Rafi Ahmed Kidwai was a politician, an Indian independence activist and a socialist, sometimes described as an Islamic socialist.
Rafi Ahmed was born in the village of Masauli, in Barabanki district (now in Uttar Pradesh), the eldest son of Imtiaz Ali Kidwai and Rashid ul-Nisa. Imtiaz Ali was an affluent Zamindar (land-owner) who had added to his position in society by entering government service.
Rafi received his early education from a tutor at the home of his uncle, Wilayat Ali, a politically active lawyer, and in the village school. He attended the Government High School, Barabanki, until 1913. He then attended the Mohammadan Anglo-Oriental College, Aligarh, where he graduated with a BA in 1918. He began work towards the degree of LLB, but never completed it.
In 1919, Rafi was married to Majid-un-Nisa, The couple were blessed with only one child, a son who died of an unexplained fever at seven years of age. Then he got swept up by the khilafat and noncooperation movements of 1920–21 (the first of Mahatma Gandhi’s major all-India movements) and was jailed after then he joined Indian National Congress.
In 1937, Kidwai became a minister for Revenue and Prisons in Govind Ballabh Pant's cabinet in the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh (UP) under the Provincial Autonomy Scheme. Under his stewardship, UP became the first province to curtail the zamindari system.
In April 1946, he became the Home Minister of UP. Kidwai was a major all of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India. After India gained independence from the British Raj in 1947, Kidwai became India's first Minister for Communications. (Kidwai and Abul Kalam Azad were the two Muslims in Nehru's central cabinet.)
After the first general elections in 1952, Mr.Kidwai elected from Bahraich. Nehru entrusted Kidwai with the portfolio of Food and Agriculture at a time when there was food rationing in the country.
Kidwai lost his breath on 24 October 1954 aged 60, while still in office as a Minister. He was buried with full state honours in a mosque in his hometown.
*The Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Award* was created in 1956 by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) in 1956 to recognize Indian researchers in the agricultural field. Awards are distributed every second year, and take the form of medals, citations, and cash prizes.
In Nov 2011, Government of India decided to rename the Postal Staff College, Ghaziabad after him as *Rafi Ahmed Kidwai National Postal Academy*. The National Academy is entrusted with the task of imparting training to the officers of Indian Postal Service selected through Civil Services Examination conducted by the UPSC.
In Kolkata, a major street has been named after him. Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology is named after him.He played a major role in donating 20 acres of the Campus land and Rs. 100,000 for the Radiotherapy machine.
Department of Posts issued Commemorative postage stamps on Rafi Ahmed on his Birthday centaury celebration.
Issued Date : 18.02.1995
Denomination: 100 Paise