The younger generation might not have heard the name of this great freedom fighter. Hafiz Mohamed Ibrahim, a Minister par excellence and a statesman beyond recognition, remains an unsung hero of India.
Hailing from Nagina town of District Bijnor in Uttar Pradesh, Hafiz Ibrahim was part of the Cabinet led by Jawaharlal Nehru. While being a Cabinet Minister, he played a pivotal role in shaping the ‘Waqf Board Act’.
He also played an instrumental role in solving the dispute of Sindhu River water between India and Pakistan.
Born in Mohalla ‘Qazisarai’ of Nagina in 1888, he belonged to a prestigious family. Hafiz Ibrahim was educated at Rajkiya Diksha Vidyalaya and later went to Aligarh Muslim University for Higher Studies.
Due to his exceptional leadership qualities, he became a student leader and was elected as the Union Secretary of AMU. In 1919, he joined the Independence Movement of India. After joining Congress he participated in Nagpur convention as a delegate.
Later during the freedom movement he was arrested by the British and was sent to ‘Fatehgarh’ jail. After Independence he was appointed to Rajya Sabha and held a post of Cabinet Minister till 1958 during Nehru’s leadership. He held important portfolios in Irrigation, Public Works Department (PWD), Waqf, Food and Civil Supplies Department.
He was also behind according University Status to Roorke Engineering College. For his great service to the nation, he was made the Governor of Punjab in 1966 and was honoured with ‘Padma Vibhushan’ award.
A true patriot, Hafiz Ibrahim breathed his last during treatment on 24th January, 1968.
We salute the great personality Hafiz Ibrahim, our forgotten hero.