Mohammad Yunus (politician)

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Mohammad Yunus (4 May 1884 – 13 May 1952) was the first Prime Minister (Premier) of Bihar province in British India. He Served for three months in 1937, during the state's first democratic election, however his minority government never faced the assembly as it had already resigned when the session begun. He was born in Penhara, a village of Patna, and went to the United Kingdom in the 1920s for higher education.[1]


Mr. Yunus was a prominent politician in early 20th century Bihar.

He was born in 1884 and the younger of two brothers.

Yunus, head of the Muslim Independent Party, was asked to form the government after the winning party in the 1937 elections declined to form a government. The legislative assembly passed many important resolutions during his short term as Prime Minister. During the second day of his term, Bihar Band (Hartal) and many agitators were arrested in front of his house ("Dar-ul-Mallik") at Fraser Road Patna. Then youth leader Jayaprakash Narayan harshly criticised Barrister's Yunus acceptance to the governor's invitation for formation of the government. His party (Congress Socialist Party) continued protests to the Muslim Independent Party government because it did not have a majority in the house.

As Muslim Independent Party was the party which got 20 seats from 40 seats reserved for Muslim and congress got only 4 Muslim seats, Muslim independent Party wanted to form an Alliance govt. with congress so that a better answer could be given to Muslim League that Hindu and Muslims, these two biggest religious majorities could exist with equal dignity and rights but congress refused to Barrister Yunus's brilliant proposal and did it best that formed the government alone. Congress which was having just 4 Muslim Members assembly out of 40 didn't showed any respect of Muslim mandate which was given to Muslim independent party in Bihar. Same situation aroses in West Bengal. Which ultimately resulted in partition of India. All these records are given in the diary of Barrister Yasin Yunus who was elder son and Political secretary of his father. The diary was later with Mohammad Yaqub Yunus, younger son of Barrister Yunus and Founder president of Bihar Muslim Majlise-e-Mushawarat Which is now with Baber Yunus (Director, Yunus Construction Pvt. Ltd. and son of Late Yaqub Yunus).After his minority government fell, the first Congress Ministry (led by Premier Sri Krishna Singh and Dr. A.N. Sinha as deputy premier) came to existence.

His elder son Barrister Moahammad Yasin Yunus, who inherited his legacy in judicial field and kept himself away from politics, died in 1947 aged 40 years, as standing counsel of Govt. of Bihar. His younger son, Mohammad Yaqub Yunus (founder president of Bihar Muslim Majlis Mushawarat), inherited most of his political and commercial legacy. His house, Dar-ul-Mallik, part of which later converted into Grand Hotel and in another Part oriental Bank was situated, which was later demolished in late 1990s. The Grand Apartment now stands in its place, built by his grandson, Baber Yunus, who runs the Yunus Construction Company in Patna.

  • Born 4 May 1884 in Panehara village, P.S.- Masaurhi, Railway station – Taregna, Patna
  • Died 13 May 1952 from a heart attack when he was walking in the street of London. Buried in Brookwood Muslim Graveyard, London.
  • Grandfather – Maulvi Mohammad Azam, retired as District Judge, Monghyr (Munger), Bihar
  • Father – Maulvi Ali Hassan Mukhtar, Advocate.
  • Brother –Mohammad Yusuf, barrister of Patna
  • First wife –Bibi Zeenatunissa, daughter of the Late Maulvi Abdul Jabbar of Mirzapur, U.P. Died 19 March 1924
  • Elder son –Mohammad Yasin Yunus, barrister, was standing counsel to the Government of Bihar at Patna High Court and also worked as sort of Political Secretary of his father, especially during the crucial period of forming of Muslim Independent Party and his father's Chief Ministership. Appointed as standing ccounsel to government of Bihar in 1945 and got the letter of his appointment as Judge in Patna High court when he was on his death bed; he died young in 1946.
  • Younger son –Mohammad Yaqub Yunus, Advocate, Patna High Court was Founder Bihar State President of All India Muslim Majlis-e- Mushawarat in 1967. He also served as President of AMU Old Boys Association, Bihar for a very long period and was a leader of Aligarh Movement when the AMU’s Minority Character was questioned during Indira regime. Died 12 April 2004 at Grand Hotel, Fraser Road, Patna
  • Second wife –Eldest daughter of the late Habibur Rahman of Irki, P.S. - Jehanabad, Dist- gaya, who was then stationed at barh as Assistant Civil Surgeon. Second marriage took place at Barh on 5 October 1924. No issue.

Academic and judicial affairs

He started learning Urdu and Islamic Studies from Shah Saheb of Village- Amthua, Jehanbad who later founded the Amthua Khanqah. Schooling in Collegiate School Patna. Graduation from Patna College. Bar at Law from Middle Temple, London. In 1903 he went to England to join the Society of Middle Temple and was called to the bar on January 26, 1906. On January 27 he was enrolled as a Barrister of the High court of judicature at London. After a very brief practice in England he came back to India in April 1906 and was enrolled as an advocate in Calcutta High Court Bar in 1906 at the age of 22. Started practice in Patna District Court in 1906 and later became a Senior Advocate of Patna High court. Actively fought cases in Patna High Court, Calcutta High Court, Federal Court (Delhi) and Privy Council, England.

Political and social affairs

Attended Lahore Session of congress as a delegate in 1908 but later left the Party.2 Became Member of the Subject Committee of the 24th Session of the Congress held in Lahore in 1909. The other Members of the Society were Hasan Imam, Mr. Deep Narayan Singh,Dr A N Sinha, Mr. Kishan Sahay and Mr. Parmeswar. Served briefly as All India Secretary of the Muslim League. Political Ideology – Muttahda Qaumiat (United Nationhood) which was in contrast with Two Nation Theory of Muslim League. Became Member of Imperial Legislative Council in 1916 at the age of 32. Became member of Bihar and Orissa Legislative Council in 1921. Elected to the position of the Chief Whip of the Democratic Party in 1921 and remained in the post till 1926. Again elected as member of Bihar and Orissa Legislative Council in 1932. Twice elected a member of Patna Municipal Board, in 1917 and remained on its board from 1917 till 1923. Presented a scheme of a new constitution before Lords Minto & Chelmsford and Mr. Montague. Many of his ideas found place in the New Constitution.

Simon Commission - Represented Bihar Muslim Association and Bihar Landholder’s Association as Chief Spokesman before the Simon Commission. Formed Muslim Independent Party in 1936 with the help of Maulana Abul Mohasin Sajjad (Founder of Imarat-e- Sharia, Bihar) and became its Founder President. Avoided all the efforts and persuasions of Mohammad Ali Jinnah to merge the Party with Muslim League before 1937 election. Muslim Independent Party fought election in 1937 with the Congress on seat sharing basis and Became Second Largest Party after Congress in the House.

Became Member of Bihar Legislative Council again in 1937 on Muslim Independent Party Ticket from West Patna (Rural) Constituency, and became First Prime Minister in 1937: took oath as First Prime Minister of Bihar province on 1 April 1937 under the Government of India Act, 1935. His government had Abdul Wahab Khan as revenue Minister, Kumar Ajit Singh Deo as L.S.G. minister and Babu Guru Sahay Lal as River Development Minister. He also offered a ministerial position to lure Jagjivan Ram, who declined due to pressure from congress leadership for not joining the Government.

Qazi Sahab who was Nazim of Imarat-e-Sharia at that time and was also an important leader of Muslim independent party was having a divided opinion over formation of government but Barrister Yunus was firm on forming government because forming a government without giving participation to a party which was representing the second largest majority of the country was a narrow minded approach of congress leaders which could lead to a serious divide between these two communities which we saw in 1947 that congress this rigidity divided the country in two parts.

After partition played an active part in the movement for amendments in Custodian Ordinance and worked shoulder-to-shoulder with Jamiat-e-Ulema on this issue. His suggestions found a place in the Minto-Morley Reforms. Was Member of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore for 6 years. Founder President of All India Mail-Milap Association which was formed for achieving the larger object of Hindu-Muslim Unity on Social Level and above Political Interest and limitations. Was Secretary of Annie Besant's Theosophical Society.

J. B. Kriplani founded Kisaan Mazdur Praja Party in 1951. Mahamaya Prasad became state president of party in Bihar. It was the same Mahamaya Prasad who to become M.L.C. in 1951 advised Maulana Manzoor Ejazi to refuse the proposal of congress party to nominate Maulana as an M.L.C. in Bihar Legislative Council. And very next day after refusal of Maulana, Mahamaya Prasad himself accepted the proposal from the party and became M.L.C.. Mohammad Yunus actively helped Kriplani and Mahamaya Prasad in formation of the party. Maulana Manzoor Ejazi also joined Kisan Mazdoor Praja party and fought election on its symbol from Muzaffarpur in 1951. In 1951 election KMPP emerged as 3rd largest party of India after Congress and Socialist Party. KMPP and Socialist party later merged to form Praja Socialist Party.

Chief Minister of Bihar Mr. Nitish Kumar announced that 4 May, the birthday of Mr. Yunus will be Observed as "Rajkiya Samaroh" from the next year. Nitish was speaking to the audience in a conference, "Mohammad Yunus : Hayat Wa Khidmat" organised by Yunus's great grandson Mr. Mohammad Kashif Yunus on 60th death Anniversary of Mohammad Yunus 13 May 2012.

Mr. Nand Kishore Yadav, the Road Construction minister of Bihar govt. was the Chief guest on 4 May 2013 when the Bihar govt. first time observed "Rajkiya Samaroh" in memory of Mr. Yunus.

Corporate affairs

Founder of Search Light Press, Patna which is now known as Hindustan Times, Patna. In 1924 he started Patna Times as a weekly paper which in the year 1944 became a Daily News Paper.He himself was the Editor and Publisher of the News Paper. Founder of Orient Bank India Limited., which had Branches and Pay Offices all over India. Founder Chairman of the Industrial Engineering Developments Limited with Branches in Bihar, Bengal and Assam. Founded the Great India Development Limited - This Company undertook construction of a large Railway project in various Rajputana States, specially Indore and Marwar and was to link up B.B. C.I. Railway and G.I.P. Railway. Founder of Bihar Flying Club, which still existed as of 2011. Served as Managing Director of the Bihar Provincial Co-operative Bank. Served as Director of the Bank of Bihar. Director and Managing Agent of Bihar United Insurance Company. Opened Grand Hotel, Patna.


After a heart attack on 29 December 1944 he started writing poetry during his illness, especially during his long stay in Mussoorie in 1945. Marsiya on the death of Birbal Lal Son of Justice Manohar Lal, Payam-e-Muhabbat on Hindu Muslim Unity and Kalam-e-Yunus which is his message to young generation are some of his famous poetical work.


  1. Sajjad, Mohammad. "Mohammad Yunus (1884–1952), the 1st Chief Minister of Bihar". Bihar Anjuman. Retrieved 31 May 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>


  • The Hindustan Times daily newspaper, Patna, Sunday, January 7, 1990, Page- 7
  • The Sunday Searchlight Magazine, Patna, August 12, 1979
  • Toote Hue Tare- Book written by Shah Mohammad Uthmani and published by his academician son.
  • Husn-e-Sirat - book written by Shah Mohammad Uthmani which is a Biography of Qazi Sahab-founder Nazim of Imarat-e-Sahria Bihar
  • Tazkira-e-Yunus written by prominent journalist Taqi Rahim
  • Barrister Mohammad Yunus ke Daur-e-Wazarat ka ek Aks written by Asghar Imam Falsafi
  • "Freedom and Partition and Season Changed" written by Syed Tanveer Hassan (Grand son of Sir SULTAN)