Siddiky, Kazemuddin Ahmad

Siddiky, Kazemuddin Ahmad (1876-1937) a zamindar, social worker and a political personality of Bengal towards the closing years of the 19th century and the first three decades of the 20th century. Born in an aristocratic Muslim zamindar family of the village of Baliadi under Kaliakair upazila of Gazipur district in 1876, the zaminders of Baliadi claimed that they are the descent to Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique (R), the first Caliph of Islam. According to family tradition he was educated at home and was well versed in Bengali, English, Arabic, Persian and Urdu languages.

As a social worker, Chowdhury Kazemuddin paid attention to the improvement of communication facilities in the locality and donated lands for the construction of roads. At his initiative the Kadda - Kaliakair, Kaliakair - Dhamrai and Sreepur - Phulbaria roads were constructed. He founded dispensaries and hospitals and launched irrigation facilities for the tenants which he, however, did not levy any extra charges on them. Chowdhury Kazemuddin extended financial support for digging tanks, ponds and wells. On different occasions he also extended donations to the Salimullah Muslim Orphanage, Dhaka.

Chowdhury Kazemuddin always took interest in the propagation of education among the backward Muslims of Bengal. He was one of the members of the Muslim Deputation headed by khwaja salimullah that waited upon lord hardinge to press home their demand to establish a University at Dhaka. In 1921 he was made a member of the court of university of dhaka. He was also a member of the Jagannath College Governing Body for sometime. He rendered the translation of Seraj-us-Salequin, a Persian text, into Bangla and named it Santi-Sopan. The work earned him fame in the enlightened circle.

Kazemuddin Siddiky played a prominent role in the political life of the Muslims of Bengal. After the establishment of East Bengal and Assam Provincial Muslim League at Dhaka in June, 1908 he was made the president and Sir Salimullah was its secretary.

A devout Muslim, Kazemuddin Ahmad placed the claims of his religion above all things. He insisted on five-time prayer a day by the followers of Islam, particularly the students of the Muslim community. He organised lectures on the excellence and greatness of Islam. In 1929 he donated Rs 4,200/- to Salimullah Muslim Hall to be disbursed as stipends only among the students who say their prayers regularly.

In recognition of his public services the British Government conferred upon him the title of 'Khan Bahadur'. He breathed his last in 1937. [Muhammad Abdus Salam]