Rebuttal: History

A ‘miser’ who donated generously


Special Correspondent

Mir Osman Ali Khan donated liberally to places of worship

Along with Muslim employees, Christians and Hindus given special leave for visiting holy places

The seventh Nizam also granted Rs. 1 lakh each to the Andhra and the Benaras Hindu Universities


Hyderabad: The Yadgarpally temple at Bhongir received a grant of Rs. 82,825. Sitarambagh temple got Rs. 50,000, Bhadrachalam temple Rs. 29,999 and Balaji temple in Tirupati Rs. 8,000

No, these are not grants made by the present dispensation but by the erstwhile Nizam’s regime. The Seventh Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan, was generous in donations to churches, mosques and Gurudwaras too. Though a strict follower of Islam, he displayed exemplary tolerance towards other faiths.

These little known details were an eye opener to many who turned up for the talk on “The cultural contributions of Mir Osman Ali Khan” organised at the Princess Esin Women’s Educational Centre here on Thursday. The programme was held as part of the formation day of the H.E.H. The Nizam’s Museum. A.K.V.S. Reddy, Director-General, National Institute of Tourism and Hospitality Management, presided.

Among the audience was the last Nizam’s grandson, Muffakham Jah Bahadur. It was his keen interest that led to the establishment of the Nizam’s Museum in 2000. Zareena Parveen, Director, A.P. State Archives and Research Institute, raised eyebrows of many when she explained how the last Nizam was secular to the core. Often dubbed a ‘miser’, he was benevolent when it came to helping out others.

Preserved culture

He took pains for preservation of the ancient and medieval culture of the Deccan and did his best for cultural synthesis. He took steps for protection of the world famous frescoes of Ajanta and Ellora. His government honoured religious leaders like Guruswamy Danamamal. Along with Muslim government servants, the Hindus and Christians were given six months special leave and advance salary for visiting their holy places. “He always proclaimed that Hindus and Muslims were his two eyes,” Dr. Parveen said.


A progressive ruler, the Nizam’s reign ushered in an era of construction of public buildings. He also patronised learning institutions and granted Rs. 1 lakh each to the Andhra and the Benaras Hindu Universities, besides financing several socio charitable institutions.

Dr. Parveen lauded the pragmatic approach of the Nizam for emancipation of women.

Despite opposition, he introduced progressive reforms and encouraged education of the downtrodden and vulnerable sections of society.


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