Why in News:
- A 14th century ceremonial sword used by the Nizam’s that was sold in Hyderabad to a British General in the early 20th century is set to return to India.
- The sword, shaped like a snake, has serrated edges and a damascene pattern, with gold etchings of an elephant and tigers.
- The Nizams ruled the state for 224 years, from 1724 to 1948. In the period, seven Nizams of the Asaf Jahi dynasty presided over the throne. The seventh, Asaf Jah Mir Osman Ali Khan, signed the instrument of accession, and Hyderabad became a part of India.
- Hailing from Samarkand in Uzbekistan, Asaf Jahi was originally a Turkic dynasty. The grandfather of the first Nizam, Khaja Abid, visited India for the first time in 1655 and presented himself at the court of Aurangzeb, then Mughal king of India.
- The Mughal ruler made Abid the governor of Ajmer and gave him the title of Qalich Khan. Khan died in 1687, fighting a war at Golconda.
- Aurangzeb subsequently gained control over Golconda and later Hyderabad. With the conquest, the Mughal empire was established across the subcontinent.
- Qalich Khan’s grandson Qamaruddin caught Aurangzeb’s eye with his skill as a warrior. He was conferred the title of Chin Qalich Khan by the ruler.
How the name Nizam came into being
- In 1713, Aurangzeb’s grandson Farukh Siyar gave him the title of Nizam-ul-Mulk Fateh Jung and made him the subedar of six provinces. The title was held by his descendants, the rulers of the princely state of Hyderabad, until the mid-20th century. The head of a ruling family was commonly known as the nizam.
- Nizam al-Mulk term is Arabic for “Governor of the Kingdom
Nizam-ul-Mulk to Wakil E Mutlaq(Grand Vizier)
- At the court of Muhammad Shah, the 18-year-old heir, Nizam ul-Mulk was elevated to the position of Wakil E Mutlaq (Grand Vizier) in 1721 AD for ousting the Sayyid Brothers.
- When the Emperor’s frequent companions turned into Nizam’s foes and coercively sowed doubt in the Emperor’s mind about Nizam’s rising authority, Nizam’s ambition to restore Mughal decorum collapsed.
- He was moved by Muhammad Shah from the Delhi court. Nizam disobeyed the imperial order, resigned as grand vizier, and marched to the Deccan against the will of the Mughal Emperor Muhammad shah.
Independant Nizam Kingdom
- After Asaf Jah I defeated Mubariz Khan in 1724, the Mughal emperor was compelled to recognise him as the viceroy of the Deccan and give him the title of Asaf Jah. After several wars in the Deccan, Qamaruddin established himself as the supreme leader of the region. In 1724, he became an independent ruler, and from then on, the dynasty ruled Hyderabad till 1948.
- The Asaf Jahi dynasty began in 1724, when the Nizam gained independent sovereignty over the Deccan region.
- Following rulers retained the name Nizam ul-Mulk and were referred to as Asaf Jahi Nizams, or Nizams of Hyderabad.
- The first Indian princely state to form a subsidiary alliance with the British was Hyderabad in 1798. The Nizam sided with the British in 1799’s Fourth Anglo-Mysore War against Tipu Sultan.
What role did the Nizams play in developing Hyderabad?
- Asaf Jah IV played a crucial role in setting up the judicial and civil administration of the state. Under his rule, in 1856, Hyderabad became the first state in the country to ban the practice of sati.
- Asaf Jah V facilitated the introduction of railways to the state by donating land for the Bombay-Madras railway line in 1860. Asaf Jah VI followed his predecessor and established several cotton and silk industries in the region.
- Asaf Jah VII played a major role in setting up the Osmania University in Hyderabad in 1917. It was under his rule, in 1921, that the judiciary was separated from the executive.
How did Hyderabad become a part of India?
- The majority population of Hyderabad state was far from enjoying the same kind of wealth as the Nizam did. The feudal nature of the state at the time caused the peasant population to suffer high taxes, indignities of forced labour, and various other kinds of exploitation at the hands of powerful landlords.
- After India’s independence in 1947, the princely states were given an option to join India or Pakistan or stay independent. Asaf Jah VII decided to remain independent.
- However, the rising threat of militancy by Razakars and the Telangana uprising put civilians in danger. The government of India launched “Operation Polo” on September 13, 1948, to merge the state with India.