The family of the last Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan VII (photo) has objected to the remark made by Union Home minister Amit Shah who promised to free Hyderabad city of its “Nizam culture” pointing out that the last sovereign ruler’s image was being tarnished for political gain.
The Nizam’s grandson Nawab Najaf Ali Khan who heads the Nizam Family Welfare Association today issued a statement saying : “Whenever elections are held my grandfather H.E.H late Sir Nawab Mir Osman Ali Khan Nahadur Nizam VII’s name is criticised and his immense services towards his subjects are blatantly disregarded.” Khan told this paper that “the family was hurt over these statements.” He went on to say that politicians should attract voters by their welfare schemes and by working for the people instead of resorting to such statements against the Nizam.
Although the statement does not name any politician or a political party, it was Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath who had spoken about renaming Hyderabad as Bhagyanagar in the lines of Allahabad which was changed to Prayagraj during his campaign for civic elections.
Yesterday, Union Home minister Amit Shah had also promised to free the city from its Nizam culture if BJP was voted to power in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation elections slated for tomorrow.
“Renaming the city or promising to free our state of Nizam culture is nothing more than a gimmick to attract attention but these politicians cannot change the Ganga Jamni Tehzeeb which has been a part of the culture of the people of Hyderabad for centuries,” said Khan ruing the new low touched by politicians who are lagging behind in their knowledge of history of their own nation.
He claimed that in the 1940s Hyderabad was better than most Western countries and his massive donations were unmatched by any other ruler in history.
He had built the prestigious Nizam Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) from his own private purse and tarring him as a “looter” is an attempt to damage his image, said his grandson.
In fact even today most buildings used by the state administration were built during his reign as were the institutions including Osmania Hospital, the High Court and Osmania University, the first vernacular university in the state of Hyderabad. The richest among the rulers in Pre-Independence India he is credited for building the modern Hyderabad.
His descendants wondered why the Centre had appointed him as Raj Pramukh and accepted 5 tons of gold donated towards National Defence Fund if he was a fascist and why was his name and legacy being maligned even though secularism was the essential form of governance.
As the BJP national level leaders were roped in to campaign for the municipal election in the city, the narrative tended to be on religious lines with BJP leaders even promising to launch surgical strikes in old city area.