Bashir Husain Zaidi was born on 26 July 1898 in Uttar Pradesh. He completed his education at the Arabic High School and St. Stephen’s College, Delhi. He also studied at Punjab University, Cambridge University, and Lincoln’s Inn. As a student, he was the Indian Representative to the International Students’ Conference at Czechoslovakia (1921) and Holland (1922).
He served as the headmaster at the University School in Aligarh (1923) and entered the Rampur State Service in 1930. He was the Chief Minister of Rampur State, a princely state in present-day Uttar Pradesh (1937-1949).
Contribution to Constitution Making
He was a part of the Constituent Assembly as the representative of the princely state of Rampur/Benares. He was not an active member of the Assembly but did talk about the upliftment of minority communities, in particular the Muslim minority and the importance of democracy.
Zaidi was a member of the Provisional Parliament of India (1950-1952) He served as a member of the Indian Council of Technical Education and the Indian Delegation to the General Assembly of the United Nations (1951). He was the Director of several industrial organisations and a member of various educational institution committees.
- In his first speech in the Assembly, Zaidi argued that it is important for minorities to be self-reliant and trust the community at large instead of relying on other safeguards like reservations, which only help on paper.
- He also stated that the Constitution will only exist and work if there is faith in democracy. He felt that being too critical or suspicious of every issue would only derail the Constitution-making process.