Prof. Mehdi Hasan

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Prof. Mehdi Hasan

Naved Masood*

News has just come in that Dr Mehdi Hasan, Professor Emeritus, King George's Medical College Lucknow and former Professor of Anatomy and Dean Faculty of Medicine passed away at around 1900 Hrs IST in a hospital at Lucknow today due to complications arising out of carcinoma of prostate. His mortal remains will be laid to rest after Zuhar prayer at Imambara Ghufran Ma'ab Lucknow.

The first ever MS (Honours) in Anatomy he worked as Demonstrator and then Lecturer in Anatomy at his alma mater, the KGMC before being appointed as Reader in the nascent Medical College of AMU in 1963 where he spent the next thirty-two years of his academic career till retirement. Possibly, the most distinguished Anatomist of his generation he was elected Fellow of all the National Science Academies of the country which is a rare honour for people from Medical Sciences and was possibly the only faculty member of AMU to be so honoured in the post independence era** (Dr Shamim Jairajpuri also shares that honour with him but he received these honours while serving as Director Zoological Survey of India). He has so far been the only Human Anatomist to receive the Padma Shri Award.

A remarkable and indefatigable teacher, he was instrumental in initiating many 'general enrichment programmes' in the General Education Center in association with the maverick Ahmad Surti Sahib - that gave a glimpse to the rest of the University community of his talent in teaching and his mastery over all aspects of medical sciences.

I came in contact with Mehdi Sahib who was our neighbour in Tar Wala Bangla around 1966 when he became a family physician of sorts. The Anatomist was a good clinician whose prescriptions will invariably carry the name of the manufacturer in brackets. He was always available and not only examined the patient but also explained to him/ her the nature of the ailment, its causes and course like the good teacher he was. in the last forty six years he kept in touch even though at times I was remiss. Last Eid he called, as was his wont, though he had difficulty in talking and mentioned that it was possibly the last time that he was wishing me - a prognosis that turns out to be uncannily correct.

A man with a powerful, ever inquisitive mind he had a heart of gold with child-like curiosity and enthusiasm - something which, while earning him many admirers also begot a few jealous souls. In the fitness of things in the AMU tradition the University did not deem it fit to recognize his extraordinary contributions as a teacher and researcher though he had the pleasure of seeing himself as the cynosure of his students during the recent golden jubilee celebrations of the JNMC where he came on a wheel chair despite his frail physical state. How the AMU community chooses to perpetuate the memory of one of its stalwarts remains to be seen.

He leaves behind an incapacitated Begum Mehdi and his enterprising son Dr Abbas Mehdi, Professor of Biochemistry at KGMC; he can be reached at 91-9415007706.

**In pre independence India several faculty members had the distinction of being Fellows of the Indian National Science Academy (then called the National Institute of Science), the Indian Academy of Science and the now peripheral National Academy of Science (Allahabad). They were Drs Mohammed Ishaq and Rafi Mohammed Chaudhari of Physics Department, Dr R.K Asundi of the same Department, Dr Mohammed Sharif Khan who was briefly with the Department of Zoology and Prof Desai of Chemistry.
In post independent India several academics of AMU were Fellows of one Academy or the other - among them were Profs P.N Ganju and Fakhruddin Ahmad of Geology Department, Profs Kafeel A Chowdhury, Reyayat Khan and Abrar Mustafa Khan to name a few.

*Mr. Naved Masood is an AMU Alum and a senior Civil Servant in Govt. of India and he is based in New Delhi. He can be reached at

The last journey of Prof. Mahdi Hasan

My condolence message on Prof. Mahdi Hasan’s death is belated, since I was physically present by the side of the bereaved family right from the moment of his death, to the burial and following rituals. I had no time to access the internet.
Prof. Mahdi Hasan was diagnosed a case of “cancer of prostate” about one a half years back, which perturbed his relatives and loving friends, but did not dampen the spirits of that great fighter named Mahdi Hasan. He continued with his lectures, seminars and interactions. In January 2012 he was conferred upon the prestigious title of Padamashri which initiated a chain of felicitation ceremonies, by every known institution and society. Aligarh Doctor’s forum of Lucknow and AMUOBA Lucknow were the front runners in felicitating Prof. Mahdi Hasan. On 2nd. October 2012, during the golden jubilee celebrations of JNMC, Prof. Mahdi Hasan was felicitated in a grand way by the university authorities. Although , he was on a wheel chair but made it a point to grace the golden jubilee celebrations by his presence at Aligarh.
Suddenly at the end of October 2012 his condition started deteriorating and he had to be admitted in the hospitals many times. The end of the journey came at 6.0 pm on 20th January, 2013 when the Allah’s will prevailed and like every mortal prof. Mahdi Hasan too succumbed to his prolonged illness, at, SGPGI, Lucknow. This was not only the end of Prof. Mahdi Hasan, but was an end of an era.
A lot has already been written and said about the academic excellence and teaching skills of Prof. Mahdi Hasan. In short he was a teacher of teachers , a great scholar, a complete human being and an embodiment of hospitality. His popularity can be judged only by the fact that a lot of people who were not his blood relatives came from far off places just to say good bye to that great teacher and human being.
Few names of the people who came from different places and whose names I can recollect are;
Prof. Mohammad Ahmad, ex dean and Chairman dept. of Medicine and Mr. Waseem Ahmad; ex MP came from Aligarh. Dr. Ghiasuddin Ansari drove down from Gorakhpur while Dr. Sarkar Haider from Bareilly. There were many others who came from, Delhi, Kanpur, Faizabad and Ambedkar Nagar.
Prof. Mahdi Hasan will remain alive in the hearts and minds of thousands of his students all over the world.
We pray from almighty Allah! That Prof. Mahdi Hasan is placed in Jannatul Firdaus and May Allah! provide solace to his bereaved family.
Some of his photographs of his last days are attached herewith.

Dr. S. Riaz Mehdi
A proud student of Prof. Mahdi Hasan

Prof Mahdi Hasan is no more...Inna Lillahe Wa Inna Alaihe Rajeoo


I am very sad to hear this news. The late Professor Hasan was a very noble
gentleman and a dedicated teacher, who treated his students as his own
children. I did not have an opportunity to be his student, but had the
privilege of knowing him for over 40 years. He used to invite me ti his
Brain Research Center at JN Medical College while I was at the All- India
Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. We remained in contact and I
always made it a point to visit him whenever I was in Lucknow. I will miss

May Allah give him a well-deserved high place in Jannat and sabr to his
immediate family and extended family of students.

Zafar Iqbal
Washington, USA

Prof Mahdi Hasan is no more...Inna Lillahe Wa Inna Alaihe Rajeoo

I join the Alig fraternity in mourning the sad demise of Prof M Hasan who used to be our next door neighbour in Tar wala bangla for many years .Our families enjoyed very close personal relations .I pray for his maghfirat and offer my sincere condolences to the bereaved family

Dr Saleem Kidwai
American Studies Division
School of International Studies
Jawaharlal Nehru University
New Delhi-110067,India
Cell No- +91-11-9953529424,

Sir Syed Bi-Centenary


Hamiduddin Farahi


ZH Chowdhury

Satish Chandra