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The Unsung Monarch: Nizam’s 50th anniversary passed off without commemoration

The Unsung Monarch: Nizam’s 50th anniversary passed off without commemoration

Hyderabad: Family members of the seventh and last Nizam of the princely state of Hyderabad, Mir Osman Ali Khan Bahadur, on Thursday lamented that the government did nothing to mark a day on Nizam’s remembrance. Mir Osman Ali Khan, the architect of modern Hyderabad, breathed his last at the King Kothi palace at 1.20pm on February 24, 1967. Born on April 6, 1886, Osman Ali Khan ruled the princely state of Hyderabad from 1911 to 1948.

President of Nizam Family Welfare Association, Najaf Ali Khan rued that there isn’t a single statue of the seventh Nizam for garlanding. He recalled that the Andhra Pradesh Gazette (GO Ms No.172 dated February 24, 1967), by the then Andhra Pradesh government in the seventh Nizam’s remembrance on his death had praised the Nizam, who also served as the Raj Pramukh (governor), for his secular and impartial approach towards all religions, schemes propagated by him for welfare of the depressed classes, his philanthropic activities and substantial contributions in education towards well known universities across the country.

On that day the tricolour was flown at half-mast and all government offices remained closed as a mark of respect to the departed Nizam the next day when the funeral took place.

According to Nizam Museum documents, “The streets and pavements of the city were littered with the pieces of broken glass bangles as an incalculable number of women broke their bangles in mourning as is the Telangana custom on the death of a close relative.”

The 1967 GO had also propounded that government offices in the state will fly the national flag at half-mast to observe mourning and that there will be no entertainment by or on behalf of the government.

Mir Osman Ali Khan who was one of the icons during the separate Telangana agitation has been forgotten after the formation of Telangana state. The ruling TRS leadership hailed him as the builder of modern Hyderabad but did not want to associate with the observance of his 50th death anniversary.

It must be recalled that among other contributions, Nizam had donated 7,000 kg of gold to the Indian government to fight against Pakistan.

Nawab Shahamath Ali Khan, who witnessed the last rites of the Nizam, recalled that on the demise of last Nizam, the then prime minister Indira Gandhi flew down to Hyderabad along with her younger son Sanjay Gandhi to pay her respects to the Nizam. Former president Rajendra Prasad and several other VIPs also came to play their floral tributes.

Khan further added that Nizam’s funeral procession was the largest ever witnessed in the city – the five kilometre-long stretch between Mecca Masjid near Charminar to Masjid-e-Judi near King Kothi was jam-packed with people cutting across religion silently followed the gun carriage carrying the body.