Muhammad Ali of Bogra, also known as Shahebzada Muhammad Ali Bogra, was a member of the East Pakistani royal family. He was a Calcutta University graduate who spent the majority of his life in politics. He began his political career in the Bengal Legislative Assembly and eventually became Pakistan’s Prime Minister. Though he was not a well-known figure for the majority of his career, he was instrumental in Pakistan’s development into the nation it is today. His primary objective was to draft a constitution for Pakistan. To accomplish this, he developed the infamous “Bogra Formula.” This formula defined the government structure to be used. Unfortunately, this plan was thwarted when Pakistan’s governor-general, Ghulam Muhammad, dissolved the Pakistani Assembly. After the Assembly adjourned, he was re-elected Prime Minister and later appointed Ambassador to Japan. Additionally, he enabled men to have multiple wives. He married his secretary himself after his first wife gave birth to two sons. He stated in an interview with the ‘Times Newspaper’ that polygamy was the Muslim equivalent of divorce. Thus, a man can marry another woman he adores while maintaining the dignity of his first wife. He lived a life marked by numerous accomplishments until his death in his homeland.
Childhood & Adolescence
He was born on October 19th 1909 in Barisal, British India, to Nawabzada Altaf Ali and raised primarily by his paternal grandfather, Nawab Bahadur Sir Nawab Ali Choudhury. He spent the majority of his childhood on his grandfather’s estate in Borga.
He began his education at Calcutta’s ‘Hastings House.’ Mohammad then attended ‘Calcutta Madrasah’ before enrolling in ‘Calcutta University’s’ Presidency College.
Career of Muhammad Ali Bogra
He remained in Borga and was elected chairman of the municipality of Borga. Later in his career, he was elected chairman of the District Board. Since an early age, he was fascinated by politics and was an active member of the ‘Waqf Board’.
He began his political career in 1937, when he was elected to the undivided Bengal legislature in Calcutta from the MLA (Muslim League Assembly).
Mohammad was appointed minister of health in Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy’s cabinet in 1943-1946. He established the ‘Dhaka Medical College’ and the ‘Lake Medical College Hospital’ while serving as minister. He was also appointed minister of local self-government and finance during this time period.
Pakistan was founded in 1947, and he was elected to the Pakistani Constituent Assembly.
In May 1948, he left for Burma on a diplomatic mission assigned by then-Governor-General Mohammed Ali Jinnah. He died of a heart attack the following year.
A year later, in July 1949, a new governor-general, Nazimuddin, took office, and Mohammed Ali of Bogra was appointed Pakistan’s first high commissioner to Canada.
In 1952, amidst political and social unrest in Pakistan, he was appointed ambassador to the United States.
Despite his protests, he was appointed Pakistan’s Prime Minister in April 1953. He was appointed by Ghulam Mohammed, Pakistan’s then-Governor-General, and was also unanimously elected as the Muslim League’s president. Three days after this election, President Eisenhower of the United States ordered the shipment of thousands of tons of wheat to Pakistan in order to assist the new country.
Additionally, in 1953, he outlined his “Bogra Formula” for establishing a bicameral legislature. Regrettably, Ghulam Mohammed vetoed the plan that same year.
While the Prime Minister began peace talks with the Indian Government over Kashmir-related issues, Governor-General Ghulam Mohammed called for another election. Mohammad Ali was re-elected Prime Minister.
He resigned as Prime Minister in August 1955 and went on to serve as Japan’s ambassador for three years. He was elected to the United Nations Committee for the Reunification and Rehabilitation of Korea in Japan. He served as chairman of this committee for one year.
In 1962, he was appointed Foreign Minister of Pakistan by Governor General Ayub Khan. He served in this capacity until his death.
Significant Works of Muhammad Ali Bogra
He is perhaps best known for his “Bogra Formula.” The parliament would be composed of an Upper House with ten seats from each province, for a total of fifty seats. The Lower House would be determined by each province’s population. This would give it a total of 300 seats, with 165 representing East Pakistan and 135 representing West Pakistan.
Additionally, if the President was from the East, the Prime Minister had to be from the West, and vice versa. Even though this formula was a diplomatic solution to a tense situation, the country’s autocratic leaders refused to implement it.
Awards and Accomplishments
The British bestowed the title ‘Khan Bahadur’ on him. This was the equivalent of a British Empire Order. He later renounced the title in a show of defiance toward the British Government.
Personal History and Legacies
He was wed to Hamida. They had two children together, one of whom is Syed Hamde Ali.
He married Aliya Saadi, his secretary, on April 2, 1955.
On 23 January 1963, in Dacca, Pakistan, this eminent politician died of cardiac arrest (now Dhaka, Bangladesh)
Estimated Net Worth
Mohammad is one of the wealthiest politicians and is ranked among the most popular. Mohammad Ali Bogra’s net worth is estimated to be around $1.5 million, based on our analysis of Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.