Abbas Tyabji

Judge, Deceased Person

1854 – 1936


Who was Abbas Tyabji?

Abbas Tyabji was an Indian freedom fighter from Gujarat, who once served as the Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court. Mahatma Gandhi appointed Tyabji, at age seventy-six, to replace him as leader of the Salt Satyagraha in May, 1930 after Gandhi’s arrest. Tyabji was arrested soon afterward and imprisoned by the British Indian Government. Gandhi and others respectfully called Tyabji the "Grand Old Man of Gujarat".

A Sulaimani Bohra Muslim and grandson of the merchant prince Mullah Tyab Ali Bhai Mian through his son Shamsuddin Tyabji, Abbas Tyabji was educated in England, where he lived for eleven years. He was an early proponent of women’s rights, supporting women’s education and social reform. He broke with the prevailing custom of the times by disregarding purdah restrictions and sending his daughters to school.

His nephew, Salim Ali, states that before 1919 Tyabji:

Though a moderate nationalist at heart, he would stand no adverse criticism of the British as a people, or of the Raj, and even a mildly disparaging remark about the King-Emperor or the royal family was anathema to him. . . If he had any strong sentiments about Swadeshi he certainly didn't show it by precept or example. . . This being so, he naturally disagreed vehemently with Gandhiji and his methods of political mass agitation. . . In other respects his moderate but simmering nationalism and his absolute integrity and fairness as a judge were widely recognized and lauded, even by leftist Congressmen and anti-British extremists.

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Feb 1, 1854
  • India
Lived in
  • Vadodara
Jun 9, 1936

on July 23, 2013


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