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dated April 3, 1953: Asaf Ali dead

India's Minister to Switzerland Mr. Asaf Ali died of a heart attack in Berne on the night of the 1st April. He was 64. He had assumed the post in July 1953. His wife Aruna, a Socialist leader, had come to Berne from India only a day before his passing away. Born in 1888, Asaf Ali was educated in the St. Stephen's College, Delhi, and went to England for legal studies. He was called to the Bar from Lincoln's Inn in 1912. Back in India, he joined the nationalist movement and was tried in 1918 under the Defence of India Act. He defended himself successfully, and thereafter threw himself heart and soul into the freedom movement. Asaf Ali was jailed several times during the Congress campaign. In 1928 he married Aruna Ganguli. An active member of the Muslim Nationalist Party, he was elected in 1935 from Delhi to the Central Legislative Assembly by a thumping majority drawing strong support from both Muslims and Hindus. In a later election as a Congress candidate, he was re-elected defeating a Muslim League candidate. Chosen as Deputy Leader of the Congress Party in the Assembly, he took keen interest in External Affairs, Defence, and Constitutional matters. As a member of the Interim Government of India from September 2, 1946, he held charge of Transport and Railways. In February 1947, he went as India's Ambassador to the United States, and was in Washington till April 14 next year, when he returned to be appointed Governor of Orissa. Extensive travelling and work took toll of his health, and Asaf Ali resigned as Governor in May 1952.Then he was posted on what was to be his last assignment — as India's Minister to Switzerland, Austria, and the Vatican.

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