Dr Mukhtar Ahmad Ansari, one of the most influential personalities, never failed to impact lives. Even today after 84 years of his death, he is still revered by thousands and living in the hearts of many. He is one of the founding father of the central university of India, The Jamia Millia Islamia.

Dr Mukhtar Ahmad Ansari was born on 25 December 1880 in Yusufpur-Mohammadabad town (now in the Ghazipur District) in the eastern Uttar Pradesh and later migrated to Hyderabad with the entire family.

He belonged from a very well-known family of Hakims. Ansari was the first person to graduate with a degree in medical science as opposed to his brothers who were the reputed and eminent Hakims of their time. Their names are as follows Abdul Wahhab and Abdur Razzaq.

Abdul Wahhab was an expert in the Yunani system of medicine which is also known as Hikmat. He studied this system of medicine from the very popular Tibbia school in Delhi. Hakim Abdul Wahhab was deeply admired and had a good repute. He was known as “Hakim Nabina” (since he was blind). His skills in Yunani medicine was admired in several parts of the nation. He practiced in many different parts of the country including Bombay, Poona, Hyderabad and Delhi. Hakim Abdul Wahhab died in 1946.

Abdur Razzaq, younger brother, not as reputed as his Abdul Wahhab, too practiced the Unani system of medicine. He died in the year 1930.

Unlike his brothers, Dr Mukhtar achieved his medical degree from Madras Medical College. This distinguished personality was also the first member of his family to go abroad and study medicine. In the year 1899, Ansari was granted with the state scholarship to pursue with his medical education in Britain.

With assiduity in his work he achieved, in 1908, a degree of Doctor of Medicine and Master of Surgery, from Edinburg. He was among the few toppers on account of which he was appointed as a Registrar at Lock Hospital, London.

His dedication to serve the ailing humanity soon led him to the Charing Cross Hospital where he served as resident medical officer. Dr Mukhtar Ahmad Ansari was the first Indian to be appointed to work at the prestigious hospital despite the existing prejudice. The outstanding achievement of Dr Ansari brought a sense of pride and honour among the Indians.

In order to recognise and acknowledge his surgical skills, the Charing Cross hospital entitled a ward in his name which is known as the “Ansari ward”.

Apart from his medical career, Dr Ansari had played a significant role in the Indian Independence movement. He stayed as the president of the Indian National Congress and the All India Muslim League.

Photo : Abdul Malik Ansari, Yusufpur