony was performed the first session of the University court was held and as a mark of gratitude for his liberal help, for the interest which he took in the field of education and for his skill and knowledge in the field of administration, Raja Saheb was appointed the first Vice- Chancellor of the Aligarh Muslim University.
He was a widely traveled man and possessed a multifacet personality. He was a poet, a statesman, a politician an administrator, an educationist an a philanthropist. He could ride well and was also a good tennis player. Billards was another game for which he had passion and was quite a good player. He was also interested in the field of journalism and started his own paper, ‘The Indian Daily Telegraph' and also gave liberal help to ‘The comrade' of Maulana Mohammed Ali.
rom his child-hood he had a passion for building, calling him a ‘Shahjahan' of Mahmudabad will not be an overstatement. In Mahmudabad he laid several beautiful gardens and canals, constructed the ‘Naya Makan' and several other buildings. In Lucknow he brought about changes in Mahmudabad House and added a beautiful courtyard to the Kaisar Bagh, Baradar. The incomplete Butler palace and Iqbal Manzil Palace (named after his third son, Iqbal Hasan Khan, popularly known as Maharajkumar Mohammed Mahmud Hasan Khan), which he constructed were famous in Lucknow for their beauty and grandeur.