Mirza Ismail

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mirza Muhammad Ismail
The Prime Minister of Mysore, Jaipur, and Hyderabad
Diwan of Hyderabad
In office
MonarchOsman Ali Khan, Asaf Jah VII
Preceded byMuhammad Ahmad Said Khan Chhatari
Succeeded byMuhammad Ahmad Said Khan Chhatari
Diwan of Jaipur
In office
MonarchMan Singh II
22nd Diwan of the Mysore Kingdom
In office
1 May 1926 – 1941
MonarchsKrishna Raja Wadiyar IV, Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar
Preceded bySir Albion Rajkumar Banerjee
Succeeded bySir N. Madhava Rao
Personal details
Born(1883-10-24)24 October 1883
Bangalore, Kingdom of Mysore, British India
Died5 January 1959(1959-01-05) (aged 75)
Bangalore, Karnataka, India
SpouseZeebundeh Begum Shirazi
ChildrenMirza Humayun
Mirza Shah Taj Begum
Mirza Gauhar Taj Begum
RelativesAgha Aly Asker (grandfather)
Shakereh Khaleeli (granddaughter)
Tyabji family (sister in law)
OccupationDiwan of Mysore (1926–1941)
Prime Minister, Jaipur (Diwan of Jaipur) (1942–1946)
Diwan of Hyderabad (1946–1947)

Sir Mirza Muhammad Ismail Amin-ul-Mulq (24 October 1883 – 5 January 1959) was an Indian statesman and police officer who served as the Diwan of Mysore, Jaipur, and Hyderabad.[1][2]

Sir C. P. Ramaswami Iyer considered him "one of the cleverest men in India". His longtime friend Sir C. V. Raman remarked, "His accessibility and personal charm coupled with his depth of knowledge and his keen sense of human and cultural values made him a great and highly successful administrator".[2][1]

Early years[edit]

Mirza Ismail was born on 24 October 1883 in Bangalore to Aga Jan Mohammed Khazim Shirazie, the longest serving assistant district commissioner (ADC) in the Kingdom of Mysore, and was of Persian descent.

His family had longstanding relations with Mysore Palace. His grandfather Agha Aly Asker Shirazie supplied horses to the royal stables and trained the royal cavalry.

Ismail himself was close friends with Yuvaraja Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV, later Maharaja Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV. He and the young prince were inseparable from an early age. Both fine equestrians were studious, with big dreams for the kingdom–even before they would become classmates at the royal private palace school under Sir Stuart Fraser.

Ismail graduated from St Patrick's College, Bangalore in 1904. Soon after, he became Assistant Superintendent of Police, Mysore.[3][4]


Ismail became the private secretary to Maharaja Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV; the king had great faith in his administrative acumen and abilities to implement them. It was at this time that the maharaja urged his prime minister Sir M. Visvesvaraya to mentor Ismail.

Diwan of Mysore[edit]

In 1926, at the recommendation of Sir M. Visvesvaraya, Maharaja Krishnaraja Wadiyar appointed him Diwan of Mysore.[5]

Projects and initiatives[edit]

Bangalore Town Hall, commissioned by Yuvaraja Kanteerava Narasimharaja Wadiyar, was designed by Ismail. The first rural electrification programme in India were also implemented by him.[3][4]

He was a superlative administrator and set an inspiring example to the officials by undertaking extensive tours and personally heeding to the grievances of the people. Over his fourteen years of service, the Kingdom of Mysore made substantial progress in the field of industries, both in the private and public sectors. The sugar factory at Shimoga and the Khadi Production Centre at Badanval were the other industries that were set up during his time. A trade commissioner was also appointed in London.[3][4] Industries started during his period as Diwan include the Porcelain Factory and the Glass Factory in Bangalore; also established were paper, cement, steel, fertilisers, sugar and electric bulbs factories. Founded under his premiership were Vysya Bank, cement factory, the chemical and fertilisers factory, and sugar mills.

In general, he did not exhibit major religious biases, though it is not clear why he was instrumental in setting up a mosque in Bangalore: in 1940, at the height of religious strife in India, he laid the foundation stone of the Jamia Masjid mosque near K.R. Market and the town hall in Bangalore.

Bangalore riots[edit]

A major part of Ismail's administration was spent in suppressing various kinds of public disturbances. He had to do a great deal of tight-rope walking in the face of popular agitations conducted by the Indian National Congress.[1][2] He had to maintain good relations with top Congress leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru on one hand with the maharaja's interests in his mind on the other; he did everything possible to suppress Congress movements in the state for fear of communal violence and unrest in Bangalore. It was this very fear which came to the fore over Sultanpet Ganapathi Disturbances in Bangalore in 1928, an upheaval that created the long-desired opportunity for Congress, finally gaining grounds in the illusive state of Mysore.[3][4]

Following the death of Maharaja Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV in 1940, he continued as Diwan to Maharaja Jayachamaraja Wadiyar. However, he resigned in 1941 over differences.[1][2]

Round Table conferences[edit]

As the maharaja's diwan, Ismail represented the kingdom and attended all three Round Table Conferences from November 1930 to January 1931.

  • 1st Round Table conference[6]
  • 2nd Round Table conference[7][8][9][10]
  • 3rd Round Table Conference[11]

Prime minister of Jaipur[edit]

Mirza Ismail Road in Jaipur was named after him.

In 1941, he joined the Kingdom of Jaipur as prime minister. The Chamber of Commerce in Jaipur duly recorded Ismail's premiership as "the beginning of the industrial era of Jaipur."

Soon after his arrival in Jaipur, in 1942, he constituted a committee on constitutional reforms. These efforts considerably enhanced Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II's reputation and his durbar in the Indian National Congress' circles. The main thoroughfare of Jaipur has been named Mirza Ismail Road in his memory.[1][2]

Ghanshyam Das Birla was a close friend of Ismail's who used to fund the grand projects Ismail envisaged for Jaipur. When banks were beginning to be permitted to open branches in Jaipur, United Commercial Bank, under the chairmanship of Birla, was the first to be permitted to do so in 1945. The National Ballbearing Company was established under Ismail's guidance.[1][2]

He chaired International PEN's Indian Writers Council held at Jaipur in 1945, whose participants included Sarojini Naidu and Edward Morgan Forster. Even after resigning as prime minister, he remained an adviser to the kingdom and its affairs pertaining to public infrastructure development projects. He was instrumental in the approval of a building for Jaipur Medical Association in 1945.[3][4]

Diwan of Hyderabad[edit]

In 1945, Muhammad Ali Jinnah had a fallout with Ismail when the latter refused to help build a greater Pakistan. Ismail entirely objected to the partitioning of India and there was nothing beyond a united India for him. Eventually, it came as no surprise when Jinnah heard that Ismail was considering moving to Hyderabad.

In 1946, he became Diwan of Hyderabad to Nizam Osman Ali Khan during the difficult years of the kingdom from 1946 to 1948. Ismail put forth his best skills on the issue of accession of Hyderabad into India and negotiated a "standstill agreement" with the Union of India for one year's period to resolve the issue amicably.[1][2] Pro-India leaders like Mehadi Nawaz Jung, Akbar Ali Khan, Sohaibulla Khan, Ali Yavar Jung, and others supported Ismail's peace moves and tried to change the nizam's attitude from confrontation to coordination. However, with the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, the nizam became emboldened, more set against acceding to India, and took on a militant stand. As a result, Ismail resigned in protest, which led to a very public and unpleasant interview by the nizam. Soon after, in 1948, as a result of insubordination from the kingdom, India launched Operation Polo and Hyderabad became part of the Indian Union in 1948.[3][4]


The Knight Commander of the Indian Empire order

Ismail was appointed OBE in 1922 by the British Government for his services to India, and was appointed CIE in 1924. He was knighted in 1930 and was further appointed KCIE in 1936. In 1938, he was appointed Associate Commander of the Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem.[1]

Places in honour[edit]


Ismail penned his memoirs under the title My Public Life published in 1954 before his death on 5 January 1959 at his house Windsor Lodge, Bangalore.[12]

Essays, lectures and interactions[edit]

  • Mahatma Gandhi -Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (Page 143 onwards): "An Indian Statesman's Tribute" by Sir Mirza M. Ismail, KCIE (Dewan of Mysore; Bangalore, India)[13]
  • Indian Round Table Conference Proceedings[14]
  • The new India, 1948–1955: memoirs of an Indian civil servant By Asok Mitra[15]
  • Encyclopaedia of Higher Education: Convocation address By Suresh Kant Sharma (Pg 111-114) -Education and Unity for Economic Upliftment[16]
  • Sir Mirza M. Ismail: views and opinions on his retirement from the office of Dewan of Mysore.[17]
  • Studies on Dewan Sir Mirza Ismail: collection of seminar papers-Sūryanātha Kāmat[18]
  • Anecdotes of Quaid-i-Azam by Masud-ul-Hasan 1976[19]
  • International PEN Indian Writers in Council By K. R. Srinivasa Iyengar-Inaugural Address by Prime Minister, Sir Mirza Ismail[20]

Personal life[edit]

Mirza Ismail, with eldest children of Mirza Mahmud

Ismail married Zeebundeh Begum Shirazi. She was a poet who publish ten volumes of religious nowhas (or hymns) called Baiz e Shakira. The couple had three children: a son, Humayun Mirza; and two daughters, Shah Taj Begum Khaleeli and Gauhar Taj Begum Namazie.

Ismail inspired many in the family to live a life in the service of the country. His son Humayun Mirza who would become Diwan of Banganpalli. Post-independence, he would serve as a diplomat for a short stint before being transferred back to Delhi. He became a key advisor for the layout and administrative systems of the Ministry of External Affairs, which earned him a Padma Shri.

Ismail's grandson from Shah Taj Begum, Akbar Mirza Khaleeli, joined the Indian Foreign Service served as senior diplomat and advisor to the Indian government on Middle-Eastern affairs for many years after his retirement.

Ismail's nephews left India at the time of partition, dividing the family to serve Pakistan instead. Agha Shahi became Foreign Minister, and Agha Hilaly a senior diplomat.

Ismail's granddaughter from Gauhar Taj Namazie, Shakereh, was murdered in 1991. The murderer was convicted with life imprisonment.

His great-grandson Fouaad Mirza is an Indian Olympic equestrian.


Ismail died on 5 January 1959 at his residence in Bangalore.

C. V. Raman paid eloquent tributes to Ismail: "For many years, in fair weather as well as in foul, he remained the truest of friend to me, ever ready to give support and advice. He leaves behind him a memory which will be treasured and cherished by all who have known him."[1][2]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Amin-ul-Mulq Sir Mirza Ismail Saheb by D. V. Gundappa (in Volume 4 of ಜ್ಞಾಪಕಚಿತ್ರಶಾಲೆ - ಮೈಸೂರಿನ ದಿವಾನರು)
  • The Regime of Sir Mirza Ismail (1998) by S. R. Ramaswamy
  • Picturesque Mysore (1939) by Sir Mirza Ismail
Government offices
Preceded by
Dewan of Mysore
Succeeded by
Preceded by Prime Minister of Hyderabad
Succeeded by


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Page 29 | Issue 34470, 4 January 1938 | London Gazette | The Gazette". www.thegazette.co.uk. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h P. 254-258, Business Legends by Gita Piramal (1998) – Published by Viking Penguin India
  3. ^ a b c d e f Koppal, Basavaraj. "Hyderabad Liberation - 10". Dharwad.com. Archived from the original on 29 July 2013. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Leaving a stamp on history". Archived from the original on 16 November 2006. Retrieved 14 November 2006.
  5. ^ "Welcome to Mysore Dasara". www.mysoredasara.com. Archived from the original on 26 August 2007.
  6. ^ Dwivedi, Rakesh. Gs In 60 Days. Tata McGraw-Hill Education. p. 115. ISBN 978-0-07-067078-5. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  7. ^ "Second Round Table Conference 1931 - GKToday". gktoday (.) in. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  8. ^ "Highlights from second & third Round table Conference:- SSC 2019". OwnTV. 25 August 2019. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  9. ^ Pratt, Frederick G. (1932). "The Indian Round Table Conference: Second Session". Pacific Affairs. 5 (2): 151–167. doi:10.2307/2749987. JSTOR 2749987. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  10. ^ Ismail (amin-ul-mulk), Sir Mirza Mahomed (1936). Speeches. Printed at the Government Press. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  11. ^ The who's who in Madras A pictorial who's who of distinguished personages, princes, zemindars and noblemen in the Madras Presidency. Pearl Press. 1932. p. 67. OCLC 564838708. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  12. ^ Ismail, Sir Mirza M. (1954). My Public Life: Recollections and Reflections. G. Allen & Unwin. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  13. ^ Radhakrishnan, S. (2 April 2019). Mahatma Gandhi: Essays and Reflections on his Life and Work. Routledge. p. 143. ISBN 978-0-429-60242-9. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  14. ^ Government, Indian (15 October 2018). Indian Round Table Conference Proceedings. Creative Media Partners, LLC. ISBN 978-0-343-20024-4. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  15. ^ Mitra, Asok (1991). The New India, 1948-1955: Memoirs of an Indian Civil Servant. Popular Prakashan. pp. 99, 107, 109. ISBN 978-81-7154-691-6. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  16. ^ Sharma, Suresh Kant (2005). Encyclopaedia of Higher Education: Convocation address. Mittal Publications. pp. 111–114. ISBN 978-81-8324-016-1. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  17. ^ Sir Mirza M. Ismail: Views and Opinions on His Retirement from the Office of Dewan of Mysore. Printed at the Bangalore Press. 1942. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  18. ^ Kāmat, Sūryanātha (1998). Studies on Dewan Sir Mirza Ismail: Collection of Seminar Papers. Mythic Society. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  19. ^ Hasan, Masudul (1976). Anecdotes of Quaid-i-Azam. Ferozsons. p. 39. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  20. ^ Iyengar, K. R. Srinivasa (1947). Indian Writers in Council: Proceedings of the First All-India Writers' Conference (Jaipur, 1945). International Book House for the P.E.N. All-India Centre. p. 3. Retrieved 14 June 2021.