Wasef Ali Mirza ওয়াসেফ আলি মির্জা (1906-1959 AD)

After the death of Hassan Ali Mirza on 25th December 1906 his Son Wasef Ali became the Nawab of Murshidabad. He received the oriental titles of "Ihtisham-ul-mulk, Raes-ud-Daulla, Amir-ul-Omrah, Mahabat Jang (Dignifier of the Country, Premier of the State, Noble of Nobles, Horror in War)". Nawab Asif Kadir Sir Syud Wasef Ali Mirza Khan Bahadur also received the honour of Knight Commander of the Order of the Star of India K.C.S.I. in 1910, and the Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order K.C.V.O. in 1912.

Wasef Ali Mirza was born at Hazarduari Palace, on 7th January 1875 AD. He was the eldest son of Hassan Ali Mirza by his first wife Nawab Amir Dulhan Kulsum-un-nisa Begum Sahiba. He was sent to England for education at the early age of twelve, accompanied by his younger brother, Sahebzada Nasir Ali Mirza [Nasir Sahib], and under the charge of Mr. Coles, the Principal of the Doveton College Calcutta (now Park Mansion) as ataliq (or tutor). He was educated at Sherbourne, Dorset, Rugby, Warwickshire and then at the Trinity College, Oxford. The Prince, after completing his courses, visited places of importance in England and travelled extensively in Scotland, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Turkey, Egypt and returned to Murshidabad with his brother on 27th October 1895 AD.

He Administered the Nizamat on behalf of his father from 1895 to 1899 AD. Chaired Murshidabad Municipality from 1899 to 1901 AD. He Represented Bengal at the Coronations of the King-Emperor Edward VII and Queen-Empress Alexandra at Westminster Abbey in London in 1902, and of the King-Emperor George V and Queen-Empress Mary at Westminster Abbey in London in 1911. Wasef Ali Mirza had eight times been a Member of Bengal Legislative Council; has taken great interest in Municipal matters; Patron of the Calcutta Historical Society; is reputed for the efficient management of his estates and public charities; is also well known for his English and Urdu Poems. He possessed charming and refined manners, and it had been truly said of him that he had all the attributes of an eastern prince with the bearing of a western gentleman. His noble appearance, beaming with intelligence, attracted the attention and admiration of every one with whom he came in contact. His command of the English language and literature, and his knowledge of English manners, customs, and etiquette, acquired during a lengthy residence in England, were a theme of admiration everywhere. He had always taken a deep interest in healthy outdoor pastimes, such as cricket, football, and tennis, and his love of sport had lured him on to the shooting of tigers and pig-sticking, while in polo (at which he was a crack player) he had usually captained a team whose colours were very rarely lowered.

On 11th December 1931 Wasef Ali Mirza was forced to surrender the administration of his estates to the Governmernt of India after incurring debts of Rs 19 lakhs. The Radcliffe Commission allotted Murshidabad district to Pakistan on 15th August 1947 and the Pakistani flag was hoisted at the Hazarduari Palace. Within two days the two dominions exchanged Khulna (now in Bangladesh) for Murshidabad and the Indian flag was hoisted there on 17th August 1947. The Government of West Bengal resumed all His estates in 1953 AD. Sir Wasef Ali was the founder and President of the Hindu-Muslim Unity Association in 1937, named Anjuman-e-Musalmanan-e-Bangla. Wasef Ali built the Wasef Manzil Palace, after his name. The Nawab is also well known for his English and Urdu poems. He is also the authour of the book "A Mind’s Reproduction" (1934). Experience of the world, study and reflection have led him to the conclusion that "Intelligence is the most powerful force of creation". In the Book Sir Wasef Ali Mirza's prefatory words and many of the reflections contained in the book seem to be tinged with sadness. Many of the Author's reflections, though presented in an English garb, have a distinctive Persian flavour.
A few lines from the book ::
[Bengali Translation]
Do not bewildered stand
হয়ো নাকো ম্রিয়মান
Heaven's protection is at hand
সাথে আছে ভগবান
In the race of life we find
জীবনের দৌড়ে দেখো
None is ever left behind
চিরকাল কেউ পিছনে থাকে না কো
Depth of meditation
গভীর ধ্যান
Is like a fathomless ocean
অতল সমুদ্র সমান
Through sorrow's night of darkest hue
দুঃখের রাত্রির তমসার ঘোরে
Comes the light of joys awakening morn
প্রাভাতের রশ্মিচ্ছটা আসিছে বাহিরে
When duty calls
কর্তব্যের ডাক এলে
Care not what befalls
ভেবো না কী আছে কপালে

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Coat of Arms

The Coat of Arms consisted of the shield, Supporters : protected by a Lion on one side and the Unicorn on the other. A fish Argent[1] proper[2]. The fish representing the Mahi-Maratib, the rank bestowed by the Emperors of Delhi. On the top or Crest is a Zulfiqar bifurcated or the Double Bladed Sword of Ali, which is the family insignia. The motto at the bottom is Nil Desperandum (meaning There is no cause for despair; never despair).
Lion : Bravery, strength, ferocity, and valour
Unicorn : Extreme courage; virtue and strength
Column : Fortitude and constancy
Sword : Justice and military honour
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Family Tree :: Najafi Dynasty

Wasef Ali Mirza married (1) at Calcutta on 1898 Nawab Sultan Dulhan Faghfur Jahan Begum Sahiba, daughter of his paternal uncle Wala Kadir, (2) Mumtaz Mahal Imami Begum Sahiba, (3) Nawab Mehar Jahan Dildar Ara Begum Sahiba. Married (i) Mut'ah wife Sugra Khanum, (ii) Sushila Khanum. He died at his residence at 85 Park Street, Calcutta on 23rd October 1959 and was burried at Jaffaraganj Cemetery. He was survived by six sons and six daughters.
  • Syud Waresh Ali Mirza Bahadur who succeeded as Nawab of Murshidabad (s/o Faghfur Jahan Begum)
  • Syud Fatehyab Ali Mirza Bahadur (s/o Faghfur Jahan Begum)
  • Syud Kazem Ali Mirza Bahadur (s/o Faghfur Jahan Begum)
  • Syud Imran Ali Mirza Bahadur (s/o Faghfur Jahan Begum)
  • Syud Ali Mirza Bahadur
  • Syud Sajjad Ali Mirza Bahadur (s/o Sugra Khanum)
  • Husna Ara Begum [Mummio Begum Sahiba]. She was born in 1900 AD. Married Nawab Ali Haidar Khan (born 1900 AD, BS: 29 Maagh, 1306; died June 30th, 1963), Leader of the Independent Muslim Party, Minister for Agriculture, Power & Water Development in Assam 1937-1938, 1939-1941, and 1942-1946, elder son of Nawab Ali Amjad Khan (born 1871 AD; BS: 3rd, Agrahan, 1278), of Prithimpassa, Sylhet. Husna Ara Begum died in 1982.
  • Safia Banu Ara Begum (full sister of Husna Ara). She Married Nawabzada Ali Asghar Khan, MLA India 1946 (He died at Dacca, Bangladesh on 6th April 1984), younger son of Nawab Ali Amjad Khan, of Prithimpassa, Sylhet. Safia Banu Ara Begum died at Dacca, Bangladesh on 22nd March 1984
  • Qamarat Ara Begum
  • Hashmat-un-nisa Begum. Married Syud Muhammad Sadiq Ali Mirza (died 1959), son of Syud Zaigham Mirza, by his wife, Khurshid un-nisa Begum Sahiba (d/o Nawab Hassan Ali Mirza)
  • Jamal Ara Begum; married Baqar Ali Khan; she died at Lucknow.
  • Shakeel Ara Begum, living at Karachi, Pakistan.
Reference : Christopher Buyers, Murshidabad, The Najafi Dynasty Genealogy, Royal Ark

Sir Wasef Ali Gallery

References :
  • [1] Argent : In the practice of designing, displaying, describing, and recording coats of arms and heraldic badges, argent is the tincture of silver, and belongs to the class of light tinctures, called "metals". It is very frequently depicted as white and usually considered interchangeable with it. The name derives from Latin argentum, translated as silver or white metal. Back
  • [2] Tinctures can be divided into several categories including light tinctures called metals, dark tinctures called colours, nonstandard colours called stains, furs, and "proper". A charge tinctured proper (also sometimes termed "natural") is coloured as it would be found in nature. Proper was used in blazon to specify that a charge appears in its natural colors. For example a parrot proper is green, not any of the huge range of colours that parrots are coloured with in nature. Back

Page Updated : November 27, 2016 02:56 am