Hakim Ajmal Khan, a freedom fighter’s grave vanishes into history

New Delhi: Hakim Ajmal Khan was the freedom fighter and contemporary of Mahatma Gandhi. He was a philanthropist and also a co-founder of Jamia Millia Islamia University. He was also a pioneer of Unani medicine.

Today, his grave lies in a Hasan Rasool compound on Panchkuian road in Delhi, surrounded by a pack of houses, mostly encroachers.

According to the news reported in Times of India, Masroor Ahmed, great-grand nephew of Hakim Ajmal Khan says that “He was a philanthropist, a famous hakim, and a freedom fighter who was a contemporary of Gandhiji and took part in the Khilafat Movement. But today his name is hardly heard except for a road and a park in central Delhi named after him.”

Mohammed Imran, who lives in a house adjacent to the grave said that “His relatives from Pakistan continue to come here regularly and pray at his grave,” and continued that “It were the Pakistani relatives who came here and put up iron grilles to make the grave distinct as this whole place is filled with many graves.”

Masroor Ahmed also added that “For all these years, the grave was in a shambles. No one from the government or the Waqf Board ever bothered to save it. The stature that my great granduncle had, he deserved a beautiful mausoleum, much like the Zakir Hussain monument at Jamia.”

On Monday, the Jamia Millia celebrated its 150th anniversary, and its vice-chancellor Talat Ahmed said that “When I came here, there was nothing on his name to pay respects. It was then that we decided to initiate programmes on his name and have inaugurated an exhibition at the university’s Premchand archives.”