Khan Bahadur Colonel Maulvi Ziauddin Ahmed (1880-1943)

The Friday Times | Jan 12, 2007

Ziauddin Ahmed had a colourful career in the Indian Police Force, after leaving the judiciary. Once on ceremonial guard duty to the visiting Prince of Wales, he responded to the muezzin’s call by removing his ceremonial sword and saying his prayers behind the throne. He was duly charged with dereliction of duty. His defence was that a Muslim owed allegiance to a Higher Throne.

Once, he knocked out a white superior officer, who had insulted his mother.

He was responsible for Morarji Desai’s removal from the Indian Civil Services. Desai in his autobiography later wrote an admiring chapter about this man of principle!

No native Indian had ever been promoted beyond the rank of Superintendent in the Force but he convincingly argued his case against colour and creed prejudice in the Viceroy’s Durbar.

His rise was also partly due to the instructions of an English Lord, who said that “this man is a dangerous demagogue and religious fanatic who must be kept within the Force at all costs” after making a speech on behalf of Gandhi’s cause at a rally when he was only meant to provide Gandhi protection.

He served to the rank of DIG in the Bombay Sindh Presidency. He later served as principal of a degree college and as Commissioner Police, Bahawalpur State and then as Khatib Model Town A Block mosque in Lahore.



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