Abdul Karim Ghaznavi

Sir Abdul Karim Ghaznavi (25 August 1872 – 24 July 1939) was a British Indian politician, traveler, minister, member of Bengal Governor's Executive Council, Bengal Provincial Council and Central Legislative Assembly, reformer of Muslim education and one of the pioneer of Muslim renaissance in Bengal. He was involved in Central National Mohammedan Association founded by Syed Ameer Ali.[1]

Abdul Karim Ghaznavi
Born(1872-08-25)25 August 1872
Died24 July 1939(1939-07-24) (aged 66)
Resting placeFamily graveyard at Delduar, Tangail district, Bangladesh
CitizenshipBritish India
Alma materLondon University
OccupationZamindar, politician
OrganizationCentral National Mohammedan Association
Notable work
Pilgrim Traffic to the Hedjaz and Palestine,
Muslim Education in Bengal,
The Working of the Dyarchial System in Bengal
Parent(s)Abdul Hakim Khan Ghaznavi (father),
Karimunnesa Khanum Chowdhurani (mother)
RelativesSir Abdul Halim Ghaznavi (brother),
Begum Rokeya (aunt)
AwardsKnight (1928),
Nawab Bahadur (1933)

Early life and educationEdit

Abdul Karim Ghaznavi was born in a zamindar family of Delduar, Tangail in Bengal Presidency. His father was Abdul Hakim Khan Ghaznavi and mother was Karimunnesa Khanam. Abdul Hakim Ghaznavi was zamindar of Delduar.[1]

Abdul Karim Ghaznavi studied in St. Peter's School of Devonshire in England, Wren and Gurney's Institution and London University. Then he studied for a short period in Jena University of Germany. While travelling Europe he visited many educational institutions. He participated in ICS examination in 1890. His mother inspired him for education.[1]


After returning to country he took responsibility of their ancestral zamindari. It was succeeded to them from their ancestor Fatehdad Khan Ghaznavi Lohani. Reportedly their ancestors came to Bengal from Ghazni of Afghanistan.[1]


During Partition of Bengal of 1905 he got involved in politics. He supported the partition decision. When the Congress leaders started movement against partition Abdul Karim protested this movement. Because of this Congress leadership named him "wrong Ghaznavi". On the other hand, governor of newly established province Sir Joseph Bampfylde Fuller named him "right Ghaznavi". He was a member of Imperial Legislative Council from East Bengal and Assam province between 1909 and 1912.[1] From 1913 to 1916 he was a government nominated member of Viceroy's council from Muslim constituency of Bengal Presidency. In his tenure he was appointed to handle Hajj management। To discuss on travel of pilgrims British Indian government sent him to the then ruler of Mecca Hussein bin Ali. Then he also visited Syria and Palestine.[1]

He was one of the non-government members of Mohammedan Education Advisory Committee created on 30 June 1918 to improve Muslim education. Abdul Karim emphasized on education of technology and commerce for the Muslims.[1] Government of India Act 1919 was introduced to increase participation of the Indians in government. He was elected member of Bengal provincial legislative council from Mymensingh south-west Muslim constituency in the second election for 1924–1926 tenure. In third election held for 1927–1929 tenure he was also elected. He served as minister for two months in his first tenure and for seen months in his second tenure.[1]

In 1924 he commented before Administration reform inquiry committee that European style democracy would be harmful for Indian Muslims. He supported Simon Commission. Under his leadership a group of 15 Muslim leaders gave joint statement in newspaper to support Simon commission. In 1928 he became the president of Bengal Simon Committee. In 1929 he was appointed president of All Indian Provincial Simon Committees.[1] Abdul Karim was member of Bengal Executive Council from April 1929 to 9 May 1934. On 10 May 1934 he retired from politics.[1]


He was awarded Knighthood in 1928. Later in 1933 he received Nawab Bahadur title.[1]

Personal lifeEdit

Sir Abdul Halim Ghuznavi was his younger brother. Begum Rokeya was his maternal aunt.[1]


Sir Abdul Karim Ghaznavi died on 24 July 1939 at his home in Baliganj, Calcutta. He was buried in his family graveyard of his village.[1]


  • Pilgrim Traffic to the Hedjaz and Palestine,
  • Muslim Education in Bengal
  • The Working of the Dyarchial System in Bengal[1]