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Ali, Syed Nausher


Ali, Syed Nausher (1890-1972) lawyer and politician, was born in Mirzapur village in the district of Narail in August, 1890. He studied at Mirzapur and Daulatpur in his early years and then moved to Calcutta where he graduated from City College and then did his MA (philosophy) from the University of Calcutta. Nausher also passed the law examination and began practice at the Calcutta High Court in 1921. He became a senior advocate in the Supreme Court in New Delhi in 1952.

Nausher Ali began his political career as a member of the congress party in early 1920s. He was elected Chairman of the Jessore district board in 1927 and held that position for nearly a decade. He was also a member of the bengal legislative council in 1927 and 1929 as a Congress nominee from the Jessore South Constituency reserved for Muslim.

Later Nausher Ali joined the krishak praja party and contested as a candidate of this Party and was elected member of the Bengal Legislative Assembly in 1937. In the coalition government of the Krishak Praja Party and the muslim league formed with ak fazlul haq as Chief Minister, Nausher was made the minister for Local Self Government and Public Health. Nausher Ali had a close association with various peasants' movements, including the bengal provincial krishak sabha. He became a member of the Provincial Boards of Provincial Krishak Sabha in 1940.

Nausher Ali returns to the Congress again in 1941. He was a member of the All India Congress Committee and Bengal Provincial Congress Committee. In 1942 he became a member of indian national army of subhas chandra bose. As a member of the Congress, Nausher Ali participated in the Civil Disobedience Movement and was imprisoned in 1942.

Nausher Ali edited a Bengali weekly Sahachar and was one of the Directors of the daily 'Krishak'. He was the founder president of the People's Relief Committee in 1943. In 1945, he also became the treasurer of the INA Relief Fund.

On March 1, 1943 Nausher was elected speaker of the Assembly as a Progressive Coalition Party candidate and held the post till April 24, 1946. While Speaker, Nausher displayed his strong belief in the supremacy of the legislature and did his best to preserve the parliamentary values.

After the Partition of India in 1947, Nausher Ali preferred to stay in Kolkata instead of returning to his village home in Jessore, now part of Bangladesh. In India, he first became a member of the provisional parliament during 1950-52, and was subsequently nominated to the Rajya Sabha by the Congress after the first general elections in 1952. He was the Chairman of Indian Coal Board for sometime.

On August 12, 1952, even though he was a representative of the ruling party, Nausher vehemently opposed the Preventive Detention Act during a discussion in the Rajya Sabha. Then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru immediately wrote a letter to him asking him to show cause for his behavior. After this incident, his relationship with the Congress began to sour. He was not given a second term in the Rajya Sabha by the party from 1956. Finally, on January 23, 1957, Nausher Ali snapped his long-standing ties with the Congress.

Afterwards, he was a member of the West Bengal Legislative Council during 1957-62 as an independent representative supported by the Communists. But as he always had a leaning towards the left, Nausher again became a member of the Rajya Sabha supported by the Communists during 1962-68.

As a politician, Nausher hated to compromise on his principles. He always stood for the deprived classes. He died in Dhaka on April 6, 1972. [Dilip Banerjee]

Bibliography Unpublished documents of Nausher Ali; Krishak Pakshik 1938-39; Proceedings of Rajya Sabha; Proceedings of Bengal Legislative Assembly; Election Recorder ' An Analytical Reference 1862-2006, Dilip Banerjee, Star Publishing House, Kolkata-2, West Bengal, India.