Nawab Mohsin-ul-Mulk, fondly known as Syed Mehdi Ali, was born to a family of Barah Syeds on December 9, 1837 at Etawah. Mehdi Ali received the best of early education in and around Etawah. He was given a thorough basic education, both in Persian and Arabic.
In 1867, he sat for the Provincial Civil Service examination and topped the list of successful candidates. He was appointed as Deputy Collector in U. P. It was here that he met Sir Syed Ahmad Khan. In 1874, Mehdi Ali proceeded to Hyderabad and for his meritorious services, he was conferred the titles of Munir Nawaz Jang and Nawab Mohsin-ud-Daula by the Nizam of Hyderabad.
In 1893, Mehdi Ali came to Aligarh and offered his services to Sir Syed Ahmad Khan to assist him in spreading the message of Aligarh. Upon the death of Sir Syed, he was appointed as the Secretary of the Muslim Educational Conference. Towards the beginning of 20th century, the Hindi-Urdu controversy arose in the United Provinces. Mohsin-ul-Mulk took up the pen in defense of Urdu in collaboration with the Urdu Defense Association.
Nawab Mohsin-ul-Mulk, being a farsighted and politically conscious leader, carried on correspondence with the private secretary of the Viceroy to give his point-of-view on the necessity of separate representation for the Muslims in all legislatures and local bodies. In 1906, he, along with Nawab Viqar-ul-Mulk, was asked to draft the constitution of the Muslim League.
He died on October 16, 1907 from chronic diabetes.
This article was last updated on Sunday, June 01, 2003