Unsung Heroes | History Corner | Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Ministry of Culture, Government of India

Unsung Heroes Detail

Unsung Heroes Detail

Moulvi Sir Rafiuddin Ahmed

Pune, Maharashtra

June 30, 2022

Moulvi Sir Rafiuddin Ahmed was born in 1865. His impressive profile features him as a barrister, journalist, and politician. He was trans-continentally educated at Deccan College, Poona, and King’s College London. In 1892, he became a barrister-at-law in the Middle Temple, London. He was a senator of Bombay University and an ex-tutor to the late Queen Victoria. In 1928, he was appointed Minister of Agriculture, in the council of Bombay presidency. He was a prominent member of the Muslim Patriotic League.

Looking at his versatile erudition, he rightly gets the sobriquet of ‘Moulvi’.

In 1923, Darning the Council elections of the Bombay Presidency, the cause of educating their men bothered the Muslim leadership of that time. The presidency Muslims had respectfully and earnestly, urged the appointment of two Muslim ministers, of which one would especially look into the education portfolio and consider the Muslim’s claim to executive councillorship in the future. In line with this agenda, a meeting of Anjuman Zia ul-Islam (possibly a local Muslim Party) was held at Falkland Road Bombay, a resolution was passed requesting the Governor of Bombay to appoint a Muslim Minister of Education which according to the committee was of utmost importance given the educational backwardness of the Muslim Community.

The name Moulvi Rafiuddin Ahmed was proposed as a suitable Muslim representative as he was well qualified and knowledgeable individual. Moulvi’s primary objective was to introduce Urdu textbooks into the curriculum. And thus provide the Muslim populace of the country the opportunity to learn academics in their language. Moulvi later became an elected member of the council of the Bombay Presidency. A few years later, he became the minister of agriculture and eventually the education minister (held office till 1934). He was conferred with a knighthood in 1932. What made Moulvi Sir Rafiuddin Ahmed’s presence profound was that he could win the confidence of the reigning queen of the British empire. The charm of his persona, his belief in education and his aspiration to collaborate on cultural and modern learning, and the rarity of his relations, buy Moulvi Rafiuddin Ahmed a premium place in the list of unsung heroes. During the early years of the Indian Republic, he passed away in 1954.