Sir Wasif Ali Meerza Khan Bahadur
Ihtisham ul-Mulk (Dignifier of the country)
Raes ud-Daulah (Premier of the state)
Amir ul-Omrah (Noble of Nobles)
Mahabat Jang (Horror in War)
Wasif Ali Mirza Khan Bahadur.jpg
Nawab Bahadur of Murshidabad
ReignDecember 1906 – 23 October 1959
PredecessorHassan Ali Mirza
SuccessorWaris Ali Mirza
Born(1875-01-07)7 January 1875
Hazarduari Palace
Died23 October 1959(1959-10-23) (aged 84)
85 Park Street, Calcutta
Burial
SpouseSee below
IssueSee below
Names
Wasif Ali Meerza
DynastyNajafi
FatherHassan Ali Meerza
MotherAmir Dulhan Kulsum-un-nisa Begum
ReligionShia Islam

Sayyid Sir Wasif Ali Meerza Khan Bahadur KCSI KCVO (Bengali: ওয়াসিফ আলী মির্জা; 7 January 1875 – 23 October 1959) was the Nawab of Murshidabad during 1906–1959. Sir Wasif Ali Meerza was educated at Sherborne School, Rugby School and later at Trinity College. He succeeded his father Hassan Ali Meerza Khan Bahadur at his death on 25 December 1906. On 11 December 1931, Wasif Ali was forced to surrender the administration of his estates to the Government of India after incurring a debt of 19 lakhs. On 15 August 1947, the Radcliffe Award allotted the district of Murshidabad to Pakistan and the flag of Pakistan was hoisted at the Hazarduari Palace but within two days the two dominions exchanged Khulna, which is now in Bangladesh, and then the flag of India was hoisted at the grand palace on 17 August 1947. The Government of India also resumed him all his estates in 1953. Wasif Ali was also the founder and president of the Hindu–Muslim Unity Association in the year 1937, named Anjuman-e-Musalman-e-Bangla, which promoted Hindu–Muslim unity. The Nawab also built the Wasif Manzil.

Sir Wasif Ali died at the age of 84 at his Calcutta residence at 85 Park Street in Calcutta on 23 October 1959. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Waris Ali Meerza Khan Bahadur.

Life

Early years

Wasif Ali Mirza Khan (left) with his father, Hassan Ali Meerza (middle) and his younger brother, Nasir Ali Meerza Bahadur (right).
Wasif Ali Mirza Khan (left) with his father, Hassan Ali Meerza (middle) and his younger brother, Nasir Ali Meerza Bahadur (right).

Sir Wasif Ali Meerza was the eldest son of Hassan Ali Meerza by his first wife, Amir Dulhan Kulsum-un-nisa Begum. He was born on at Hazarduari Palace on 7 January 1875. At the age of 12, Sir Wasif Ali Meerza was sent to England for his education. He was accompanied by his younger brother, Nasir Ali Meerza Bahadur and were under the charge of Mr. Coles, the Principal of Dovetan College in Calcutta (the school is now known as Park Mansion) as the Atalıq. Sir Wasif Ali Meerza was educated at Sherborne School, Rugby School and later at Trinity College, Oxford. After completing his courses the young prince, visited places of importance in England and travelled extensively in Scotland, Ireland, Egypt, Austria, Turkey, Italy, France and Germany. He returned to Murshidabad on 27 October 1895 with his brother.

Later years

Sir Wasif Ali Meerza Khan Bahadur in his attire of a Nawab.
Sir Wasif Ali Meerza Khan Bahadur in his attire of a Nawab.

Sir Wasif Ali administrated the Nizamat on the behalf of his father, Hassan Ali Meerza from the years 1895 to 1899. He chaired the municipality of Murshidabad from 1899 to 1901 and also represented Bengal at the coronations of King-Emperor Edward VII and Queen-Empress Alexandra at Westminster Abbey in London in 1902,[1] and also of King-Emperor George V and Queen Empress Mary at the same place in 1911. Sir Wasif Ali succeeded his father, Hassan Ali Meerza after his death on 25 December 1906 as the Nawab of Murshidabad under the oriental titles of Ihtisham ul-Mulk (Dignifier of the country), Raes ud-Daulah (Premier of the state), Amir ul-Omrah (Noble of Nobles) and Mahabat Jang (Horror in War). Sir Wasif Ali had also been a member of the Bengal Legislative Council for eight times and used to take great interest in Municipal matters and was the patron of the Calcutta Historical Society. The Nawab is reputed for efficiently managing his estates and also public charities. The Nawab is also well known for his English and Urdu poems. He is also the author of the book "A Mind's Reproduction" (1934).

On 11 December 1931, Wasif Ali was forced to surrender the administration of his estates to the Government of India after incurring a debt of 19 lakhs. On 15 August 1947, the Radcliffe Award allotted the district of Murshidabad to Pakistan and the flag of Pakistan was hoisted at the Hazarduari Palace but within two days the two dominions exchanged Khulna, which is now in Bangladesh, and then the flag of India was hoisted at the grand palace on 17 August 1947. The Government of India also resumed him all his estates in 1953. Wasif Ali was also the founder and president of the Hindu-Muslim Unity Association in the year 1937, named Anjuman-e-Musalman-e-Bangla. The Nawab also built the Wasif Manzil, and named it after him.

Death and succession

Sir Wasif Ali died at the age of 84 at his Calcutta residence at 85 Park Street in Calcutta on 23 October 1959. He was survived by six sons and six daughters and was succeeded by his eldest son, Waris Ali Meerza Khan Bahadur.

Personality

Sir Wasif Ali Meerza on his horse, Venus, while playing polo.
Sir Wasif Ali Meerza on his horse, Venus, while playing polo.

Sir Wasif Ali Meerza possessed charming and refined manners. His noble appearance, which beamed with intelligence, was the reason for why he attracted the attraction of everyone who came in contact with him. It had truly been said of him that he had all the attributes of an eastern prince with the bearing of a western gentleman. his command of English language and literature, together with his knowledge of English manners, customs and etiquette, which he acquired during his lengthy stay in England, was the most admirable things in him. The Nawab used to take a keen interest in outdoor but healthy pastimes such as cricket, football and tennis. His love of sport lured him on to tiger hunting and also, boar hunting. In polo, at which he was a crack player, he usually used to captain a team whose colours were very rarely lowered.

Honours

Wasif Manzil

Main article: Wasif Manzil

An old photo of Wasif Manzil's drawing room with Sir Wasif Ali Meerza's picture at the back of the room.
An old photo of Wasif Manzil's drawing room with Sir Wasif Ali Meerza's picture at the back of the room.

Wasif Manzil (also known as Wasef Manzil and New Palace) was built by Sir Wasif Ali Meerza under the direction and supervision of Mr. Vivian, officer of the Public Works Department of the Nadia Rivers Division and Surendra Barat, a Bengali engineer. This building, rather palace was used by the Nawab as his residence. The building is extremely close to the Hazarduari Palace. It is built on the Nizamat Fort Campus between the campus's Dakshin Darwaza (south gate) and the Hazarduari Palace, just opposite the campus's South Zurud Mosque and parallel to the Bhagirathi River.

Family

Wives

The following is a list of the principal wives of Sir Wasif Ali Meerza. He married:

Sir Wasif Ali also had two mut‘ah wives as follows:

Descendants

Sayyid Waris Ali Meerza Bahadur in his boyhood.
Sayyid Waris Ali Meerza Bahadur in his boyhood.

The following is a list of the children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren of Sir Wasif Ali Meerza:

(One of these above-mentioned daughters married a man named, Sayyid Muhammad Hashim Meerza, the son of Kaikaus Kadir Sahibzada Sayyid Farhad Meerza Bahadur.

Photos

See also

References

  1. ^ "The Coronation". The Times. No. 36754. London. 29 April 1902. p. 10.
  2. ^ Times of India (20 August 2014). "Murshidabad gets a Nawab again, but fight for assets ahead". Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  3. ^ Times of India (22 August 2014). "Portrait of an accidental Nawab". Retrieved 12 March 2015.
Wasif Ali Mirza Born: 7 January 1875 Died: 23 October, 1959 Preceded byHassan Ali Meerza Nawab of Murshidabad December 1906 – 23 October 1959 Succeeded byWaris Ali Meerza