Haji Usman Sait, who was known for his generosity and acclaimed as the ‘Cash bag of Indian National Congress’ was born in 1887 in Bangalore, presently capital of Karnataka State. His ancestors hailed from Kutch region of Gujarat state and settled in Bangalore. Born into a wealthy family of merchants, Usman Sait along with his father made a fortune in National and International trade which they did with good business acumen.
They established a shopping complex called ‘Cash Bazaar’ in the heart of Bangalore City. He joined Khilafat Movement in 1919 soon after he came to know about it. When he came into contact with ‘Ali Brothers’ and Mahatma Gandhi, he participated in it very actively. “He soon earned the title ‘Khilafat wale’ Usman Sait.”
He took membership of Indian National Congress on the advice of Gandhiji and became his ardent follower. Haji Usman made a bonfire publicly of all the foreign goods in his ‘Cash Bazar’ stores, worth lakhs of rupees as a part of Swadeshi Movement. He suffered great loss when the British Government was angered at this act of defiance and imposed sanctions on his business.
Establishing the ‘Swadeshi School’
On the advice of Gandhiji, Haji Usman started ‘Swadeshi School’ in Bangalore in 1920 for the students who boycotted Government schools. He never sent his children to English school. He wore Khadi till his last breath. Haji Usman used to give blank cheques to Indian National Congress whenever it had financial need. Haji Usman Sait handed over blank cheques and bags of gold coins to Ali Brothers, Gandhiji and Jawaharlal Nehru.
He kept his generosity by selling his luxurious bungalows one after one. On one occasion, when Haji Usman Sait did not have money to donate it to Indian National Congress, he put his elder son Ebrahim to public auction. A close friend of Haji Usman Sait took part in the auction and won the auction bid. He gave the total proceeds of auction as well as Ebrahim to Haji Usman Sait. Then Haji Usman happily donated the proceeds of auction to Indian National Congress.
Haji Usman lived upto to the title ‘Cash Bag of Indian National Congress’ till his last breath and left nothing for his Children. Leaving the priceless message ‘ If you want to live, live for India…If you want to die, die for India’ to his children. ‘Khilafat wale’ Haji Usman Sait passed away in 1932 in Bangalore.