Yakub Hassan Seth, Maulana (1875-1940)

Madras politician and businessman

b Nagpur, Jun 1875; ed MAO Coll, Aligarh; m Khadija, a Turkish lady; d of Ahmed Atoula, Counsul-Gen for Turkey.

Began commercial career at Bangalore, 1893; moved to Madras, Jan 1901; visited Europe in 1912, in connection with his export-import business; represented the Southern Chamber of Commerce in the Harbour Trust Bd.

Nom mem Madras Corpn for several years; Fellow Madras Univ.

Associated with AIML right from its inception at Dacca, Dec 1906; mem Provisional Cttee set up there; mem Cent Cttee (1st Session Aligarh, Mar 1908); Sec Presy Musilm League, Madras, Oct 1910; favoured separate electorates for Muslims; moved a resolution on the treatment of Indians in the Transvaal (Fourth session Nagpur, Dec 1910); mem Reforms Cttee (8th Session, Bombay, Dec 1915 - Jan 1916); wanted the higher posts and the commissioned ranks in the army to be thrown open to Indians (9th Session Lucknow, Dec 1916); mem of Cttee to discuss details of Cong-League Scheme of Reforms (10th Session, Calcutta, Dec 1917 - Jan 1918); mem Cttee on Reforms (10th Session, Calcutta, Dec 1917 - Jan 1918); mem cttee on Reforms (18th session, Delhi, Dec 1926); mem Muslim League deputation to the All Parties Convention called by the Congress to discuss the Nehru Report (20th Session, Calcutta, Dec 1928).

Elected mem, Madras Legis Coun, 1916-20; was a prominent Khilafatist; sent as a delegate of the Muslim League and the Khilafat Cttee to England, 1919; gave evidence before the Jt Parly Cttee on Reforms in India; resigned from all official positions as a protest against the Turkish Treaty, 1920; was associated with the fouding of the Information Bureau in London and the publication of its journal, Muslim Outlook.

Was also an active mem of the INC from 1915; played an important part in bringing about the Congres-League Lucknow Pact, 1916; in 1921 went to Calicut with the avowed object of preaching non-voilence among the Moplahs; arrested, 16 Feb 1921, and jailed for six months for disobeying the orders to leave Malabar or to furnish security; again sentenced to two years for seditious speeches as President of the Provincial Conf at Tanjore, Aug 1921.

Left Cong temporarily in 1928 as he favoured Dominion status for India as against complete independence; mem Madras Legis Coun, 1929, and became leader of Muslim Party in the Coun; prominent mem United Nationalist Party; Cong mem Madras Legis Assem, 1937 (Chittoor - MR); Min (in C Rajagopalchari's Cong Govt) for Public Works, Irrigation & Electricity, Madras, 14 Jul 1937-1939 (when the Ministry resigned).

Propreitor of English weekly, Muslim Patriot, 1906, for two years, and of Kowmi Halchal, an Urdu weekly.

Stood for Hindu-Muslim unity and did not believe in the Pakistan idea; was a moderate in politics and wanted consitutional methods to be adopted for attaining swaraj.

Was an orthodox Muslim; compiled a classified commentary on the Quran in prison (the Nizam granted Rs 60,000 for its printing).

Died 23 Mar 1940.

Sources: Dictionary of National Biography, Vol. II; Directory of Madras Legislature; Who's who in Madras, 1936; Indian Who's Who, 1937-38; History of the Indian National Congress, Vol. I, History of the Non-Cooperation and Khilafat Movements; Foundations of Pakistan. All India Muslim League Documents, vols. I & II; Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, Vol. XXIII. (Muslims in India: A biographical dictionary, ed. N K Jain. Delhi, Manohar, 1979. Vol. II. p. 210)