Rafi Ahmed was born on 18th February 1894 in Masauli, Barabanki district(in present-day Uttar Pradesh). He received his primary education at the village school and from a home tutor. Subsequently, he attended the Government High School in Barabanki until 1913 and graduated in 1918 from the Mohammadan Anglo-Oriental College, Aligarh University with a B.A.
Role in India’s Independence Movement:
While pursuing his LL.B. degree, he got involved on the political front. He became a regular member of theKhilafatOrganisation in 1920 and was the main force behind the Non-Cooperation Movement in the Barabanki district, for which he was even imprisoned. After his release in 1922, he became acquainted with the Nehru family and even served as a private secretary to Motilal Nehru, and later, Jawaharlal Nehru.He was also a member of the Indian National Congress. In 1937 he was made the Minister for Revenue and Prison in the United Provinces and in April 1946, he was appointed as the Home Minister of the United Provinces.
After independence, Kidwai became India's first Minister for Communications. Later in 1952, he was appointed as the Minister for Food and Agriculture at a time when there was food rationing in the country.
Kidwai died on 24 October 1954 due to cardiac asthma, while still in office as a Minister.
The Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Award was created in his honour in 1956 by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research to recognize Indian researchers in the field of agriculture.
In 2011, the Postal Staff College, Ghaziabad was renamed as the Rafi Ahmed Kidwai National Postal Academy.