Sobhani, Mohammad Umer ( - 1926)

Congress nationalist

s of Yusuf Sobhani.

An enterprising business of Bombay; was an active worker of Ind Natl Cong; he was closely connected with Mrs Annie Besant's Home Rule League; took active part in the non-cooperation movement; Treasurer and ex-officio mem INC, 1921.

On being asked by Gandhiji for his contribution of Tilak Swaraj Fund, Mohd. Umer Sobhani gave his blank cheque and requested him to fill the amount with his own hands. Gandhiji thereupon filled in Rs. 1 lakh; also contributed Rs. 1 lakh to the Khilafat movement; in addition gifted his bunglow to the Khilafat Cttee, later known as Khilafat House. It has a gate named after him - Bab-e-oomer; in his efforts to raise money for Angora fund, suffered great business losses in cotton speculation, Feb 1922.

Mem Reforms Cttee AIML (8th Session Bombay, Dec 1915 - Jan 916); mem Cttee to discuss Cong-League Scheme (10th Session Calcutta, Dec 1917-1918); mem Cttee to formulate the demand for Muslim representation in elective bodies (16th Session).

Died 6 July, 1926 at Bombay at 36.

Said Gandhiji in Young India:
"His untimely and sudden death has removed a patriot from the country. There has been no movement in this country in which before the financial crisis, he did not make magnificient contribution. He never cared to come on the public platform but he loved to remain the stage manager. He was very popular in business community. In one month he doubled his wealth but in the next lost everything. He bore his losses bravely and his proud nature did not permit him to serve the country after the loss of millions of rupees. If he could not be the first on the list of subscriptions then he thought it was better for him to retire from public life".

Said Ch Khliquzzaman in his Pathway to Pakistan (p.88):
"A great Muslim soul has passed away. I had mentioned how he ruined his fortune in his efforts to raise money for the Angora fund. He had a great charitable disposition and works of art of all kinds were patronised by him often not so much for the art itself but as a measure of charity towards the artists. Neately dressed but always in his sherwani and tight payjamas he looked a model of refinement and decency".

Source: Memons International Directory; HNK; Foundations of Pakistan. All India Muslim League Documents, Vols. I and II; HINC Vol. I; Pathway to Pakistan. (Muslims in India: A biographical dictionary, ed. N K Jain. Delhi, Manohar, 1979. Vol. II. p. 162)