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Chowdhury Kazemuddin Ahmed Siddiky was also one of the founders of the University of Dhaka 1876 - 1937

Khan Bahadur Chowdhury Kazemuddin Ahmed Siddiky, (1876-1937), was the Zamindar of the Baliadi Estate in East Bengal, one of the largest zamindaris in the province. He was a 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. He was also one of the founders of the University of Dhaka.

Kazemuddin Siddiky was born in 1876 into an aristocratic Muslim zamindar family hailing from Baliadi in the present day district of Gazipur. His family claimed descent to Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique (R), the first Caliph of Islam. He is also the descendant of Nawab Shah Qutubuddin Siddiky Koka, the first Subedar of Bengal during the Mughal Empire. Nawab Kutubuddin Siddiky was also an adopted son of Emperor Akbar and foster brother of Emperor Jahangir.

In line with family tradition, he was taught at home by distinguished scholars and was well-versed in Bengali, English, Arabic, Persian and Urdu.

Social Work

As a social worker, Chowdhury Kazemuddin Ahmed Siddiky 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 some dispensaries and hospitals and launched irrigation works for which he, however, did not levy any extra charges on his tenants. He sanctioned Taka 10,000/- for the excavation and re-excavation of tanks, ponds and wells. He even remitted the land revenue of his poor tenants when they were unable to pay it for some reason or other. On different occasions he extended donations to the Salimullah Muslim Orphanage, Dhaka, and saved the institution from acute financial problems.

He was a great lover and promoter of education, learning and culture. 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 Nawab Sir Khwaja Salimullah that demanded the establishment of a university for the Muslims of Bengal.

When the University of Dhaka was finally established he was made a member of the court of the university in 1921. For sometime he was also a member of the Jagannath College Governing Body. A man of literary taste and ability and a poet of some repute, 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.

As a devout Muslim, Kazemuddin Ahmad Siddiky 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.

Politics and Honors

Kazemuddin Siddiky played a prominent role in the political life of the Muslims of Bengal. He was the founding President of the East Bengal and Assam Provincial Muslim League when it was established at Dhaka in June of 1908 with Khwaja Salimullah as its secretary.

In recognition of his public services the British Government conferred upon him the title of Khan Bahadur.