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Mar 2015

When Jah returned from Dehra Dun in 1945, Laik Ali was a wealthy Hyderabadi industrialist and one of the main financial backers of the Majlis Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen or Movement for Muslim Unity.  The MIM was formed in 1927 with the aim of bringing together Muslims of different sects.  Its leader, Bhadur Yar Jung, believed that Hyderabad should be declared a sovereign Muslim state. He elevated the Nizam above all other Indian princes, demanded that the British address him as “His Majesty” and began referring to him as the ‘King of the Dekkan’.  Osman Ali Khan was easily swayed by such arguments.  Unlike his predecessors, he saw himself as a ruler in his own right and believed that he was entitled to be given the title of King and treated as an equal by the British.

When Bahadur Yar Jung died suddenly in 1944, the apparent victim of poisoned hookah, he was succeeded by an ex-lawyer from Uttar Pradesh, Kasim Razvi.  India's senior-most civil servant V.P. Menon would later describe Razvi as a man 'with gleaming eyes, beard and a fez, worn at a rakish angle' and fanaticism bordering on frenzy'.  Despite his small stature, others in the Indian Government referred to him as ‘the Nizam's Frankenstein monster’. What he lacked in physique he made up for as a speaker.  In his speeches he railed against submission to Indian rule in any form.  Death with the sword in hand is always preferable to extinction by a mere stroke of the pen,' he told his followers.  The waters of the Bay of Bengal, he promised, would wash the feet of the Nizam.  'We are the grandsons of Mahmood Ghaznavi and the sons of Babur.  When determined, we shall fly the Asaf Jahi Flag on the Red-fort.

(Source :  The Last Nizam by John Zubrzycki, published by Pan Macmillan, Sydney, 2006)


November 2017


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