Eminent Personalities

Kujhwa has produced a number of eminent religious scholars, Doctors, Engineers, Professors, IAS (Indian Administrative Service), IPS (Indian Police Service) and Indian Forest Service officials. We have given some details of a few eminent persons of this village with their contribution in our chapter,Monuments of Kujhwa and Journalism in Kujhwa.

We tried our best to collect some photographs of Janab Syed Ali Amir, ICS, Syed Mohammad Amir, Labour Commissioner, Syed Mohammad Naqvi, I.A.S., Syed Ali Abbas, I.P.S., Syed Abul Fazlil Abbas, I.A.S., Dr. Syed Mohammad alias Khairatu, Chief Conservator of Forest, Dr. Syed Ali Hassan, Deputy Medical Superintendent, Patna Medical College during British regime, Syed Raza Naqvi (Wahi) Humorous Poet. We would be happy to post their details if available.

We are requesting people who have information about eminent personalities of Kujhwa to please send it us so that we may post it on this website. We are giving here some details with some photographs of Late Syed Mobarak Ali,Member Legislative Council, Bihar during British Regime, Late Syed Abbas Ali, Late Professor Syed Hasan Askari, who was a renowned historian and received several President Awards including the prestigious "Padamshree" Award and Dr.Akbar Naqvi who has written a book entitled, "Kujhwa Recollected : Autobiographical Essays"




Syed Mobarak Ali; Landowner; Publicist; Member of Bihar Legislative Council; was born on October 22, 1896 at Kujhwa, Saran, Bihar. He was son of Nawab Syed Nasir Hassan Saheb of Persian origin. He was educated at Calcutta University and Aligarh Muslim University. He got married in November 1910.Syed Mobarak Ali became Member of Bihar Legislative council in 1920. He restored Urdu as official language of Government Courts of Bihar in 1921. He became honorary Treasurer of All India Congress in 1922. He was Commissioner of Patna City Municipal Board from 1922-1924 and from 1936-1941. He was Member of Saran District Board from 1924 to 1940. (Reference - World Biography, Volume 1, Page 108, Published by Institute of Research in Biography, New York, 1948).

Syed Mobarak Ali entered politics in 1919 and took active part in Khilafat Movement.

(The Indian Year Book Vol.25,1938,published by Bennett Coleman & Co., in 1938.)

Janab Abbas Ali was the eldest son of Dewan Nasir Ali Saheb of Kujhwa. Abbas ali had a son whose name was Zulfequar Hussain. The name of the son of Zulfequar Hussain was Nawab Syed Nasir Hassan. Nawab Syed Nasir Hassan had two sons whose names were Syed Mobarak Ali and Syed Abbas Ali. Both of them were students of Aligarh Muslim University, where they developed a close friendship with revolutionary poet Josh Malihabadi. This friendship was so strong that Josh in his Autobiography " Yadoo Ki Barat " has given a thorough description of his friendship with Syed Mobarak Ali and Syed Abbas Ali.

Syed Mobarak Ali was married to the daughter of Akbar Ali khan alias Chhote Nawab,who was son of Lutf Ali Khan of famous Guzri family of Patna. Mobarak Ali had two sons, Imam Ali alias Aghghan saheb, Advocate,who was also Member of Bihar Legislative Council and Lutf Ali alias Mamman saheb and one daughter who was married to her cousin and famous poet Syed Kazim Ali son of Syed Abbas Ali. Syed Mobarak Ali died in 1950 at an age of nearly 54 years. ( Reference- Karvaan-e-Rafta, page 200-202,by Naqui Ahmad Irshad, published by Khuda Baksh Oriental Public Library,Patna,1995).

One of his letters dated July 27th, 1937 and addressed to the first President of India, Rajendra Prasad, is available in "Dr. Rajendra Prasad, correspondence and select documents", Volume 1, page 70 & 71. Through this letter we come to know... the address of his house as - Ali Manzil, P.O. Gulzarbagh, Patna. The letter ends with the sentence: "With compliments and apology for the trouble, I remain." This book has been published by Allied Publishers in 1995.

One of his letters dated "19 April 1946" and addressed to Quaid - E - Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah is available in "Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah Papers: Cabinet mission's parleys for shaping India's future, 1 April-31 July 1946", page 5...7 - 58, published by National Archives of Pakistan in 2006. The letter starts as "My Dear Quaid-i-Azam, You will pardon me for encroaching upon your so precious time. In addressing this communication to you I am reminded of the old adage "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread" and that is my.................." and it ends with the sentence "Yours sincerely, Syed Mobarak Ali, MLC." These letters throw sufficient light on the high-profile political career of Syed Mobarak Ali and his close association with who's who of the then political circle.




Sayyid Abbas Ali, elder brother of Sayyid Mubarak Ali, was an eminent philanthropist and one of the trustees of the trust of Diwan Sayyid Nasir Ali of Kujhwa, District Saran, Bihar. (Reference - "Islamic culture: Hyderabad Quarterly Review", Volume 25, Page 23, Published by Islamic Culture Board, 01-Jan-1951).

Syed Abbas Ali and Syed Mubarak Ali were students of Aligarh Muslim University where they developed a close friendship with the revolutionary poet Josh Malihabadi. This friendship was so strong that Josh in his autobiography "Yaadon Ki Bara...at" has given a thorough description of his friendship with Syed Mubarak Ali and Syed Abbas Ali. During the British regime, Syed Abbas Ali was an Honorary Magistrate at Patna. He held his court at the old Patna City Court campus near Nauzar Katra.

Syed Sadique Ali Khan had once appeared in his court as a witness in connection to jewellery theft case and upon his testimony, Syed Abbas Ali had sentenced the accused an imprisonment of certain months. Janab Sadique khan saheb still recalls this incidence. He is nearly 80 years old person and still lives in Ptna city.

Syed Abbas Ali was married to Kazmi Begum, daughter of Altaf Nawab alias Sulaiman Meerza (1277 AH - 1337 AH). Altaf Nawab was the founder of Madrasa Sulaimania, Patna. Syed Abbas Ali had two sons, Syed Ahmad Ali alias Munne Sb. and Syed Kazim Ali. (Reference - "Karvaan-e-Rafta", page 191 - 192, by Naqui Ahmed Irshad, published by Khuda Baksh Oriental Public Library Patna, 1995).

According to Syed Kazim Ali ,his brother Syed Ahmad Ali was educated in England where he was a class fellow of the future U S President John F. Kennedy. After completing his education he got a government job in Vietnam or Cambodia and Kennedy went back to USA. When Kennedy became the President of USA, Syed Ahmad Ali congratulated him by writing a letter and in return Kennedy replied back and offered him a lucrative job in USA. Ahmad Ali moved to USA and lived there for the rest of his life leading a royal life. In his old age he came back to Patna and died here. This is the perfect story of his association with John F Kennedy. Syed Kazim Ali was also a fellow of Aligarh Muslim University and there he a developed a close friendship with the famous romantic poet and lyricist, Shakeel Badayuni. They shared the common hostel as well. During conversation whenever the name of Shakeel Badayuni popped up, the old man got happy.



Professor Askari receiving Certificate Of Honour in 1978 by His Excellency Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy, the then President of India


Professor Askari receiving PADMASHREE Award in 1985 by His Excellency Gyani Zail Singh, the then President of India

Very few people become a legend in their life. Prof. Syed Hasan Askari was one of them. He gained greater and wider eminence as a researcher. He was one of the rare persons to combine in him the triple roles of a scholar, explorer and teacher. His knowledge of various aspects of mediaeval history of Bihar was almost encyclopaedic. He was unrivalled in his knowledge of original Persian sources and was unarguably most learned scholar of Persian manuscript. The late Shah of Iran invited him and his wife Mrs. Salma Askari to attend the 2500th year of Persian Monarchy but he could not attend due to illness. He was recipient of numerous awards and honors. In 1967 Magadh University conferred upon him the degree of D. LITT (HONORIS CAUSA). In 1984 Patna University conferred the same to him. The Bihar Research Society published a special volume in his honor in 1960.

He was presented the GHALIB Award in 1975 by his Excellency Fakhruhddin Ali Ahmad, the then President of India, His Excellency Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy, the then President of India had given him President Certificate of honour in 1978. His Excellency Gyani Zail Singh, the then President of India has conferred upon him "PADMASHREE AWARD” in 1985. He thus enjoyed the distinction of being conferred with awards by three Presidents of India.


Left to Right - Prof. Askari with Sri Morarji Desai (Prime Minister of India), Sri Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy (President of India) and Sri Pratap Chandra Chunder (Education Minister, Govt. of India)

Dr. Akbar Naqvi


Dr. Akbar Naqvi talking to the audience in Karachi at the Launch of his new book "Kujhwa Recollected : Autobiographical Essays"

When the daughter of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb fell seriously ill and the court hakims gave up, the ruler said that if Syed ladies of impeccable birth and virtue prayed for her he would reward them suitably. As a result, Bibi Wadi and her 14 sisters offered to pray for the princess and she was healed.

Out of gratitude, the emperor gave them the land on which Khujwa village was built in the early 18th century. This is how the family of art historian Dr Akbar Naqvi came to acquire 500 acres to build their village.

This story is now part of Dr Naqvi’s book ‘Khujwa Recollected: Autobiographical Essays’ that was launched at Unicorn Gallery on Sunday. “My ancestors travelled all over the Middle East and finally headed towards Sindh,” said Naqvi. “Some of them went ahead and settled in north India while the others remained in Sindh.” This book is about their stories but the basic motivation was for him to find himself.

While talking to The Express Tribune about why he became an art historian, Dr Naqvi said that although he had a flair for art and did pursue it, he felt that he wanted to understand and study art instead. He felt that contemporary artists today just imitated art from the West. “In art, influence is a good thing if practised in the correct way.

However imitating art is just unacceptable,” he said. “We have forgotten our enlightened culture and are seeking and borrowing enlightenment from abroad, particularly the United States of America.”

He said that nobody from the West could write on our art or culture because they would not have the same perspective. To explain his point a little further, Dr Naqvi gave the example of Sufism – which is often mistaken as spiritualism. “The link that used to grow stronger from generation to generation has broken and we are now forced to borrow a value system from the West,” he said.

One thousand copies have been published and they are available at the gallery, which is the sole distributor. It is priced at Rs500.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 11th, 2011.(Karachi)




H.M.Naqvi is son of Syed Sarwar Naqvi who was a Diplomat. Syed Sarwar Naqvi is son of Late Syed Ali Ahmad Naqvi. His Mother was Shaher Bano. She was youngest daughter of Late Syed Raza Hussain of Kujhwa, Bihar India). She was sister of Umme Salma who was wife of Late Professor Syed Hasan Askari, a famous Historian of India.


  • Q: Was your father a diplomat?
  • A: Yeah.
  • Q: People of your generation can be equally comfortable here or there.
  • A: Not just my generation. My grandfather just up and left the place where he grew up and he was familiar. He lived in the village of Khujwa in Bihar. And so for him to up and leave this milieu and come to Karachi … we know the States so we can talk intelligently about it, he didn’t
  • know anything about Karachi. Aur aap kay paas aik dhela nahi tha …
  • Pakistani author HM Naqvi's debut novel Home Boy - about the life of Muslims in New York after 9/11 - is shortlisted for the inaugural DSC Prize of $50,000 (£32,000) for South Asia Literature.


H.M. Naqvi was born in 1974 and spent his childhood between Karachi, Islamabad, Algiers and New York. The eldest of three brothers, he spoke Urdu and English at home and began writing at age six. At age six he attended Froebel's elementary school in Islamabad. He later also attended P.S. 6 for two years in New York. After graduating from Georgetown University (1996) with degrees in economics and English literature, he wrote short stories while subsisting on a "two dollar budget".[2] He also ran the only slam poetry venue in Washington D.C., the Fifteen Minutes Club. He represented Pakistan in the National Poetry Slam in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1995. His poems were broadcast on NPR and BBC.In 1997 he joined the World Bank and spent the next eight years working in the financial services industry on the East Coast and in Karachi. When he quit in 2003, he left for Cambridge, Massachusetts where sat in classes at Harvard's English department, pretending to be a student,[2] including James Wood's survey of postwar fiction and Elvis Mitchell’s class on contemporary film. Subsequently, he attended the creative writing program at Boston University where he worked with National Book Award recipient Ha Jin. While working on his novel, he taught writing at Boston University. He wrote till six in the morning and taught in the afternoons and evenings.[3] Naqvi moved to Karachi in 2007. He has since worked in his hometown on reportage[4] and his next novel. In 2010,he was a resident participant in the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa.Naqvi has written on contemporary Pakistani art, minorities, and Balochistan for the Global Post and on Karachi for Forbes.

Home Boy

H. M. Naqvi’s debut novel Home Boy was first published in the United States in September 2009 by the Crown Books division of Random House to acclaim. The New York Times hailed it as "smart…debut [that] is at once immigrant narrative, bildungsroman and New York City novel, with a dash of the picaresque…Naqvi is a former slam poet, and his exuberant sentences burst with the rhythms and driving power of that form while steering clear of bombast. "Home Boy" is a remarkably engaging novel that delights as it disturbs.".[6] On his American tour, he returned to slam roots for a performance at the Nuyorican Poets Club. He also read at Harvard University, the Tenement Museum, the Brooklyn Book Festival and the Asia Society.H. M. Naqvi 2. When Home Boy was published in India in January 2010 by HarperCollins, it hit the top ten fiction bestseller list.[7] According to the Indian Express, the novel is "culturally au courant and with an eye for the absurd — a cross between early Jay McInerney and Gary Shteyngart, with subcontinental seasoning. It incorporates underground music, fashion and intoxication-producing substances as well as...Faiz Ahmed Faiz and home-cooked seekh kebab and biryani."[8] In January 2010 he attended the Jaipur Literature Festival.[9] Home Boy has been very well received in Naqvi’s native Pakistan. He has read the The Second Floor [T2F], Khas Gallery, Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology [SZABIST] and at the Indus Valley School of Arts. He was also in discussion with London-based Pakistani artist Faiza Butt at Art Dubai. The German, Italian and Portuguese editions of the book were published in 2010.


  • James D. Phelan Award for Poetry - American Academy of Poets
  • DSC Prize for South Asian Literature for Home Boy - Winner (2011)[10]


  • [1] http:/ / www. hmnaqvi. com
  • [2] Siganporia, Shahnaz; Platform Magazine (Oct. 2009), "An Elegy on a Cocktail Napkin," (http:/ / www. hmnaqvi. com/ images/ Platform2.jpg)
  • [3] Dawood, T.U.; Libas (Vol 22, 2009 Issue, 3), "Home Truths" (http:/ / www. hmnaqvi. com/ Libas. pdf)
  • [4] Global Post archive (http:/ / www. globalpost. com/ bio/ husain-naqvi)
  • [5] Naqvi, H. M., Forbes (Sept. 9, 2009), "Rocking Karachi" (http:/ / www. forbes. com/ 2009/ 09/ 02/ karachi-culture-rock-literature-opinions-21-century-cities-09-hm-naqvi. html)
  • [6] Salvatore, Joseph; New York Times (Nov. 5, 2009), "Fiction Chronicle" (http:/ / www. nytimes. com/ 2009/ 11/ 08/ books/ review/Salvatore-t. html?_r=1)
  • [7] New Kerala Fiction and Nonfiction Bestseller List (Feb. 2009) (http:/ / www. newkerala. com/ news/ fullnews-49010. html)
  • [8] Sipahimalani, Sanjay; Indian Express (Jan. 2010), "NYC’s Metrostani" (http:/ / www. indianexpress. com/ news/ nycs-metrostani/ 565109/ 1)
  • [9] Krich, John, Wall Street Journal (Feb. 26, 2010), "One for the Books" (http:/ / online. wsj. com/ article/ SB126703406304151063. html)
  • [10] BBC News (December 15, 2010), "H M Naqvi eyes debut novel success" (http:/ / www. bbc. co. uk/ news/ entertainment-arts-11992679)

External links

  • Author website (http:/ / www. hmnaqvi. com)
  • H.M. Naqvi's US publisher (http:/ / www. randomhouse. com/ author/ results. pperl?authorid=108266)
  • H.M. Naqvi's South Asian publisher (http:/ / www. harpercollins. co. in/ BookDetail. asp?Book_Code=2513)
  • CounterPunch on Home Boy (http:/ / www. counterpunch. org/ larson01222010. html)
  • Pakistan’s News reviews Home Boy (http:/ / www. jang. com. pk/ thenews/ feb2010-weekly/ nos-28-02-2010/ lit.htm#2)
  • Review in Daily News and Analysis (http:/ / www. dnaindia. com/ lifestyle/ review_the-brown-man-s-burden-in-post-9-11-america_1350525)Article Sources and Contributors 3

HM Naqvi talking to BBC Asian Network reporter Shabnam Mahmood

How does it feel to be shortlisted for the DSC Prize?

It feels wonderful - I have been writing since the age of five and will continue to do so until I die. Although it's lovely to be acknowledged, I write because it allays my anxiety. I write 300 words of prose a day so I can contend with myself. I guess my reasons for writing are very personal.Home Boy is your debut novel - tell us a bit about the story?

It's based around three Pakistanis from different regions of the country. It's set post 9/11 because I wanted to write about the changes in the US after the attack on the twin towers. The events take you from Karachi to New York. It's a coming of age story of a young male trying to blend into a new and different world - a world removed from his life in Karachi. So it deals with grave issues yet there are comedic elements to it. The idea was to fuse different genres and styles so there's Punjabi, there's Yiddish, Spanish and even Urdu in the texture of the language.

Is your own personality reflected in this novel?

I think all novels, especially debut novels, are autobiographical. I was in America in the wake of the tragedy. It was an unsettled time. And as a writer, one writes to make sense of one's self and the world. But Home Boy is not a memoir. It is fiction, a permutation of reality. If I am compelled to assign a percentage to the autobiographical component of Home Boy, it would be 14%.I like to think the three main characters are facets of my persona. At the same time, they are amalgams of people I know, people I care about. I could conceivably introduce you to AC [character in Homeboy], who in the flesh is also larger than life.

Do you aspire to having your book made into a film like Slumdog Millionaire (based on Vikas Swarup's book Q&A)?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-11992679?print=true 4/15/2013

One of my short stories was adapted for the stage not long ago and it was wonderful to see my work in the hands of someone else. So it would be great to see Homeboy adapted for the big screen in Bollywood, Hollywood or Lollywood, as it would be a different incarnation of my work.

How hard is it for South Asian writers to be accepted on a global platform?

I think Asian writers have been making their mark since Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie and Vikram Seth and the early wave of Indian fiction. Pakistani writing is also very exciting and it seems as if we've just appeared on the scene.But both the Indian and Pakistani tradition of writing in English dates back 150 years and both countries are heir to people like Din Muhammad, from Bihar, who was one of the first three Indian writers in English and there are many more who've left their legacy.And what plans do you have for other books?

I'm currently working on a novel which is a big, bawdy epic spanning the 20th Century, set in Karachi. It deals with metaphysics, history and a hermaphrodite.

Rear Admiral of Pakistan Navy Syed Wasi Haider


Syed Wasi Haider was the son of Syed Ali Haider and grandson of Syed Raza Hussain of Kujhwa. He was married to Razia Fatma daughter of Prof Syed Hasan Askari,a famous Historian of India.Syed Wasi Haider was Maternal nephew of Syed Aziz Haider2 Khujwai, Wasi Haider “a fair boy with large light eyes like his grandfather. He was then living with his grandparents and studying in Khujwa Middle School. In Pakistan he joined the navy and retired as a Vice-Admiral.”3 He belonged to the Adhiara quarter of Khujwa which “made up for its lack of representation in the high echelons of the government after partition.”4 Syed Raza’s other two sons became doctors,the eldest son Syed Mohammad Mustafa retired as Chief Medical Officer of East Pakistan Railways. The youngest son Syed Zair Hussain retired as a Brigadier of the Pakistan Army and one of his grandsons Syed Jameel Hussain is a serving Major General. Another grandson of Syed Raza retired as Vice Admiral of the Pakistan Navy. “Sons and even daughters of Adhiara have done well in life, often better than that of Bangla5.”6. He completed his Master’s Degree in Strategic & War Studies from Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad. While in service he held many command and staff appointments.7

  • 1. Khujwa – also called Pakkagaon is a village in Siwan district of Bihar.
  • 2. Syed Aziz Haider (son of Syed Naseer Haider Khujwai), retired as Deputy Secretary of Bihar Assembly, Patna.
  • 3. Khujwa Recollected – Autobiographical Essays, pp.135, by Akbar Naqvi, published by Duniya-e-Adab, Karachi, 2011.
  • 4. Khujwa Recollected – Autobiographical Essays, pp.76.
  • 5. A mohalla of Khujwa.
  • 6. Same as 4 above.
  • 7. National Development and Security, volume 2, issue 3-4, Foundation for Research on National Development and Security, 1994, Pakistan.

When the Omani naval ship Naseer Al-Bahar commanded by Commander Said Bin Khamis Al- Mukhaini arrived in Karachi on 20 January 1990 on a four-day goodwill visit to Pakistan, its Commanding Officer called on Rear Admiral Syed Wasi Haider, Commander Karachi. They remained together for some time and discussed matters of mutual interest. Gifts were alsoexchanged on this occasion.8 He was soft spoken and dry honest person. He held the post of Chairman of Port Qasim Authority.9 Wasi Haider was associated with Cadet College Petaro as its Chairman from 1989-199010, and was also attached to the top management committee of Karachi Golf Club.

Dr. Muhammad Anwar who completed his research on Pakistan’s Strategic Security Options writes in his book that “I would like to express my sincere thanks to Rear Admiral Syed Wasi Haider for his valuable suggestions with whom I discussed this subject at the very early stage of my research work.”11 It is a matter of deep sorrow that Syed Wasi Haider died in Pakistan in the year 2009. The Executive Committee of the Pakistan Ship’s Agent Association met on 14th September, 2009 in Karachi and organized a condolence meeting for Rear Admiral Syed Wasi Haider.12

8. Pakistan Year Book, pp.313, 18th edition, 1990-91, Rafique Akhtar, East & West Publishing Company, 1990, Pakistan.

9. Pakistan & Gulf Economist, volume 11, issue 27-39, Economist Publications, 1992. One can refer to the official website of Port Qasim Authority to know further details.

10. Cadet College Petaro was the second Cadet College in the country after Hassan Abdal, to be established initially at Mirpurkhas in 1957 and shifted to its present site at Petaro in 1959. Cadet College Petaro is residential institution, established at Petaro on a campus of about 700 acres. It is located some two kilometers off the right bank of the river Indus, 30 kilometers away from Hyderabad on Indus Highway (Jamshoro Dadu Road) and just two kilometers away from the Cadet College Petaro Railway Station. For further details refer http://www.ccpetaro.edu.pk and http://www.petaro.org/BOG.htm

11. Friends Near Home: Pakistan’s Strategic Security Options, pp. X, Dr. Muhammad Anwar, published by Authorhouse, U.K., 2006.

12. Refer Minutes of the Pakistan Ship’s Agent Association Executive Committee, 2009. Minutes of meeting are also available on the official website of Pakistan Ship’s Agent Association http://www.psaa.org.pk/minutesofmeetings.php