Nawab Mir Osman Ali Khan: The other side of his persona

Mir Osman Ali Khan (google file photo)

By Shaik Ismail

The 7 th and the last Nizam of Hyderabad Nawab Mir Osman Ali Khan (Born: 6-4-1886; Died: 24-2-1967) was said to be the richest man in the world and was known for his noble deeds and rich contributions in various fields such as education, medicine, engineering, social service, architecture, heritage, poetry, art and culture. He ascended the throne on 29 August 1911 at the age of 25 and ruled the Hyderabad State between 1911 and 1948. It is amazing that he used Jacob diamond, a 185 carat gem the size of a lime worth 50 million pounds equal to around Rs. 480.00 crores in Indian currency, as a paperweight. It is said that despite of his enormous wealth, he used to spend very little for his own self and led a simple life. He never indulged in extravaganza and denounced all kinds of luxuries. This couplet reflects the persona of Nizam, a well known poet himself:


“Tumhari umar youn hi raayegaan guzri hai ay Osman
Na tum ko dast ghaib aayaa na tum ko keemiya aayee.”

People are benefitted even today with what he left behind him. Be it Osmania University or Osmania Hospital, Charminar Nizamia Tibbi Hospital, NIMS, Assembly building premises, Jubilee Hall, Hyderabad Museum (State Museum), High Court Building, Kacheguda Railway Station, Begumpet Airport, Asafia Library (State Central Library), Moazzamjahi Market, State Bank of Hyderabad (now merged in SBI) , Osman Sagar, Himayat Sagar, Nizam Sagar, Nizam Sugar Factory, etc. He constructed Hyderabad House in Delhi now used for diplomatic meetings by Govt. of India, Rubaat in Saudi Arabia for the convenience of Haj and Umrah pilgrims from Telangana and parts of Karnataka and Maharashtra – part of erstwhile princely State of Hyderabad. He was a great visionary and is called “Architect of Modern Hyderabad.” One would wonder on coming to know that the Nizam had provided financial aid for construction / reconstruction and maintenance of the worship places of not only Muslims but also of Hindus, Sikhs, Christians and Parsees apart from extending monthly honorarium to the priests of a number of temples, churches, Imams and Moazzans of mosques within and outside the country. Notable among them is Balaji Temple in Tirupati of Andhra Pradesh now popularly known as Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD), Sitarambagh Temple, Hyderabad, Yadagirigutta temple in Bhongir, Thousand Pillar Temple at Warangal, grand mosques at Makkah and Madinah. He had also extended monetary contribution for construction of Hindu Banaras University, Andhra University, University of London, etc. His farmaans releasing financial aid to these places of worship and Universities are still available with Archives Department in Hyderabad.

It is not known how many devotees or those who are associated with the famous TTD or other such temples today are aware of this fact or for that matter even very few Muslims knows that the Nizam shouldered the maintenance responsibility of Holy mosques of Makkah and Madinah and bore the expenses thereof. King Saud of KSA visited Hyderabad in 1954 to meet the Nizam and thanked him personally for his monetary help. Likewise, it is doubtful whether the products of Banaras Hindu University and Andhra University or those who are associated with these Universities have ever taken pains to know the important contributions of the Nizam for their establishment. He funded for compilation of Indian epic “Mahabharatha”. He sanctioned scholarships to the students pursuing their studies abroad without any discrimination. Sarojini Naidu, freedom fighter was one of the beneficiaries. He sanctioned establishment of Hyderabad Telugu Academy in 1940. People from all walks of life lived together peacefully and happily during his reign. He never discriminated anybody on the basis of religion, caste or creed. He gave equal rights and respect to one and all. The following verses of his poetry endorse this:

“Aish wa ishrath ki hai jo dhoom Dakan mein Osman

Sab ye kahte hain tere bakht ki bedari hai

Zamana kehta hai laag Osman
Har ek ko aas hai tere hi dar se.”

It is said that the Nizam was a very kind hearted king, he could not endure the hardship and sufferings of his people. One day he visited Osmania hospital to console a patient where he saw a poor man with no legs crawling over the earth. This miserable condition of the poor man pained him very much. Soon after initiating necessary consultations and discussions in this regard, he immediately purchased the land at Panjagutta and arranged for construction of orthopedic hospital with an estimated cost of Rs. 30 lakhs, now known as Nizam Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS). Similarly the Great Musi floods of 1908 locally known as “Thugyani Sitambar” (in which about 50,000 people said to have died, the floods razedover 80,000 houses making a fourth of the population shelterless) prompted the Nizam to invite Sir M. Visvesvarayya, an Indian Civil Engineer and a Statesman to advise and assist in the reconstruction of the city and to devise measures for the prevention of the recurrence of such a terrible catastrophe. Thus, the twin lakes of Hyderabad viz. Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar were built up.

The pity is when he negated the proposal of merging the Princely State of Hyderabad into Indian Union, Operation Polo widely known as “Police Action’ took place in 1948 during the subsistence of “Stand Still Agreement” and none came to his rescue. The Nizam said to be very close to Mahatma Gandhi, but, unfortunately the latter was already gunned down, by then. The Nizam was completely betrayed and left alone. The plight reflects in the following verses of his own poetry (Ghazal) :-

“Is se bhi bud naseeb hai Osman koi bhala
Jo shaqs haer pher mein duniya ke rahgaya
Osman hamara rang badalta kabhi nahin
Paband apni wiza ke apne chalan ke hain
Thu jaanta hai unko matlab ke hain ye Osman
Aghyaar se tho har aan hashiyaar raha karna
Osman thu kar chuka hai hazaron ka imtehaan
Besharam hoon jo ke aise bahut kam bashar mile.”

Princely State of Hyderabad amalgamated into Indian Union in September 1948. The Nizam was appointed as Raj Pramukh of Hyderabad State by the Government of India in Jan, 1950. Even after the end of his kingdom, the Nizam continued to support all the social, educational and welfare activities. He donated 5 tons of gold to the Union Government during the war with China in 1965 (Sino-Indian War). Yet, he is termed anti-national, anti-people and discriminative by fascist forces with biased mind. The above are just a few of his priceless and precious achievements and contributions narrated here out of many. Otherwise the list is very huge. Unfortunately, many of his contributions and generous deeds seems to have been suppressed selectively, of which the people obviously are unaware of and projected the Nizam otherwise with distorted facts. Here, the following verses of his poetry stand testimony to the situation:

“Naheen kuch aetebaar ohad wa paymaa
Wafa ki kya ummeed is bewafa se
Ye housla ye kaleja ye dil hamara hai
Ke baare ishq tumhara hamee uthathe hain
Andaaz ye sitam ke tujhe the kahan naseeb
Meri wafa ne tujhe jafakaar kar diya.”

A demand is made every year to declare September 17 as a ‘Liberation Day’ on the pretext that Telangana is liberated from the clutches of the private army of Razakars led by Qasim Razwi and Nizam’s army who jointly said to have committed excesses on unarmed and innocent citizens of Hyderabad State between 1946 and 1948, which is certainly condemnable. It means prior to and till 1946 ever since he accede the Kingship in September, 1911 i.e. for 35 years of his long rule, there were no complaints. And these disturbances erupted in his last period of tenure perhaps due to various circumstances and factors prevalent during that period in the country and which were beyond control. Indian independent struggle was at peak, widespread riots, rampant bribery and chaos in the Nizam Government weakened the grip of Nizam over administration, the seeds of hatred were being sown under the guise of Arya Samaj Vyayama Shalas in Hyderabad State against the Government to destabilize it which led to communal violence in the hitherto peaceful living people cutting across their religious beliefs and practices which is known for “Ganga Jamuni Tahzeeb”. Coupled with Razakars brutalities then, it has ultimately led to revolt against Nizam and his rule from within the State. However, history is evident that there was no such kingdom in India or elsewhere then, which was spotless and entirely free from such instances of hatred and bloodshed. And not to speak of the World’s largest democracy we are living in today where communal clashes, murders, rapes, large scale robberies, white collar scams and so on have become the order of the day. Gandhi is abused and Godse is praised by the so called nationalists. Nizam was not a foreigner nor had he invaded Hyderabad State. What is going on today, it seems, the Nizam sensed it during his lifetime itself and predicted thus :

Mizaaje yaar mein jaaniye kya ab samaayee hai

Ke mere roobaru meri buraayee hothi jaathi hai”

In yet another stanza he writes (at the face of the fascists) :

“Na aaya aur kuch hum ko agar aayee wafa aayee

Magar haan tujh ko ay zaalim sitam aaya jafaa aayee

Ilaahi, khair ho badle huve hain yaar ke tewar

Sitam aayaa, ghazab aaya, bala aayee, qaza aayee.”

The unparalleled services rendered by the Nizam for the cause of people, society and the nation as a whole can not be ignored under the pretext of the riots perpetrated by Razakars, which neither can be attributed to him in the light of his above multi facet and true secular characteristics with undisputed patriotism.

Narrating an event where Nizam had complied with the Order of the Independent High Court with due respect to the judiciary, which ruled in favour of his family with regard to award of enhanced compensation in some property dispute, the Chief Minister of Telangana, Mr. K. Chandraserkhar Rao, has praised the Nizam on the floor of Assembly and declared that he is proud of his King H.E.H. the Nizam VII Mir Osman Ali Khan for his splendid works done for the welfare of people. However, a real tribute to Nizam’s golden era in recognition of the yeomen services rendered by him for the cause of humanity and the society at large in all spheres of life shall be to observe his birth anniversary the 6 th April of every year at Government level officially, as a mark of respect.

Let me conclude with Jigar Muradabadi’s following couplet of poetry:

Un ka jo kaam hai’ woh ahle siasat jane: Mera paighaam mohabbat hai jahaan tak pahunche.” (What their job is, let the politicians be bothered about.My message is ‘love’, may it reach the whole world)


Courtesy: Shoukath-e-Osmania, Pundit Sunderlal Committee Report and other source of information.


    • Unhappy lying hindu street sh1tter,

      I wish it was true …it would have been the right thing to do. Nobody will miss 90000 less Hindu rapists.


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