Rafi Ahmed Kidwai: Unsung hero of India’s Independence movement
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Rafi Ahmed Kidwai: Unsung hero of India’s Independence movement

Rafi Ahmed Kidwai was an Indian independence activist, a politician and a socialist leader. He belonged from the Barabanki District of United Provinces of British India; now in Uttar Pradesh, India.

Here are a few facts you might not know about the unsung hero of India’s freedom movement!

Family Background

Rafi was born in village Masauli, Barabanki district of Uttar Pradesh and was the eldest son of five Imtiaz Ali Kidwai, a zamindar and his wife, Rashid Un-Nisa. Rafi had four younger brothers; Shafi Ahmed, Mehfooz Ahmad, Ali Kamil and Hussain Kamil Kidwai.


Taught by a tutor at home, Rafi did his later schooling from Government High School, Barabanki before attending Mohammadan Anglo-Oriental College, Aligarh. He later did his BA and left LLB in between.


He entered politics through Khilafat movement and was jailed by Britishers, following his release he joined Indian National Congress. In 1926 elections, he was elected to the Central Legislative Assembly as a Swaraj Party candidate from Oudh. In 1929 he was elected as Secretary, Swaraj Party.

In 1940 he resigned from Central Legislative Assembly in response to Purna Swaraj resolution. He was major ally of Jawaharlal Nehru and became India’s first Minister for Communications. He was among two Muslim ministers in Nehru’s central cabinet. He was Elected from Bahraich in first general elections happened in 1952. Where, he was entrusted with Food and Agriculture portfolio.


On 24 October 1954 Kidwai died of heart failure


  • In 1956 Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Award was created by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) in 1956 to recognize Indian researchers in the agricultural field.
  • In November 2011, Postal Staff College, Ghaziabad named as Rafi Ahmed Kidwai National Postal Academy.
  • A major street in Kolkata is named after Rafi.
  • The Parliament of India has a portrait of him in a Committee Room.

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