The Dhaka Nawab family reigned in Dhaka from mid 19th century to mid 20th century, after the fall of the Naib Nazims. The hereditary title of Nawab, similar to the British peerage, was conferred upon the head of the Family by the British Raj as a recognition of their loyalty in the time of the Sepoy Mutiny. The Family is a legal entity, created by a Waqfnama back in 1854. The self-definition is a Family instead of an Estate due to certain legal considerations imposed by the East Bengal State Acquisition and Tenancy Act of 1950.
They were not sovereigns, but played an important role in the politics of South Asia. The family was owner of Dhaka Nawab Estate, and were seated at Ahsan Manzil. Nawab of Dhaka was the title of the head of family and estate. Khwaja Alimullah was the first Nawab of Dhaka instated by the British Raj. Khwaja Abdul Ghani was the first person in the family to wield that title as a statesman.
Considerable infighting within the Nawab family lead to the decline of the estate. In 1952 the East Pakistan Estates Acquisition Act formally abolished the estate. Khwaja Habibullah Khan Bahadur was the last reigning Nawab of Dhaka. Successive land reform in Pakistan and Bangladesh brought an end to the remaining landholdings of the Nawab family.
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