Khan Bahadur Hasem Ali Khan (1888–1962) was a politician, lawyer, peasant movement leader and social worker in United Bengal of British India and then in independent Pakistan. He was co-worker and co-politician with Sher-e-Bangla (Tiger of Bangladesh) A. K. Fazlul Huq. He became a Minister in the Bengal Legislature in 1941 in the second cabinet led by A. K. Fazlul Huq. During his political life, he tried to establish rights of farmers and common people. He was rewarded as Khan Bahadur by British Government as recognition of his contribution for maintaining peaceful relation among various religious people, especially between Hindu and Muslim.
Khan Bahadur Hasem Ali khan was born on 2 February 1888 in Pirojpur District of Barisal Division. In 1906, he passed entrance examination with scholarship. During study at high school level, he became fan of Mahatma Ossini Kumar Dutta and took indoctrination to him. Hasem Ali khan took part against historical Bengal Partisan Movement known as Bango Bhangha during study in Barisal Zila School. Then, he passed FA (now known as Intermediate) Examination in 1908. Afterward, in 1910, he passed BA examination and became Vice principal of Islamia Madrasah. Finally, in 1913, he passed B.L Examination from Kolkata Ripon College and started Law practice at Alipur Court. Then he continued law business at Barisal Bar. He was member of Barisal Bar since 1914 to 1962.
When he was law student at Kolkata Ripon College, he got married to Samisun Nesa. Hasem Ali Khan was the father of four children. They are Samsun Nesa, Lutfun Nesa, Nurul Islam Khan (N.I Khan) and Fakhrul Islam Khan (F.I Khan). Hasem Ali Khan's wife Samisun Nesa died in 1928.
Khan Bahadur Hasem Ali Khan involved with congress politics since his student life. But, he formally joined with congress politics after starting law business at Barisal bar. He was one of the leading secretaries of Barisal Congress. Though he was active politician of congress, but he believed in armed struggle against British Colonialism for freedom contrasting to congress's satayagraha andolon (Non-cooperation movement). He tried to raise political awareness among farmers and common people as he believed that without mass people's political awareness Indian freedom was impossible. His political guru was Sher-E-Bangla A.K Fazlul Huq and Sir Asutos Mukharji. These persons inspired him to enter in politics. He created Proja Sammittee in Barisal in 1995 on request of A.K Fazlul Huq. He actively participated in Khilafat Movement (Islamic Dynasty Protection Movement) and non-cooperation movement (Sattyagraho Andolon) and presented inspiring speech for the movement in various meetings. As a part of the movement, he along with fellow lawyers stayed away from law business for three months. After provincial conference held 1921, Hasem Ali Khan was selected as divisional secretary in first Barisal Congress Committee. At the height of movement, Hasem Ali Khan along with others broke 144 article order imposed by government against the movement. In June 1921, Hasem Ali Khan and Assini Kumar Dutta invited Mahatma Gandhi and Mowlana Mohammad Ali to visit Barisal. On 2 June 1921, Mahatma Gandhi, and Mowlana Mohammad Ali visited Barisal. He translated Hindi speech of Mahatma Gandhi and Urdu speech of Mowlana Mohammad Ali into Bangla for the audience. Basically, after this meeting, Hasem Ali Khan became famous across Bengal province and India for his impressive and attractive speech. His political wisdom and ability to impress common people eventually helped him to become a successful politician in Bengal. When Hasem Ali Khan was Vice President of Barisal Congress, Mahatma Gandhi again visited Barisal in 1925 to resolve tension between Hindu and Muslim community after General Election in 1923. However, when farmers lost their right of holding land due to act of permanent settlement by Lord Cornwallis and became victimized by landlord and British tax collectors, then Hasem Ali Khan stood beside them to protect and to establish their. He started Proja Andolon (civic movement) in Barisal on request of A. K. Fazlul Huq to preserve and protect rights of farmers. He believed that without uproot of land lordship, civic freedom would impossible. Subsequently, he became the president of Barisal Proja Committee. During his leadership in Barisal Proja Andolon, police and Gurkha army of British rulers fired in a procession of the movement in 1922, many people were wounded and killed. He became very upset and strongly condemned the brutal act of the government. As a Consequence, Mahatma Gandhi called to break Salt Act. Hasem Ali Khan mobilize and inspired people to participate in Salt Act break movement which was lasted from 1922 to 1930. Hasem Ali Khan treated Hindu and Muslim equally during his political career. As a consequence, he received respect from both communities equally. He worked hard for keeping unity between Hindu and Muslim to lessen and stop tension between the two communities. For instance, due to Satyagraha Andolon led by Satindranth Sen in Barisal, tension between Muslim and Hindu was arisen. Hasem Ali Khan played an important role to appease the both community and prevented bloodshed. Moreover, he actively participated, led and protested Kulkathi Killings of the Government in Barisal. As continuation of his movement, Hasem Ali Khan formed Bakergonj Mohamedan Association to reserve social and religious rights of the common people. In 1927, British Governor General Donovan Visited Barisal after break out Hindu-Muslim riot. He found that only Hasem Ali Khan can play role to keep peace and Hindu-Muslim unity because of his acceptance to both communities. Mr. Donovan arranged a meetings for alliance between Hindu and Muslim. In that meeting Hasem Ali Khan presented a heart touchy speech emphasizing on the unity of Hindu-Muslim for the freedom of India. Mr. Hasem Ali Khan was awarded as Khan Bahadur on 3 June 1935, by the Governor General and viceroy of India for his contribution for Hindu-Muslim Unity and Integrity. He was awarded as 'Khan Bahadur' especially as recognition of his contribution for protecting and preserving Muslim’s rights in British India. In Addition, the award was also recognition of his contribution to protect legal rights of Muslim Community after incidence of Kulkathi village. Hasem Ali khan formed Barisal Krishok-Proja (farmers-Civic) Committee and he was president of the committee. In 1934, he became of Bengal legislature from Bakergonj's Kotowali, Nolchiti, Kaukhali, Sorupkhathi, Pirozpur, Nazirpur region of Barisal Mahkuma. In 1936, Hasem Ali Khan contested in Barisal District Board Election under banner of Krishok-Proja Sommitte. Later on, he became the chairman of Barisal District Board by defeating Khan Bahdur Hemaet Uddin. He acted as Chairman of Barisal District Board until 1942. In general election held in 1937, Hasem Ali Khan was elected for the second time in Bengal legislature. After being elected as member of legislature, he became member of Floud Commission to remove land lordship tradition from Bengal. The commission recommended to remove land lordship tradition from Bengal. Due to their recommendation, land lordship tradition was removed from Bengal in 1950. In 1937, after forming coalition cabinet, Muslim league and Krishok-Proja Party were restructured. In reformed committee, Hasem Ali Khan was selected as the president of Muslim League of Barisal and concurrently, president of Barisal Krishok-Proja Party. He assisted A.K Fazlul Huq to write historical Lahore Resolution. Hasem Ali Khan also supported Subhas Chandra Bose in Hallow well Movement as close friend of Subas Basu. Fianally, Hasem Ali Khan became minister of Bengal Legislature in 1941 in the second cabinet led by A.K. Fazlul Haque. He was the minister of Debt Settlement Board and Rural Development. On 17 December 1941, he took oath as minister of cooperative and agriculture eviction ministry. As a minister, he brought second amendment in Bengal Farmers Eviction Laws in 1942 in Bengal Assembly. He was active member of Bengal legislature from 1943 to 1946 as well as cabinet minister from December 1941 to March 1943. He also reactivate 11000 debt settlement Board during cabinet membership. In addition, he was the director of the directorate of Education when A.K. Fazlul Huq was the minister of education ministry. However, Hasem Ali Khan and Krishak Praja Party was against division of Bengal. In 1947, Hossen Sahid Sahrowardi Proposed Independence Bengal for Bengali speaking people. They proposed a State consisted of Bengal and Asam. The proposed name of the state was 'Banga-sam' consisted by Bengal and Asam. But, their all efforts became failure due to conspiracy of Muslim league and British government. After Independence of Pakistan, Hasem Ali Khan joined Muslim league in 1950. He thought, he could contribute more for the people if he involves with Muslim league politics because of the acceptance of Muslim league to general people. Later on, he elected in Barisal Municipality election as chairman held in 1952 without any contest. In 1950, he was elected as president of Barisal Muslim League.
Khan BahadurHasem Ali Khan patronized cultural and social activities. He formed Bakergonj Mohamedan Association to preserve and protect right of common people. He re-published Daily Nobojug newspaper in 1941. Famous writers and poets like Abul Mansur Ahmed, Kazi Nazrul Islam, Zainul Abedin were involved with this newspaper. In 1942, S. Wajed Ali published Monthly Gulistha Journal on request of Hasem Ali Khan. He assisted to formulate Barisal Mohila (female) Somite. He also established Shamsunnesa Reading Room in Barisal. He inspired his son Nurul Islam Khan to publish weekly Khadem. He established Barisal Literature Maslish (Sittings). For economic development, in 1946, Hasem Ali Khan and A.K.Fazlul Huq established national Commercial Bank.
Khan Bahadur Hasem Ali Khan died from an accident in 1962. Before his death, he was going to attend to an election campaign in Babugonj Thana of Barisal by boat. In the way, he was caught by heavy rain and storm, and due to strong current and heavy rain, his carrying boat got drown. He died from this accident due to staying a long time under water. At the time of his death, his age was 75 years.