Hyderabad: Nawab Najaf Ali Khan, grandson of Nizam VII finds a drastic change in Hyderabadi culture from the yore. He also feels lack of leadership in Nizam clan as the root cause of not getting due recognition for them in the present era. “Hyderabad culture has changed. It’s more divided on religion. Secular sheen is losing. It’s hard to acclimatise to the drastic changes. Besides, lack of leadership in the Nizam clan is also the root cause of not getting due recognition for us in the present era. People barely recognise us unless we reveal our identity,” said Mr Khan.
He added, “Problem is we don’t brag about our roots or try to garner attention.” As Hyderabad City celebrates its 425th anniversary, Mr Khan spoke to Deccan Chronicle on the splendour of the bygone era, famed Hyderabadi culture, cuisine and lavish functions. Mr Khan says that Prince Mukarram Jah, who became the titular Nizam of Hyderabad upon the death of his grandfather in 1967, stays away from Hyderabad and no other member of the immediate clan took over the reins of royalty.
According to Khan, 52, there are about 400 family members of the Nizam clan, mostly 5th and 6th generation, spread over Hyderabad, Canada, US, the Gulf and many are well educated and well settled. “My children love to listen to tales about their forefathers and wish they were part of the glorious and majestic era. I am involved in charities and issues related to Nizam’s estates, including the case pertaining to cash stacked in a Scotland bank,” he says.
Son of late Prince Hasham Jah Bahadur (the 7th son of Mir Osman Ali Khan, Nizam VII), Mr Khan runs the Nizam Family Welfare Association in Hyderabad. “My late father, Prince Hasham Jah Bahadur, used to take us to the residence of Raja Dhanraj Gir Bahadur on Diwali and also to the Holy Mary Church for Christmas Mass. Shahi dawats were great. There used to be Lawazimaat bhara khana (7 course meal). Weddings comprised 11 functions. Not any more, today it’s restricted to 3 functions,” he says.
Mr Khan adds, “During such functions, the father, along with uncles and friends used to write poetry, sing gazals all through the night. Gazal exponents like late Vittal Rao, Khan Ather and others enthralled the evenings. Its is all a dream now.”...