Former Member of Parliament and political scientist, educationist, social worker Dr Muhammad Hashim Kidwai passed away in New Delhi today. He was 95. He was not keeping well for sometime. He is survived by two daughter and two sons. He will be buried in Aligarh after zuhar prayer tomorrow.
Dr. Kidwai was born in 1921 in Lucknow in a family of religious scholars and civil servants. Both his father, Abdul Majeed and his grand father, Abdul Qadir were Civil servent in the British India. His uncle and father-in-law, Maulana Abdul Majid Daryabadi, and his great grandfather, Mufti Mazhar Kareem won acclaim for their substantial contribution to Islamic religious scholarship.
Throughout his career he always championed vigorously the causes dear to the Muslims – minority character of the Aligarh Muslim University, plight of Urdu in the Independent India, harrowing carnage of Muslims in communal riots in various parts of the country, Muslim Personal Law, especially in the context of the Shah Bano case and the outrageous demolition of the historic Babri Masjid.
On these issues he never toed in a servile way the official party line of the Congress party. All along he expressed and conveyed the wishes of the Muslim community, even at the expense of incurring the displeasure of certain elements within Congress. He never forgave M.C. Chagla and Noorul Hasan for being treacherous to the Muslims in stripping the AMU of its minority character. As he was a Rajya Sabha n M.P. (1984-1990) . He testified before the Lucknow High Court about the existence of the Babri Masjid in which he had offered prayers. His crusade for the Muslim issues is on record – in the form of his numerous pieces published mostly in the English national dailies since 1970s to this day.
Dr. Kidwai did his High School from Govt. High School, Sitapur Intermediate from Christian College, Lucknow and earned his B.A. (Hons.) and M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Lucknow. He was awarded Ph.D. by the Aligarh Muslim University for his doctoral study on the early Islamic state.