Syed Nawab Ali Chowdhury: Prominent founder of Dhaka University

April 16 was the anniversary of the death of this eminent personality, one of the founders of the University of Dhaka. We Express love, respect, and gratitude from the bottom of our heart.

Nawab Bahadur Syed Nawab Ali Chowdhury

He mortgaged half of his estate to establish Dhaka University. What more could one person do to make a nation highly educated! Apart from others, the present students, teachers of Dhaka University do not know about his unimaginable contribution. He is, Nawab Bahadur Syed Nawab Ali Chowdhury.

It is very painful and embarrassing to see that a hall, tower or any other important place in Dhaka University has not been named after this person till now. (However, a few years ago, a hall room called Senate Building was named after Nawab Ali Chowdhury inside the registry office)

Nawab Sir Salimullah, Nawab Nawab Ali Chowdhury and Sher-e-Bangla AK Fazlul Huq proposed to Viceroy Lord Hardinge to establish Dhaka University in 1912. Nawab Sir Salimullah, a visionary of Dhaka University. In other words, the best educational institutions of the country like today’s Dhaka University, Dhaka Medical, BUET are standing on the 600 acres of land donated by Nawab Sir Salimullah. However, the opposition of Dhaka University establishment were Sir Ashutosh Mukherjee, the Vice Chancellor of Calcutta University, and Surendranath Banerjee.

Nawab Bahadur Syed Nawab Ali Chowdhury

Nawab Bahadur Syed Nawab Ali Chowdhury who after the death of Sir Salimullah (17th January 1915) took the journey of establishment of Dhaka University and succeeded. Needless to say, Nawab Ali Chowdhury was the first Muslim minister of undivided Bengal. For his sincerity in education, he was given the responsibility of the Ministry of Education at that time.

Nawab Ali Chowdhury, a unique zamindar who loved education, has written various books. Books written by him —

Eid al-Adha (1890)

Maulud Sharif (1903)

Vernacular Education in Bengal (1900)

Primary Education in Rural Areas (1908)

He was also a member of the East Bengal and Assam Provincial Legislative Council, the Bengal Presidency Legislative Council and the Imperial Legislative Council of India for a long period of 23 years. He spoke on behalf of the neglected and helpless people of the country and expressed their grievances to the government. The British government conferred the titles of ‘Khan Bahadur’ on Nawab Ali Chowdhury in 1908, ‘Nawab’ in 1911, ‘CIE’ in 1918 and ‘Nawab Bahadur’ in 1924.

It may be mentioned that Mr. Chowdhury served as the Minister till his death on 16 April 1929. And Nawab Ali Chowdhury has selflessly provided land and financial assistance for the establishment of 36 educational institutions in this country.

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