Gauhar, Asaduzzaman Khan

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Gauhar, Asaduzzaman Khan (1872-1922) poet of Urdu and Persian Language, musician, born on 11 November 1872 in Kolkata. Gauhar was his takhallus or poetic name. Adalat Khan, his father, was a munshi at fort william college.

Asaduzzaman studied at Calcutta Aliya Madrasa and Presidency College, but was unable to complete his BA due to his father's premature death. At college, he started the Mirzapur Students Debating Club, news of which was published in the Statesman and Friend of India. Asaduzzaman was resident research moulvi for about ten years at the Bengal Asiatic Society where he revised the Printed Catalogue of Persian Manuscripts under the supervision of Abdullah Suhrawardy. The catalogue was later published by the asiatic society as the Concise Descriptive Catalogue of Persian Manuscripts.

Asaduzzaman wrote poetry in Persian and Urdu languages. Tuhfaye Awal (1914), a volume of Persian poetry, was published from Usmania Press, Kolkata. One of its copies is in the collection of the asiatic society of bangladesh, Dhaka. He was also a musician and played the sitar. His booklet, Indian Music: Vocal and Instrumental (1895), was published from the Baptist Mission Press. A copy of it is preserved at the India Office Library, London.

Asaduzzaman was skilled in composing Persian verses recording various events, dates and years according to the abjad method, in which letters are given numerical values. Memorial verses composed by him may still be seen engraved on headstones in the Kolkata graveyard. Asaduzzaman Khan died on 4 April 1922. [Abu Musa Mohammad Arif Billah]