Hyderabad Nizam was benevolent, those dividing people for votes should learn from him: grandson

On the eve of the 75th year of the annexation of the princely state of Hyderabad to the Indian Union, one of the grandsons of the last Nizam, Nawab Mir Osman Ali Khan Bahadur, recalled his grandfather as a compassionate ruler who contributed immensely in making Hyderabad a modern city.

“At the time of surrendering the Nizam state, my grandfather was sitting on the prayer mat and praying for the betterment of his subjects,” said Nawab Najaf Ali Khan, strongly objecting to the use of the word liberation.

“Liberation means liberating from the foreign yoke or foreign rulers. The Nizam was not a foreigner. Hence the question of liberation did not arise. It is equally incorrect to say that the monarchical rule of Nizam VII came to an end ushering in democracy. There was no participation of the people, much less of politicians.”

According to Khan, Operation Polo was a military invasion of Hyderabad and Liberation Day is an attempt to alter history. “On 17th September at 5 pm, H E H Sir Nawab Mir Osman Ali Khan Bahadur Nizam VII visited Radio Deccan and addressed the people that he had ordered the surrender of the Hyderabad army, allowed Indian army to enter Hyderabad city…The transition of power was done without bloodshed by the Nizam army,” he said.

The parties and politicians of the day, he said, are defaming the name of the last Nizam for their political gains. “My grandfather was the prime example of a religiously tolerant and benevolent ruler. His contribution to the Deccan region is unparalleled to date. Most of the services developed under his guidance and rule are still in use and remembered by the common people,” Khan said.

Architect of modern Hyderabad

The 37-year reign of the last Nizam from 1911 to 1948, according to Khan, changed the face of the Hyderabad state. The seventh Nizam should be credited for pioneering the institutions and buildings he founded, such as the high court, Osmania Hospital, Osmania University, City Improvement Board and the underground sewerage system, State Bank of Hyderabad, Deccan Airways and Begumpet Airport, the Deccan Road and Train department, the Kacheguda railway station, the electricity department, the archaeology department, reservoirs like Himayath Sagar, Osman Sagar and Nizam Sagar, Hyderabad Public School, and several factories, colleges and hospitals.

After the princely state was annexed, the Nizam was appointed Rajpramukh (governor) of the state till 1956, when he gave up the position. Khan said the Nizam as Rajpramukh took a monthly salary of Re 1 and never used any government machinery. On the demise of the last Nizam on 24 February 1967, the Andhra Pradesh government observed a day of mourning. “Even after 55 years of his passing, people not only in Hyderabad but all over the world remember him for his philanthropic work. His funeral was the largest gathering in history and the whole region mourned his death.”

Hindus and Muslims were his two eyes

Khan recalled that the last Nizam was an unbiased and secular-minded king who considered both Hindu subjects and Muslim subjects as his two eyes. “He was equally popular among his non-Muslim subjects. He used to grant regular financial assistance to mosques, temples, churches, gurdwaras and other places of worship and did not discriminate. Nizam VII was a believer in equality among all human beings. “To me all communities are alike. Neither anyone is superior, nor inferior. I consider all human beings alike,” he once said, according to Khan. The Nizam used to pay a monthly subsistence allowance to people serving in temples, he added.

Khan said the Nizam had nothing to do with the Razakars, whose alleged atrocities against Hindus are cited in historical documents. They were a private militia under MIM leader Qasim Razvi, who wanted the state to remain independent, he said.

He said the Nizam’s secular policies and religious tolerance towards the people were evident from the grants in cash or land he had made regularly, monthly or annually, to scores of temples within the state and to some outside.

“The ones who use caste and religion to divide people for votes should revisit history and learn through the example set by the Nizam VII on how to serve their people and work for the supreme cause of humanity,” he said.

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