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This doctor saved Ayurveda from the British

Mohammad Asghar
Mohammad Ajmal Khan’s father, Hakim Ghulam Mahmood Khan, was a famous Unani physician of his time. Dada Sharif Khan had set up a clinic in his house in Ballimaran, Old Delhi. This same clinic was handed over to Mohammad Ajmal Khan, which later went to Karol Bagh and became Tibbia College.

magical cure
Mohammad Ajmal Khan was born on 12 February 1863. After receiving education in Unani medicine, he was appointed the chief physician of the Nawab of Rampur. After being successful in the treatment, it became famous that he had a magical medicine, the secret of which was known only to doctors. If someone came to Delhi for treatment, he would treat him free of cost, whether the patient was poor or a Nawab. But, whenever he was called out of Delhi, he used to collect fees for it.

meeting gandhi
Hakim Ajmal Khan had also supported Mahatma Gandhi in the freedom struggle. His first meeting with Gandhiji took place in 1919. Then he joined the non-cooperation movement. There is an incident from that period. He had come to a king’s palace to see his sick queen. Hakim Ajmal saw that the queen was wearing foreign clothes and the entire room was full of foreign items. On this, Hakim, after checking the queen’s pulse, said that times are changing, now only Khadi should be used. The queen replied, ‘There is no harm in wearing it, but Khadi is rough and stings the body.’ Hakeem became angry after hearing this and started leaving from there. He said, ‘I will not be able to see your pulse. When Khadi pricks your body, my finger will also prick your hand, because I am also an Indian. Hearing this, Maharaj became very embarrassed. He apologized to Hakim Saheb and promised that he would get the foreign goods taken out from the palace.

promote research
Hakim Ajmal Khan was gaining fame in Unani medicine. He took great interest in the expansion and development of Indian medical systems, Ayurveda and Unani. Then he established Jamia Millia. Apart from this, Hindustani Dawakhana and Ayurvedic Chemistry, Ayurvedic and Unani Tibbia College and Hospital, Research Center for research and development on herbal medicines were opened.

lesson to the British
Hakim Ajmal Khan established Madrasa-e-Tibbia Zenana for women in Delhi’s Qasim Jan Gali. It was inaugurated on 13 January 1909. This was the same period when the British started preparations to eliminate Ayurveda and Unani systems. In 1910, the British government proposed to withdraw the professional recognition of doctors and vaidyas. Hakim Ajmal Khan felt that this decision of the British would destroy the established medical system in India. He united the doctors and physicians across the country against the government proposal and ultimately the British government had to bow down. The proposal was withdrawn.

returned titles
Hakim Ajmal Khan was given the title of Hajik-ul-Mulk i.e. Healer of the Nation in 1908. In 1915, the British government gave him the title of Kaisar-e-Hind. He returned both the titles. He departed from this world on 29 December 1927. He did such work due to which he was called Messiah-e-Hind.

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are the author’s own.

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