Hassan Suhrawardy

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Lt-Col Sir Hassan Suhrawardy OBE, CStJ, FRCS (1884 – 18 September 1946) was a noted surgeon, politician and public servant in India.

Hasan Suhrawardy.jpg

Life and family[edit]

Suhrawardy was married to Sahibzada Shahbanu Begum and had one son and one daughter; Hassan Masud Suhrawardy (1903–1963) and Shaista Suhrawardy Ikramullah. He is the grandfather of Salma Sobhan, Naz Ikramullah and Princess Sarvath of Jordan.


Suhrawardy was the First Muslim Vice-Chancellor of Calcutta University (1930–1934) and the second Muslim from the sub-continent to become a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. In 1945 he was appointed Professor of Islamic History and Culture in Calcutta University while retaining the chair of Public Health and Hygiene, which he had held since 1931.

He served as an adviser to the Simon Commission and was a member of the Bengal Legislative Council of which he was Deputy President from 1923 to 1925. As Chief Medical and Health Officer of the East Indian Railway he founded the railway's ambulance and nursing division.

Suhrawardy also played a role towards the establishment of the East London Mosque.

Knighthood and later life[edit]

It was while he was Vice-Chancellor and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine that he received his knighthood immediately after he had saved the life of Sir Stanley Jackson from an attempt by Bina Das, a female student who attempted to shoot Jackson in the Senate House of the University of Calcutta in February, 1932. His distinguished career in medicine and in the public service was crowned in 1939 by his appointment to succeed Sir Abdul Qadir as Adviser to the Secretary of State for India. He retired from that post in 1944.

Suhrawardy was appointed an OBE in the 1927 Birthday Honours list,[1] awarded the Kaiser-i-Hind Medal, First Class in the same honours list in 1930,[2] knighted on 17 February 1932,[3] appointed an Associate Officer of the Venerable Order of St. John (OStJ) in January 1932[4] and promoted to Associate Commander in January 1937.[5]

He was active in the Muslim League, renouncing his knighthood a month before his death in August 1946.