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Asaf Ali : freedom fighter and noted Indian lawyer

Asaf Ali born on 11th May 1888 was an freedom fighter and noted Indian lawyer. He was the first Indian Ambassador to the United States. Asaf Ali was in London when Syed Ameer Ali founded the London Muslim League and attended the Universal Races Congress in London in 1911. He translated some of Rabindranath Tagore’s poems into Urdu. In 1914, the British attack on the Ottoman Empire had a large effect on the Indian Muslim community. Asaf Ali supported the Turkey side and resigned from the Privy Council. Asaf Ali became heavily involved in the nationalist movement. He was elected to the Central Legislative Assembly in 1935 as a member of the Muslim Nationalist Party, but then became a prominent member of Congress and was chosen as deputy leader.

He was imprisoned in Ahmadnagar in 1944. His wife, Aruna, whom he married in 1928 and was of Hindu background, was a prominent Congress nationalist and socialist. He was very famous Lawyer. He was famous for fighting cases related to Indian Independence Activists and in most of the cases he was successful in acquitting the freedom fighters of India.

He fought the case of Shaheed Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt when they threw a bomb in the Central Legislative Assembly. When “Quit India Movement” was launched he participated in it and was jailed in Ahmednagar Fort jail along with Jawaharlal Nehru.

Asif Ali also acted as convener of the Indian National Army defense team and fought the case of freedom fighters who were tried for treason.After the Independence of India, he was appointed as the Governor of Odisha was appointed Ambassador to the United States, was Governor of Orissa from 1948 to 1952 and was then India’s Minister to Switzerland, Austria and the Vatican. He died in 1953 in Switzerland.

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