Wasif Ali Mirza

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Wasif Ali Mirza 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 Wasif Ali Mirza Khan Bahadur of Murshidabad.
Reign December 1906 – 23 October 1959
Titles Nawab Bahadur of Murshidabad
Born (1875-01-07)7 January 1875
Birthplace Hazarduari Palace
Died 23 October 1959(1959-10-23) (aged 84)
Place of death 85 Park Street, Calcutta
Buried Jafarganj Cemetery
Predecessor Hassan Ali Mirza
Successor Waris Ali Mirza
Consort to See below
Issue See below
Dynasty Najafi
Father Hassan Ali Mirza
Mother Amir Dulhan Kulsum-un-nisa Begum
Religious beliefs Shia

Sayyid Wasif Ali Mirza Khan Bahadur, KCSI, KCVO (7 January 1875 – 23 October 1959) was the Nawab of Murshidabad during 1906–1959. Sir Wasif Ali Mirza was educated at Sherborne School, Rugby School and later at Trinity College. He succeeded his father Hassan Ali Mirza 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 INR19 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.

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 Mirza Khan Bahadur.

Life[edit]

Early years[edit]

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

Sir Wasif Ali Mirza was the eldest son of Hassan Ali Mirza 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 Mirza was sent to England for his education. He was accompanied by his younger brother, Nasir Ali Mirza 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 Mirza was educated at Sherborne School, Rugby School and later at Trinity College. After competing his courses the young prince, visited places of importance in England and travelled extensively in several places like, Scotland, Ireland, Egypt, Austria, Turkey, Italy, France and Germany. He returned to Murshidabad on 27 October 1895 with his brother.

Later years[edit]

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

Sir Wasif Ali administrated the Nizamat on the behalf of his father, Hassan Ali Mirza 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, 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 Mirza 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 INR19 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[edit]

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 Mirza Khan Bahadur.

Personality[edit]

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

Sir Wasif Ali Mirza 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 tale 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[edit]

Wasif Manzil[edit]

Main article: Wasif Manzil
An old photo of Wasif Manzil's drawing room with Sir Wasif Ali Mirza's picture at the back of the room.

Wasif Manzil (also known as Wasef Manzil and New Palace) was built by Sir Wasif Ali Mirza 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[edit]

Wives[edit]

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

  • H.H. Nawab Sultan Dulhan Faghfur Jahan Begum Sahiba (née Sahibzadi Nadar Jahan Begum) at Calcutta in 1898. She was the daughter of Wasif Ali's paternal uncle, Wala Kadir (Husain Ali Mirza Bahadur).
  • Nawab Mumtaz Mahal Imami Begum Sahiba in 1903 (divorced). She was the widow of Ahmad Kadir, (Sahibzada Sayyid Banda Abbas Mirza Bahadur) and the daughter of Kaiwan Kadir (Sahibzada Sayyid Ahmad Ali Mirza Bahadur).
  • Nawab Mehar Jahan Dildar Ara Begum Sahiba. She was the daughter of Ahmad Kadir (Sahibzada Sayyid Banda Abbas Mirza Bahadur).

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

  • Sugra Khanum
  • Sushila Khanum

Offspring and others[edit]

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

 • Sayyid Waris Ali Mirza Bahadur (s/o Faghfur Jahan Begum), who succeeded Sir Wasif Ali Mirza as the next Nawab of Murshidabad.

 • Sayyid Fatehyab Ali Mirza Bahadur (s/o Faghfur Jahan Begum)

 • Sayyid Kazem Ali Mirza Bahadur (s/o Faghfur Jahan Begum). He was born at Murshidabad on October 31, 1911 and was the son of Nadir Jahan Begum. He was educated at the Nawab Bahadur Institution in Murshidabad and St. Xavier’s College in Calcutta. He was also the manager of the Murshidabad Wakf Estates (from 1939 till 1947) and chaired the Murshidabad Municipality and President of the Murshidabad District Sch Bord in 1956. He was also the MLA for Murshidabad South-West Bengal (1937-1947) and also for West Bengal (1947-1952), for Lalgola (1952-1967) and Murshidabad (1967-1977). Kazem was the Deputy Minister for Cottage & Small Scale Industries, and for Public Works (1962-1967), MP of the sixth Lok Sabha for Murshidabad (1977-1980). He married Husun Agaz Ara Begum, the elder daughter of his paternal uncle, Iskander Kadir Sahibzada Sayyid Nasir Ali Mirza Bahadur (the younger brother of Wasif Ali), by his wife, Muhammadi Begum and Hashmat Feroz Najam Ara Begum, who was also the younger daughter of Iskander Kadir Sahibzada Sayyid Nasir Ali Mirza Bahadur, by his wife, Muhammadi Begum. Kazem Ali Mirza died at Calcutta on July 14, 1988 and was survived by 3 sons and 7 daughters as follows:

a) Sayyid Shahinshah Ali Mirza (s/o Feroz Nazam Ara Begum).
b) Sayyid Shariyar Ali Mirza (s/o Feroz Nazam Ara Begum).
c) Sayyid Wasif Ali Mirza.
d) Kishwar Jahan Begum (d/o Husun Agaz Ara Begum).
e) Anwar Jahan Begum (Mussarat Jahan Masuma Begum) (d/o Husun Agaz Ara Begum).
f) Raffat Jahan Begum (d/o Husun Agaz Ara Begum).
g) Nadir Jahan Begum.
h) Sarfaraz Jahan Begum.
i) Nighat Jahan Begum.
j) Naheed Jahan Begum.

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

 • Sayyid Imran Ali Mirza Bahadur (s/o Faghfur Jahan Begum)

 • Sayyid Said Ali Mirza Bahadur. He died at a very young age.

 • Sayyid Sajjad Ali Mirza Bahadur (s/o Sugra Khanum). He was born in 1950 and assumed the claims of his elder half brother after the latter’s death in November 1998 and pursued it in court, but failed to establish one before he died. He married Afshan Begum and died before 2006 and was survived by two daughters.

 • Husna Ara Begum (Mummio Begum Sahiba). She was born in 1900. She married Nawab Ali Haider Khan, elder son of Nawab Amjad Ali Khan of the Prithimpassa Nawab Family and leader of the Independent Muslim Party (1937-38), Minister of Agriculture (1939-41) and Minister of Power and Water Development (1942-46) in Assam. Husna Ara Begum died in 1982. They had three children as follows:

a) Ali Safdar Khan
b) Syed-un-nisa Begum
c) Ali Sarwar Khan

 • Safia Banu Ara Begum. She married Baqir Ali Khan.

 • Qamarat Ara Begum.

 • Hashmat-un-nisa Begum. She married Sayyid Muhammad Sadiq Ali Mirza (d. 1959), son of Sayyid Zaigham Mirza, by his wife, Khurshid un-nisa Begum Sahiba, (daughter of Nawab Hassan Ali Mirza Khan Bahadur of Murshidabad. She Hashmat-un-nisa died at Calcutta in 1995, having had issue.

 • Jamal Ara Begum (full sister of Husna Ara). She married Nawab Ali Asghar Khan (d. at Dacca on April 6, 1984), younger son of Nawab Amjad Ali Khan of the Prithimpassa Nawab Family and MLA India 1946. Jamal Ara Begum died at Dacca on March 22, 1984 and was survived by a son.

 • A daughter. (d/o Dildar Begum). She married Muhammad Ali Khan.

(Note: " • " Denotes Wasif Ali's children, "a, b, c..." Denotes Wasif Ali's grandchildren, "i, ii, iii...." Denotes Wasif Ali's great grandchildren and "A, B, C....." Denotes Wasif Ali great great grandchildren)

Photos[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Wasif Ali Mirza
Born: 7 January 1875 Died: 23 October, 1959
Preceded by
Hassan Ali Mirza
Nawab of Murshidabad
December 1906 - 23 October 1959
Succeeded by
Waris Ali Mirza