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Mir Mahboob Ali Khan - VI

Mir Mahboob Au Khan was born on 17th August, 1866. He was the only son of Nawab Afzal-ud-Daula. When his father died he was two years and seven months old. He was installed on the masnad by Sir Salar Jung the great, Nawab Rasheeduddin Khan Shams-ul-Umara Ill and the Resident, and they functioned as the Regents. Shams-ui- Umara Ill passed away on 12th December, 1881 and Salar Jung became the sole Regent. He remained administrator and Regent till his death. With the concurrence of Sir Salar Jung, Captain John Clerk was appointed tutor to His Highness and scholars well-versed in Persian, Arabic and Urdu were also engaged as tutors. The personality and noble life of Sir Salar Jung had a great influence on His Highness’s life. At the age of sixteen Sir Salar Jung initiated him into the details of State administration. Brought up under the tutelage of this great statesman, Nawab Mir Mahboob Ali Khan steadily grew in his later years to be one of the noblest rulers of his time. On the invitation of Her Majesty the Queen Empress Nawab Mir Mahboob Ali Khan along with Sir Salar Jung and other nobles went to Delhi on 1st January 1877 on the occasion of the proclamation day. He also made his first official visit to his Dominion at the age of 15, accompanied by Sir Salar Jung. After the untimely death of Sir Salar Jung on 8th February, 1883 a provisional Council of Regency consisting of five members, with His Highness himself as its president and Mir Laiq Au Khan, son of Sir Salar Jung I, as Secretary was appointed for administrative purposes. On 5th February, 1885 Mahboob Ali Khan was invested with full administrative powers by His Excellency Lord Rippon, the then Governor General of India and Viceroy.

This was an important occasion for two reasons. First, because it was the first time that a Viceroy of India paid a visit to the State and also because Mir Mahboob Ali Khan was the first Nizam to be placed on the “Gadi” by the representative of Her Majesty the Queen. As soon as he assumed the sovereign rights of the State he issued a proclamation to his ten million subjects outlining the policy he was going to pursue in the administration of the State. He said “Nothing will afford me greater pleasure than to see my people living in peace and prosperity, engaged in the development of resources of wealth, and in the acquisition of knowledge and cultivation of the arts and sciences, so that by their efforts the country may rise to a high state of enlightenment and the State derive benefit and support from their knowledge and intelligence”. On 31st October 1883 Mir Laiq Ali Khan was bestowed with the title of “Salar Jung II” and “Muniruddaula” and on 5th February, 1884 he was appointed Prime Minister. Mir Lajq Au Khan Salar Jung II endeavoured to continue the reforms started by his father. In April,1887 he resigned due to court intrigues and internal politics and the Nizam took over the administration of the Dominion. During this period Sir Asman Jah Bahadur was in England to attend the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria.

He returned from England in August 1887 and was appointed as Prime Minister. In 1893, after serving for six years, Sir Asman Jah also resigned and in his place his cousin Nawab Sir Viqar-ul-Umara took over the administration. Towards the end of 1901, Sir Viqar-ul-Umara fell ill and died in 1902 and Maharaja Sir Kishen Pershad (Peshkar) who had officiated in the absence of Viqar-ul-Umara was made the Prime Minister with the title “Yaminus—Sultanat”. Maharaja Sir Kishen Pershad revived the Berar issue with the British. Lord Curzon, the Viceroy, visited Hyderabad in 1902 and demanded the assignment of Berar to the British on a permanent basis. Nawab Mir Mahboob Ali Khan did not agree to the proposal and invoked the terms of the treaty of 1853 according to which Berar was assigned in trust to the British and therefore the Nizam demanded its restoration. On 5th November, 1902 an agreement was signed by the Nizam’s Government assigning Berar districts to the British on lease on payment of Rs. 25 lakh per annum. According to the agreement Nizam’s sovereignty was recognised over Berar and the Asaf Jahi flag was hoisted on Nizam’s birthdays.

As a result of this agreement the Hyderabad Contingent was also disbanded and absorbed in the British army. The administrative reforms of Mir Mahboob Ali Khan included development of railways, revision of revenue settlements, establishment of cotton-mills at Hyderabad, Gulbarga and Aurangabad for the benefit of coton_growers. Large tracts of land were brought under cultivation by undertaking new irrigation works and with restoration of old tanks the economy was put on a sound footing with surplus budget. Most of the reforms started by Salar Jung I were continued. Education also received special attention, and a number of schools were established in all parts of the Dominion. Police, Judiciary, Forest and Excise were reorganised on modern lines resulting in better revenue. “In the Nizan’s Dominion, medical treatment and medical education reached a high standard of excellence. Here was held the famous Chloroform Commission which was due to the liberality and scientific interest of the Nizam and the energy and enthusiasm of Dr. Lawrie, the Presidency Surgeon”. “British Medical Journal 1895”. Some other important events and reforms during the reign of Nawab Mir Mahboob Ali Khan are as follows: In 1891 the Asafia State Library was established with the object of obtaining and preserving manuscripts of rare Arabic and Persian works of literary or scientific value and also of purchasing important English and Oriental printed books. It was also on Nawab Imad-ul-Mulk Bahadur’s initiative that in 1892 the Dairatul Maarif was established. In 1893 Mahboob Ali Khan announced a major reform in the constitution of the Government through an edict called “Qanunche Mubarick” resulting in the formation of a cabinet council for transacting executive business and a legislative council for framing laws. On 5th May, 1905 Victoria Memorial Orphanage was established in memory of Queen Victoria.

His Highness the Nizam was graciously pleased to place at the disposal of the orphanage his unfinished palace at Sarurnagar and also perform the opening ceremony of the institution. The aim of the orphanage was to provide a home, with sound discipline and general and industrial education, for Hindu and Muslim orphans and destitute children. In 1878 Madrasa-i-Aliya was founded and in 1908 the Mahboobia Girls’ School was set up. On Tuesday, 28th September, 1908, 1-Tyderabad witnessed disastrous floods of the River Musi, flowing through the city. Thousands of people died and nearly twenty thousand houses were washed away. It was a pathetic scene on either side of the river with collapsed houses and tangled masses of uprooted trees, logs and rafters. Nawab Mir Mahboob Au Khan personally supervised the rescue operation along with Maharaja Sir Kishen Pers had. On 5th February, 1885 Her Majesty the Queen Empress conferred upon His Highness the honour of Grand Commander of the Star of India. Mahboob Ali Khan was very fond of horses and dogs and he maintained one of the best stables in India. He was passionately fond of “Shikar”. His shooting ventures in the reserved forest at Pakhal in the Warangal district were well known.

Nawab Mir Mahboob Au Khan was an exceptionally good marksman and a graceful rider. He was very fond of good clothes and maintained one of the largest wardrobes in the world (which still exists in the “Purani Haveli” Palace). One day the Nizam’s Police chief Akbar Jung reported to His Highness that one of the palace servants had stolen jewellery worth Rs. one lakh from His Highness’s bedroom, and that the thief had been caught. The Nizam complimented the Police Chief on his alertness and commanded that the erring servant and the jewels be produced before him. When the thief and the jewels were produced, the Nizam looked over the jewels very casually and turned to his Police Chief and said “You have arrested an innocent man, obviously he did not have the courage to tell you that I had given him the jewels as a gift. The jewels are his”. Mahboob Au Khan ruled more with the heart than with the head. He had the unfeigned love of his subjects almost amounting to personal affection. There are strange stories of his nightly adventures in disguise among his people to ascertain their opinion of him. He was popularly known as Mahboob Au Pasha. Even today there is a distinct sect of people in Hyderabad who consider him as their spiritual guide.

He dealt sternly with speculating and greedy officials. He went frequently into trances, and long spells of silence. He had a mystic power of curing snake bite and great powers of physical endurance. He was large-hearted and tolerant in matters of religion. He was a man of great dignity and deep thought and was more a saint than a king. Generosity was almost a fault with him, and became a legend during his short lifetime His Highness had a sudden stroke of paralysis and succumbed to it at 12.30 p.m. at Falaknuma Palace on Tuesday, August 29, 1911 at the age of 46 years. The incredulous people heard the news with deepest sorrow. The capital was engulfed in gloom. Business was suspended and European firms draped their premises with black cloth. Nobles proceeded in a stream to the palace. He was interred at Mecca Masjid by the side of his father Nawab Afzal-ud-Daula

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