Colonel Nizamuddin, who was the driver of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose during the freedom struggle, passed away in Azambgarh on Monday. He was 116.
Born as Saifuddin, he came to be known as Colonel Nizamuddin during his Indian National Army (INA) days with Bose between 1943 and 1945.
He was with Netaji in Burma when Bose came under attack. A bullet had hit him in the back but he was saved by Captain Lakshmi Sehgal, who was a doctor in the INA.
In fact, he was given the rank of Colonel by Bose himself.
In 2016, Colonel Nizamuddin was in the news for being the world’s oldest man alive following the passing of Japanese Yasutoro Koide in January 2016.
Though unconfirmed, Nizamuddin furnished a voter ID card which states that he was born on January 1, 1900, making him the world’s oldest person alive. Even his passport had the same date of birth.
Colonel Nizamuddin was the last surviving INA hero. He is survived by his 107-year-old wife Ajbunisha. The two had opened a joint account with SBI last year, which actually revealed their respective birthdates.
A resident of Mubarakpur in Azamgarh district of Uttar Pradesh, Colonel Nizamuddin became widely known across the country in 2014 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was campaigning for the General Elections.
The PM had invited him on stage, felicitated him and bent to touch his feet and seek blessings.
All through his life, Colonel Nizamuddin maintained a healthy eating habit consisting of milk, cereal and ghee.
In an interview in 2016, his son Akram revealed how his illustrious father’s memory was very sharp despite the old age though his health was failing.
Till he was alive, Colonel Nizamuddin used “Jai Hind” as his salutation. So it is fitting to say ‘Jai Hind’ for this hero who now rests in peace.