Sir Mian Fazl-i-Husain, KCSI (14 June 1877 - 9 July 1936) was an influential Punjabi politician during the British Raj and a founding member of the Unionist Party of the Punjab.


Early life

Husain was born in Peshawar to a Muslim family of Bhatti Rajput origins in 1877.[1] His father Mian Husain Bakhsh was at the time serving as Extra Assistant Commissioner in Peshawar. At the age of sixteen he entered Government College, Lahore and graduated with a BA in 1897.[2] In 1896, he married Muhammad Nisa, great-granddaughter of Ilahi Bakhsh, the renowned general of the Sikh Khalsa Army.[3]

Fazl-i-Husain travelled to Britain in 1898 to further his education. He was admitted to Christ's College, Cambridge in 1899 and graduated with a BA in 1901. He had intended to enter the Indian Civil Service but was unsuccessful in the exams.[4] He studied Oriental languages and law at Cambridge and was called to the Bar at Gray's Inn in 1901. Husain was elected President of the Cambridge Majlis in January 1901 and assisted in writing a telegram of condolence to Edward VII upon the death of Queen Victoria [5] Husain returned to the Punjab in 1901 and set up a law practice in Sialkot. In 1905 he began practising at the Punjab High Court in Lahore until 1920.

Political career

Husain joined the Indian National Congress in 1905 and in 1916 he was elected election to the Punjab Legislative Council in the seat reserved for the University of the Punjab. He immediately regarded the Punjab as being in a state of political apathy and sought to engage Punjabis with the affairs of the government and align the interests of the Punjabi electorate with that of wider Congress agenda.[6] He left the Congress party in 1920 over their support for the Non-cooperation movement.[7] He felt that non-cooperation threatened schools and colleges, and noting the backwardness of educational progress in the Punjab, he initially sought to have them excluded from the movement before becoming convinced that Mahatma Gandhi's scheme of setting up national schools and colleges was impracticable and recklesss.[8]

Following the Montagu–Chelmsford Reforms he was re-elected to the Punjab Legislative Council in 1920 representing a Muslim landowner seat.[9] At the outset of the first Council in 1921, having risen to become one of the pre-eminent politicians in the province, he was one of two ministers appointed by the Governor of the Punjab, the other being Lala Harikishan Lal, and served as the minister for education, health and local government.[10] During this time he spearheaded a rural bloc of Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs, which in 1923 formally organised itself into the Unionist Party and intended to be a mass organisation of the Punjab's peasant proprietors.[11] Whilst the party succeeded in gaining support from only the rural Hindu and Sikhs, it also successfully attracted the support of the bulk of urban Muslims.[12] In 1923, Husain extended separate electorates to local bodies and educational institutions seeking to raise Muslim representation to the level of the Muslim proportion of the population, which in turn created tensions between Muslim and Hindu.[13] In his role as education minister he is credited with having been the main engineer of the scheme to establish employment quotas for Muslims in the Indian civil service.[14] In January 1924, he was re-elected to the Council and remained as a minister until January 1926 when he left the Punjab Assembly upon being appointed Revenue Member. Chhotu Ram, a Hindu Jat, was named as his successor as president of the Unionst party[15] He was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire in 1926[16]

In 1930 he was promoted to the Viceroy's Executive Council in Delhi where he remained until 1935.[17] He became the most important councillor of the Viceroy, and used his position to challenge Muhammad Ali Jinnah's claims that he alone represented the interests of the Muslims.[18] He played an important part in organising the Round Table Conferences and influencing the views of the present Muslim delegates.[19] The Punjabi view of the "Muslim interest" formulated by Husain was a success. The implementation of the Communal Award and Government of India Act, 1935, allowed the majority Muslims in Punjab and Bengal to retain their separate electorates yet also granted them more seats than any other community in their respective assemblies. Whilst this allowed Muslim politicians in the Punjab to increase their autonomy it brought them into conflict with Muslims in Hindu majority provinces, who would now look to Jinnah and the Muslim League for support.[20] In 1932 he led the Indian delegation to the Indo-South African conference and was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the Star of India in 1932.[21][22] On returning to Lahore from Delhi in 1935, Husain sought to prepare the Unionist Party for the forthcoming provincial elections.[23] He made strides in reorganising, financing and allotting tickets for his party, and warned Jinnah against meddling with the inter-communal politics of the Punjab.[24] In January 1936, Jinnah offered him the annual presidency of the Muslim League, however before waiting for his response accepted the position himself and became its President in 1936.[25]


He fell ill on 1 July 1936, and died at Lahore nine days later. He was buried at the family graveyard in Batala.[26]


One of his daughters, Asghari, married Manzur Qadir. His paternal half-brother Mian Muhammad Afzal Husain served as the Vice Chancellor of the University of the Punjab, Lahore for two terms, one term before (1938–44) and one term after (1954–65) the partition of British India into Pakistan and India.


  1. ^ Gandhi, Rajmohan (2013). Punjab: A History from Aurangzeb to Mountbatten. Aleph Book Company PVT Ltd. ISBN 978-9-38306-441-0.
  2. ^ Azim Husain, Fazl i Husain A Political Biography, Longmans, Green & Company, 1946
  3. ^ Azim Husain, Fazl i Husain A Political Biography, Longmans, Green & Company, 1946
  4. ^ http://www.open.ac.uk/researchprojects/makingbritain/content/fazl-i-husain
  5. ^ http://www.open.ac.uk/researchprojects/makingbritain/content/fazl-i-husain
  6. ^ Azim Husain, Fazl i Husain A Political Biography, Longmans, Green & Company, 1946
  7. ^ Lionel Knight, Britain in India, 1858–1947, Anthem Press, 2012
  8. ^ Azim Husain, Fazl i Husain A Political Biography, Longmans, Green & Company, 1946
  9. ^ J. Henry Korson, Contemporary Problems of Pakistan, Brill Archive, 1974
  10. ^ J. Henry Korson, Contemporary Problems of Pakistan, Brill Archive, 1974
  11. ^ J. Henry Korson, Contemporary Problems of Pakistan, Brill Archive, 1974
  12. ^ J. Henry Korson, Contemporary Problems of Pakistan, Brill Archive, 1974
  13. ^ Lionel Knight, Britain in India, 1858–1947, Anthem Press, 2012
  14. ^ interview with Syed Amjad Ali. Harappa.com (1990-01-15). Retrieved on 2012-12-10.
  15. ^ J. Henry Korson, Contemporary Problems of Pakistan, Brill Archive, 1974
  16. ^ Viewing Page 2429 of Issue 33148. London-gazette.co.uk (1926-04-06). Retrieved on 2012-12-10.
  17. ^ J. Henry Korson, Contemporary Problems of Pakistan, Brill Archive, 1974
  18. ^ Rafiq Zakaria, The Man who Divided India: An Insight Into Jinnah's Leadership and Its Aftermath, Popular Prakashan, 2001
  19. ^ B. R. Nanda, Road to Pakistan: The Life and Times of Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Routledge, 3 Jul 2013
  20. ^ Sugata Bose, Ayesha Jalal, Modern South Asia: History, Culture, Political Economy, Psychology Press, 1998
  21. ^ Viewing Page 3571 of Issue 33831. London-gazette.co.uk (1932-05-31). Retrieved on 2012-12-10.
  22. ^ http://socialarchive.iath.virginia.edu/ark:/99166/w69d7bb1
  23. ^ J. Henry Korson, Contemporary Problems of Pakistan, Brill Archive, 1974
  24. ^ J. Henry Korson, Contemporary Problems of Pakistan, Brill Archive, 1974
  25. ^ Devendra Panigrahi, India's Partition: The Story of Imperialism in Retreat, Routledge, 19 Aug 2004
  26. ^ Azim Husain, Fazl i Husain A Political Biography, Longmans, Green & Company, 1946
1929 New Year Honours

The 1929 New Year Honours were appointments by King George V to various orders and honours to reward and highlight good works by citizens of the United Kingdom and British Empire. They were announced on 26 February 1929. The announcement of the list was delayed two months by the health of the king, who fell ill with septicaemia in November 1928. There were no recipients of the Royal Victorian Order and only two recipients in the military division of the Order of the British Empire.

The recipients of honours are displayed here as they were styled before their new honour, and arranged by honour, with classes (Knight, Knight Grand Cross, etc.) and then divisions (Military, Civil, etc.) as appropriate.

1932 Birthday Honours

The King's Birthday Honours 1932 were appointments by King George V to various orders and honours to reward and highlight good works by members of the British Empire. The appointments were made to celebrate the official birthday of The King. They were published on 3 June 1932.The recipients of honours are displayed here as they were styled before their new honour, and arranged by honour, with classes (Knight, Knight Grand Cross, etc.) and then divisions (Military, Civil, etc.) as appropriate.

British Raj

The British Raj (; from rāj, literally, "rule" in Hindustani) was the rule by the British Crown in the Indian subcontinent from 1858 to 1947. The rule is also called Crown rule in India, or direct rule in India. The region under British control was commonly called British India or simply India in contemporaneous usage, and included areas directly administered by the United Kingdom, which were collectively called British India, and those ruled by indigenous rulers, but under British tutelage or paramountcy, and called the princely states. The whole was also informally called the Indian Empire.

As India, it was a founding member of the League of Nations, a participating nation in the Summer Olympics in 1900, 1920, 1928, 1932, and 1936, and a founding member of the United Nations in San Francisco in 1945.This system of governance was instituted on 28 June 1858, when, after the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the rule of the British East India Company was transferred to the Crown in the person of Queen Victoria (who, in 1876, was proclaimed Empress of India). It lasted until 1947, when it was partitioned into two sovereign dominion states: the Dominion of India (later the Republic of India) and the Dominion of Pakistan (later the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the eastern part of which, still later, became the People's Republic of Bangladesh). At the inception of the Raj in 1858, Lower Burma was already a part of British India; Upper Burma was added in 1886, and the resulting union, Burma, was administered as an autonomous province until 1937, when it became a separate British colony, gaining its own independence in 1948.


Doaba also known as Bist Doab, is the region of Punjab, India that lies between the Beas River and the Sutlej River. People of this region are given the demonym "Doabia". The dialect of Punjabi spoken in Doaba is called "Doabi". The term "Doaba" or "Doab" is derived from Persian "دو آب" (do āb "two water") meaning "land of two rivers". The river Sutlej separates Doaba from the Malwa region to its south and the river Beas separates Doaba from the Majha region to its north.

Scheduled castes form more than 15% of the population in Doaba. Saini dominate in a significant number of villages in Hoshiarpur, Nawanshahr & Jalandhar districts. Other castes include Jatt, Kamboj etc. This area is also called the NRI Hub of Punjab as a consequence of the migration of a significant percentage of Doabias.The Doaba region is also where historically, much of the Sikh diaspora in western countries such as Canada (especially in the Greater Vancouver area), and the UK traces its roots.

Ilahi Bakhsh

Ilahi Bakhsh was a Punjabi general. He served in the Sikh Khalsa Army for over forty years and was widely regarded as its best artillery officer.

List of governors of Punjab (British India)

The Governor of the Punjab was head of the British administration in the province of the Punjab. In 1849 the East India Company defeated the Sikh Empire and annexed the Punjab region. The Governor-General of India, Lord Dalhousie implemented a three-member Board of Administration to govern the province. The Board of Administration was abolished in 1853 and replaced by the office of Chief Commissioner. Following the liquidation of the East India Company and the transfer of its assets to the British Crown, the office of lieutenant-governor was instituted in 1859. This lasted until it was replaced by the office of governor in the aftermath of the Montagu–Chelmsford Reforms.

In 1947, the British Raj came to an end and the countries of India and Pakistan were created. The Punjab was partitioned into West Punjab and East Punjab, with the former joining Pakistan and the latter India. In Pakistan, the first governor of West Punjab was Sir Francis Mudie. In 1955, West Punjab was dissolved, and became Punjab province. In 1956 East Punjab was divided into the present-day Indian states of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab.

Opposition to the partition of India

Opposition to the partition of India was widespread in British India in the 20th century and it continues to remain a contentious issue in South Asian politics. Most individuals of the Hindu and Sikh faiths were opposed to the partition of India (and its underlying two-nation theory), as were many Muslims in that country (these were represented by the All India Azad Muslim Conference).Pashtun politician Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan of the Khudai Khidmatgar viewed the proposal to partition India as un-Islamic and "contrary to the history of Muslims in the subcontinent, who had for over a millenium considered India their homeland." Mahatma Gandhi opined that "Hindus and Muslims were sons of the same soil of India; they were brothers who therefore must strive to keep India free and united."Muslims of the Deobandi school of thought "criticized the idea of Pakistan as being the conspiracy of the colonial government to prevent the emergence of a strong united India" and helped to organize the Azad Muslim Conference to condemn the partition of India. They also argued that the economic development of Muslims would be hurt if India was partitioned, seeing the idea of partition as one that was designed to keep Muslims backward. They also expected "Muslim-majority provinces in united India to be more effective than the rulers of independent Pakistan in helping the Muslim minorities living in Hindu-majority areas." Deobandis pointed to the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah, which was made between the Muslims and Qureysh of Mecca, that "promoted mutual interaction between the two communities thus allowing more opportunities for Muslims to preach their religion to Qureysh through peaceful tabligh." Deobandi scholar Sayyid Hussein Ahmed Madani argued for a united India in his book Muttahida Qaumiyat Aur Islam (Composite Nationalism and Islam), promulgating the idea that different religions do not constitute different nationalities and that the proposition for a partition of India was not justifiable, religiously.Khaksar Movement leader Allama Mashriqi opposed the partition of India because he felt that if Muslims and Hindus had largely lived peacefully together in India for centuries, they could also do so in a free and united India. Mashriqi saw the two-nation theory as a plot of the British to maintain control of the region more easily, if India was divided into two countries that were pitted against one another. He reasoned that a division of India along religious lines would breed fundamentalism and extremism on both sides of the border. Mashriqi thought that "Muslim majority areas were already under Muslim rule, so if any Muslims wanted to move to these areas, they were free to do so without having to divide the country." To him, separatist leaders "were power hungry and misleading Muslims in order to bolster their own power by serving the British agenda."The Deccan Herald, in an article titled The tragedy of Partition, argued that:

The Muslim and the non-Muslim population lived together since centuries on the Indian soil, peacefully and harmoniously, without any major conflict. It was clear that if ever a separate Muslim nation-state was formed, it could not possibly contain all or even most, Indian Muslims. And there would inevitably be many non-Muslims in it. No amount of social engineering could separate India’s Muslims from non-Muslims. It was simply not possible. The Indian Muslims did not have a common culture or speak one major language. A Punjabi Muslim had very little in common with a Muslim in Bengal or in Malabar, except, of course, religion. There was no single language that could be called a Muslim language. For centuries, Indian Muslims shared the language and culture of the region along with non-Muslims. The second claim, that Indian Muslims were fundamentally different from non-Muslims, was even more absurd. Syncretism had been an important feature of Indian culture since early times. Culture and language were generally based on region, more than religion. And so a Bengali Muslim had much more in common with a Bengali Hindu than with a Punjabi Muslim. Considerable cultural diversity existed within Muslims and multiple connections existed between Muslims and non-Muslims. It was simply not possible to draw a dividing line, either of territory or of culture, between India’s Muslims and non-Muslims.

After it occurred, critics of the partition of India point to the displacement of fifteen million people, the murder of more than one million people, and the rape of 75,000 women to demonstrate the view that it was a mistake.

Punjab Muslim League

When the All-India Muslim League was founded at Dacca, on 30 December 1906 at the occasion of the annual All India Muhammadan Educational Conference, It was participated by the Muslim leaders from Punjab, i.e., Sir Mian Muhammad Shafi, Mian Fazl-i-Hussain, Abdul Aziz, Khawaja Yusuf Shah and Sh. Ghulam Sadiq. Earlier Mian Muhammad Shafi organised a Muslim Association in early 1906, but when the All-India Muslim League was formed, he established its powerful branch in the Punjab of which he became the general secretary. Shah Din was elected as its first President. This branch, organised in November 1907, was known as the Punjab Provincial Muslim League.

Qazi Zafar Hussain

Khan Sahib, Qazi Zafar Hussain came from a qadi's family which had, since the 16th century, been prominent among the landed aristocracy of the Soon Valley. He belonged to Awans tribe of ancient repute. He was awarded the title of Khan Sahib by the British Crown. This was a formal title, a compound of khan (leader) and sahib (Lord), which was conferred in Mughal Empire and British India. Although his father, Qazi Mian Muhammad Amjad forbade his descendants to establish Dargah, he was considered Sajjada Nashin by the people of his area. "Sajjada nashins" David Gilmartin asserts, "claimed to be the descendants of the Sufi, 'saints', intermediaries between the Faithful and their God, and this cut against the grain of Islamic orthodoxy ... in kind, of their special religious status, these sajjada nashins had become men of local standing in their own right." However he never claimed to be a Sajjada Nashin. In the Punjab, the sajjada nashin or pir families were not so rich in terms of land as the great land lords of Punjab but these sajjada nashin or pir families exerted great political and religious influence over the people. The British could not administer the area without their help and no political party could win the election without their help.

In the early days of Pakistan movement he supported the Unionist Muslim League, Malik Umar Hayat Khan and Sir Sikander Hayat Khan, for the political interest of his tribe, and used his political and social influence to help the people of his area. After 1937, he began to support Punjab Muslim League in the greater interest of Muslims of his area. He used his family and political influence to help the people of his area.

Sialkot District

Sialkot District (Punjabi and Urdu: ضِلع سيالكوٹ‬‎), is one of the districts of the Punjab provinces of Pakistan. It is located in the north-east of the province. The city of Sialkot is the capital of the district. It is the third-richest city in Pakistan. The Sialkot cantonment was established in 1852.

Syed Amjad Ali

Syed Amjad Ali (Urdu: سید امجد علی‎; 5 July 1907 – 5 March 1997) was a Pakistani politician and a civil servant during the British Raj era, who served as Minister of Finance (Pakistan) from 1956 to 1958 and as Pakistan Ambassador to the United States from 1953 to 1955.Ali was born in Lahore, the eldest son of Sir Syed Maratib Ali, a prominent Muslim businessman in the Punjab. Syed Babar Ali and Syed Wajid Ali were his younger brothers. He had connections for diplomacy in the final days of the British colony, as he knew many prominent people in the Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and British communities.Ali was educated at the St. Agnes Loreto Convent in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, followed by the Muslim High School and Government College in Lahore. After receiving his B. A. in 1927, he went to London for legal studies at the Middle Temple. While in London, he served as honorary secretary of the Muslim delegations at the First Round Table Conference in 1930–31 and for the Indian delegation at the Second Round Table Conference at the end of 1931. He returned home and worked for his father's company, A. & M. Wazir Ali. He was appointed an OBE in the 1936 Birthday Honours. and a CIE in 1944 Birthday Honours.During the last few years of British rule, Ali worked closely with "two giants of pre-partition Punjab politics"— Fazl-i-Hussain and Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan —while sitting in the Punjab Legislative Assembly (1937–45) and the Constituent Assembly of India (1946).After independence from India and British rule, Ali served as Pakistan's Ambassador to the United States (1953–55), Finance Minister of Pakistan (1955–58), and Pakistan's Permanent Representative to the United Nations (1964–67).

Viceroy's Executive Council

The Viceroy's Executive Council was the cabinet of the government of British India headed by the Viceroy of India. It is also known as the Council of the Governor-General of India. It was transformed from an advisory council into a cabinet consisting of five members heading revenue, military, law, finance and home by the Indian Councils Act 1861 giving recognition to the portfolio system introduced by Lord Canning in 1859. In 1874, a sixth member was added to be in charge of public works.

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