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Accession No. .7. 







B.A. (Cantab.) 

Barrister-at-Law of the Lincoln's Inn, London 
(Judge of the High Court, Hyderabad, Deccan, India). 



Made and Printed in Great Britain for Arthur H. Stockwell, Limited, by 
The Plymouth Press (Whitfeld & Newman, ltd.), 28 Russell-st., Plymouth. 



" Since I am sworn to live my life, 
And not to bear an easy heart 
Some men may sit and dream apart 
I bear a banner in the striie. 

" Some CcUi take quiet thought to wife ; 

I am all day at tierce and carte, 
Since I am sworn to iive my hie, 
And not to bear an easy heart." 


THE autobiography of my father, Nawab Server-ul-Mulk 
Bahadur, is an epitome of the political and social history 
of Hyderabad, between 1869 and 1897, the years respec- 
tively of his arrival at and departure from Hyderabad. 
Of all the prominent characters who staged the scene and 
played their part in those stormy days, my father's work 
lay behind the scenes, and none but those who came into 
contact with him intimately, knew of the silent and 
unostentatious manner in which he exerted himself. 

The confidential records of the State are a permanent 
and standing testimony to the work that he has done. 
With the exception, however, of the privileged few, none 
can gain access to those records, for they form part of 
the State Archives, which are, as it were, a sealed book 
to the public ; and so it is no wonder that we know so 
little of the life of the one man who stood head and 
shoulders above his contemporaries. 

After passing through many vicissitudes, my father 
began his career as a tutor to the sons of Sir Salar Jung I ; 
later he became tutor to His Highness the late Nizam, and 
was finally his most trusted, devoted and self-sacrificing 
Secretary. Of all persons, he was the last man to step 
into the limelight, and that especially after close upon 
thirty years of severance from active participation in the 
political life of Hyderabad ; and it was only afteff much 


persuasion that my youngest brother, Mirza Yahiya Beg 
(of beloved memory), succeeded in getting him to jot 
down some features of his life. But even if he had been 
willing to do so, he could not, for obvious reasons, have 
given fuller details of the matters dealt with than he has 
done ; nor could he, in any case, have mentioned certain 
matters of prime political importance, for they were such 
that must necessarily remain hidden from the public 
gaze. And, further, even if there were no question of 
divulging secrets of State, the very fact that some of 
the characters delineated by him are still living, would 
be a sufficient reason for withholding many incidents 
that would be interesting from an historical point of view. 
The omitted details with regard to men and matters 
may perhaps, at some future date, be given in a second 
edition of this work. 

In regard to the incidents that are mentioned in this 
book, I may say at once that some of them may be found 
in many historical works dealing with Hyderabad affairs. 
But there they are based either on hearsay or have reached 
the writers indirectly through not very reliable sources ; 
while here you find them depicted by the very man who 
took an active part in them. 

The original autobiography is in Urdu, and is written 
in choice language and in a style which could only be 
attained by a Delhi man, and one who had intimate 
associations with the Red Fort, where the best and most 
elegant Urdu was spoken. I took upon myself the respon- 
sibility of translating this work into English for the 
benefit of the English-reading public. I trust the English 
and the Urdu version of the biography will be published 

A translator is beset with many difficulties some of 
them insurmountable because the languages differ vastly 
from a philological point of view. I have, therefore, been 
obliged to translate some portions freely and to resort to 
English idioms to convey the sense. I have not given 
much thought to the spelling of Urdu, Persian and Arabic 
words, as I did not think much could be gained by doing 
so, seeing that there are so many styles, and to have made 
a careful distinction might have served crnly to make 
confusion worse confounded. The phonetic spelling of 
words has therefore been retained all through, I have in 


addition only added dates and given short notes where 
they were required. 

I have drawn upon the following works freely : 
" Bostan Asafia" " Life of General Fraser" " Hyderabad 
Affairs/' compiled by the late Nawab Mohsin-ul-Mulk 
Bahadur, Blunt's " India under Ripon" and Eraser's 
" Our Faithful Ally, the Nizam:' 

My thanks are due to my friend Mr. K. Clement 
Jones, M.R.A.S. (London), for the help he has unhesi- 
tatingly given me in going over the translation with me. 

In conclusion I can only refer to the thrills and pleasure 
felt by the author, a devoted and loyal servant, who, 
in the face of grave personal danger, was determined to 
serve his master to the end. His piety was deep, if un- 
obtrusive ; and a heart more steadily loyal to his country, 
to his family, to friends and comrades of every degree, and, 
not least, to his own manly, upright self, could not be 
found in the length and breadth of the land. 

" I would serve my King, 
Serve him with all my fortune here at home, 
And serve him with my person in the wars ; 
Watch for him, fight for him, bleed for him, die for 

As every true-born subject ought.' 1 



(From " Glimpses of the Nizam's Dominions/' published 
by C. B. Burrows in 1898). 

THE Nawab Agha Mirza Beg Khan, Server Jung, Server-ud- 
Dowlah, Server-ul-Mulk Bahadur, is a Chaghathai Moghul 
of the clan of Berlass, and belongs to one of the noblest 
families of Delhi. He is related to the imperial family 
by ties of clanship and marriage. The Nawab's ancestors 
held high offices under the Emperors, and subsequently 
under the English. One of them, Ashraf-ud-Dowlah, 
Mirza Ashraf Beg Khan, helped Lord Lake at the great 
battle of Koel. Jawad-ud-Dowlah Mirza Afzul Beg Khan, 
another of his ancestors, was the nobleman who sent the 
celebrated Raja Ramohan Roy to England to represent 
to the British Parliament the grievances of the Emperor 
of Delhi. 

Agha Mirza Beg was born at Delhi in 1848. He lost 
his father when he was only a child, and was brought 
up by his uncle, Mirza Abbas Beg Khan, who being 
himself childless, brought up the Agha and his brothers 
as his own children, and left his Jagirs to them. This 

fentleman's name is well known to the Government of 
ndia. His conspicuous services during the Punjab wars 
made him a special favourite with Sir Henry Lawrence, 
and when Sir Henry was transferred to Oudh, he took 
the Mirza with him. Sir Henry was killed in Lucknow, 
but the Mirza's services were recognised after the Mutiny 
by Lord Canning. He was created a Talukdar of Oudh, 
and the confiscated State of Baday Gaon, in the district 
of Sitapur, was granted to him in perpetuity ; and this 
State is still in possession of the family. 

The family having removed from Delhi to Lucknow, 
the Agha was educated at the Canning College, under the 



special patronage of General L. Barrow, the Chief Com- 
missioner of Oudh, who was a great friend and patron of 
the family. Before he died, General Barrow recommended 
the Agha to Sir Salar Jung I, at the request of Mirza 
Abbas Beg, who himself was well known to the great 
statesmen of Hyderabad. 

The, Agha went to Hyderabad in 1872, anfl there 
Sir Salar Jung extended to him a reception befitting his 
birth and position, and entrusted him with the charge of 
the education of his own sons, the Nawab Salar Jung II, 
and the Nawab Munir-ul-Mulk, boys then of ten and eleven 
years old. 

His Highness the Nizam had not then commenced 
his education, which was still a subject of correspondence 
between his guardian and the Imperial Government. Sir 
Salar Jung I had chosen Captain John Clerk to be super- 
intendent of His Highness's education, but a native 
gentleman of birth and education was required to help 
the Captain in this important work. The guardians of 
His Highness chose the Agha for the delicate task, and 
as soon as Captain Clerk arrived at Hyderabad they 
consulted him on the matter. He tested the Agha for a 
few days, and then, on his expressing himself as satisfied 
with him, the latter was appointed his assistant. Thence- 
forward the Agha's progress was a rapid one. 

The great Minister retained full confidence in the 
Agha until his death, while the rest of the great Nobles 
of the State, such as the Nawab Rashid-ud-din Khan 
(the second Amir-i-Kabir), the Nawab Sir Khurshed Jah 
(the present Amir-i-Kabir), and the Maharaja Peshkar, 
all valued his services. 

The Agha's devotion and loyalty to his Sovereign 
master won for him the same attachment from His High- 
ness the Nizam. In the same way that his ancestors had 
won approbation and reward for their loyalty in the British 
Service, and while his other relations were distinguishing 
themselves in the Imperial Service, even outside India 
such as the Moulvi Sami-ullah Khan Bahadur, who won 
his C.M.G. by helping Lord Northbrook in settling 
political difficulties in Egypt the Agha was doing his 
work quietly and unostentatiously and earning a similar 
distinction by his services to " Our Faithful Ally/' the 


Then came the great occasion of His Highness's 
installation, and at the very first Durbar his Royal 
Master rewarded the Agha's loyal services with the ancient 
title %of Nawab Server Jung Bahadur, and a perpetual 
pension of Rs, yoo/- a month. He was not allowed to rest 
quietly at home, however, but was constantly at the 
elbow of his Sovereign to help him in his work. 

To write the life of the Nawab Server Jung since the 
installation of His Highness the Nizam, would be to 
record the political history of the State for that period, 
which does not fall within the scope of the present pub- 
lication. Suffice it to say that the Nawab still continues 
to enjoy the high esteem of his master and Sovereign, 
although he has thought fit to retire from active service 
for a time. 

The title of Dowlah and Mulk were recently conferred 
on the Nawab by His Highness the Nizam. 


" Who will have patience to hear my story, 
And that, too, from my own jips ? " 

I WAS born in the early hours of the morning on Tuesday 
of the month of Zilhajia, in the year 1264 H.* (1848 A.D.). 
My parents (requiescant in pace /) lived in Faraskhana 
with my aunt, and they gave me the name of Agha Mirza. 
The house in which I was born was a double-storied 
building, the lower portion of which consisted of a dhalan 
in a dhalan, with rooms to the right and left, and with a 
courtyard in front for kitchen, etc. To the left was the 
entrance gate, and in front of this were small side-rooms. 
The upper story was a small courtyard with a verandah 
and side rooms. 

I have described the house for this reason, that there 
is a strange story connected with my birth, which I have 
heard from my mother. My late mother was a saintly 
person, who was acquainted with the necessary tenets 
of Islam, and had read the translation and commentaries 
of the Koran f by Abdul Kader (on whom be peace !). 
Her tutor was one, Syed Hussain (a brother-in-law of the 
late Sir Syed Ahmed Khan), who had taught the Koran 
and the necessary principles of the Holy Religion to his 

* The Mohammedan Year. The Mohammedan year consists of 
12 lunar months, of 30 and 29 days alternately. The common 
year consists of 352 days, but with intercalary days in certain years 
allowed for, the mean year consists of 354 and eleven-thirtieths days. 
Inasmuch as a solar year consists of 365 J days, the difference 
between that and the Mohammedan Calendar year amounts to 
nearly 1 1 days ; and consequently any given month in a Mohamrned- 
an year goes the round of the seasons in course of time. 

f The Koran is not a series of books like the Christian Scriptures, 
but is one book, with a series of divisions of varying length, which 
are called Suras, i.e. Chapters. There are 1 14 Suras in all. The Koran 
contains 77,639 words and 323,015 letters. The revelation of these 
Suras extended over a period of 23 years. Thus the Koran is a 
revelation literatim et verbatim, and came, piece by piece, when it 
was required. The Suras are arranged according to their length, 
the shortest being at the end of the book. 



women relations ; and it was from a copy of the true 
draft of the translation of the Koran by the Shah Sahib, 
which she had, that my mother, in due course, made me 
read%the Koran. Possibly this Koran may still be with 
Sajjid Beg or Wajid Beg I only hope that they have 
kept it safely. Be that as it may, the story which my 
mother 1:old me is this. In one of the rooms of the upper 
story, a saintly, elderly person used to live, whom my 
late aunt used to address as her brother. My aunt never 
used to allow any of the household to go upstairs, she 
herself keeping that part of the house clean and tidy ; 
but when occasion arose, she would go up to that elderly 
person and consult him, and more often than not he used 
to help her. Regarding this, my mother gave me an 
instance. One night my aunt was about to say her 
" Isha " (evening) prayers, when a sugar-cane seller 
passed by. Seeing him, my aunt expressed her regret 
that she had no money, or she would purchase the sugar- 
cane, and then, the next moment, something fell near 
her feet with a slight thud ; and when she had sent for a 
lamp, she found that what had fallen was a rupee, with 
the " Kalma " inscribed on it. She picked it up and said 
that she would keep it as a charm. 

My father, who was deeply learned in Persian and 
Arabic, and had also secured a diploma in Mathematics 
from Roorkee, had no faith in that elderly person ; but 
one night when he was sleeping alone on the upper story, 
he suddenly awoke to find that someone had caught hold 
of his toes and lifted him so high, that his head alone 
rested on the pillow. He also found that that person was 
pressing him to the right and left ; and so, as he was 
feeling great pain, he confessed his fault and asked to 
be forgiven. Then the person in question pulled him 
towards himself, and then let his legs fall on the railing 
of the bed. My father, having escaped from this painful 
position, immediately went downstairs and spoke to his 
sister, as to what had happened to him. 

When I was about to be born my aunt sent for Shah 
Rafiuddin (Peace be upon him !), and told him to go to 
a certain room on the upper story, where he would find 
an elderly person who addressed her as his sister, and to 
convey to him her greetings, and then, after telling him 
that there was going to be an accouchement in her house, 


which would make it impossible for the house to be kept 
tidy and clean, to ask him if she should make arrangements 
for the accouchement to take place at another house. 

The Shah Sahib accordingly went upstairs, and si#nd- 
ing before the room, clapped his hands. A sound emanated 
from inside asking him to come in. At first he found the 
room empty, but after a little while, he saw that & person 
was sitting on the prayer-carpet, with a cloth round his 
loins. He had a long beard, and a distinguished and saintly 

The Shah Sahib conveyed my aunt's message to him, 
and he at once answered that on no account was she to 
remove into another house, and that he himself would 
take the new-born babe under his protection. " Only be 
careful/' he added, " that no woman or child comes 

In short, my mother told me that after she had given 
birth to me, whenever in the night I threw away the 
coverings, shaking them off with my legs, that elderly 
person would cover me up at onee, and that when my 
nurse used to fall asleep, and I cried for milk, he used to 
awake the nurse. 

When the fortieth day after the confinement drew 
near, my aunt again sent Shah Rafiuddin to the gentle- 
man upstairs, with a message to the effect that there 
was going to be a feast, at which all women relatives, 
and their children and servants, etc., would congregate, 
and that as that would mean, if the feast were held in her 
house, that she again would not be able to take the pre- 
caution of keeping the house tidy, she would hold the 
party in another house. But again that gentleman would 
not agree to her doing that, and sent down word that he 
also wished to share in the enjoyment. 

When the day arrived, and the guests assembled, my 
aunt herself went upstairs and said loudly : " My brother, 
these guests are unaware of your presence, and possibly 
they may take fright at one of your acts, in which case 
my hospitality to them would be marred." 

A voice from the room replied : 

" O my sister, keep your heart at rest Your guests 
are my guests, and I hold myself responsible to welcome 

The next day, when all the guests had assembled, this 


gentleman took to a new mode of sharing in the enjoy- 
ment ; that is to say, he began to steal the jewellery and 
the dresses of the ladies. A great hubbub was the result. 
On^ lady complained that she had lost her necklace, 
and another her box ; another could not find her shawl, 
and yet another blamed the servant of another for taking 
her things. 

My aunt, in a great rage, went upstairs and began to 
abuse that gentleman, and to call on him to return all 
these things forthwith, or her enjoyment would turn 
into sorrow and her hospitality would be lost ; and a 
voice replied to her, saying, " Go downstairs all those 
things will be sent down to you/* And my aunt came 

At that time all the guests were sitting down to dinner, 
and then, all of a sudden, a grating sound was heard from 
the ceiling, and on everyone present raising their heads, 
they saw that somebody's shawl was hanging from the roof 
and sailing down towards them, while some saw their 
anklets floating in the air. The sight was enough for 
the ladies to fly shrieking in all directions, a great dis- 
turbance being the result, one lady becoming hysterical, 
and another fainting. After this, palki after palki was 
summoned to take these ladies home, and the party was 
thus abruptly terminated.* 

* Discarnate Spirits living creatures with no physical bodies. 
Suggestions Merely thought forms OY objective mental images, 
absorbed, so to speak, by places where they are enacted, and 
so that in certain circumstances these impressions may be 
projected in invisible or audible form. 

Another type of " haunting " must also be mentioned, ^namely, 
the somewhat unpleasant " poltergeist " phenomena. " Polter- 
geist " a German word which means "racketing spirit" is the 
name given to the spirit which is supposed to be active in haunted 
houses, where furniture is lifted, china smashed, etc., apparently 
through no material agency. 

Explanation Certain people give off quite involuntarily an invisible 
non-material substance, which, when seized upon by some 
irresponsible native spirit (or elemental), affords it sufficient 
material force to play its pranks. 

This same etheric substance, known variously as " Plasma 
ectoplasm or bioplasm," is also said to be the basis of the " Material- 
ization " phenomena known to spiritualists. 

The Britannica Home University, First Series, No. IV. Psych- 


My mother told me that after that we left the house, 
and removed into another, and that there was only one 
further occasion on which this gentleman was ever seen. 
That was like this. ^ 

In the Fort, a princess was taken ill, and became 
almost mad. My mother called on her one day, for 
" mizaj pursi," and then the princess, seeing my mother, 
wished her " Salaam Aleikum," and asked whether she 
had recognized her. My mother was greatly frightened 
at this, but the princess asked her not to be afraid and 
said, " I am the same person who used to look after your 
child, who was born in my house. I have a regard for 
that child." My mother came away at once from there in 
great terror. 

BOYHOOD. My aunt died while I was a child, and I 
do not even remember her face. After my aunt's death, 
my uncle Mirza Ashur Beg took us to his house, and there 
I grew up. But my mother sometimes used to live near 
the Delhi Gate. 

My uncle loved me very much and always kept me 
near himself. He liked my antics, and nobody ever dared 
to thwart me in my play. One day, when I inflicted a 
wound on the head of his third son, Mirza Khudadad Beg, 
both my aunt and my mother wanted to punish me ; but 
my uncle warned them not to do so, and himself carried 
me away. 

It often happened that whilst at table I would go 
and play about, and would say, " Uncle, Elephant ! " 
and he would then immediately go on all-fours, and 
I would get on his back. He made me almost a 

One day my father had spread a plan on the ground, 
and was trying to fill it up with different colours, when I 
came jumping along and striking about with my hands, 
with the result that the colour fell all over the paper. 
Annoyed at seeing his labour of a few days lost, my 
father struck me on the face, and that at once caused 
other trouble, for my uncle arrived with a stick in his 
hand, and threatened my father. However, others came 
in between and separated them, but for a week or two 
my father had not the courage to approach my uncle. 
At last, however, pardon was sought and given, and they 
became friends again, as usual. To this day I pray for 


the repose of my late uncle's soul, at the time of the 
" Isha " prayers. 

I remained in this house till 1857. 

J still remember a lot of incidents that occurred during 
the Mutiny. If a European soldier were seen, the children 
clapped their hands and called out " Loo ! . . . Loo I " 
and threw pebbles at him. When the mutineers entered 
the City, our houses were kept well guarded. 

I well remember that when the Indians entered the 
City it was morning time. I was going with my servant, 
Rahim Baksh, to my maternal uncle's house in the Bulaki 
Begum Street, and when we reached the " Dhareeba," 
we saw people running in all directions, in fright. Rahim 
Baksh, a well-made, strong man, at once lifted me on his 
back and bolted. When we reached our aunt's house, the 
gate was being closed, but Rahim Baksh struck at the 
gate, and entered it with such force, that, inside, we both 
fell prone, and hurt ourselves badly. After a day or two, 
however, we became used to the new conditions, and I 
returned to my own house. 

The mutineers in the City and the English on the Ridge 
fought for about six months. 

It was hot weather at the time, and every night we 
used to see the glare of the cannon-balls passing overhead ; 
and we considered them pyrotechnics. One day a cannon- 
ball tore through the roof of the upper story and fell on 
to the verandah, where we were having our meal. My 
uncle at once ran towards it and threw a lot of water 
over it. 

I used to receive tuition from an Afghan Moulvi, 
(People who come from the frontier of Afghanistan, 
either as students or fruit-sellers, are called " Vilayatis.") 
This Moulvi, a strongly-built man, with a big head and 
long hair falling down to his shoulders, was an expert 
in telling beads and reciting prayers. One day he came 
to my father, and said that God Almighty had conferred 
a great boon on men these days, and it was a pity that we 
did not avail ourselves of it ; and when my father asked 
what the boon was, he replied, " Jehad and Martyrdom." 

My father tried to do his best to dissuade him, but he 
was in ecstasy for martyrdom, and finally, with a turban 
on his head, a sword at his waist, and a rifle in his hand, 
he departed. On taking leave, he told my father to keep 


whatever portion of salary was due to him, adding that 
if he came back he would take it, but otherwise the money 
was to be spent on his " Fateha " ceremony. 

As he was for some time lost sight of, my father 
believed he had come by the death which he desired so 
much, and accordingly spent the money he had left 
behind in preparing food, etc., for the " Fateha "'cere- 
mony ; but then, as he stood up to recite the prayer, 
the Moulvi put in his appearance and made a good meal 
of the things prepared for the ceremony. He then got 
ready to depart again at once, and my father said to him 
that this " Fateha " could be taken as one for God, and 
that he should take his money back ; but the Moulvi 
replied, first, that he was not entitled to it, and, secondly, 
that if my father wished to give it to him, then he still 
should keep it, because it might be required for the same 
ceremony later on. 

My father told him it was not right that he should 
remain alive to eat food prepared in honour of his " Fate- 
ha/' and that he should therefore take away the money. 
But the Moulvi refused to, and went away without it. 

He never came back, and eventually my father per- 
formed the " Fateha " for him. In this fight which lasted 
for six months, Kalay Khan (the bombardier) made a 
great reputation for himself, and used to fire his cannon 
with precision on the Ridge. 

The " Poorbhyas," one and all, considered themselves 
to be under the orders of nobody. They even went to tlie 
length of taking liberties with Abu Zafar Mahomed 
Bahadur Shah, saying openly, " Who is king ? The king 
is one whom we make he is the king." 

I well remember the day that my uncle, in court dress, 
with a turban on his head, and a belt round his waist, 
went to the king and demanded some troops in order 
to fight the British. The king replied : " Umma, I do not 
possess troops to give you. I am 80 years old and infirm. 
This fight is not mine. Mutinous troops are fighting. If 
you have a desire to fight, then go to the officers of these 
troops and settle it with them." And it happened as the 
king said. 

My uncle then took two companies of troops outside 
the city. There he came into contact with the Europeans, 
near Hingunghat, and brought away several cart-loads of 



booty, which he deposited in the " Jalao Khana " of his 
house. The next day, the officers came to him and de- 
manded a distribution of the booty, but he said that they 
ware not entitled to it, and asked them to go away. They 
and my father (Peace be on him !) tried their best to 
obtain his agreement, saying that this dispute was not 
propk, and that there was danger of the troops getting 
out of hand ; but my uncle would not hear of making 
any division. The officers then went away, saying that 
they would see about it the next day. On the morrow 
information was brought that these men, with a squad 
of armed soldiers, were coming, bent on mischief, and 
preparations were made to withstand their attack ; and 
Nawab Zia-ud-Dowlah, with his servants, having come 
to the help of his brother-in-law, the gate was closed, 
and the servants posted at selected places with swords 
and guns. 

My uncle and his elder son, Mirza Ahmed Baig, (of 
blessed memory !) were busy here and there making 
arrangements. My father and Nawab Zia-ud-Dowlah, 
getting a respite, consulted together, and decided that 
at all costs peace should be secured. After this consulta- 
tion, they said to my uncle that he should, with a few of 
his servants, go on the roof of the house, in order that they 
should the more easily be able to fire the guns, while 
they would remain at the gate to prevent the troops 
entering the house. In pursuance of this advice, my uncle 
went on the upper story, and Nawab Zia-ud-Dowlah 
closed the door of the staircase and locked it. He then, 
with my father, went to the gate and opened it, and began 
to arrange for peace with the officers, who, with the troops, 
had then come close up. The officers declared that Mirza 
Sahib was unnecessarily stubborn, and they said that now, 
even if they were to remain silent, the troops would not 
do so. It was finally decided that the troops should stand 
further out, that the officers should have a look at the 
booty, and that then distribution of it should take place. 
But when the locked doors were opened, the officers 
saw that the rooms contained nothing but old shirts, 
boots and hats, and other odds and ends, and they 
expressed their astonishment that my uncle, the Mirza 
Sahib, was ready to fight for such things. They then sent 
for the soldiers to have a look at the booty, and after 


these had all said that Mirza Sahib was welcome to it, the 
officers, with bands playing, turned back. 

In the meanwhile, my uncle and his son, and their 
servants, were ready with powder and shot, waiting for 
the troops to advance near enough to attack them, 

Nawab Zia-ud-Dowlah now had the rooms locked as 
before, and then, having opened the door of the Stair- 
case, called up to his brother-in-law and informed him 
that the enemy were placated and that there was no 
danger to be apprehended. 

On the day the English attacked the City and took 
possession of the Kashmiri Gate, the City people began 
to fly in all directions in fear and trepidation. At that 
time, Nawab Zia-ud-Dowlah, together with his servants 
and grown-up sons, returned to the place called " Kanchan 
Koocha," so that they might all be congregated at one 
place ; and there they remained, waiting to see what 
destiny had in store for them. 

My father and Nawab Zia-ud-Dowlah desired that all 
the womenfolk, servants and men, should, while it was 
still possible for them to do so for the English had not 
yet entered the City leave the City as the other people 
were doing ; but my uncle would not agree to this. The 
reason for this was, that he was an adept in Astrology 
and " Rummel," and had prophesied that the English 
would be defeated. (Mirza Ahmed Beg had also learnt 
these sciences, and from his father, and with his father's 
permission had thrown the dice ; but the forecast he had 
arrived at, was that the English would enter the City 
on a certain day. On learning this, my uncle was very 
angry, and said to his son that he regretted that he had 
remained ignorant, so far as these sciences were con- 

My father with great regret returned to the Delhi 
Gate, so that he should escort his own people, with the 
necessary things, to his elder brother's house ; but he did 
not succeed in this, for suddenly a great hue and cry 
was raised in the City, and in every street and by-lane, 
hand-to-hand fights ensued. White soldiers, together 
with the Indians and Afghans, armed with all sorts of 
weapons, drunk with victory, and full of the spirit of 
looting, made no distinction between woman and child, or 
old and young ; and rivers of blood flowed. Then, entering 


the zenanas, the various bodies of men began to loot and 
rob, while the ladies of whom Firdusi has correctly said, 
" Not even the sun had penetrated to the skin of their 
bodies, which were so closely veiled " unaware of the 
fate of their husbands, fled in all directions. 

The gate of the city was close to our house, and my 
fathel* and my maternal uncle, Mohamed Ebrahim Khan, 
with the ladies and children and servants, fled through 
it in great hurry and terror and took refuge in the ruins 
round about the tomb of the Saint, Syed Hassan Rusool 

Here, later, we were joined by our old servants, Rahim 
Baksh and Ghulam Rasool, fully armed, and from them 
we learned of the death of my uncle and Nawab Zia-ud- 
Dowlah. It appeared that, having armed themselves, 
they had, with the ladies of their house, and the children 
and servants, left the house on foot, but that in the Chowk, 
or close to it, they had encountered " one-eyed Metcalfe," 
and in the fighting that ensued, had both been killed ; 
while it was not known what had become of the women 
and children. The effect of this news on the audience 
was so sad, that it cannot be described. 

And our own state was sorrowful enough, for we were 
in fear of our lives and property from both sides on the 
one hand the mutineers, and on the other, the English 
and their followers ; and it appeared to us that the two 
parties were vieing with each other as to which should 
carry the day in pillage and robbery. 

I remember an incident that occurred shortly after 
our flight from our home. I and some other children of 
my own age were playing under a tamarind-tree,* outside 
the Dargah, when one of us, who had climbed the tree, 
and was throwing down the fruit, saw the khaki-soldiers 
coming in our direction. And then one of the latter, 
with a drawn sword, made for us. We children at once 
ran towards the ruins, calling out that the khaki-soldiers 
had come, and men and women, hearing this, began to 
fly hither and thither. However, as luck would have it, 
the soldier in question, after having advanced a few 
paces, turned back and joined his company ; and we 
all felt greatly relieved. 

* The Tamarindus Jrafoca (or Occidentalis). 


Our two servants above-mentioned, would go out 
every day, and, joining the other looters, bring back 
various eatables, such as rice, mutton, jaggery and wheat 
flour, all mixed together, and these were thrown indis- 
criminately into a pot, which, full of water, was kept 
balanced on three stones. Then, whoever felt hungry, 
would cautiously approach this pot, satisfy himself or 
herself, and that done, crawl away, under shelter of the 
wall, and hide. 

We heard from these men that my maternal aunt 
and her companions men and women relatives were 
staying in the Ice Factory close by, and so, scrambling 
along, we made our way there, and found that guards 
were posted all round, and that everybody was living 
without fear and in plenty. We also found that my mater- 
nal uncle* had sent from Alwar (he having previously 
secured passports from the English) all sorts of conveyances 
-camels, carts, palkis, etc., and a large sum of money. 

Here, after our arrival, other relatives also assembled, 
For instance, among others, Bhaday Khojum Sahib and 
Chotay Khojum Sahib (the latter the translator of " Bois- 
tan-a-Kial "), cousins of my uncle, and my uncle's second 
son, Mirza Mahmood Beg. 

We left for Alwar in a well-to-do condition. On the 
road, after passing a few stages, Mohd. Fakruddin Khan, 
with his wife and children, met us. He was the only son 
of my late aunt, and the beloved grandson and son-in-law 
of Nawab Dabir-ul-Mulk Asadullah Khan Ghalib. 

He and his party joined us, and on the journey a 
daughter was born to him,f who is now my wife, and the 
mother of my ten learned and fortunate children. She 
was Nawab Makhole Begum, by title, Nawab Secunder 
Zamani Begum. 

We lived in grand style in Alwar, my father being 
appointed to the post of " Hukumdari " of a district 
called Puttookari ; and I well remember the life we passed 

Outside the town was a tank, and under the shade of 
trees, cows, buffaloes, etc., sat chewing the cud, while 
the herdsmen, with a covering over them, lay fast asleep 

* Nawab Amin-ullah Khan alias Munshi Ummoo Jan, Prime 
Minister of the Alwar State. f Sept., 1857. 


on the bare ground. We would play with the village 
urchins during the day, on the borders of the tank, and 
in the evening would follow in the wake of the cattle and 
sHfcep, who would raise a cloud of dust, bleating and lowing 
on their way home. Then the village women would bring 
wild ferries and other fruit of the jungle, curds, and milk, 
etc., as presents to my mother ; and I wondered whether 
we should ever pass such pleasant days again. Indeed, we 
had had but a few days in peace and quiet here, when a 
change in fortune occurred and one for the worse. 

The Maharajah of Alwar, Shur Dhayan Singh, was 
still a child when he became an orphan. On his death- 
bed, the Maharajah had placed the hand of his son into 
the hands of my maternal uncle, with the dying wish 
that he should bring him up and educate him, and also 
look after the State till the boy attained his age of dis- 
cretion. The Maharajah Shur Dhayan Singh came often 
to our house, and was very courteous towards my aunt, 
whom he called Mother, and his mother, the Ranee, sent 
presents to my aunt. (My uncle was the eldest of three 
brothers. The one younger than he, Nawab Fazlullah 
Khan, was Dewan of the State, and the next one, the 
youngest of the three, Inamullah Khan, was Bakshi 
(Paymaster of the Troops). At these amenities, the 
" Thakurs " of the State and the " Minars," became 
alarmed, fearing that these Delhi people would convert 
the Maharajah to Islam, and, finally, Thakur Lukdare 
Singh, who was the Maharajah's own uncle and an influ- 
ential " rais " (magnate) of the place, of a sudden re- 
belled, and, attacking our houses one night, with a large 
body of Thakurs and Minars, succeeded, after some blood- 
shed in entering. Nawab Ammoo Jan jumped over a wall 
towards the stables, and falling on a haystack, hid himself 
in the grass ; but the Dewan and the Bakshi were made 

This news was conveyed to the Ranee and the Maha- 
rajah, and they at once sent word to Lukdare Singh, that 
they would take poison if the lives of the Nawabs were in 
any way endangered ; and accordingly Lukdare Singh 
withheld his hand, and only placed guards around the 
house. He also placed guards throughout the city wherever 
the Delhi people lived. But these " Minars " looted us 
to their hearts' content. 


The next day Lukdare Singh, sending elephants, 
camels, palkis, and other conveyances, and also carts 
for the luggage, had word conveyed to the Nawabs that 
they, together with their belongings, should leave tfce 
City and the State. And similar messages and convey- 
ances were sent to every Delhi man. In short, under the 
" Zoolum " (Tyranny) of the Minars, and comp&tely 
ruined, we were deported from the State. 

A strange accident overtook us on the road. On the 
way there was a river which is called Sahibi. It was 
usually dry, but at the latter end of the rainy season, it 
overflowed its banks, while, for some unaccountable 
reason, it would, on occasion have water in it at other 
seasons also ; and at these times it flowed with such force 
that an elephant, trying to cross it, would be lifted off 
its feet and taken along with the current. 

Now, our two uncles, Bhaday Khojum Sahib and 
Chotay Khojum Sahib, and my father, who were in 
palkis (we children, with men and women, were in carts), 
got to the river before us, and so, crossing it, they waited 
for us on the other side, under a large tree. 

In due course we, too, reached the river. The banks 
were high, but there was a path for the carts, and these, 
one after the other, were let down, but when we had gone 
a little more than half way across that is, we had passed 
the middle of the river and were about to climb up the 
opposite bank all of a sudden dreadful sounds were 
heard. It appeared to us as if several hundreds of cannon 
were fired all at once. The explanation of the noise was, 
that the river was in flood. There was a custom-house 
under the large tree, where custom officials were posted, 
and they, knowing the ways of the river, had, one and 
all, assembled on the bank, to bawl out to the cart men, 
to hurry on, as the river was about to be flooded. But do 
what the drivers might, the bullocks could hardly be ex- 
pected to hurry on in the sand. 

These " chowkidars " now began to throw out big 
thick ropes for the purpose of tying the carts together, 
and when, the other end of the rope had been tied to the 
tree, the chowkidars, together with the palki carriers, 
held fast to them. We remained sitting in the carts, but 
cousin Mahmood Beg, as ill-luck would have it, tried to 
jump out of the cart he was in, and his leg slipping 


into the axle of the wheel, he remained hanging there* 

While this was going on with us, farther up the river, 
as far as the eye could reach, a funny sight was to be seen. 
A^black wall, looking as if it reached to the sky made its 
appearance, and terrified us by the sounds it made. 

One of the servants, with presence of mind, released 
Mahmood Beg from his perilous position ; but that wall 
reached us in the twinkling of an eye, and, striking us 
with great force, raised the carts and the bullocks to such 
a height that we thought that we were raised to the topmost 
branch of the tree opposite. The onflow of water passed in 
as short a time as it had taken to reach us, and then, the 
chowkidars beginning to loosen the ropes, the carts were 
lowered. The force of the flood had taken them out of the 
line of the ghaut (landing-place), but the ropes had pre- 
vented them from getting so very far out of the way, and 
while the bullocks and the carts were still swimming in 
water, those on the other bank began to pull the ropes 
towards them ; and before the channel was emptied they 
were able to draw the carts on to the ghaut. 

Our condition was indescribable. Soaked through by 
the water, we were still suffering from the shock caused 
by the fear of impending death from drowning, while the 
cold breeze of the maidan and jungle added to our dis- 
comfort. That we escaped with our lives was, however, 
enough to be thankful for. The food and the uncooked 
eatables that we had with us, were all completely spoilt. 

It was decided that we must go on to our destination 
in our present plight, but the custom officials, bent on 
creating mischief, now wanted to see all our belongings. 
The quarrel over this almost ended in a fight, but my 
father gave them some money, and then we were able, 
in our helpless state, to go forward. This we did by stages, 
till we reached a small village called Shiddipura, situated 
outside the City of Delhi. 

Here Mirza Abdulla Beg, alias Mirza Doolah, the 
grandson of our ancestor, Mirza Jewan Beg Khan, 
was staying with his family and he was in such 
affluent circumstances, that he had in those days taken 
up a contract for running a tonga service up to Agra 
and Cawnpur, and everywhere horses were stabled. 
We remained with him. 

Here, later, my aunt, with her two sons, Khudadad 


Beg and Rafiuddin Beg (the latter an infant) and her 
daughter, Abadi Begum, joined us, and told us the full 
story of how the martyrs met their death. That is to say, 
that when my uncle, Mirza Ashur Beg, with his eldest 
son, Mirza Ahmed Beg, and other members of the family 
and servants, and also Nawab Zia-ud-Dowlah (who also 
had with him his family and servants), all armed and 
belted, were proceeding further up the Chandni Chowk, 
a company of white soldiers were seen, in front of whom 
rode Sir Theophilus Met calf e. (The city people named 
the latter " One-eyed Metcalfe," because he wore a 
monocle) . He was Resident or Agent at the Court of the 
King of Delhi. The white soldiers immediately surrounded 
them, and Mirza Ahmed Beg drew his sword ; but his 
father stopped him, saying, " Prepare yourself for the 
martyrdom, and read the ' Kalima V* 

Sir Theophilus then separated the women and the 
children, and having tied a rope round the men and made 
them stand in a line, ordered his men to fire. Just then 
see the wonder of Providence ! one of the English 
soldiers caught hold of the hand of Zia-ud-Dowlah, and 
drew him forward with such force, that, though he was a 
fat and heavy man, he fell to the ground. There he lay, 
and there the line of men roped together were in the agony 
of death, like slaughtered fowls. " We are from God, and 
to God we return/' Nawab Zia-ud-Dowlah went with the 
women and children to Sunipat, and from there he came to 

We remained at this place for a few days. At the gate 
of the city there was a guard of European soldiers, and 
no one was allowed in or out without a ticket. While we 
were there, Cousin Ali Mirza Beg (who died recently) 
was under the necessity of going into the city, and I 
accompanied him. Going to the bungalow of the Captain 
for the ticket, we found him standing outside. This was 
the first time I had seen an Englishman. I was very fair 
and well-made, and the Captain placed his hand on my 
head and let us have the ticket. 

While we were still at Shiddipura, Uncle Mirza Abbas 

* " Kalima " is the first article of the Muslim faith, which 
asserts there is no God but God (Kalma-i-Shahadat), and Mohammed 
is His Prophet. 


Baig wrote a letter to my father, saying that he should, 
together with the family of Mirza Ashur Beg, the martyr, 
at once join him. He was then extra Assistant Commis- 
sioner at Sitapur, Oudh, and for his loyalty to the Sirkar, 
Lord Canning had bestowed on him the Jaghir of 
Badaygaon. Thus, apart from the Jaghir, he was in 
receipt of Rs. 6oo/- as salary, which in those days few 
Indians received. Besides the letter, my uncle sent a big 
sum and a passport. 

Uncle Mirza Dhoola, after consulting my father, 
married Abadi Begum to his third son, Ali Mirza Beg, and 
all of us then left for Sitapur. 

During our stay at Shiddipura, nothing occurred 
worth relating, unless it be that on every Friday, in the 
afternoon, at the garden of Siddi Gauhar, Abdulla Khan , 
the story-teller, used to relate the story of " Amir Humza/ 
and although the Delhi people were in such a sad plight 
they had lost all they possessed and were homeless they 
used to subscribe and hear these stories. 

By stages we reached Sitapur in about 15 or 20 days, 
and there, by the Grace of God, we were able to secure 
peace and happiness under the aegis of our uncle, Mirza 
Abbas Baig, and were henceforth free from all troubles. 

Mr. Thompson, the Commissioner, employed my father 
to forcibly disarm the population of the district and to 
collect all weapons, such as guns, revolvers and swords.* 

My uncle, having no male issue, suggested to my 
father, when speaking to him one day, that he should hand 
over his next son to him, (my uncle), and in such a way 

* Up to the time of the Mutiny, every village throughout the 
country was full of arms, and almost every man was armed, and 
consequently in those tracts where the Mutiny of the Native Army 
was accompanied by popular insurrection, the flame of rebellion 
burnt fiercely, and was subdued with difficulty. The painful experi- 
ence of 1857 and 1858 proved the necessity of general disarmament, 
and nearly the whole of British India has been disarmed under 
the provision of a series of Acts. Licences to have and carry ordinary 
arms and ammunition, are granted by the Magistrates of districts, 
but Licences to possess artillery are granted only by the Governor- 
General in Council. The improved organization of the Police and 
of the Executive power generally renders possible the strict enforce- 
ment of the law ; but, with rare exceptions, arms are now carried 
only for display, and the knowledge of the use of weapons has 
died out in most classes of the population. The village forts have 
been everywhere dismantled. 


that the child would have no further connection with his 
own parents. My father replied that he was not so dis- 
obedient as to offer any objection to what he, my uncle, 
suggested ; and accordingly when, at length, the lafce 
Fiaz Beg was born, my uncle adopted him as his son* 
Whereupon Ghulam Husain Khadir Bilgrami, the poet, 
wrote an epigram which was in itself quite an exceptional 
one. It was as follows : 

" The flower called Abbas had taken to bloom 
on a wondrous stem."* 

My father was now attacked by melancholia, and 
during the height of the disease he almost grew mad, being 
quite beside himself. Why he fell a victim to this disease 
is strange to relate. My late grandfather, Mirza Akbar 
Beg, had travelled far and wide, and besides knowing 
Astronomy, Mathematics, Astrology and " Rummel/ 1 
was a reputed scholar in Arabic and Persian. He had just 
recently, after performing the Haj, gone via Egypt to 
Italy, and there had qualified himself in Applied Mathe- 
matics ; and from there, having seen the Far West, he 
had returned to Hyderabad Deccan, where he became the 
guest of Maharajah Chandoo Lai. In those days Mirza 
Yusuf, the elder brother of Asadullah Khan Ghalib, was 
employed in a responsible position in the powerful army 
of the Asafia Dominions. But one of his enemies, through 
the agency either of magic or of drugs, made him turn 
completely insane, and he remained in that state till he 
died. However, my grandfather, Mirza Akbar Beg, 
having taken leave of the Maharajah, returned to Delhi 
and built a clock-tower in his house, which was called 
" Shesh Mahal/ 1 This was the first tower of its kind 
throughout India. 

After some time he went on a journey again, and came 
to Lucknow,f and this time he took my father with him. 
In these days high and low were addicted to opium in 
Lucknow, and my father also fell a victim to this drug. 
When he came back to Delhi his friends began to tease 

* Abbas (Gulabbas) is a flower that is much grown in gardens 
for its beauty. 

f Lucknow occupies the site of a Hindu City of great antiquity. 
It has now a magnificent Railway Station, and bids fair to become 
the sole capital of the United Provinces, 


him ; and what was worse, my aunt, when she began to 
search for a bride for him found that no one would agree 
to give his daughter in marriage. This gave my father 
siach a lesson, that he swore he would not touch opium 
again from that day, and as a consequence, he fell seriously 

At that time Hakim Mahmood Khan was coming into 
fame, and between him and my father, great sympathy 
and love existed ; and now the Hakim Sahib treated my 
father with such attention, that he made the dead man 
live again. 

After some time my uncle recalled us. This time we 
lived for 15 months at Hardoi, and then went back to 
Delhi. In this wise we travelled about. And at this time 
travelling was dangerous as, the districts of Oudh, and 
especially Sitapur and Hardoi, were infested with a tribe 
called " Passee," who used to rob the travellers. My 
father went about in the palki, while we travelled in 
bullock conveyances, which were called " Baillee," and 
as we possessed passports, the Tahsildar and the Thanadar 
kept a watch over us, and employed the " Passees " to 
show us the road. 

Once, while we were in the Hardoi jungle, the " Pas- 
see " intentionally led us astray, in order that we might 
be attacked by others hidden in the jungle ; but our 
servants suddenly arrested the man and gagged him, and, 
tying his hands and feet, placed him in the cart. Retracing 
our steps, we returned to the road. 

MY EDUCATION. Before the Mutiny I had read just 
a few extracts of the first portion of the Koran which is 
called Umayetasaaloon, while during the Mutiny and 
our sojourn at Alwar, my life was spent in play. When 
we reached Sitapur, however, 1 began the ABC, as it were, 
over again and during my stay at Delhi I continued read- 
ing lessons in " Karima," " Mokeema," and " Amad- 
namah," from elder Khojum Saheb, or played about 
with Syed Ahmed and Syed Mahmood,* who were sons 

* (i) Mr. Justice Mahmood, Puisne Judge of the Allahabad 
High Court. (2) Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, the iounder of the M.A.O. 
College, Aligarh. 


of my maternal uncle, Syed Ahmed Khan* ; and then 
the continual journeys to and fro made me forget what I 
had learnt. 

When we settled down permanently at Sitapur, 4 
was sent to school. My three cousins, Mirza Mahmud Beg, 
Khudadad Beg, and Rafiuddin Beg, had reached higher 
classes, because, after the Mutiny they had remainea at 
Sitapur, and I was far behind them ; and because, in 
addition, I was fond of play and sport, and had no desire 
for learning. When I joined school I knew hardly any- 

The Headmaster of this school was one Baba Ram- 
chander, a learned man ; and there, apart from Urdu and 
English, I attended Hindi and Nagari classes, in accord- 
ance with my father's wish. I read Nagari up to " Prem 
Sagar," with Pandit Amarnath. 

My memory and intelligence were very good, but I 
had a great desire towards play, and was much taken up 
with playing marbles and other games, like " kabadi," 
" Samand lal ghodi," " cowdee zakan," " gaind balla," 
etc. These are played in the maidan. Boys' games, like 
" chaddhee chahrawal," " chappal guptah," " gilee 
dandoo," " khat khatavval," " ankh michauli," and 
" bodeeal annay tharee such paice," were also shared by 
girls of the same age ; while also in such indoor games as 
" chaddar-chupavval," and " jamal shahee chukiah to 

* " Kabadi " A game which much resembles " leap-frog." 

" Sarnanlalgudi " A game in which one climbs on the back of 
another as if he were riding a horse. The pair then try to catch 
another pair. 

" Gainbala " A game in which the ball is hit with a mallet. It is 
much like " croquet." 

" Chuddichadaval " A game in which the competitors try to climb 
on the back of one who is trying to avoid being caught, 

" Gillie Dandu " A game that is very much played. A piece of 
wood about 4 inches in length is struck forcibly while on the 
ground and then, as soon as it bounds upward, it is struck 
with a mallet about a yard long. The one who sends the piece 
of wood farthest wins the game. 

" Ankmachowli " " Blind-man's-buff." 

" Bund " An exercise for strengthening the limbs. It is practised 
by stretching oneself on the ground with the palms of the hand 
pressed on the ground, and then, balanced on the palms of the 
hands and on the toes, swinging backwards and forwards. 


marunga," the girls of our age took part. There were 
other games especially for girls, such as " kooiya isee 
sakee koi vaisee sakee chudia ka pantha chudaothaogee," 
afcd " kadeem sunneh mama huva yanay goodia." In 
games requiring activity and strength of body and limb, 
I surpassed other boys because of my well-made body, 
andln " dund " and Indian clubs, wrestling and swimming, 
I was as good as the others. 

My father noticing my disinclination to study, con- 
ceived the novel idea of shutting me up, during holidays, 
in a room in which were books in Urdu (prose and poetry). 
I had therefore to read them " nolens volens " ; and in 
this way I acquired the habit of reading books which stood 
me in good stead in later life. 

But even after joining school my disinclination to 
study continued. Arithmetic especially was a subject 
which I could not at all pick up ; while at home, I could 
not touch the prescribed books. However, being intelligent 
I did not lag behind in class ; and in the presence of my 
father I carried the day in reciting poetry, because I 
had committed to memory a lot of Urdu poems, and he 
used to explain to me the meaning of the couplets. I thus 
acquired a great liking for poetry. 

At this time my father fell ill, with a disease which 
eventually carried him off, and we went to Lucknow, from 
Sitapur, for him to have proper treatment. 

A couple of years before this, my cousins, Mahmood 
Beg, Khudadad Beg, and Rafiuddin Beg, had preceded us 
to Lucknow, with their mother, and had joined the higher 
classes of Canning College. When I arrived at Lucknow I 
had a smattering of Urdu, and my mother had taught me 
to read the Koran ; but that was all the knowledge I 
possessed, and my cousins far surpassed me in English 
and Persian. They, however, carried our father to Delhi, 
and I remained with my uncle. 

At this time, when the Canning College was founded, 
General L. Barrow was the Chief Commissioner of Oudh. 
He had won over Mirza Abbas Beg and Babu Dukhna 
Ranjan to his opinion, and succeeded in founding an 
educational institution for the children of the nobility 
and Talukdars of Oudh, which he called the Ward In- 
stitution. This was a branch of the Canning College, and 
my name was registered in this institution. Only the 


orphan children of the Talukdars of Oudh, whose States 
were under the direction of the Officials, were admitted. 
Among these were Rao Milhapur, Raja Banga, Raja Meva, 
Raja Bahdha, Raja Amir Hussain of Mahmud-abad* 
Mahant Har Charan Dass, Inder Bakram Shah Raja 
Kurrygudh, Ch. Iratiaz-uz-zaman, Mustafa Hussain Sheik 
Yusuf Zaman, Ch. Wajid Hussain, Ch. Ahsan Rasool, 3.nd 
Devander Singh. These and a few others, together with 
the writer, and Mahmud Beg, Khudadad Beg, and Rafi- 
uddin Beg, constituted the alumni of the institution. 

Babu Nandlal Rai was made the Governor, and Babu 
Dukhna Raj an and my uncle, Mirza Abbas Beg, were 
nominated visitors that is, they had the supervision 
under them. 

Besides two Moulvis, Rafat Ali and Izzat Ali, to teach 
Persian, there were Mr. Burgess Bray for rifle drill, Mr. 
D. L. Johnson, senior, and Mr. Johnson, junior, for cricket 
and other similar games, and one wrestler for teaching 
Indian clubs and dhunds. 

Every student had a spacious room and there were 
outhouses for kitchen and servants. We lived there as 
boarders, but in the holidays all the students used to 
go away to their States. We four my three cousins and 
myself since we were in Lucknow, went home once a 
week. We also dined with our uncle every day, returning 
immediately after the meal. The midday meal was sent 
to us from the house. 

The rules of this institution were somewhat strange. 
Early in the morning all the students, having dressed 
themselves, had to assemble in the Central Hall. They 
were then sent out on foot with the chaprasis, for an airing, 
and then, returning before sunrise, they practised Indian 
physical exercises. After this they assembled in the Hall, 
where first, they were given lessons by the two Moulvis, 
in Persian, and then the Governor heard lessons in con- 
nection with the College. After that, at nine o'clock, 
they were permitted to retire for breakfast. At 10 o'clock 
the conveyances were brought out, and seating ourselves 
in these we were driven, with chaprasis as guards, to 
Canning College. This College, which was near Aminabad, 
was situated in the Kothi known as the Dumb Nawab's 
Kothi. Its principal was Mr. Boycott, and Mr. White 
was employed to teach English literature. Besides these, 


there were two or three other English masters to teach 
History, Mathematics, etc. At some distance at the back 
of this wide, four-storied building, there was a spacious 
house, which was called the Imam Badha, and here the 
Persian and Arabic Branch of the College was situated. 
Moulvi Fazlullah and Munshi Zahiruddin were both con- 
sidered very learned men in these subjects, and I read 
in both with these two professors (on whom be peace !) 

Here I am reminded of an episode. A gentleman who 
claimed to be a poet, came to Lucknow from Calcutta, and 
having heard that I was a grandson of Najm-ud-dowla, 
Dabir-ul-Mulk Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib (better 
known as Mirza Nowsha), came, with great enthusiasm, 
to see me, and after telling me that he was a pupil of 
Ghalib, he read to me a poem composed by himself, and 
of which he was very proud. The first couplet of the poem 
is this : 

" When I lifted my eyes wet with tears, and saw on 
top of the sky and under the earth, an ocean 
flowed from my eyes on top of the sky and under 
the earth." 

For the words " lifted " and " saw/* he had tried to travel 
as far as the skies. However, I took him to Munshi 
Zahiruddin, and he read out to him the same couplet, and 
declared that he had learnt to make poetry from Ghalib. 
Suddenly the Munshi got into a rage and said, " stupid 
fellow, you are dragging the name of Ghalib in the mire ! " 
And the poor fellow who called himself a poet, fled in 

Raja Amir Hassain Khan whose estate had been 
released from the supervision of the Sirkar, was also 
very fond of poetry, and one of his companions composed 
the following very well-conceived couplet : 

" Although I tried to remove myself from the pres- 
ence of the beloved, I rose like the ocean of grief 
and fell back like a tear." 

One day as Ghulam Hussain Khader, the poet, and I 
were standing on the banks of the river Gumti, his poetical 
instinct was suddenly roused, and he composed the fol- 
lowing : 


" Even the painter has become my enemy, for when 
he paints my picture, he delineates the picture 
of a dagger on my throat and the point of a 
spear on my heart/' 

One day Mr. White declared in the classroom that 
the Urdu language was a bastard, and was born of Aratyc, 
Persian, and Sanskrit. I, who even during my childhood 
was never backward in allowing my tongue to wag before 
my elders, replied at once, that the English language 
could not claim to be born of legitimate parents. Mr. 
White could not help laughing, but said that the English 
language was very extensive, inasmuch as it could give 
expression to every subject either in prose or poetry. 
For instance, it would not be possible to compose a blank 
verse drama in Urdu. I said that, " instead of the drama, 
we have the pranks of the Kashmiri clowns and buffoons ; 
and while our poets have not condescended to compose 
blank verse drama, they are, none the less, not a bit 
behind English poets, in so far as flight of imagination 
and beauty of conception are concerned. With your 
permission, I would cite a few instances. 1 ' 

Mr. White said he would like to hear them. 

Then I gave an instance from Shakespeare, where 
he makes Romeo express the wish that he were a glove 
upon Juliet's hand, in order that he might touch her 
cheek.* This is very beautifully expressed, but see what 
Zowk says : 

" Even if my future were dark, I should like to be 
either the black locks of your hair or the mole 
on your cheek." 

After this I said, " Listen, Young, one of your poets, 
has expressed in several verses some beautiful and effec- 
tive thoughts which Ghalib has expressed in a couple of 
lines, viz., " Although the beauty of the moon at its 
fullness is good, my beloved, with a face like the bright- 
ness of the sun, outshines it." 

Mr. White, when he heard the translation was very 
glad, but he was still stubborn with regard to the drama. 

In these days, Syed Hassain Bilgrami, on Rs. 150 a 

* " O, that I were a glove upon that hand, 
That I might touch that cheek 1 " 



month, and Babu Keshub Chander and Babu Kumar 
Mukerji, were appointed teachers for the lower classes. 

My uncle Mirza Abbas Baig had much regard for 
Mr. Syed Hussain, because in those days it was very 
exceptional for Mussulmans to secure the B.A. degree, 
and he specially liked him for the reason that his father 
an& uncle, before the Mutiny took place, were appointed 
to teach English to Nawab Ziauddin Khan, Nawab 
Amin-ud-din Khan, and Nawab Shamshuddin Khan, the 
sons of Ahmed Baksh Khan, the Chief of the State of 
Loharu and Ferozepur Jarka. Later on they secured 
high appointments in the service of the British Govern- 
ment. However, when I spoke to Mr. Syed Hussain about 
this conversation with regard to the composition of a 
drama, I found that he agreed with Mr. White. 

In those days I was in the Entrance class, but because 
of my father's methods I had acquired a taste for prose 
and poetry. I therefore made up my mind to write a 
drama. Mirza Mahmood Beg, having passed the Entrance 
examination, was posted as Tahsildar at Mohan, and I 
paid him a visit during the holidays, and as he was on 
tour, I found leisure to write the drama. 

Before the Mutiny, musical comedy was the fashion 

in Delhi. For instance, the story of Soonder was famous 

in those days. The following couplet was sung with zest : 

" Seven maidens assembled because Soonder went 

in search of water, because a Mughal lad was 

seen in front Soonder began to hide." 

I put the scene in the days of Akbar, and began to write 
the drama in blank verse. 

When Mahmood Beg returned from his tour, I told 
him about Mr. White's and Syed Hussain's stubborn- 
ness and remarks in regard to this matter ; but he also 
was of the same opinion. I then read to him the poem 
that I had written. He was astonished, and said, 
" Brother, now I can also compose poetry on similar 

I then read out my drama to Mr. Syed Hassam and 
Mr. White, and they were reconciled to my point of 

When I went to Hyderabad, a monthly magazine was 
being published there, and I began to write a story, on 


the lines of an English novel, for this paper. The late 
Nawab Mukhtarul Mulk, who was then Prime Minister 
and Regent of the State, wanted to publish it, but, as 
luck would have it, a man called Kaniya Lai, who knew 
English, and who used to visit me, stole it. I still remember 
a few lines, from which my readers will be able to draw 
some inferences : * 

" Jankee Yesterday we went to draw water. In 
the garden we met a Turk. He came forward 
and we drew back. When Soondar removed her 
veil the Turk held his hand on his heart. 
She began to cry and we returned home. Some- 
thing he said, but we remained silent/' 

I do not know how I managed to secure a " First 
Class " in the Entrance examination, because neither at 
School nor at College could I put my heart to the pre- 
scribed course. Also I was never up to the mark in the 
classes, and always failed to secure distinction, while I 
was specially weak in Mathematics. 

Khudadad Beg, after getting through the Entrance 
examination, had gone to England, at the expense of the 
Estate, with Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and his son Syed 

Rafiuddin Beg had passed the First Arts Examination, 
and begun to study for the B.A. 

My late uncle used to say that, after him, Khudadad 
Beg would keep up the family name. Indeed, with regard 
to myself, he thought that my time was being wasted, 
and that I should therefore be employed in some sub- 
ordinate capacity. 

As for myself, leaving the prescribed books aside, I 
employed myself in reading English prose and poetry, 
novels and history, etc., with great interest. I had gone 
through the small library that my uncle possessed, and 
also read through all the novels and story-books that the 
institution provided. I had also studied Sale's translation 
of the Koran, Mandress's History of the Arab Nations 
" History of Arabia " and books written by Imam 
Bukari : and when I began to take interest in Philosophy 
I used to borrow the works of Locke, Hume, and others, 
from the College library. 

I was very much taken up with novels, and had read 


Sir Walter Scott's works, both prose and poetry. Having 
gone through Reynold's " Mysteries of the Court of Lon- 
don/' I read them over to Mr. Syed Hussain Bilgrami, 
Buduh Meah, and others, as if I were a story-teller of yore. 
I had also gained a great deal of knowledge in Urdu and 
Frisian by reading through the translations of " Boistan 
a Kial " by my uncle, Khaja Aman ; but nevertheless I 
had no liking for the text-books prescribed for the col- 
lege examinations that was the reason why I failed in 
the First Arts Examination. I had, all the same, acquired 
a taste for reading and for enhancing my general know- 

Perhaps Mr. White and Mr. Syed Hussain had recog- 
nized this, for they held me in much esteem. With the 
exception of these two gentlemen, however, nobody else 
had much regard for me. I was by temper stubborn and 
very excitable, and I was so fearless that I was not 
impressed by anybody. In this last connection I remember 
an instance which I should like to relate. 

Mahant Har Charan Dass annually celebrated the 
Ram Lila.* A very large crowd used to assemble, to 
control which special police were posted. In those days 
a Parsee, an enormously tall and fat man, by the name of 
Nowsherwanji, was the Kotwal of Lucknow City. Captain 
Noble was the Magistrate, and General Barrow the Chief 

In accordance with past custom, we all, on this par- 
ticular occasion visited the Mela with our governor the 
Babu, but while the other boys, after alighting from the 
carriages, were making their way through the crowds and 
entering the enclosure, I lagged behind, with the result 
that it was only with difficulty that I finally made my 
way up to the enclosure. Nowsherwanji was busy in 
keeping back the crowd, and, not recognizing me, pushed 
me back and, spreading out both his hands, stopped the 

" * The Ram Lila is a performance corresponding to the mediaeval 
European miracle play, and is celebrated in North India in the month 
of " Kuar " (or Asvin) (September-October) at the time when the 
Durga Puja is solemnised in Bengal. Rana and his brother Lachman 
are impersonated by boys, who are selected, and enthroned in state. 
The performance concludes by the burning of a wicker image of 
Ravanna, the demon king of Lunka (Ceylon), who carried off Rama's 
Queen Sita. The story is the leading subject of the great epic called 
the Ramayana. 


way of ingress. I, however, made a jump and entered 
the enclosure, but Nowsherwanji succeeded in catching 
hold of my shoulder, and then tried to throw me aside. 
At this audacity I hit him on his face with such force, 
that perhaps a drop or two of blood trickled from his nose. 
At this a hue and cry was raised, but before he could 
arrest me, I went forward in a nonchalant manner. Bafcu, 
the governor, and also the Mahant, were able to pacify 
the Kotwal, but when we returned from the Mela to 
Kaiser Bagh, information reached us that a complaint 
under certain sections of the Indian Penal Code had been 
filed by the Kotwal before the Magistrate, and that the 
Magistrate had issued a warrant for my arrest. 

Babu, the governor, in fright, informed my uncle, who 
immediately went to General Barrow and informed him 
of all that had happened, with the result that, although 
General Barrow and Captain Noble showed great dis- 
pleasure, they allowed matters to fall through. A day or 
two later, General Barrow visited our institution, and 
punished me by ordering that I should not be allowed to 
take part in sports or to go home for two weeks. 

Similarly I fell out with a Padre, whose church was 
close to the playground. On a certain Sunday, when he 
was busy preaching in the church, I and some others were 
playing about. A quarrel with him ensued from this, 
and as a result, the church was removed from the house 
in question, and the house itself became part of the 

Another chapter in my life begins from here. But 
before I proceed with that, it will not be out of place for 
me to mention some facts relating to my family, which 
occurred before and after the Mutiny, and which are now 
almost forgotten. 

BEFORE THE MUTINY. My uncle, Mirza Ashur Beg 
Shahid (the martyr), was a very handsome man. With a 
fair and blonde complexion, his eyes were blue, while his 
beard and the hair of his head were brown turning to 
golden. And he was tall and well made. As I have said, 
he, like my father, was a famous scholar in Arabic, 
Persian, Astronomy, and Astrology ; but he had a violent 
temper, and the various members of the family, with the 
exception of Mirza Nowshe, were afraid of him. Further, 
with his great erudition, he had also become rather 


eccentric. When he took a liking to a thing, he became 
absolutely absorbed in it, and used to see it through to 
the end. If he became enamoured of medicines, then he 
manufactured them in different varieties e.g., Jawarish, 
Mahajun, and Hubub (pills) to such an extent that 
phials and bottles and pots, full of these, were to be seen 
arranged in rows on his shelves. He made all these with 
his own hands. And if he took to alchemy, then the 
chemists assembled in numbers, night and day, in his 
drawing-room, where they were entertained to the full 
with such tasty dishes as Korma, Pahlow, Kabob, Hulvay, 
Moorubay, Jam, etc., while every kind of extracts and 
kushtahs were prepared. 

One day my uncle came into the zenana, very happy 
and glad, and showing my aunt and mother a piece of 
silver, he said that he had prepared it himself. With 
this silver a chain was made and placed around my neck ; 
and it remained on my neck till I grew up, but then, 
somehow, it was lost in Lucknow. 

Similarly, when he took a fancy to glass-making, he 
made all kinds of glass vessels ; and when he became a 
" Murid " of Shah Rafiuddin, he remained up for nights 
together, praising God the while. No wonder that at the 
end he secured the blessings of martyrdom ! There could 
be no doubt of his salvation. 

My elder cousin, his son, Mirza Ahmed Beg, was in 
every way a chip of the old block. 

Nawab Zia-ud-dowlah was a son of Hakim Ruku-ud- 
dowlah. He was of middle height, corpulent, and with a 
brown complexion, had black beard and hair. He had a 
big family, was of a pleasant temper and very polite. He 
possessed valuable properties, and, indeed, was so rich, 
that our people in Delhi said that he had chained up the 
Goddess of Wealth. But during the Mutiny his house 
was looted. The Indian Sepoys and the British soldiers 
did not leave even a straw behind, and as he was suspected 
of having had a share in the rebellion, his estate and 
properties were escheated, and he was brought to the 
verge of starvation. At last, with the help of my uncle, 
Mirza Abbas Beg, he came to live in Lucknow with my 
elder aunt, and stayed there for several years. 

The story of his life serves as an example and should 
be related. When he did not succeed in his object at Luck- 


now, he returned to Delhi. In those days Shah Abdul 
Aziz, known as Chotay Hafiz Jee and Hakim Jee, was 
alive. He was a source of enlightenment and help to the 
whole city, and those in physical distress or in spiritual 
anxiety sought his help and benefited. One day Nawab 
Zia-ud-dowlah, having come to the end of his resources, 
went to the Shah Sahib and said, " Now I have come*to 
such an extremity that I want to find shelter in your 
Musjid, and then commit suicide/' The Shah Sahib 
evinced great anxiety at this and asked him to come over 
the next day. The Nawab presented himself, as ordered, 
and giving vent to his feelings, spoke of taking poison. 
The Shah Sahib advised him to go to Lahore. The Nawab 
when he heard this, felt helpless." You are trying to 
befool me/' he said. " I am on the verge of starvation, 
so how could I go so far ? and how could I maintain 
myself there, since I know nobody ? " He therefore 
decided to stay at the Musjid. 

The Shah Sahib remained silent for a time, and then, 
after contemplation, said that he should go to Lahore 
God would smooth his difficulties. 

The Nawab returned home in a helpless and despond- 
ent state. 

Now see for yourself how the Merciful God helped him. 
An old Sowcar, who used to visit the Nawab occasionally, 
happened to come to him that day, and when he found the 
Nawab in distress, he told him that his estates had been 
wrongfully confiscated, and asked him why he did not 
try to get them released. 

The Nawab replied rather curtly that he was without 
sustenance, so how could he try to get back his property ? 

The Sowcar then said that he had eaten his, the Nawab's 
salt, and through him had become a banker, and there- 
fore, if the Nawab was willing to fight out the case, he 
would provide the necessary funds to meet the cost of 
it. Consequently, provision having been made to his 
satisfaction, the Nawab Sahib, with his son Bashiruddin 
Ahmed Khan, reached Lahore. It was about noon that 
they entered the city, and they decided first to proceed 
direct to the offices, in order to gain information about 
the pleaders, etc., and then to make arrangements for 
their accommodation. 

After making enquiries, they arrived at the Chief 

4 o MY LIFE 

Court just when it was being closed for the day, and the 
Judicial Commissioner was getting into his conveyance. 
The Nawab had got out of his carriage, with the intention 
of making enquiries, and he now approached the con- 
veyance of the Judicial Commissioner, and greeted him 
very politely. He happened to draw the attention of the 
C&nmissioner to himself, first, because, being a nobleman, 
he had a prepossessing and gentlemanly appearance, and, 
secondly, because he was stout and attractive. 

The Commissioner then addressed him and wanted 
to know whether he had anything to say, and he replied 
that he had. At that the Judicial Commissioner stepped 
out of his carriage, and having re entered his chambers, 
sent for the Nawab. The latter then related his story, 
after which the Judicial Commissioner said, " Well, take 
your case to some pleader." 

The Nawab, with tears in his eyes, declared that he 
was a stranger, and did not know anybody in the place. 

The Commissioner then sent for a chaprasi, and asked 
him whether Mr. Rattigan was there, and, if so, to ask 
him to come to him. 

Mr. Rattigan came in immediately, and the Judicial 
Commissioner said something to him in English, and 
then went away. 

The barrister caught hold of the hand of the Nawab, 
and, having brought him outside, said that the Com- 
missioner had recommended him. He then took the Nawab 
into his chambers, and when he had heard all the facts 
of the case, he said he would fight it out. With regard 
to his fees, he said that, if he won his case, the Nawab 
could let him have them. 

The case was decided in the Nawab's favour, and his 
estate and property being returned to him, he again 
became a very wealthy man in Delhi. 

He and Ahmedjee are dead and gone, but the story 

In those days, before the Mutiny, Delhi was in a 
very prosperous state. The sovereignty of the King was 
merely nominal, and it used to be proclaimed by beat of 
drum, " People are from God, the Country is the King's, 
and the Government belongs to the Sarkar Company 
Bahadur/ 1 But the mere fact that the King lived, was 
enough, and the etiquette of the days of Akbar the Great 


was still in vogue. Bahadur Shah was in receipt of a lakh 
of rupees pension from the Company, and the princes and 
other royal personages were also in receipt of salaries 
according to their rank. The expenses for the maintenance 
of the retainers, staff and servants of the royal household 
were fixed, and their pay distributed. Hakim Ahsam41ah 
Khan was the Minister after Khalilullah Khan, and his 
pupil Sadr-ud-din Khan was the City Mufti. Out of this 
lakh of rupees which the Company paid monthly, the 
city people also came in for pensions and salaries. There 
was one thing to be said in respect of this money, and that 
was that, although it was not such a big amount, it meant 
tha*- the Delhi people had no occasion to go outside their 
city in search of a livelihood. As Zowk the poet has 
pertinently said : " Although in these days the art of 
poesy is greatly encouraged in the Dakhan, why should 
one leave the streets of Delhi and go there." 

From the artizans to the poets, learned men and 
Mashayaks, people from distant countries assembled here, 
whose prototypes were difficult to be found elsewhere. 
For instance, among the Mashayaks were Rafiuddin and 
Shah Abdul Qader (on whom be peace !) ; among the 
dervishes, Fida Hussain and Rasool Shah, Shah Abdul 
Aziz, Chotay Hafizjee better known as Ahkundjee (God 
bless their souls !) ; among the learned, Mufti Sadr-ud- 
din Khan Moulvi Sahbai, and Fazlay Huk of Khairabad ; 
among poets, Shaik Ebrahim Zowk, Hakim* Momin Khan 
(Momin) Najamud-dowlah Dabir-ul-Mulk and Mirza Asad 
ullah Khan Ghalib alias Mirza Nowsha. Among the pain- 
ters, those who lived in the Kucha Natwan were famous. 
Then there was the signet-maker, Badruddin Khan, and the 

* Hakim. The Moslem practitioners in medicine are generally 
called " Hakim," in contradistinction to Hindu practitioners, who 
are called Vaid (Sanskrit Vaidya) followers of the Veda, that is 
to say, the Ayurvedia. The Egyptian School (Misrani, Misri or 
Suryani, that is, Syrian) never practise bleeding, and are partial 
to the use of metallic oxides. The Yunani physicians approve of 
bleeding and prefer vegetable drugs. 

The older writers on India fancy that the Hindu system of 
medicine was of enormous antiquity and that the principles of 
Clinical medical science were ultimately derived from India, 
but modern investigation has proved that Hindu medicine, like 
Hindu astronomy, ii> largely of Greek origin. 


scent-and-oil seller, Ghalib Ghundi, of Dariba fame. 
Among the " chefs/' there was Chotay Mirza, and in 
the tailoring profession Shujast Beg ; and among 
the embroiderers, Mirza Ali Beg ; while Thalay Yar 
Khan and Risaldar Samand Khan were famous in the 
profession of arms. In brief, in those days men of ever^ 
profession, art and industry, famous in their various 
callings and avocations, could be found here. 

Bazaars looked so bright and lively that the city 
appeared as a bride. In the afternoon crowds of every 
description were ordinarily seen in the Chandni Chowk, 
and in every direction could be heard the metallic ring 
of the cups. 

As for the character of the city people, I suppose it 
was not considered bad for those days. Prostitutes were 
held in great estimation ; and, with the exception of 
the " Mashayaks," there were very few of the nobility 
and the well-to-do who were not fond of the companion- 
ship of these public women. But the conduct of those 
who lived in the fort itself was very bad. With the excep- 
tion of the King, the rest of the Princes and the Princesses 
could make no distinction between the legitimate and 
illegitimate ; and most of these were perfectly ignorant. 
But the Urdu as spoken in the Fort was authoritative. 

The " Eed " Festivals were celebrated with great 
eclat. The King went on the elephant, called the Maula 
Baksh, to the " Eedgah " for the prayer. This elephant 
was always " must." They say it was presented by Nasir- 
ud-dowlah, the Ruler of the Dakhan, as a present. The 
children used to play with it. It is also said that, when 
the English carried away the King from Delhi, Maula 
Baksh refused his food and finally died of starvation. 

In fine, Delhi was so prosperous, that the well-to-do 
and the learned and those of other professions passed 
their lives without anxiety or worry. 

At this period a wonderful set of people was found there. 
It was known by the name of " Aka." These people 
were born of Mughals, and were scions of old noble 
families. They could neither read nor write, through 
laziness, and were not fit for either profession or service ; 
but being " blue bloods/' they had access to the gatherings 
and entertainments of Society. They lived on the gener- 
osity of well-to-do people. Good-looking, and with good 


figures, they were chivalrous, and straight in their deal- 
ings, but they were hot-tempered and easily excitable. 
These were their qualities. 

I regret to say that this set is now extinct. Thefe 
remained recently only one out of this set, who was taken 
care of by my cousin, Md. Ekramullah Khan, because of 
his very old age. 

An " Aka " lived with my uncle, Mirza Khaja Jan, 
and in connection with him, I am reminded of a story. 
One day this " Aka " was sitting outside his room, smok- 
ing his pipe. His son was with him, and both of them 
were drunk with " bhang "*. (We were all sitting on the 
platform in front.) Suddenly the " Aka " said to his son, 
" My beloved, I wish to speak Arabic to-day. " The son 
nodding his acquiescence, the " Aka " spoke the following 
words : " Ana kumu kahee " ; to which the son blurted 
out in reply, " Beevee luchu ka hai." At this the " Aka " 
was very angry, and, reprimanding his son on his ignor- 
ance, said, " ' Ana ' and ' kana ' are two Arabic words, 
whereas in ' Beevee luchu ka hai ' there is not a single 
Arabic word ! " 

This Aka's pet word was " whereas/' and although he 
had only a smattering of Persian, he was very fond of 
speaking the language. He was requested one day in the 
month of Ramzan to fast. The next morning he was 
seen pulverising " bhang " in front of his room, and smok- 
ing his pipe as usual, while from his room came the sound 
of " koon ! . . . koon ! " People asked him if he was 
fasting that day, and also wanted to know the reason 
why he was pounding " bhang. " 

" Brother," he said, " whereas 1 made up my resolu- 
tion to fast during the night, but whereas this dog had 
eaten my early morning meal, whereas I have placed him 
on the roof having tied his legs and hung him up, because 
he had whereas eaten my meal, so that whereas the dog 
is fasting instead of the master." 

In short, in the fort there was high-living and pleasure- 
seeking, and in the city the learned and the " Mashayaks " 
spent their time in telling beads and in holy disquisitions. 

* Bhang (bang)h (Pcr-bang ; c.f. ska. bhanga, hemp). An 
astringent and narcotic drug made from dried leaves and seed 
capsules of wild hemp (Cannabis Indica), chewed or smoked in the 
East as a means of intoxication. (See Hasheesh). 


As for the artisans and other professionals, they were so 
much absorbed in their own crafts, that the whole city 
wore an air of oblivion and neglect ; and so much so, 
that those in it hardly knew what was taking place beyond 
the city walls. 

^Occasionally there was a Durbar, at which the Resid- 
ent, dressed in flowing robes (" Jamah Neemah "), wearing 
a helmet with a white band of cloth (known as a " pug- 
garee"),* and with a "jareeb" in his hand, used 
to be present. Having presented himself, he would, 
from his proper place, make seven salaams in Indian 
fashion, together with fourteen bows (which is called 
" kornish "). The Princes and the nobles also used to be 
present, and the King sat on the throne ; and those 
present stood with hands folded. If the Resident had to 
say anything, he used to say it, otherwise, after a few 
words about the climate and other ordinary topics of 
shikar, etc., the Durbar came to an end. 

People thought that the Mughal Rule in India still 
existed, although the British Commander of the Fort was 
posted at the Gate, The Fort, in other words, was a 
prison, and the Commander was the jailer. 

One day Nawab Ebrahim Ali Khan, a member of the 
Loharu family, was present in the Durbar, when the 
Resident stepped forward and said that it was strange 
that, although the Nawab was fat and flabby, yet there 
were rumours of his great strength. " If a command 
were issued then the old Persian maxim would come true, 
viz., ' seeing is believing/ " 

The King looked towards the Nawab, and said, 
" Amaa, what does the Baday Sahib say ? " 

The Nawab replied with folded arms, " Your slave 
is at your command." 

The result was that the Nawab asked the Resident 
to sit on a teapoy, which was made of black stone, and 
then, taking hold of the teapoy, with the Resident seated 
on it, by the leg, he lifted it a foot high above the ground. 
But at the same time he vomited blood, and had barely 
reached home before he expired. 

Likewise at the request of the Resident, Samand 
Khan,the Risaldar, killed a tiger on foot, striking 

* The Europeans still tie this cloth round the topee as a sign of 
distinction, and call it a " puggaree." 


him first with the sword and then with the dagger. 
Such was the way in which the Delhi people passed 
their days. But it is a truth that, after Alamghir, the 
City of Delhi was never so full of men learned in knowledgS 
and crafts, as at this time, even though the times were 
disconsolate. But as the lamp before it goes out, flickers, 
so was the case with Delhi. Countless elegies on the des- 
truction of Delhi have been written, but Sadr-ud-din 
Khan, the Mufti, wrote the saddest of all elegies. I happen 
to remember one couplet of his regarding the ladies and 
princesses, who were utterly ruined, namely : 

" God had not provided them with even a pillow to 

rest their heads on : 
If they lifted a stone from their sides it was only 

to place it under their heads/' 

And Mirza Ghalib also said : "It was well that the name 
and sign of Delhi was obliterated, for why should anyone 
care to write an elegy on it ! " 

The King himself wrote a poem about the destruction 
of Delhi, which used to be widely sung in those days. 
I only remember a line, viz., " Whosoever the Ruler for 
the time being saw, considered him fit for the gallows/' 

DURING THE MUTINY. The facts relating to the 
Mutiny are indescribable. When the mutineers from 
Meerut entered the City, having murdered the Commander 
of the Fort and other Englishmen, and took possession of it. 
they became more tyrannous than even Pharaoh ; and so 
much so, that they even addressed the King as " old fossil/ 1 

The nobility and the well-to-do people remained indoors. 

The officers of the troops were not so discourteous ; 
but they also said that these Purbhiyas were not under 
their control. The troops, however, selected young and 
prepossessing princes, such as Mirza Abu Bakar and Mirza 
Mughal, as their officers perhaps with the idea of gaining 
general sympathy for their cause ; while these poor fellows, 
for their part, consented to be the officers of these sav- 
ages, in order to save themselves from their impertinence. 
But they never went to fight on the ridge even once. 

My father a tall and very fair man, with rosy cheeks, 
brown hair, and blue eyes happening to go out of the 
house on some necessary business, was at once seized by 
the " Purbhiyas," and taken to the fort. 


My father's relatives, belted and armed, and dressed 
in the proper fashion, at once went to the King, and com- 
plained to him. But the King replied that nobody listened 
to him, and referred them to the officers of the troops ; 
and the latter said that the troops had come to believe 
th^t he was an Englishman, and that we had hidden 
him in the house. The matter went up even to Mirza 
Abu Bakar and other princes. Finally my father was 
released on payment of Rs. 500. 

The English were on the Ridge, and the uncontrollable 
troopers were in the city ; and the fighting went on for 
six months. 

In these days Mirza Dilafza, better known as Mirza 
Elahee Baksh, was cleverer and more far-sighted than 
the other princes, and, foreseeing the result of this futile 
struggle, he began to enter into communication with the 
English. And he won Hakim Ahsanullah Khan to his 
opinion. On the other hand, some loyal people had ad- 
vised the King to leave the City, for, surmising that 
the Rajas and the Governors had now become the rulers 
of the country, they thought that these would support 
His Majesty. Indeed, perhaps correspondence to this 
effect had been received. But when the King had resolved 
to leave the city with the Princes, Mirza Elahee Baksh, 
on a hint from the English, went to the King, taking 
Hakim Sahib with him, and placing his head on the feet 
of the King, said, with a show of tears ; 

" For God's sake, give up your idea " otherwise the 
English would massacre the people and their blood would 
be on the head of His Majesty on the day of Judgment. 
Hakim Sahib also supported him strongly. The King 
therefore gave up the idea, and remained in Humayun's 
tomb.* Finally, General Nicholson made an attack on 

* Humayun. The tomb of Humayun was erected by the 
Emperor's widow Hajee Begum, or Bega Begum, and not by Akbar. 
She was the Senior Widow of Humayun, and had the title of Hajee 
or Pilgrim, because she performed the pilgrimage to Mecca. Carr 
Stephen and other writers confound her with Hamida Banoo Begum, 
the mother of Akbar. (For her true history, see Beveridge " The 
History of Humayun/' by Gulbadun Begum (R.A.S. 1902).) 

Carr Stephen (page 203) says that the Mausoleum was com- 
pleted in A.D. 1565 (or, according to some, in A.D. 1569), at a cost 
of 15 lakhs of rupees. The true date is A.D. 1570 late in A.H. 977. 
(Baduoui Tr : Lowe ii 135). It is of especial interest as being one 


the City Gate. He was killed, but the British entered, 
and a hand-to-hand fight began in the streets and lanes 
of the city. There was great slaughter, and the innocent 
people of the city were visited with calamity. 

When the British had to some extent taken hold of 
the city, Sir Theophilus Metcalfe told Mirza Elahee Baksh 
that if the King left, the position would become desperate ; 
and he asked the Mirza to go and try to find a way by 
which they could bring the King under their control. 

Accordingly the Mirza took the Hakim along with 
himself again, and having sworn by the Prophet and God, 
and made promises, they prevented the King from leav- 

The young and beautiful Princes, who, as bad luck 
would have it, were forced to become officers, were now 
taken in conveyances, drawn by bullocks (Ruth) and were 
escorted towards the city. But they had hardly reached 
this, when a company of British soldiers surrounded 
them and then happened what happened ! As the poet 
Zowk has put it : 

" O God, what innocent person has the slayer 


Believing him worthy of this blow ! 
A voice arising from the resting-place, 

Says ' lo ! murderest thou an innocent man ? ' " 

The Hakim fled hither and thither in search of em- 
ployment, but the Mirza became the Head Chowush 
(Leader) of the whole family of Timur Ghorghani, and 
on his recommendation pensions were issued. My mother 
received a pension of Rs. 5 a month, but my father 
refused it. 

of the earliest specimens of the Mughal dynasty. It stands on two 
noble terraces, and its massive dome, supposed to be one of the 
biggest in the world, is a landmark for many miles round. The body 
of the building is of red stone, with marble decorations. 

Humayun rests in the Central Hall, under an elaborately carved 
marble Sarcophagus. The head of Dara Shikoh, and the bodies of 
many members of the Royal family are interred in the side rooms. 
The King took refuge here alter the fall of Delhi in September, 1857. 

The story of the execution of the princes by Hodson on the road 
to Delhi is well known, and has been the occasion of much con- 


The facts regarding the destruction of Delhi correspond 
completely with those that cover the destruction of 
Granada. As Granada was at its zenith at the time that 
it was destroyed, so was Delhi at the height of its pros- 
perity. And as Abu Abdulla was turned out of Granada in 
a helpless condition, so was Abu Mohamed Bahadur Shah 
seftt away to Rangoon. And thus ended the Mughal 
dominion in India. 

But Feroze Shah left a name behind ! 

Mirza Abbas Baig was posted with the English troops 
near Farukabad, on the banks of the Ganges, where, 
acting on information (they received reports hourly from 
informers) to the effect that he would be passing that way, 
they awaited Ferozeshah. Suddenly, one fine morning, 
he made his appearance, with a small company, all 
mounted on horses. On reaching the banks of the river, 
he and his companions cut away the girths of their saddles, 
and coolly led the horses into the river, and, having 
crossed this, they then fought their way through, and, 
disappearing from sight, left India for good. 

Ferozeshah lived nearly to the end of his days as a 
pensioner in Russia, and finally died in Mecca. His 
wife, Malika Zimani (or Khayum Zimani) visited Hydera- 
bad (I met her there), but owing to the disturbed state 
of affairs in those days, nobody took any notice of her. 
Ferozeshah, however, was able, through his brave con- 
duct, to keep up the prestige of his family. 

AFTER THE MUTINY. I have already stated that after 
the Mutiny we removed to Sitapur, and stayed with our 
uncle Mirza Abbas Beg. Facts connected with his life 
are worth relating. He was older than my father, but 
younger than Mirza Ashur Beg. Had a fair and ruddy 
complexion, was good-looking, tall, with a well-formed 
body, and endowed with strength. He had a pleasant 
temper and a fondness for friends, on whom he spent 
money lavishly ; and in his younger days he had an 
inclination towards fast living. Although he was not 
fond of reading and writing, he, strange to say, in those 
daj 7 s began to learn English, and acquired sufficient 
proficiency in the language to be able to write and speak 
it. His Persian was ordinary, but he was ignorant of 


Arabic. He became a pupil of Babu Ram Chunder (now 
a convert to Christianity), but although he was intelligent 
by nature, and was of a joyous temperament, he was 
unable to compose or even to read Persian poetry cor- 

Before the Mutiny, Bengal was the only province ip 
which English education had been general : in tlie 
Punjab, Doab, Rajputana, Central India and other 
Provinces of India, but a few Hindus and fewer Moslems 
were met with who knew English. Marshman, Carey, 
and other English Padres, had opened schools, with the 
intention of educating the pagan Hindus, so as to with- 
draw them from their idolatrous religion and draw them 
into the folds of Christianity ; and the Government had 
opened schools with the object of attracting people of 
the country to their service, the latter being cheaper to 
obtain than Englishmen ; but each had its curriculum 
to serve its own ends, and they had written books in 
which the historical facts about the Hindus and the 
Muslims were related in such a fashion, that the students 
came to look down upon their ancestors. The claim they 
made, was that they were leading the people from ignor- 
ance to a higher civilized plane. 

Before the Mutiny, in all the offices, from the Viceroy's 
to the Collector's, Persian was in use. 

Mirza, when he had acquired sufficient knowledge to 
write and speak the English language, was in search of 
a wider field for his activities, and this chance luckily 
came his way in the following manner. 

His uncle, Mirza Afzal Beg, who had the title of 
Javad-ud-dowlah conferred upon him, was sent to Cal- 
cutta, as Vakil-us-Saltanat (Plenipotentiary), to negotiate 
some matters with the Viceroy. As difficulties arose he 
sent Raja Ram Mohun Roy on his behalf to England, 
and he himself returned home, bringing with him a 
Bengali lady. But soon afterwards he died, leaving this 
beautiful lady a widow, and she fell in love with the Mirza. 

Then, as his father disliked his way of living, Mirza 
eloped with this lady, and entered the service of a Raja 
in the Punjab. Being a well-proportioned man, of pre- 
possessing appearance, the Raja took him on his own 
staff ; tut this the others resented, and intriguing against 
him, represented to the Raja that the Mirza was in league 


with his mistress. Accordingly the Raja made him drink 
a lot of wine one night, and then ordered his mistress to 
go into his room. Thereupon the Mirza, although very 
much intoxicated, drew his dagger and attacked the 
woman, with the intention of cutting off her nose ; but 
.he ran out of the room. The Raja, who was watching 
and saw all this, was then very angry with his companions, 
and praised the Mirza for his honourable dealings. 

The next morning, however, the Mirza went to the 
Raja, and asked to be relieved of his post, saying that 
no master could do as the Raja had done, with his serv- 
ants ; and although the Raja apologised for what had 
been done, he left his service and went away to Lahore. 

Sir Henry Lawrence was then the Governor of the 
Punjab, and, taken with the Mirza's gentlemanliness and 
good looks, and honourable bearing, he appointed him 
the Kotwal of the city. 

My late uncle used to say that Sir Henry, though 
erratic, was, in the discharge of the duties of his post, 
very particular as regards the rules and regulations, and 
kept an eye on the conduct of his subordinates. One day, 
when the Mirza was trying to bring to account a shopman 
in the bazaar, and his servant was holding an umbrella 
over him, Sir Henry passed that way in his buggy, and 
seeing the Mirza, with his servant thus occupied, he jumped 
down, and said sarcastically, " Well, Nawab Saheb, I'll 
hold a " chatri " over you," The Mirza took this ill, and 
pressed forward, but Sir Henry threw away the umbrella, 
and ordered him to present himself at his bungalow. Even 
there the Mirza was frank and courageous, and replied 
fearlessly, and instead of punishing him, Sir Henry gave 
him an increase in his salary. 

On another day it happened that Sir Henry took the 
Mirza with him for some urgent work, and while driving 
along, explained to him what the urgent work was. Mirza 
differed from him, and being naturally frank, said so. 
At the time the carriage was midway across a marshy 
piece of land, but this, notwithstanding, Sir Henry, 
becoming angry, ordered the Mirza to get down from the 
carriage. The Mirza obeyed at once, jumping into the 
marsh ; and this conduct on his part, instead of being 
resented, was appreciated by Sir Henry, to his good, 
and he was appointed Tahsildar of Ferozepur. 


Here he did many things against the Sikhs in proof 
of his loyalty. For instance, he carried General Abbot, 
who was wounded in the fight, from the field ; and eventu- 
ally Sir Henry became so fond of him, that it even aroused 
the jealousy of the British officers. 

My late uncle used to say that he accepted gratifies 
tions, and would not refuse even so small a one as eight 

With the exception of my father and my aunt, no 
member of the family associated with him, in spite of the 
fact that he had amassed a lot of property and wealth, he 
being beyond the pale of the family circle for the reason 
mentioned above, and also because the family jaghirs 
were, owing to want of documentary proof, confiscated 
by the Government. Further while in the Punjab, he had 
changed his religious views. He gave as a reason for this, 
that one night he dreamt that he saw a severed head, 
which placed in a hanging pot, told him to love the 
" Ahly Baith " (AH and his descendants, by Fatima, 
the daughter of the Prophet On whom be peace !) 

A Fakir a darvnsh gave him a charm during his 
sojourn in the PuYub. It was called" Dhast-ghaib " 
(The Hidden Hand), and he used to say that through it 
he had secured all his worldly success. Up to the time 
of his death, he used to write this charm after the Zohir 

During his service in the Punjab he suffered a great 
shock and lost all the money which he had amassed. What 
happened was this. 

My father and my aunt went to Ferozepur to see him. 
While the Mirza was away at the office, and my father 
was sitting in the veranda, trying to solve some questions 
in Mathematics, when a neighbour brought over a girl, 
and asked to be permitted to leave her in the house 
because he was leaving the city for a time. He would be 
back in two or three days, he said, and would then take 
her away. My father, thinking that perhaps the man was 
his brother's friend, as he had come without any ceremony, 
agreed, and sent the maid inside the zenana ; and then, 
soon after the man had gone away, the police made their 
appearance and took away the girl. The Deputy Com- 
missioner who was waiting for an opportunity then 
instituted a charge of buying and selling a slave, and 

52 ' MY LIFE 

suspended the Mirza. During the time the case lasted, 
my uncle said that he had not only lost all the money he 
had amassed, but was also on the verge of starvation ; and 
then, when the Deputy Commissioner issued a warrant of 
arrest, he hired a camel, and fled in disguise to Mult an, 
Aiding during the day and proceeding on his journey dur- 
ing the darkness. 

He reached General Abbot's bungalow in the evening, 
when the latter, having finished his dinner, was sitting 
talking with his wife. The Mirza, jumping off his camel, 
rushed to the room in which he saw a light, and un- 
ceremoniously pushed against the door and entered. The 
Mem-sahib, poor lady, shrieked out and fainted, and the 
General, taking hold of his revolver, jumped forward. 
Then, having recognised the Mirza, General Abbot heard 
his story ; and afterwards, each armed with a revolver, the 
two left for Lahore in the Dak carriage. They covered the 
distance in safety, and when they reached Lahore, the 
General went straight to Sir Henry Lawrence, who was 
then in his kutcherry. The Mirza was afraid that the 
Police mighl arrest him there, but the General assured him 
that if they attempted to, he would shoot them. He then 
betook himself to Sir Henry, while the Mirza, having shut 
the door, remained sitting in the carriage. 

After a short while the General returned, and asked the 
Mirza not to be afraid of the Police, and to follow him to 
Sir Henry, who had sent for him. 

Having heard the Mirza's story from beginning to end, 
Sir Henry cancelled the warrant against him, and posted 
him with Mr. Temple in the Settlement Department. 

Later on, the Mirza accompanied Sir Henry to Oudh. 

During the Mutiny he was Tahsildar at Malhapur, and 
and when the Mutineers made an attack on the Tahsil 
office, he, with great bravery, managed to save the 
Treasury and send it on to General Outram. He then, 
having disguised himself, hid in the jungle, and eventually 
reached Bilgram,where the people of the place gave him an 
asylum. During his stay here he corresponded with the 
British officials, and informed them of the movements of 
the Mutineers. 

From Bilgram he was sent to Farukabad, where a very 
strange incident took place. In the confiscated property of 
the Nawab of Farukabad there was a sword, the handle and 


sheath of which were valued at some thousands. This sword 
was found missing, and one of the several English officers 
who were taking the inventory, the name of the officer in 
question I forget told Mirza that he was responsible for it. 
The Mirza immediately pointed his revolver at him, but a 
Mr. Lindsay, with great agility, knocked his hand aside* 
the shot entered the ground. Then catching hold of the 
barrel, the Mirza tried to hit the officer with the butt end on 
the head, but the other English Officers present caught 
hold of him, and then removed their companion into 
another room. 

From Farukabad the Mirza was appointed a Deputy 
Collector, ist grade, with a salary of Rs. 600, at Sitapur, 
and Badagaon was granted him as jagir, in recognition of 
his services. 

When he removed to Lucknow, General L. Barrow was 
the Chief Commissioner of Oudh, and Maharajah Man 
Singh was the head of the Talukdars of Oudh, and the 
Canning College, and the Ward Institution for the orphan 
children of the Talukdars, owed their existence to the com- 
bined exertions and foresight of these three. But the great- 
est work they did, was to bring into being the Council of 
the Talukdars of Oudh and Maharaja Man Singh, Khay- 
um Jung was made its President, and Babu Deknaranjan 
was nominated its Secretary, and when the Mirza retired 
on pension he was appointed Secretary in place of the 

Here, again, an incident occurred which is worth re- 
lating. At the time when the College was founded, a Com- 
mittee of the Talukdars was called, of which the Chief 
Commissioner was President, and the Maharajah, Deputy 
President, and the Mirza Secretary. At this meeting a few 
minor subjects had been agreed to, when a discussion arose 
as to whether there should be a school or a college, and 
whether, at the beginning, a Head-master should be ap- 
pointed, or a principal. The Maharajah, with the support of 
Raja Tajamul Hussain and other Talukdar who were 
present, was of the opinion that there should be less ex- 
penditure at the beginning, and therefore that the ap- 
pointment of a Head-master would serve the purpose 
better. General Barrow and the Mirza, however were in 
favour of the appointment of a Principal. 

Then the Maharajah, by way of sarcasm, said, " Yes, 


Mirza Sahib, you have given this opinion, because your 
children are reading at this institution/' 

Mirza, who in recent years had grown short-tempered, 
immediately lost control of himself, and replied, " You who 
wear a ' dhoti ' " (cloth around the loins) " what do 
you know of matters of education and bringing up of 
students ? " 

Now, the Rajah was a man of such prestige, that the 
Talukdars of Oudh, whether Hindu or Muslim, held him in 
great esteem, and these words stupefied them ; and General 
Barrow, speaking emphatically, told the Mirza to keep 
his temper. Hearing this, the latter threw all the papers in 
front of the General, and left his chair, saying that he could 
appoint another Secretary. 

The sitting was brought to an abrupt end, and the 
Mirza returned to his house. He was still in a great temper 
and having vented it on his Darogah Amir Khan, he entered 
his bungalow. 

A few minutes later, when he was in the act of un- 
dressing himself, the Maharajah's conveyance made its ap- 
pearance. I ran up to my uncle and informed him of this, 
and he came outside, just as he was, in a shirt. 

The meeting between the two was wonderful. The 
Mirza was sitting with his head bowed, and \\ith signs of 
repentance on his fate, and then the Maharajah, after a 
moment or two, said smilingly, " Mirza Sahib, I have come 
to thank you for a special favour you have done for me." 

" Maharajah, don't make me still more ashamed of my- 
self," replied the Mirza. " I am a curt soldier I have been 
guilty of a very foolish mistake to-day, and I ask you to 
pardon me for it." 

" No, Mirza Sahib," then replied the Maharajah, " I 
swear I have come to express my thanks to you, because 
these Talukdars addressing me as Maharajah and 
Excellency had made me feel that I was entitled to their 
homage, but you have awakened me to-day." And having 
said this, the Raja stood up and wanted to embrace Mirza. 

Mirza also now stood up, but shamefacedly, and placing 
his head on the Maharajah's bosom, said : 

" What has happened has happened. Do not make me 
look small in my own eyes, but forgive my impertinence, 
and consider me as one of your humble servants." 

Just then Raja^ Tajamul Hussan Khan, of Bhetwa- 


Mhow, and Babu Dunkar Ran] an came in and the in- 
cident was closed. 

The Maharajah, with the support of the Mirza, got the 
rules concerning the rights of the Talukdars passed into 
law with great ceremony and was able to get his grandson, 
Dudwa Sahib, appointed to succeed him, instead of his 
nephew, Tirlokinath, who was deprived of the right of 
succession. Both these boys were my school-mates, as also 
was Raja Amir Hussan Khan. 

The story of Raj a Amir Hussan Khan is also worth relat- 
ing. His father, Nawab Ali Khan, who was very powerful at 
the Durbar of Wajad Ali Shah, was especially favoured by 
Ali Nakki Khan, the Minister, and carried influence with 
the Begums. He died during the Mutiny. As there was a 
suspicion of disloyalty with regard to him, the Ranee of 
Mahmudabad came to Sitapur with the infant and orphan, 
Amir Hassan, and placing the child's hand in the hands of 
the Mirza, said : 

" Mirza Sahib, consider this orphan as your own son,* 
and help me widow as I am." 

The Mirza took the Raja on his lap, and was very 
polite to the Ranee. I remember her very well. I 
was young, and she did not observe purdah with me, and, 
finally he made great exertions on her behalf and got her 
State released, and had the Raja made a recognised Ward. 

He first studied at the school in Sitapur, and later on at 
Benares ; and after that he studied with us at the Lucknow 
Educational Institution. 

The Ranee used always to send me specially prepared 
dishes in the month of Mohurrum, also very big wood-apples. 

Sett Jai Dayal, the Talukdar of Biswan, recently told 
me that the papers which go to show the help the Mirza 
rendered to the Ranee, were still with him. 

Of those who used to read with me three distinguished 
themselves, viz., Raja Amir Hussan Khan, Raja Bharga, 
at the hands of whose ancestors, Syed Salar Masood Kazi 
met his martyrdom and Maharaja Ajudhiya (Dudwa 
Sahib). But the rest were mediocrities. Much was ex- 
pected of Raja Indar Bhikran Sah, of Kherigudh, but 
unfortunately he died young. His Ranee made a great 

* Adopted son. An adopted son passes completely out of 
the family of his natural father, into that of his adopted father, 
all the rights and duties of a son being transferred at the same time. 

5 6 MY LIFE 

reputation for herself, but my intimacy with her husband 
is unknown to her. 

The house of Babu Dunkar Ranjan was, it is believed, 
ruined at the hands of Babu Raj Kumar, who was an un- 
derling of his. Such incidents occur in this world, and this 
^as not an exception. It is a trite saying, " Do not expect 
any return for the good you do." A story is told 
of a man who said to Ahmed that Mahmud was abusing 
him. Ahmed thought over this for a long while, and then 
raising his head, said, " I have done no good turn to Mah- 
mu d then, why is he abusing me ? " 

Now it remains for me to write a short account of 
Raja Tajamul Hussan Khan of Bhetwa-Mhow and then 
turn to the third chapter of my life. 

The Raja was a lean, middle-sized, pleasant-tempered 
man, and was considered educated in the light of those 
days. During the Mutiny most of the Rajas, Hindus and 
Muslims were loyal to the Emperor of Delhi, and rose to 
fight the British. The Raja was one of them, and, 
with his servants and relatives, ranged himself against 
General Outram near Aish-Bagh. There was a great fight, 
and the Raja was severely wounded, and for a time lay in 
an unconscious state amongst a great number of dead and 
dying, and his old servant, wounded all over the body, 
lay in a pool of blood beside him. 

When the Raja came to himself, he found that the 
moon was shining and that all his retainers were killed. 
His servant also became conscious, and crawling along 
with great difficulty, the two reached the shade of a tree 
inside the Warab Garden. When the day dawned some of 
the Raja's people, while searching for him, found him 
there, and carried him away. He was destined to live, and 
therefore was picked up. 

After the Mutiny, General Barrow got him arrested and 
there was a spirited conversation between them. The 
Raja with great courage, told the General that he had 
eaten the salt of the King of Oudh, and was bound to do 
his duty ; and that if he ate their salt (British), he would be 
loyal to them. 

The General was very much taken with his courage, 
and, through his strong recommendation, got him ac- 
quitted. The Raja himself related to me the above facts. 

When I was reading at the College, apart from the 


Talukdars, most of the nobles of the time of Nawab Vizier 
of Oudh were living. The East India Company in pursuance 
of their usual policy, had conferred independence, with the 
nominal title of King, on the Vizier, and made him dis- 
loyal to the Moghul Emperor of India. These titular 
princes and princesses were then living in Lucknow : an4 
the City was prosperous, and the citizens wealthy. 

It is well-known that this Company of East Indian Mer- 
chants had also offered the same title, based on the same 
policy, to Nawab Nasir-ud-Dowlah Bahadur of the Deccan, 
but he, to his great glory and honour replied, " It would 
be proper for me to accept this title if it were granted to me 
by my Sovereign and Master, the King of Delhi. It would 
then enhance my prestige and dignity. You are not em- 
powered to offer me this title, which in no wise increases 
my dignity/' The result was that the ruler of the Deccan 
remains " His Highness " to this day, and the ruler of Oudh 
became " His Majesty." But as the poet says, " Neither 
was he able to get near God nor to meet his beloved he 
failed in securing either." 

For this ruler had no aptitude for kingship, and the 
British Government, with great consideration for the 
ryots and God's creatures, mercifully shifted Wajid Ali 
Shah to Calcutta, and took the administration of the 
country in its hands according to an Ayat* of the Koran. 

JOURNEY TO HYDERABAD. I have mentioned above 
that I had no interest in the school or the prescribed 
course of studies, and that I was surprised that I was able 
to secure a " First Class " in the Entrance Examination. 
Be that as it may, I could not get through the first Arts 
Examination, and I felt so disgusted with the College that 
I had no heart to appear for the examination a second 
time, I was also now anxious not to be a burden on my 
uncle, and as it happened that my relations with my aunt 
were rather strained, I made up my mind to go out in the 
world in search of employment. 

Mr. Syed Hussain Bilgrami supported this idea of mine, 

Translation of " Ayat." 

* " Al Koran/' Part 17. Ch. 21. (The Prophets Al-Ambiya), 
revealed at Mecca Sec. 7, Verse 105. 

" And certainly we wrote in the Book after the reminder that 
(as for) the land, my righteous servants shall inherit it." 


and my uncle eventually giving me permission to act as I 
wished, the journey to Hyderabad was, for the following 
reasons, finally decided upon. First because Nawab Mir 
Turab Ali Khan, Salar Jung, Mukhtar-ul-Mulk, the 
Prime Minister of Hyderabad, was on a visit to Lucknow, 
Q^id the Government of India had entertained him in the 
manner befitting the great independent rulers. All the 
Governors of the Provinces of India were ordered to con- 
sider him as an honoured guest, and for this reason Mr. 
Saunders, the then Resident, had accompanied him. He 
put up in Lucknow in General Barrow's bungalow, and 
had with him some of the court nobles and Jemadars of the 
army, and the General introduced to him the Talukdars of 
Oudh, and the nobility of the city. Amongst these 
was my late uncle Mirza Abbas Beg, and the Prime 
Minister was so pleased with his prepossessing appear- 
ance and conversation, that he invited him to enter 
his service. As the Mirza was free from all anxiety 
from material wants, and also was of an inde- 
pendent nature, he very politely declined the offer, 
but said that he would recommend a learned and clever 
young man to him. The next day he sent Mr. Syed 
Hussain Bilgrami, with a letter of introduction, to the 
presence of the Prime Minister, so famous in the poli- 
tical world. The Nawab was pleased with Mr. Syed 
Hussain's conversation, and wanted to employ him in his 
service, on Rs.300. But Mr. Syed Hussain refused this, 
because he was already getting Rs.i5O at the college, 
while my uncle paid him another Rs.iso from the office of 
the " Lucknow Times/' 

Raja Amir Hussan Khan, the Talukdar of Mah- 
mudabad, also entertained His Excellency in a manner be- 
fitting his high position ; and my uncle sent him several 
trays of delicacies, the best result of the " Chefs " of 
Lucknow, with the result that between him and the 
Nawab Sahib friendly relations were established. 

My second reason for deciding to go to Hyderabad was 
the presence there of my cousin, Mirza Ghulam Fak- 
ruddin Khan, grandson of Nawab Elahee Baksh Khan 
(Maroof), the ruler of Loharu and Ferozepur Jhirka. He 
was appointed Tahsildar of Sirpur Tandur on the re- 
commendation of my uncle. 

The facts relating to this family are astonishing, and an 


example for those who have eyes to see. Nawab Elahee 
Baksh and Nawab Ahmed Baksh Khan, sons of Kasim 
Khan and Ariff Khan, were servants of the Alwar State, 
and in consideration of their services, and on the recom- 
mendation of the English, the King granted them Loharu 
and Ferozepur Jhirka* as Jhagirs, from the Alwar State* 
the same bringing in a revenue of almost Rs.8o,ooo each. 

Nawab AH Baksh Khan (Maroof ) became a Sufif and 
gave up the world, and hundreds of his disciples loitered at 
his palace day and night. Every disciple got food, clothing 
and cash from the Nawab, and in addition, dainty food 
was served out to them, while musical entertainments were 
given on a lavish scale. The Nawab was himself a poet. I 
remember a couplet of his : 

* Ferozepur Jirkha of the Indian Gazetteer, now the Head- 
quarters of the Girgaum District. Formerly it formed part of the 
Delhi District, but in 1858 it was transterred to the Punjab. The 
latest change took place on October ist, 1912, on the occasion of 
Delhi becoming the official capital, instead of Calcutta. 

The city of Delhi, with a small surrounding area 557 square 
miles in all now forms a tiny district-province, ruled by a Chief 
Commissioner, under the direct orders of the Government of India. 
The Delhi division has ceased to exist, and Girgaum, together with 
Simla, Amballa and Rohtak, now constitute the Commissioner's 
division of Amballa in the Punjab. 

The " Mehwatis " of Ferozepur are notorious thieves and 
robbers. During Nawab Shamshuddin Khan's time, they dared not 
pi under within Ins territory, but had a irec licence to plunder wherever 
tiiey pleased beyond it. The Mehwati depredations had gone on 
for centuries. The Sultan Balban (Ghiazuddin alias Ulugh Khan) 
v/ho reigned from A.D. 1265-1287 temporarily suppressed them by 
punishment of awful cruelty flaying the criminals alive, and so 
forth. (From Vincent Smith's " Rambles and Recollections of 
General Sir W. H. Sleeman, K.C.B.," page 420. 

f Sufi. It must be explained that there are two classes of 
the professedly devout Suns, viz., the " Saalik " and the " Majzub." 

The true " Saalik " Suns are those who give up the world and 
its allurements, devote themselves entirely to their Creator, and are 
insensible to any other enjoyments than those which they derive 
from their devotional exercises. 

The "Majzub" Sufis have no established homes or earthly 
possessions. " Majzub," in its literal sense, means " abstracted." 
Many people suppose this class to have lost possession of their 
reason, and make excuse for their departure from the law on that 
score. Both classes, however, are held in great respect, because the 
latter are not deemed guilty of breaking the law, since they are 
supposed to be insensible to their actions while indulging in things 


" Few people are swayed as I am swayed in this old 

age ; 
I am deeply engrossed in the society of the green 


n At the time when the Jhagirs were conferred on him, he 
sent his younger brother, Nawab Ahmed Baksh Khan to 
take them over, but he had the title-deeds executed in his 
own name, and then told his brother that he had done so 
because he had given up the world. It is said that, after 
this the Nawab refused to see the face of his brother during 
his lifetime. Nevertheless Ahmed Baksh Khan remained 
at the palace, like other servants of the Nawab, and gen- 
erously paid all the expenditure which the Nawab in- 

His son Nawab Ali Baksh Khan, was so disgusted with 
his uncle's perfidy, that he left his hearth and home, and 
went away travelling and sight-seeing. For some time, 
however, he remained in Hyderabad, as the guest of 
Nawab Amir-i-Kabir, and it was on his recommendation 
that Mohamed Mukeem was appointed a Darogah in the 
service of this Nawab, with whom he gained such influence 
that he soon became a Minister in his household, and was 
honoured with the title of Khan Bahadur Ansar Jung. 
His son, Hamza Ali Khan, had a great regard for me. This 
gentleman's daughter was married to Nawab Ekbal-ud- 
dowlah, the younger son of Nawab Rashi-ud-din Khan 
Vikar-ul-Umra and of her was born Nawab Wali-ud-din 
Khan. For the education of this scion of the family, I ap- 
pointed the late Moulvi Hidayat Ullah, who used to teach 
my boys ; and he also accompanied his pupil to England. 

He came to see me at Ajmere Sharif, and I made a re- 
commendation on his behalf to His late Highness, Nawab 
Sir Mir Mahbub Ali Khan (on whom be peace !) 

I, myself, was doubly related to the family of Loharu, 
for my aunt, Amanee Khanum, was married to Nawab Ali 
Baksh (be it said by the way, there was not much love lost 
between husband and wife), and my grandfather, Mirza 
Nowsha, was married to the daughter of Nawab Ahmed 
Baksh Khan. When I visited them with my mother, this 
lady, my grandfather's wife, used to give me a two anna 
piece. Strange to say, in this case also, the husband and 
the wife fell out with each other. 


The ladies of this highly placed and aristocratic family, 
although enlightened and polished, were proud. The men 
were loyal to friends, very pleasing to talk to, well- 
behaved, and generous in the extreme to the members of 
their family. 

His Highness, the present Nawab of Loharu, is ? 
shining example of his family. He had the title of 
K.C.I. E. conferred on him. 

I beg leave of my reader to relate here an amusing 
story of the father of the present Nawab. The Viceroy held 
a Durbar at Lahore, and all the Punjab chiefs were invited 
to attend it. The Nawab, according to a family custom, 
attended the Durbar, girded with belt and sword round his 
waist, and to this the Secretary objected. Looking at the 
Secretary with utter astonishment and disgust, the Nawab 
retorted, " Very well, take away the sword, and dub me 
' The Angel of the Sarungi.' "* 

The loss of Ferozepur Jhirka from their possession is an 
astonishing tale. 

Mr. Fraser came as Resident to Delhi, from Calcutta. 
Full of life and a lover of pleasure, he at first kept a 
beautiful " Mayvatan," named " Serven." In respect 
of this a parody was composed, that became famous 
in those days : 

" From Calcutta far started Fraygin (Fraser) 
With blessings of the five saints. 
Leave off sitting on a ' Peerhi ' my ' Sirven ' fair, 
And learn to sit on an easy chair." 

Then he had an eye on the sister of Nawab Sham- 
shuddin Khan, the son of Nawab Ahmed Baksh Khan. 
The Nawab instigated a villian, who, one day when Mr. 
Fraser was out riding, shot him,f and despatched him to 

* Sarungi. A musical instrument somewhat like a violin, 
which forms the accompaniment of a dancing-girl. 

f Murder of Mr. Fraser. According to General Hervey, the 
provocation was that Mr. Fraser had enquired about the Nawab's 
sister by name. His murderer, Karim Khan, was known as " Bhar 
Maru " (sharp-shooter), Nawab Shamshuddin Khan was implicated 
in this murder, and tried and lourid guilty, was executed on Thursday 
morning, 3rd October, 1835, close outside the North or Kashmere 
Gate, leading to the Cantonments. He prepared himself for the 
execution in a rich and beautiful dress of light green, the sacred 
colour of Moslems ; but he was made to exchange this for other 


the Pleasure-Palace of Jupiter. Then the English by 
stratagem, arrested the Nawab, and hanged him. Thus 
Ferozepur Jhirka was confiscated. 

The third reason for my leaving Lucknow was this, 
that General Barrow, who was our great patron, was struck 
;*vith paralysis, and had to go away to England, A more 
popular officer could not be found. The doctor had pro- 
hibited anybody to approach him, but a Talukdar, by the 
name of Ajita Singh, one day found an opportunity to hide 
himself in the fire-place of the room, and then, when the 
General was alone, he came out of his hiding-place and 
approached him. Seeing each other, they both burst into 
tears. Then the General's wife came running in, and 
turned the Rajah out. 

A strange incident occured before I finally made up my 
mind to leave for Hyderabad. One day as I returned from 
College I found a poor Brahmin standing near the gate. 
He had his horoscope book under his arm. On asking me 
for alms, I took him to task for earning his livelihood by 
begging, and told him that, being young and healthy, he 
should work for his living. He replied peevishly, and 
asked me to sit down and show my hand. I sat down. He 
first looked at my hand, and afterwards in his book, and 
then after some deep thinking, he said, " You'll leave for 
the Deccan on a certain day." 

" I laughed, and told him to clear out, as I had no faith 
in his book ; and to that he replied : " My friend, 111 come 
another day. If you happen to remain here, 111 tear up 
my book : otherwise at the time when you are leaving, 
give me whatever charity you think proper/' 

I regret to say I did not leave anything behind for this 
Brahmin, and I left on the very day he had mentioned.* 

garb. Just as he expired, his body made a last turn, and left his 
lace towards the West, the direction in which the sacred Kaaba, 
the tomb of the Holy Prophet, is situated, which the Muslims of 
Delhi considered a miracle, and as indicating that he was a mar./<\ 
This incident is mentioned by Vincent Smith in the " Rambles 
and Recollections of an Indian Official/' by Major-General W. H. 
Sleeman, K.C.B. Vide also " Kuliath-a-Ghalib," by Ali Baksh 
Khan, page 3. 

* The Najumi (astrologers) are men, generally with some 
learning, who, for their supposed skill in foretelling the past, present, 
and the future, have in all ages and in all countries been more or 
less courted by the people. It is wonderful the influence a Najumi 


On the morning of my departure, I went to my uncle 
(on whom be peace !) to bid him farewell, and from there I 
went direct to the station and entered the train. A servant 
by the name of Ghansi Khan accompanied me. This man 
was a first-class butler and cook. 

After having stopped a day at Jubbulpore, I reached 
Bhosawal, and rested under a shady tree in the compound 
of the Dak bungalow, while Ghansi Khan, with alacrity 
prepared my dinner. 

In the morning it was decided that we should go to our 
cousin Nawab Ghulam Fakruddin Khan, at Sirpur, and 
from there proceed to Hyderabad. We hired a bullock con- 
veyance, and, although we knew nothing about the route, 
we, on the suggestion of the driver, arranged for him to 
take us to Nagpur. But when we reached Palakwadi, the 
driver became recalcitrant, and refused to proceed further, 
and we were forced to take refuge in a shop, and think over 
the question of securing another conveyance for our 
purpose. It occurred to me then, that I should call on some 
official of the place, so as to be able to get along, and 
accordingly, having dressed myself in my best clothes I 
went in search of one. I was soon informed that the 
Deputy Collector was camping in the village which was a 
small one and I went straight to him. He was sitting out 
in the open maidan. 

I do not know the reason, but when he saw me he was 
very courteous, and making me sit down, inquired as to 
my name, etc. Having heard my name, he stood up and 
shook me heartily by the hand, and said that although I 
had not recognised him, he was a great friend of my uncle's. 
Then I remembered him, and his story, which was a queer 

At one time he was posted at Unao, and while there, a 
notorious " Budmash " and highwayman, who had been 
arrested only after great difficulty, was brought before 
him, and was given by him the full term of imprisonment 
permissible by the law. The prisoner then said that he 
would not remain in the jail, and told him to beware of his 

acquires. He is the oracle to be consulted on all occasions ; and 
whether the required solution be of the utmost importance or the 
merest trifling matters, people submit with child -like docility to 
the Najumi's opinion, and that even when their better reason, is 
allowed to hold sway, would decide otherwise. 


nose. It was a known fact that the man had cleverly 
broken out of jail several times before, and the Deputy was 
so frightened at his threat, that he had himself transferred 
to the Central Provinces. His name was Devi Pershad. 

However, after we had conversed for a while. I told him 
the reason for my travel, and of my intention to proceed to 
Sirpur Tandur, and he then said : 

" You can go direct to Chanda* from here, and then 
you will reach Sirpur Tandur without circumvention." And 
he ordered his " chaprasi " to fetch a conveyance for me. 

In a shop opposite to the one in which we had taken re- 
fuge, a gentleman was sojourning, whose name was Mirza 
Abdul Rahim Beg. Tall, of a brown colour, and with a 
white beard falling to his waist, he was playing the 
" sitar." He also came to see me and after enquiring 
about my journey said : 

" Look at the chance ! I am as much a Moghulf as 
you are. And like yourself, I am going to Sirpur, for that 
is also my destination. Get me a conveyance, so that we 
can enjoy each other's company the better. 

However, he himself got the conveyance we wanted, 
and we became fellow-travellers and companions. 

It was the hot season the month was either May or 
June and the heat was unbearable ; and in view of this, 
and of the hot vapours, which, rising from the ground and 
reaching high up to the sky, made it difficult to see any- 
thing through them, we decided that we would travel 
during the night and rest in the day. 

My companion had a gun, and also a sword ; and a 
grown-up son, by the name of Baboo, accompanied him. 

We filled our cart with oranges and left Palakwadi at 

Ghansi Khan had brought an axe with a very long 
handle, and this was the only weapon of offence I had with 

* Chanda is the headquarters of a district of the same name in the 
Central Provinces, on the G.I. P. Railway, Six miles from here is 
Balharsha, the terminus of the Railway, where the Frontiers of 
British India and H.E.H. the Nizam's Dominions meet. Painganga, 
a tributary of the Godavri, divides one portion from the other. 

f Moghul. The term is applied to Mohammedans of Turkish 
descent (Mongol). Such persons athx the title of Beg to their names, 
and often prefix the Persian title, Mirza. 


We commenced our journey at five in the evening, after 
" Isha " prayers, and the next morning, at ten o'clock, 
we alighted at a suitable place, which also gave us shelter 
from the heat. 

During the day we used to wrap several sheets of clotn 
and tape taken from the cot, round the cart, and having 
thus improvised a shelter, we rested underneath it. 

In this manner we reached a place which is called 
Hinghinghat. It was then four in the morning, and we 
agreed that we should stop there ; and while we ^took 
shelter under the shade of a tree, Ghansi Khan, taking a 
vessel, went to fetch water for the " Vazzu " (ablution).* 
He returned with the vessel empty, at about six or seven in 
the morning when the time for the morning prayer had 

I was frightened out of rny wits when I came to know 
that all the wells in the village had run dry, and that even 
the river springs had dried up ; and then Mirza Abdul 
Rahim Beg said that a mistake had been committed in 
taking that route, and that no uater would be found for a 
distance of nine or ten koss. f I was thinking with my head 
lowered, but he rose, and fetching his file of papers began 
to read an elegy composed by himself. 

Although he was a gentleman, far advanced in age, I 
could not help being put out, and I asked him whether that 
was the occasion for him to act as he was doing. He replied 
that I was comparatively a young man, without any ex- 
perience of the world, and therefore lost heart at the least 
misfortune. And saying that he had dreamt many such 
troublesome dreams, he closed his file, and began to dis- 
course and comment on a couplet of Ghalib's : 

" A meeting with you, if not difficult, then 'tis easy : 
The difficulty is this, that it is not difficult." 

Much against my wish I began, in consideration of the 
man's age, to comment upon this. ________ 

* The Holy Koran. Vazzu or Ablution. The description and 
how to perform, vide the Holy Koran by Moulvi Mohamed Ah, 
M A., LL.B., preface XV, ii. 

t The Koss vanes much in value, but in most parts of Inoui 
it is reckoned as equal to two miles. According to the N.W.F. 
Gazetteer, page 568, the nearest approximate value to the Agra Kos 
is i J miles. 


While we were thus engaged, we had not noticed that 
a young man, wearing only a loin-cloth and a shirt, was 
standing, holding a branch of the tree overhead and 
listening intently. He now advanced and asked permission 
to sit on the carpet. I took him to be either a pandit or 
" kyasth." 

He sat down, and having read a couple of Ghalib's 
verses, wanted me to comment on them. I was very much 
struck at this, and began to explain their meaning. 

Abdul Rahim Beg quietly got up and went away in a 
certain direction, and then returning, said to me in a 
whisper, that this gentleman was the Tahsildar of the 
place. He afterwards spoke to him. 

" Mr. Tahsildar/' he said, " this young traveller is 
Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib's grandson/' The man rose 
and having stated that he was a pupil of Ghalib's through 
correspondence, embraced me with great fervour, and then 
asked me to accompany him pointing to the gate opposite 
as that of his house. It was only a few paces away. I tried 
my best to be excused, but he would not hear of it. My 
disinclination to accompany him was, indeed, merely 
ostensible, and we both were really glad to accept his 

When we had finished the fine meal he gave us, I, as I 
was washing my mouth out, took a dead scorpion into it. 
I immediately spat the scorpion out, but, all the same, the 
others were greatly excited, and the condition of the 
Tahsildar cannot be described. The latter, as we were 
leaving, gave us a small pot of water to be kept in our cart, 
and said that he had given us a portion that he had kept 
for his children. 

On enquiry, we were informed that during the hot 
season " bhistees " (water-carriers) for the Muslims and 
" Kahars " for the Hindus, brought weekly, sufficient 
water to last seven or eight days. 

We left this God-forsaken place at about five in the 
evening, after " Asar " prayers, and tried, by travelling 
throughout the night, to reach some place where we could 
find water. 

A very amusing incident took place on this journey, 
which is worth adverting to. 

We were proceeding by moonlight, when, all of a 
sudden, the Mirza ordered the carts to be stopped, and 


asked me whether I heard certain sounds. On listening in- 
tently I heard sounds resembling those made by bells. My 
companion then declared that dacoits were after us, and 
we others felt anxious. With a view to protection, the 
Mirza now posted himself behind the carts with the gun in 
his hand, with the intention of guarding the rear, and post- 
ed his son to the right, with the sword ; while he made 
Ghansi Khan take his axe, and stand in front of the carts. 
He then asked me, who remained unarmed, to stand to his 
left, and said that when the dacoits came in view, I should 
call out to him. While we were making these arrangements 
the sound came nearer. 

I was the first to set my eyes on a rustic approaching. 
He was naked ; and on his shoulder carried a stick to which 
was attached a weight. He came running towards us, and 
then I saw that the weight on his stick was a cluster of 
bells. He was a postal runner ! I began to laugh and called 
aloud to the Mirza that the dacoits had come. He became 
excited and asked me where, and in what direction ; but he 
was very much ashamed when he became aware of the 

After completing several stages of our journey, we 
gradually entered a rather thick jungle, where the ground 
was strewn with boulders. The Mirza Sahib was our guide. 
It was here that he asked me for twenty rupees, promising 
to repay the amount at Sirpur. As the jungle was pretty 
thick, we agreed to the impropriety of travelling through it 
during the night. 

Outside a village, the name of which I have forgotten, 
we arranged to encamp. The tiresome journey had brought 
on a stupor, and I slept till I awoke for the morning 
prayer, and then I found that my companion had fled with 
his cart, and disappeared. 

Ghansi Khan was enraged at this, and said that as the 
man could not have gone very far, he would go and catch 
him. But as I was in a strange land, and on a journey, with 
a thick jungle around us, I did not permit him to do so. 

While I sat thinking whither to go and by what route, a 
young man, in white, with a Punjabi appearance, hap- 
pened to pass by, and on seeing me, he came up and made 
certain inquiries. He proved to be the doctor of the town 
close by, and explained his having addressed me by saying 
that they who live out in the jungles do not know what is 


passing beyond. " As you are a fresh-comer/' he said/' you 
may have read the news of what is taking place around. 
Are you aware that a steamer carrying pilgrims has been 
lost in the sea ? As my parents have gone on a pilgrimage, 
I am minded to make these inquiries." 

I replied that if that had happened, I should have 
known of it. 

He then told me, in reply to inquiries I made on my side, 
that I was taking the wrong road, and that Chanda was 
due East, at some distance from where I was. " You will 
have to turn back/ 1 he added. " I have never heard the 
name of Sirpur, but I have heard that the Moglai frontier 
is a few hours' distance. There you may be able to as- 
certain the direction to Sirpur." 

Ghansi Khan then told him that a " budmash " had 
committed a fraud, and gone off with twenty rupees, 

The doctor regretted our helplessness and said that he 
would get us a " begar/' so that after reaching the 
" Moglai " frontier we could get to our destination. How- 
ever, he secured for us a villager (Dher) and said that at 
the next village he would get us another guide, and in this 
fashion we could reach the frontier. He also asked us to 
pay something to these villagers as a compensation for 
their trouble. 

We resumed our journey and reached a village at about 
mid-day but our guide, who went to fetch another to take 
his place, returned from the village to say that the Patel 
refused to provide the " begar "and to ask leave for him- 
self to go. At this I became very anxious, and I asked the 
man who was the Patel of the place. He replied that he was 
the headman of the " Dhers."* 

r. _ The tanner caste of the Maratha Districts is numerous 
also in all parts of the Carnatic, and is to be found, too, in a smaller 
number, in some parts of Telingatia. 

The name " Dher " means " horned cattle," and is doubtless 
bestowed upon this caste with reference to their occupation of 
tanning and dressing cattle-skins. They appear to be a degraded 
branch of the great Chambhar caste of the Marathawada country ; 
and this view derives support from the fact that, in whatever country 
they are found settled, they speak Marathi as their home tongue. 
They are robust and fair, with well-developed chests and wide 
faces, and in all their features they give evidence of a Maratha 
origin. Also, the Maratha title of " Jhi " is affixed to their names. 

The Dhers are divided into five endogamous groups, viz. (i) 


Having heard this Ghansi Khan said that he would 
fetch him by force, and asked me not to let this fellow go 
meanwhile. Ghansi Khan really succeeded in getting hold 
of a " Dher " who was naked from head to foot and 
asked my permission to take him before the Tahsildar, who 
was then camping close by. 

The Patel was very much frightened at this, and pro- 
mised to give us a guide. He intimated, however, that the 
frontier was about one or two koss (about two miles) from 
where we were, and that he would expect eight annas for 
the guide and one rupee for himself as remunera- 

At this Ghansi Khan boxed his ears for him, and said 
" My man, you are quarrelling with a gentleman who is the 
friend of the Tahsildar/' 

But I intervened, and promised the Patel payment on 
condition that he gave us a good guide, 

At about " Asher " time, we reached the Wardha river, 
and having crossed it, entered for the first time the 
Moglai jurisdiction. Facing us was a village and when we 
arrived there the people assembled around us. 

Then a tall, brown-complexioned man, who, dressed in 
white, was armed to the teeth he had a sword in his hand 
a shield thrown on his back and a pistol and dagger at- 
tached to his belt came up to me, and, after hearing my 
story, was very polite. He said Sirpur Tandur was about 
four or five stages on, and he got me a " charpoy " (cot), 
etc., which were the necessary concomitants of travel in 
those days I learned that this man was the Thekadar 

Range Dher, (2) Budhale Dher, (3) Kakayya Dher, (4) Chain bhar 
Dher, and (5) Shadu Dher. 

Owing to their iilthy occupation and habits, the Dhers have been 
condemned to the lowest grade in the Hindu social system, and 
hold, at the present day, a rank superior only to the Maha Mang and 
other degraded classes. 

(" The Castes and Tribes of H.E.H. the Nizam's Dominions/' 
by Syed Sirajul Hassan, Vol. I, pp. 171-176.) 

Kahar, Kahar Bhoi, Mahigir, are a very small fishing and agri- 
cultural caste, some of whose members are engaged as palanquin- 
bearers. It is represented as a mixed ^ aste, descended from a Brah- 
man father and a Nishad mother. The social status of the caste is 
superior to that of the Bhois and interior to that of the Maratha 
Kunbis, from whose hands they eat kache, or uncooked food 

(" The Castes and Tribes of H.E.H. the Nizam's Dominions," 
by Syed Sirajul Hassan, Vol. I, p. 300.) 


(contractor) of the village, and that his name was Fateh 

While Ghansi Khan busied himself in the preparation 
of dinner, I got into conversation with this man, and I was 
able to elicit from him that Salar Jung had succeeded in 
establishing the Government prestige even in such an out 
of the way spot as this village, situated as it was in the 
thickest part of the jungle : and I also learned that my 
route lay through difficult country, and was dangerous in 
the extreme. There was not much fear of robbers, but the 
jungle was infested with man-eating tigers and other wild 
animals ; and at every fifty or sixty paces Baghoray 
(warning posts) were constructed to keep the travellers on 
the " qui vive." 

The cart-men becoming aware of the danger through 
which we should have to pass, now refused to go farther ; 
but on Fateh Khan assuring them that he had not even 
seen a fox, they gave way, and we proceeded. 

On our reaching Rajura, however, the cart-men again 
refused to go on, and I became more anxious than ever, for 
the whole prospect was new and strange to me. The jungle 
around me was so thick, that owing to the great trees that 
raised their heads to the sky, the rays of the sun could 
hardly penetrate to the ground. It was also full of animals 
of all kinds, both ferocious and harmless ; and, in addition, 
here were we without food, unarmed, in a strange country, 
and under a Government of which I knew nothing. 

Rajura* was the headquarters of the Moglai Tahsil. I 
dressed myself in my best, and went out to pay my respects 
to the Tahsildar, but the Chaprasi speaking in a harsh tone 
sent me away, saying that the Sirkar was resting and 
would not be visible till two or three in the after- 

I returned from there with greater anxiety, but had not 
gone more than a few steps, when I saw a few men in uni- 
form. On my inquiring who these were, I was told that 
they were police, and that the Inspector was in his office. 
So I made up my mind to try my luck there, and told the 

* Pajura is situated 5 miles from the Painganga, the river which 
forms the boundary between British India and the Nizam's Domin- 
ions. It is the headquarters of a Tahsil of the same name, and forms 
the North East Taiuka of the Adilabad District, in the Warangal 


policeman on duty to inform the Inspector that a traveller 
had come to see him. 

The Inspector permitted me to enter his office, and 
then, the moment he saw me, he came forward and em- 
braced me, and asked me how I managed to be there in 
that God-forsaken place, * 

I was astonishment personified, and much wished to 
know who he was, but for the sake of keeping up 
appearances, reciprocated his enthusiasm as if I knew 

We fell to talking and relating our experiences, and 
while we were thus engaged, he gave orders for things to be 
provided for my entertainment. I now ascertained that his 
name was Mirza Ahmed Baig, and that he was the nephew 
of Mirza Walee Baig ; and he stated that he used often to 
see us in Lucknow. 

We rested comfortably there for a day, and left on the 

The Inspector sent two policeman to accompany us, 
and finally, having covered the route in safety, we arrived 
at Sirpur, where I met my elder cousin. 

He was greatly astonished as to how I had managed 
to reach the place, safe and sound, and praised my 

I spent the remaining portion of the hot season and the 
whole of the rainy season there ; and while I was pre- 
paring to leave for Hyderabad, my cousin, on the other 
hand, having obtained leave, got into readiness to go to 

Sirpur* is a small town situated in the midst of a thick 

* Sirpur is the head-quarters of a Tahsil of the same name in 
the Adilabad District of the Warangal (Eastern) Division. In 
the early days, when there were no railways, travellers from Upper 
India followed the route touching Rajura, Sirpur, Nizamabad, etc., 
on their way to Hyderabad, Now a railway has been opened from 
Manmar direct to Hyderabad, much to the convenience and comfort 
of the inhabitants and the prosperity of the country. When the 
author was on his way to Hyderabad, he left the railway at Bhusawal, 
and traversed the country via Nagpur and Chanda in British India, 
and Rajura (Manakgarh), Sirpur (Tandur), etc., in the Nizam's 

The district is known for its valuable forests and big-game 
shooting. Tigers and wild animals are so numerous, that they are 
known to enter villages even during the day-time and carry off 
cattle and human beings. The district is comparatively thinly 


jungle. The inhabitants who are called Ghonds* live in 
grass huts. Their colour is black, and they go about almost 
naked. The men, however, wear also a piece of cloth 
wrapped round their heads ; and the women wear a piece 
of cloth thrown over their breasts, which taken over their 
right shoulder and under the left armpit, is tied behind 
their backs. This is the only dress these people have. The 
features of the men are very similar to those of the Turco- 
mans. The women, with the exception that they are of a 
polished black colour, possess very good features, and they 
have long hair. Long ago the village was protected by a 
mud fortress. But that built in ancient days is now a mass 
of ruins, and only its gate, which, in their parlance, is 
called a " bunk " remains. 

I had a grass shed, with improvised bamboo tatties to 
take the place of walls put up for myself, and living in 
it I spent the hot and the rainy seasons under its shelter. 

I occupied myself with reading some English books 
which I had with me, and also practising essay-writing. 

Manik Rao, who was a clerk in the Tahsil, used to read 
Anwar-i-Suhali with me, and Munshi Amiruddin, Persian. 
The latter, a man of very short stature he hardly came 
up to my shoulders with a long beard which fell on to his 
chest, was the Amaldar of this Taluka, and considered him- 
self a great Persian scholar, both in prose and poetry. He 
wrote his judgments in flowery and bombastic language. 
He was on a visit to this village, to dispose of certain cases 
and to inspect the Tahsil office. 

The Police Inspector was an illiterate fellow who was 
at one time a butler to some English officer. His age could 

populated, because of the dense vegetation, which, as a rule, breeds 
malaria and causes many deaths. 

A new Railway line is being laid from Kazipet to Chanda, which 
will open up the wild tracts of the Adilabad and Kanmnagar 
districts, and bring the Central Provinces within easy reach of 

* The Ghonds. The members of this tribe, the head-quarters of 
which is Nagpur, in the Central Provinces, are believers in ghosts 
and sorcery. A great many of them now profess Hinduism, and have 
replaced their Peer or great God by Mahdeo. A Ghoncl child is 
shaved and named on the hith day alter its birth. The Caste assem- 
bles at a feast of Jowari (Holcus Saccharatus) bread and liquor, 
at which the women sing songs in praise of the child's ancestors. 
The following are the names ol borne of their gods : Dhimba, Bhar- 
garai, Thakur Deo, Pharsi Pen, Buvi Deo and Gorla Deo. 


not have been less than sixty or sixty-five years. He had a 
big Madrassi turban, and wore a shirt, and a cloth bound 
round his body, instead of trousers. He spoke Urdu with a 
typical Madrassi accent. 

A company of Arabs was stationed at the Tahsil for the 
protection of the treasury. It had for its commander an 
aged Arab, who was called " The Chaous " ; and he used 
to offer me coffee daily, after " Zohir " prayers. 

The Inspector lived on the people of the place, even to 
the extent of having his horse fed and groomed and looked 
after by the ryots. And when he wished, he went into the 
jungle and shot buck, and then kept the flesh dried and 
hung up for days, Thus he was able to save the whole of his 

My cousin and I had either chicken for our meals or 
went without any meat, because only once in the week was 
a sheep slaughtered, and the meat distributed to those who 
had a desire for it. 

God was merciful and saved me once from the bite of a 
snake, and at another time from a tiger. 

The Inspector and myself often went out in the after- 
noons towards the tank. It was known that a cobra of a 
light colour lived in the ruins of the fortress. It was a long 
powerful reptile, and used to come out of its resting-place 
at about sunset, and attack those who happened to pass 
that way, with the result that the road in the direction 
was perforce closed. One day when the Inspector and 
myself had proceeded to the tank, I saw that the time for 
sunset prayers was fast approaching, and so, having said 
my prayers in a hurry, I returned home. The Inspector, 
however, being in a forgetful mood, delayed his return, 
and, consequently, while he was on this road the snake 
confronted him. He thought his time had come, but he 
raised his gun to his shoulder and fired at it* The bullet 
struck the snake on its hood, but as it had grown dark, the 
man did not know this, and remained standing in a 
stupefied state, while reciting the Kalima all the time. 
When, however, he found that the snake did not attack 
him, he came somewhat to his senses, and dropping his gun 
he fled from the scene, finally arriving at my house, in 
such a state of terror, that he fell on my cot, crying aloud, 
" Snake ! snake ! " 

On another occasion it was on the night following the 


above incident a hue and cry was raised in the village 
that a tiger had been seen to enter it. The " Chaous/' with 
a few of his Arabs armed with firelocks came over to me, 
because the tiger had jumped over the " tathe " (grass- 
barrier) surrounding the place where I lived, and entered 
the closet ; and the son-in-law of the Chaous, who went by 
the name of " Abdu," with great courage went in and shot 
the brute there. 

who had become my pupil, brought me a large Arab 
horse. It was of a grey colour, but much advanced in age ; 
and I bought the animal for Rs.i2. My cousin left for 
Delhi via Chanda ; and I, seated on this horse, with my 
belongings, and Ghansi Khan in the cart, said good-bye to 
the Inspector and the " Chaous/' and left for Hyder- 
abad with two policemen as guards. I said my " Isha" 
prayers in an open maidan, near which I found 
an encampment of "Binjaras." * Around this open 
expanse of country was a thick forest of tremendous 
dimensions, and as our way lay through it, people advised 
us to pass the night there, with the Binjaras, who were all 
armed, and enter the jungle in the morning. But being 
young and foolhardy, I made up my mind to negotiate 
the forest then and there, especially as I was told that 
within two or three hours we could get to the other side of 
it, and reach a certain village. But when the people 
threatened me with the fear of the " Binjaras/' I 
decided to approach the headman of this tribe per- 

The fellow was seated on a cot like a Raja, smoking a 
hookah. He had a red turban on his head, and wore a 

* The Binjaras. The Binjaras or Zrmjaras are a wandering 
tribe principally employed as carriers of grain and salt on bullocks 
and cows. They used to form the transport service of Mughal 
armies and the Company's forces at least as late as 1819. Their 
organization and customs are in many ways peculiar. The develop- 
ment of roads and railways has much diminished the importance of 
this tribe. A good account of it will be found in the " Balfour 
Cyclopaedia of India," 3rd Ed., 1885. S. C. Bunjare " Dubois 
Hindu Manners," etc., 3rd Edition. 1906, page 17. states that of 
all the castes of the Hindus this particular one is acknowledged to 
be the most brutal. 


waistcoat, with a dhoti (loin-cloth) that reached to his 
knees. When he saw me he stood up, and then I sat down 
with him on the same cot and made inquiries about the 

He replied that it was difficult to traverse the forest 
at that hour, because it was infested with dangerous wild 
beasts ; but if the bullocks were strong and speedy, one 
could get across before darkness fell. 

I took a " Binjara " from him as a guide, and with the 
name of God the Merciful on my lips, I entered the forest. 
The trees stood high, and the branches entwined them- 
selves in such a manner, that we had proceeded only a 
short distance when the shades of the foliage became so 
dense that we thought night had fallen. The two police- 
men with their guns in front of the cart ; Ghansi Khan 
with his axe, and the Binjara with his weapon, were 
behind it ; and I rode on, sometimes to the right and at 
other times to the left. 

I enquired of the Binjara whether there was any 
fear of robbers and thieves, and he laughing aloud, 
replied, " Sir, under the regime of Salar Jung,* one could 
proceed from here to Hyderabad, with gold displayed on 
his hands, and still come to no harm/' 

While midway in the forest the wooden shaft of the 
cart gave way, and we were suddenly thrown into great 

* Sir Salar Jung I. " The Nizam's Dominions have for nearly 
a whole generation been governed by an eminent Mohammedan 
statesman, first, in the capacity of Minister of the late Nizam, and 
secondly, as Co-regent during the minority of the present Nizam. 
The amelioration effected within this time will hardly be realised 
by any save those who are acquainted with the cankers which used 
to eat into the heart of that hapless State. The Arab mercenaries, 
nominally the servants, but really the masters of the Nizam, pro- 
fessedly his guard, but in action his controllers, have been brought 
within manageable compass ; rich districts have been rescued from 
the avaricious grasp of military chiefs to whom they had been 
mortgaged in security for arrears of pay due to the troops ; the 
Rohillas, who prowled about the country like hungry wolves, are 
resting in enforced quiet ; and the mob at the capital, Hyderabad, 
once a seething and surging mass of devilry, has been cowed and 
quelled. A regular administration in civil affairs has been introduced 
throughout the country ; and there has been formed a class of 
Native administrators of independence in character, fertility in 
resource, and vigour in conduct. . . . " Vide " India in 1880, by 
Sir Richard Temple, Bart. (pp. 67-68). 


Ghansi Khan advised me to take one of the two police- 
men and get on across, but I refused to leave my men. The 
policemen wanted to go and fetch a carpenter, but Ghansi 
Khan whispered to me that if I allowed them to go, they 
would not return that day, and we should be left in the 
lurch. So I refused to agree to their doing so. 

We then collected dry leaves and wood, and making 
them into piles on four sides, lighted bonfires. That done 
we tied the horse and bullocks to the cart, and the men 
sat close to it. 

I, myself, climbed a tree, and selected a strong thick 
branch, on which I sat astride, with my back to the 
trunk. During the night we (by the grace of God !) 
did not hear a single movement or sound from any wild 

At day-break I said my prayers, and then sent one of 
the policemen to the village ; and at the end of about two 
hours he returned with a carpenter. 

We started again at about ten o'clock. On the way we 
came across a dry " nullah/' and then the men raised a 
cry, It appeared that traces of a tiger were visible on the 
sand, and therefore they wished to stop ; but I did not 
allow the cart to tarry, and I rode across the rivulet at a 
gallop. The horse, however, with raised ears, became 
restive, and then, looking here and there, I saw a tiger 
sitting with its back towards us, on a mound in front. He 
only turned to look at me once, and then, getting 
down, bounded away in the opposite direction. 

Eventually we reached the banks of the Godavery, 
where we found several men dressed in white, resting. 
Possibly they were in the service of the State. Leaving the 
cart on this side of the river, I had the horse tied to the 
coracle, on which, with my companions, I then em- 
barked. And thus we crossed the river. 

The policemen managed to hire a cart on the other 
side of the river, to take me to Hyderabad, and then 
biding me good-bye, they turned back with the 

I reached Karimnagar by stages through a veritable 
forest of custard -apples, which I thoroughly enjoyed. 
This town was in a prosperous state, and was the head- 
quarters of the Talukdar and other officials. 

I stopped a day outside the town, under a shady tree, 


and then went on to Amjal ; and leaving there, the next 
day I arrived at Hyderabad.* 

* Hyderabad. A description of Hyderabad, from the pen of 
Captain R. F. Burton, published in the " Times of India," nth 
March, 1876, is most interesting. It can be found in " Hyderabad 
Affairs/' page 335, and extracts Irom it are given below. 

" Hyderabad owes its origin to Sultan Mohamed Kuli II, of the 
Kutb Shahi or Golconda dynasty, who, about A.D. 1520, built a 
country palace for one oi his mistresses, the lady Baghvati, and called 
the outpost Bhagnagar. 

" It is said that Mohamed Kuli Khan once rode out a-hunting, 
and passed into a forest, which, occupying a beautiful spot, was 
envied for its pleasantness and purity of air. There he was pleased 
to build a city, and ordered astrologers of skill and discernment 
to fix the auspicious moment for laying the first stone. The year 
in which the city began is known by the words, " Ya Hafiz " ^(A.H. 
1000), and that ot its completion, " Farkhunda Bunyad," the 
modern title (A H. 1006). 

" It became the capital of Nizam-ul-Mulk (a regulator of the 

The head of the Asaf-Jahi House. Shortly after the Emperor 
Aurungzeb, in 1687 captured Golconda, and led prisoner the last 
Kutb-Shahi King, Abul Hubsain, popularly known as Tana Shah. 

" The city is said to measure 14 miles in circumference, and 
contains 400,000 souls." 

Captain Burton's description, although faithful, is much out 
of date. The present city can bear comparison with the capital 
cities of India. It is most picturesquely situated on the banks of 
the River Musi, and has extended far and wide in all directions so 
much so that Secunderabad Bolarum and Begumpett now form its 
suburbs. It is considered to be the fourth city in India, after Cal- 
cutta, Bombay, and Madras, with a population of over 500,000 

Founded in 1589 by the above-mentioned Mohamed Kuli 
(Golconda is five miles west of Hyderabad), the capital lies in 
if 22 N. latitude and 88^7 E. longitude, arid is on the N.G.S. 
Railway, being distant by rail, 492 miles from Bombay, 533 miles 
from Madras, and 987 miles from Calcutta. Built in the form of a 
parallelogram, six miles in circumference, and covering a total 
area of some two and a half miles, the city is surrounded by a stone 
wall, flanked with bastions, and pierced with thirteen gates and twelve 
khirkis or posterns. 

The rule of His Exalted Highness Sir Meer Osman Ah Khan 
Bahadur, G.C.S.I., G.B.E., may well be compared with that of the 
Emperor Shah Jehan, famous in History, for architecture and other 
works of public utility. On the banks of the River Musi, the 
High Court Building, the Osmania Hospital, and the City College, 
adorn the city, and vie with each other in magnificence of design 
and graceful proportions. The river banks are turned into beautiful 
gardens, with lawns and kiosks. In course of time, with a good 
supply of water in the river, the landscape will surpass in beauty 


My cousin had given me a letter when I was leaving 
Sirpur, and the following was written on the envelope : 
" This should reach my brother Hakim AH Raza, at 
Mustaidpura, in the city of Hyderabad." I went, making 

the scene witnessed on the River Seine, Pans, or the Kiver Thames, 
close to Kew Gardens. 

The mam street running North and South which nearly divides 
the city into two equal parts, is no longer the Puthar Gutti of old, 
which Captain Burton describes as follows . 

" There is no pavement except patches of black basalt, which 
reminded my wife of the Saleh-i-yyan Causeway at Damascus ; 
and in places the original granite still outcrops in uninjured 

Now the thoroughfare is made available for horse and motor 
conveyances, and on both sides shops are in course of construction, 
with a definite plan in architecture, which make it one of the most 
beautiful streets in India. 

It is not necessary for me to allude here to the vast changes 
that have and are taking place since the time His Exalted Highness 
ascended the throne. Suihce it to say, that, even to a casual observer, 
the improvements all round are visible. A visit to Osman Saugar, 
Himayath Saugar, and the Nizam Saugar, which is in course of 
construction, will speak for itself. 

In conclusion I may quote a passage of Captain Burton's about 
the orderliness of this City, which still enjoys immunity from the 
operations of the Arms Act, even though it abounds with Arabs, 
Pathans, Sikhs, and Kohillas, who go about fully armed, and are 
apt to tall out at the slightest provocation. Captain Burton says ; 

" Forty years ago Hyderabad may have been a turbulent city 
in which Europeans could not enter without insult or injury, and 
where lawlessness and recklessness of life were the laws of the land, 
but a couple of generations, and, let me add, the progressive measures 
of an enlightened Minister (Sir Salar Jung 1 ) t have completely 
changed the condition of things. Still, popular and even official 
opinion, whose watch is always an age or two behind the time, 
refuse to admit the change. ' You have come from a place where you 
may be murdered at any moment,' was the remark of a late \iceroy 
to an Englishman who had taken service under H.H. the Nizam ; 
and yet during the last 35 years I am assured that not a single 
European has been murdered in the Moslem Dominions, and the 
only one wounded suffered the consequences of his own fault. 
Nothing was done here by the enraged peasantry to the gentleman- 
sportsman who engaged in a battue of the prince's tame deer. ' Of 
course you had a large escort,' said a friend to me in Bombay, on 
hearing my tale. We had nothing beyond a Mahout (elephant- 
driver), but prejudices engendered by our interests are not easily 
disposed of." This was in 1876, and now by comparison Hyderabad 
is the most peaceful city in India. One does not hear of the armed 
dacoities that are of almost daily occurrence round about Calcutta, 
Dacca, and other capital cities of India, not to speak of the recent 
dacoities in New Delhi. 


enquiries, direct to this place, and standing at the gate of 
the house, called out to the Hakim Sahib. A young man, of 
a brown complexion and of middle height, with cloth 
round his loins, and with a black handkerchief wrapped 
round his head, came out. After greeting him I handed 
him the letter. 

He read it over, and then said that his brother, Syed 
AH Raza, was absent for a time, that he himself was Syed 
Ali's younger brother, and that his name was Mohamed 

He intimated that his brother's house was then vacant, 
and that I could occupy it until his brother returned, 
when I could remove into another one. Being tired out 
with my journey, I was thankful to him for this, and 
occupied the house. 

From the start to the finish, of my journey, nine or 
ten months had elapsed. I left Lucknow in May, 1872, arid 
reached Hydeiabad duiing the early part of the year 


My late uncle (on whom be peace !) had given me 
two letters : one was addressed to Nawab Mukhtar-ul- 
Mulk, the Prime Minister, and the other to Raja Kun- 
dasawmy, who was the great Minister's chief attendant. 

Hakim Ali Raza remained away for several months, 
and I continued to live in his house. These brothers were 
the sons of Hakim Niyaz Ali, who was the staff Physician 
of the Royal Household. He was a resident of Darayaganj, 
Delhi, and my cousin and he were great friends. During 
the Mutiny, Hakim Niyaz Ali was sent to the gal- 
lows by order of Metcalfe, and these two brothers, 
with a nephew and niece, fled from Delhi, and sought 
an asylum at Hyderabad. On their arrival there, they 
gave out that their niece was a princess, and they wished to 
make her enter the harem of Nawab Afzul-ud-Dowla 
Bahadur, the ruler of the Deccan. 

In those days Noor-ud-din-Shah Kadri, a resident 
of the Punjab, was the Pir of the Deccan Ruler, 
and His Highness had so much regard for him, 
that he used to send him baskets full of gold and 
jewellery ; and it was widely known that at one time His 


Highness presented him with his own elephant, with 
the State Howclah, with yellow trappings/ Nawab 
Mukhtar-ul-Mulk then informed the Shah Sahib that the 
howdah, with the Royal yellow colour carried with it 
the insignia of Royalty, and that all loyal subjects were 
bound to salute it, and that if the Shah Sahib was agree- 
able to his doing so, he would go to salute it. The Shah 
Sahib having understood the significance of this, 
immediately returned the Ambari. 

During this reign the City contained a very large 
number of Darweshes with strange names. As for instance 
" Dungi Shah," and " Nakki Shah." These men led a life 
of ease and luxury, and had their vakils at the palace, who 
in their turn had become wealthy. But the most influential 
of the Pirs was Hazrut Nur-ud-din Shah Kadri. He was 
a very lean and weak old man, of over eighty years of age 
with a wrinkled face and fleshless bones. Hakim Raza Ali 
tried to gain his object through this gentleman, but, 
instead of his niece going into the harem, the Pir became 
infatuated with her good looks and married her himself. 
The result of it all was that a Mansab of Rs.zoo per 
mensem was conferred on the brother of this lady, through 
the Pir's Sahib efforts : and likewise her two uncles 
received a Mansab of Rs.ioo and Rs.40 respectively. 
Henceforth they lived in comfort. I gave Mohamed Raza 
Rs/25 to provide meals twice a day for myself and Ghansi 
Khan. The Hakim's mouth watered at this and he began 
to address me as the Nawab Sahib. His wife also sent 
word to me that I should not think of removing to another 
house, and that she would look to our comfort. I 
rested for two or three days, and then, putting on my best 
clothes, called on Raja Kundasawmy. 

This man was a contractor of the P.W.D. in the be- 
ginning, ,and was of Telegu nationality. Tall and 
exceedingly black In fact, blacker than even the blackest 
negro he had thick lips, and long ears in which he wore 
small ear-rings. His appearance invited laughter, and 
he conversed confusedly, but all the same he was the 
special favourite of the Minister f for the reason that 
the Resident favoured him, and "that he, the Prime 
Minister, wanted someone, who, while not possessing 
either much ability or capacity to intrigue or pervert 
facts, knew English, and wotild be a sort of inter- 


mediary (vakil) between the Resident and himself* 
Kundasawmy knew sufficient English for the purpose, 
but not a word of Persian or Arabic ; and he knew 
only sufficient Telegu to carry on his work as a contractor. 
His ugly countenance was enough to frighten a Rustum,* 
but as he was the pet of the Resident, he was useful to 
Nawab Mukhtar-ul-Mulk. 

However, making enquiries as to his whereabouts, I 
went in the morning, on foot, and presented myself 
before him. His house a really palatial building, was 
situated in a well-watered and well-kept garden ; and 
the upper storey was well-furnished, with costly furniture, 
chandeliers and mirrors. At that particular time a number 
of palanquins, carriages and horses were standing close to 
the stairs leading into the house, from which I conjectured 
that this was perhaps the time for him to give audience. I 
climbed the stairs without hindrance, and in one of the 
rooms, found Rajah Kundasawmy seated like a Mahadeo 
on a sofa. And there were several people sitting in front of 
him, on chairs, as if in a durbar. 

I raised my hand to my forehead, and sat down. He 
then asked me where I had come from, and I stood up and 
handed him my uncle's letter ; informing him at the same 
time that I had also brought a letter to the Nawab Sahib. 
He replied that he would speak to him on some occasion, 
as the Nawab Sahib had no leisure now-a-days. His formal 
reply was such as to make me return home greatly dis- 
appointed, but I continued to attend his durbar every 
week for a fortnight. 

The next man who could claim as much influence with 
the Minister, as Rajah Kundasawmy, was his contemporary 
Amin-ud-din Khan. The latter 's father had removed from 
Alwar during the Mutiny, to Hyderabad. A very able 
and experienced man, and one who had spent much of his 
time in the society of the learned and the nobility, he 
managed to attain such an influential position in the 
durbar, that he far exceeded all the Madrassi, Hindu, 
Muslim, Parsee and Hyderabadee officials, in gaining the 
favour of the Minister, and was in all administrative 
matters considered to be his right-hand man. 

* Rustum. (Rustam). The name of a celebrated warrior; 
hence a term applied to a hero in general. 


In view of his increasing influence, his remorseless op- 
ponents, without letting the grass grow under their feet, 
got him out of the way by giving him poison. He fell a 
martyr to their machinations ; and the grateful Minister 
then took his two sons into his favour, and lavished 
honour on them. 

Amin-ud-din Khan introduced a large number of 
Delhi people into Hyderabad for instance, Inayat-ur- 
Rahman Khan, Hidayat Ullah Khan, and others and 
also some Oudh people especially the learned men of 
Kakori and through his influence they were appointed 
to honourable posts. Consequently the Madrassis and the 
Parsees had begun to lose ground. 

A man by the name of Rahim Baksh, a servant of the 
King of Delhi and a friend of my father-in-law's cousin, 
Nawab Moinuddin Hassan Khan, having returned from 
Mecca, came to reside at Hyderabad. He opened a tin- 
merchants shop at Patterghatti, and that became a 
meeting-place for the Hindustani element serving and 
carrying on business in the various offices of the Govern- 
ment. These men, clerks, pleaders, etc,, used to rest awhile 
in his shop, while going and returning to their respective 

This man, Rahim Baksh, visited me, and having spoken 
to me about Moulvi Arnin-ud-din Khan, and also about 
my relationship to Bakshi Inamullah Khan he was my 
maternal uncle he then suggested that I should send to 
the latter for a letter of introduction from him to the 
former ; and I agreed to do this. 

I duly received the letter, and taking Rahim Baksh 
with me, I called on Moulvi Amin-ud-din Khan. At the gate 
of his house a large number of conveyances and horses, 
were standing. As I entered the gate I saw a verandah 
with a lofty basement, and those who had come to see the 
Moulvi had all assembled in this basement. At the gate 
itself there was a long big room. After a little while the 
Moulvi descended from this room and came into where 
people were awaiting his presence. They all stood up and, 
bowing low, saluted him. I also stood up. He saw me, and, 
passing, sat close to me with his legs folded under him. 

He was a man of middle-height without moustaches, 
and with the hair of his head falling right down to his ears. 
He wore a dress which was neither an Ungarka not 


Achkan nor Sherwani, but it fell below the knees, and was 
buttoned from his throat right down to below the waist. 
His head-dress was of the same material. 

He did not speak a word to anybody, and after sitting 
for about 10 or 15 minutes, stood up, and then those who 
were present, saluted him and went out. I also went away 
with Rahim Baksh. 

I continued to interview the Moulvi thus on every 
Friday for several months, but could find no way of gaining 
my object. 

One day I received a letter from my uncle, Mirza Abbas 
Baig in which two other letters were enclosed. One was 
addressed from England, by General Barrow, to the great 
Minister, and the other was addressed to Mr. Trevor, the 
First Assistant Resident at Hyderabad, by Mr. Browning 
who was then Director of Public Instruction in the Pro- 
vince of Oudh. Taking this latter letter I called on Mr. 
Trevor. He called me in and very courteously gave me a 
chair and enquired regarding some facts connected with 
my family and education. He then gave me a letter to the 
Prime Minister, and said that whenever I wished I could 
see him. I thanked him for this, and returned home glad. 

My anxiety now, however, was to find some means 
of gaining an audience of the Minister and presenting this 
letter to him. It was rumoured that unless one possessed 
influence, one could not approach the Minister for years 

I used also to call on Shah Nuruddin Kadri, but he had 
become wealthy, and remained a derwesh only in name. 
He remained aloof from Government officials and I found 
no opportunity to speak to him, because his saintly 
arrogance had made him very proud. His nephew, 
Rahimuddin Kadri, was a tall Punjabi youth, who spoke 
the Punjabi language, dressed like a Punjabi, and was very 
polite. The uncle and nephew, however, never could agree, 
and the former had selected his younger brother-in-law's 
son to take his place after him. But his Vakil, Mirza 
Gazanfer Beg, had managed to ingratiate himself with 
Moulvi Amin-ud-din Khan, and used to get things done 
for the Shah Sahib, with a great show of loyalty and 
faithfulness. He was, however, a cunning sycophant, and 
a partisan of the Shah Sahib's nephew. 

I was young and inexperienced, and proud of my family 


traditions, and had been educated and brought up in a lordly 
style ; and having on two occasions waited in vain for an 
audience, I was dismally disappointed ; and, my nature 
revolting, I made up my mind to go away and seek my 
fortune elsewhere. I did not care to be a burden on the 
generosity of my uncle any longer. 

At last I thought of consulting the poetical works of 
Hafiz, and lo, this couplet came to view : 

" I should not be surp.Led if I secured a central 
seat in Ghazal writing, because I have served the 
lord of Poesy for years together/' 

After reading this couplet I felt somewhat consoled. 

A gentleman by the name of Syed Anwar Ali, lived in 
this Mohalla. He was serving in the Secretariat office of 
Moulvi Amin-ud-din Khan, and he used to come every 
night to me, and read out the elegies which he was ac- 
customed to compose. He was a pupil of " Dabir," and was 
very humorous. Apart from poetry, he laid claims to 
proficiency in the art of soldiering. 

One night, finding me rather anxious, he enquired the 
reason for it, and sending for a pot full of water, asked me 
to get it placed in the court-yard, adding, " After having a 
wash, I will take the ' Istakara ' (divination) for you. 

He did so, and then said, " You will not require an 
intermediary, but can see the Diwan " (Prime Minister), 
" on any day you go/' and he dissuaded me from my 
intention of going elsewhere. I remained silent. 

I often sat outside the door of my house after " Assur," 
prayers on a bench right on the road, and at such times I 
used to see a person* wearing only a loin cloth, and carrying 
a thick stick in his hand, jumping about and cantering 

* Sufi (Majzub). It must, however, be explained that there are 
two classes oi the professedly devout Sufis, viz., the " Sahiik" and 
the " Majzub." The true Sahiik Sufis are those who give up the world 
and its allurements, devote themselves entirely to their Creator, and 
are insensible to any other enjoyments but such as they derive from 
their devotional exercises. The Majzub Sufis have no established 
homes or earthly possessions. " Majzub " in its literal sense means 
abstracted. Many people suppose this class have lost possession of 
their reason, and make excuse for their departure from the law on 
that score ; both classes, nevertheless, are held in great respect, 
because the latter are not deemed guilty of breaking the law since 
they are supposed to be insensible to their actions while indulging 
in things forbidden. 


along towards the road leading to the city, He would soon 
afterwards return from the direction of the Poorana Pool 
(the old Bridge), drunk with " Sendhee,"* with the saliva 
trickling from his lips, and escorted by a crowd of street- 

One day, on his returning from the Old Bridge he 
came straight towards me, and snatching my hookah 
(pipe) drew a long breath and puffed it out towards the sky 
Having done so, gambolling and cantering, he proceeded 
further with the same escort of urchins, while I called for my 
servant and had the mouthpiece of the " hookah " washed. 

When however, I found that this gentleman began to 
treat me similarly every day, I took my seat inside the 
gate ; but then he commenced to come in, too ; and one 
day, after snatching my hookah again, and drawing in the 

* P. Sylvestu:;, Koxb ; J/.JL>.i. Vi-^25. Jbraiidis, " Inci. Trees," 
644. Gamble, " Ind. Timbers," 731 Vein Khajur, Sendhi ; the wild 
date Palm. 

An erect, dioecious palm, common all over India, wild or culti- 
vated, and regarded by Gam Die and other authorities as " certainly 
indigenous." It is found throughout the dominions, sometimes 
occupying large areas, and forming a gregarious forest growth, in 
moist ground usually along the banks of rivers and the beds of 
streams and watercourses. 

The chief product is the sap, or toddy, for which it is universally 
tapped, and which is a source of considerable revenue to the Govern- 
ment. The process of tapping consists in removing the lowest 
sheaths of the leaves, and cutting a notch into the trunk, and then 
a thin slice is taken oft daily from the surface of the cut. A small 
pot is tied below to catch the flow of sap, which is either made into 
fermented liquor, or, to a very limited extent, boiled down into sugar. 

As fresh notches are cut in the trunk, on opposite sides, at inter- 
vals, the tapped trees assume a curious zigzag appearance, and are 
short and stunted in growth. When not interfered with, the tree 
grows tall and straight up to 40 or 50 feet, and from i to 2 feet in girth. 

The wood is a light brown colour, the outer cylinder being hard 
and rough, and the inner soft. Its weight is about 36 pounds per 
c. ft. It is sometimes used for rough building, in the construction 
of temporary dams, bridges and piers ; and the trunks, freed from 
the inner pith, make excellent water-conduits. 

The leaves are extensively used for brooms, and also for plaiting 
into mats, ropes and baskets. The fruit is eaten, but it is of very 
poor quality. The tree flowers from January to February, and the 
fruit ripens in June. 

Toddy is largely consumed in the Telingana Districts, where the 
two kinds of toddy plants (Borassus flabelliges and Phoenix Syl- 
vestris) are cultivated. In the Mahratta districts the palm is rare, 
and the people use Mahua liquor in the city and suburbs and some 
of the district head -quarters, 


smoke, he said, looking into my eyes, " They are calling 
you, and you won't go/' Having said this he went his 
way. I looked into the house, but there was no one there. 
When the incident was repeated again the next day, 
I remained very anxious throughout the night, and at 
last decided to give a trial to the the Mir Sahib's divination 
I again consulted Hafiz, and this couplet was the result : 

" If, like Hafiz, I take the route leading out of 
the forest, it may as well be that I accompany 
the Lord Asaf." 

and the verse gave me such courage, that I made up my 
mind to make a trial of my fortune. 

I got up in the early hours of the morning (about 
4 a.m.), washed myself, sa d my prayers, dressed, and 
put a turban on my head ; and then, having put 
on a " Choga " (overcoat), for it was the beginning of 
the cold season, I got on my pony, (I had sold my horse). 

Just when I got outside the gate of the house I saw a 
sweeper-woman using her broom, and I felt more en- 

At sunrise I arrived at the palace, and without much 
ado entered the gate. The sentry on guard did not stop 
me. I saw a hall facing me, and I went up there. In the 
verandah a few people were sitting in a circle, smoking 
the " hookah/' and without ceremony I made room for 
myself and sat down too, and when the " hookah " was 
sent round I also had a puff at it. At this the man sitting 
close to me enquired who I was ; and when I had informed 
him of my intention, he looked hard at me, and said, 
" Strange, nobody stopped you/' and asked me whether 
that was the time to seek an interview or salute the 
Minister " We/ 1 he went on, " who belong to the Cavalry 
Guard, however, are able to salute him when the curtain is 
raised from the upper storey, at a much later hour. The 
Nawab Sahib then takes our salute / ' And he advised me to 
get away from the place, or, better still, to go away, and 
return at some other time and try to gain an interview. 

Just then, as I was going away, a man, turbaned and 
belted, came out of a room, and seeing me, hastily asked 
who I was, and why I had gone there at that time. I replied 
that the First Assistant Saheb had sent me. " What name 
was that ? " he exclaimed in astonishment ; and he then 


went forward and stood before the curtain. The men of the 
Cavalry Guard also stood in a line, thinking that probably 
the Nawab Sahib had already made his appearance. I took 
my stand behind a pillar. 

In the meanwhile several chobdars arrived and seeing 
me, stared at me ; and my friend the Cavalryman ap- 
proached me, and said in a friendly manner that I had 
better retire, or the " Chobdars " would turn me out by 
force " or/ 1 he added, " promise them some ' Bakshish ' 
to allow you to remain. 

I accordingly asked him to bring one of the chobdars to 
me, and the latter perceiving a E.G. rupee in his hands, 
told me that this was neither the time for the salaam or an 
interview, and that I had better go to one side and sit 
down. The head Chobdar, Fakir Mohamed, would be 
coming, he told me, and perhaps he might be able to give 
me advice in the matter. For an interview, he added, the 
strongest possible influence was required. 

So I took my seat in a corner of the room, and watched 
the people who came and went. 

After a great delay, the same chobdar came to me and 
said that Fakir Mohamed had not come that day, but his 
son was there, and that I had better see him. 

I met this man and showed him Mr. Trevor's letter, 
but he replied in a harsh tone, " You have lost your senses. 
We are not the post office to carry letters. You had better 
find one of the ' durbaries ' for this purpose." 

I replied that if he took my letter, I would serve him 
gladly (i.e. I would remunerate him for his trouble ; and 
on hearing this, he became somewhat reasonable, and en- 
quired what I would give him. I mentioned the figure 
RS.SO; and then taking the letter and rising, he said, 
" Remain sitting I will soon return." 

He disappeared upstairs, and I remained expectant 
till about nine or ten o'clock. 

At last I enquired of the same Chobdar, as to where his 
vagera (headman) had gone, and requesting him to get me 
some information, promised him ten rupees for his trouble. 

Having heard this he followed the " Vagera " upstairs, 
and brought him back, and the latter said, " The Nawab 
Sahib read your letter, and has ordered your presence at 
one o'clock." He then asked me for his remuneration, and 
I requested him to accompany me as far as Pattargatti, 


where he would get his money. But he could not come, 
and asked me to take the same chobdar along with me. 

So, accompanied by the latter, I betook myself to 
Rahim Baksh's shop, and asked him to give me Rs.50 at 
any cost. The chobdar then demanded his share, and I 
told him that I should be back at one o'clock, and would 
give it him then. But he said he would not be there, 
another would have taken his place, and at that I promised 
to remember to bring the money for both of them. And he 
went away pleased. 

I then sent for some food from the bazaar, and, having 
eaten it, sat looking at the equipages of the nobility and 
Jemadars passing to and fro, till one o'clock. 

At one o'clock I returned to the same room, and the 
chobdar having brought the " Vagera " over to me, I 
accompanied him upstairs. 

The first room I was taken to, was furnished with a 
carpet, over which was drawn white cloth, and in the 
centre there was a " Masnad," with a covering ; but from 
this room the " Vagera " took me into another, where a 
few persons were sitting in the expectation of an interview. 
There he made me sit down, and betook himself into an 
inner chamber. He returned almost immediately and said, 
" Get up I You are commanded to appear in the 

The moment I entered the third room, I saw a few 
paces in front of me a Masnad, on which the Nawab Sahib 
was sitting with great dignity. In this posture he appeared 
tall and broad-chested. He was fair-complexioned, and 
was wearing a " jamawar " sherwanee," and on his head 
an embroidered cap. A lot of papers were lying before the 
Masnad, and he was holding several other papers and a 
pencil in his hand. 

At the moment of my presentation the " Vagera " 
called out. " Salute with reverence and in proper order " ; 
and I immediately bowed and salaamed in the Hin- 
dustanee fashion. Then the " Vagera," catching hold of 
my hand, took me close up to the Masnad, and I, ptacirig 
Rs.5 on my handkerchief, presented my Nazzar*. 

Smilingly the Nawab Sahib lifted the rupees and 

* Nazzar. An old custom of presenting small sums of money 
in gold or silver as a sign of homage. 


ordered me to sit down, and then, placing his papers aside, 
he turned to me and enquired my name. 

I stood up and presented my late uncle's letter, and 
he, having read it, looked very kindly on me and enquired 
how long I had been in Hyderabad. He heard what I had 
to say, and then questioned me why I had delayed so 
long in coming to him, stating that no one was prevented 
from approaching him. " Well/' he added, " you may 
continue to come to me without hesitation." After that 
he put several questions about my late uncle and my 

He remained conversing with me for a quarter of an 
hour, and then the servant who carried the scent-box 
brought it over to me. I stood up and took a little scent, 
and then, after saluting the Nawab Sahib, moved back- 
wards, facing him, and so out of the room, quite glad and 
happy at the result. 

I was therefore, the more upset when the Vagera 
informed me that a second interview with the Nawab 
Sahib was an impossibility, as those who came there for 
the " Salaam " had a day appointed for them " but for 
you," he said, no such order was given/' " But on my 
promising to pay him another RS.SO as 'Bakshish/ he 
went inside, and returning, informed me that Wednesday, 
at eight a.m., was fixed for my salutation, and he con- 
gratulated me on the fact that the time fixed for me was 
at an hour when there would be present important noble- 
men who were connected with His Highness's palace. In 
fine, with my presentation at the Durbar, my probationary 
period commenced. 

A short account of the city and its citizens, the nobility 
and the officials of the State, will not be out of place here. 

At this time the adminst ration of Nawab Mukhtar-ul- 
Mulk, Shuja-ud-dowla Salar Jung Mir Turab AH Khan 
Bahadur, was at its zenith. His daily routine was this. 
After a wash and necessary toilet, he used to say his morn- 
ing prayers and recite the Koran. He then received the 
salutation of the servants and guards and other officials of 
his palace. He would make his appearance on the upper 
verandah, whilst these men would stand in a line in the 
court-yard below, and, on the head chobdar giving a warn- 
ing sound, bow and touch their foreheads three times with 
the right hand. After taking the usual morning salutation, 

9 o MY LIFE 

the Nawab Sahib would go down to the garden where 
Tippu Khan and other rough-riders would be present, 
leading horses for his own use, and several spare ones for 
his Staff. At this time a few of his favourite companions 
dressed in long Dakhani " Angarakkas " and Madrassi 
tail-coats, and fully belted and turbaned, would be 
present ; and occasionally his two sons would also 
accompany him. If any fortunate aspirant managed to be 
present there through the good offices of any one of the 
staff, he would then get an opportunity of presenting his 
petition to His Excellency. Sometimes the Nawab Sahib 
went out riding outside the City, towards Sarurnagar ; but 
in any case he would return at about sunrise, and take 
his seat on the Masnad in the gallery. 

His dress was simple. He used to wear a long Persian 
coat of Jamawar (Cashmere), of different shades of 
colours. It had a close collar (sherwani) and hung below 
the knees. He wore a double-chained watch, and a gold- 
embroidered cap of the Bhokara or Samarkand type ; and 
he often wore white pyjamas (trousers). 

He was tall of stature and broad in the chest ; and 
while his beard was shaved and his hair closely cropped, 
he had long moustaches. 

He was of brown colour, and on his broad face there 
shone the prestige and dignity of his position. 

When he visited the Resident, or nobles equal to his 
rank, he used to put on his turban ; and when he presented 
himself at the Royal Palace, he used to wear Jama-Neema 
(a special durbari costume in use in those days). He did 
not care to dress himself in English style. 

Those who attended on him were dressed either in 
Dakhani fashion or in Madrassi clothes. The Hindustani 
servants, however, wore " sherwanis." All these used to be 
present on the days and at the hours appointed for them 
and for the salutation and granting of interviews separate 
rooms were allotted. 

From morning till 12 o'clock at night, the nobles, the 
officers of the troops, the Officials of the Government, the 
Mansabdars of miscellaneous departments, and aspirants 
for offices or otherwise, came and went in one long stream ; 
and to them an hour or half an hour was allotted, accord- 
ing to leisure. The same was the case with those in service 
in the districts and talukas, who called on the Minister 


at the regular time and hour appointed for them. If any 
one of these visited the palace on a day or at a time not 
appointed for him, Fakir Mohamed, the " Vagera/' would 
not announce him. 

This man, Fakir Mohamed, was of a black complexion, 
had a small beard, and was almost doubled with age. He 
wore the turban of his office and carried a staff in his hand. 
With the exception of Government officials, he ruled 
others despotically, and looked after the arrangements of 
the Palace rigorously. If those attending the palace sat 
improperly or did anything irregular, it was Fakir 
Mohamed who with a loud voice, corrected him. He would 
not hesitate even to use his staff. One day Rank Yar-ud- 
dowlah, an eminent officer of Irregular Troops, and a 
Jagirdar to boot, who attended with me, on a particular 
day and hour, for some reason or other, took his turban off 
his head, and immediately Fakir Mohamed, with his staff 
raised, approached the gentleman's bald head and warned 
him that this was the Minister's palace and not his grand- 
mother's house. A gentleman once presented a written 
complaint against this man, and His Excellency wrote 
a reply to the effect that if the gentleman did not consider 
his durbar good enough for him, then he had better not 
take the trouble to attend on him. 

The Minister accepted the " Eed " and the " Nowroz " 
Nazzars at these durbars, and the money so collected, 
which in fact, amounted to a large sum, was considered 
to be the Minister's. The Nawab Sahib never sat in these 
durbars for more than 10 minutes. 

The whole city, with its roads and by-lanes, with the 
exception of the route from Pattergatti to the main gate of 
the Palace, was paved with broad slabs of granite. The 
lanes and the streets were very narrow and in a very filthy 
state, so much so, that the lane leading to the Royal 
Stabling Yard was known as " Muthri Galli " (the 
Urinating lane), and the road that led from the main 
gate of the palace to the Minister's residence, and thence 
to Chadarghat, was fit for horse and carriage traffic only. 

There is a story told about the filthiness of the City. 
The Minister wished to put the city in a sanitary condition, 
but his rivals, among whom the names of Moulvi Mahmood 
and Akbar Ali were included, and who enjoyed the 
confidence of Nawab Vikar-ul-Umra, Rashid-ud-din Khan, 


represented to His Highness, Afzal-ud-Dowla (of heavenly 
abode), that this disloyal Minister was clearing the roads 
with a view to pave the way for the \isit of the British in- 
side the City. On this an order prohibiting the repairs 
of the road and sanitation of the city was issued. 

On the occasions of the anniversaries of the Saints 
(Urus) and " Eed," festivals or marriages, and other allied 
entertainments, the people cooked a special dish which 
they called" Biryanee " (rice, meat and spices, cooked 
together). And in truth, no better dish is cooked anywhere 
throughout India. 

Bedsteads were not in existence then, and even the 
highest nobles slept on a bedding on the ground ; and a 
story used to go round that in Hyderabad, only one in a 
hundred had escaped scorpion sting. 

As for the literacy of the generality of the inhabitants, 
they used to get their letters written by other persons, 
who formed a community of their own for this purpose. 
The language of the people was a type of antiquated 
Urdu. The whole of the city possessed one poet whose 
poetical pseudonym was " Faiz." I happen to remember 
one line (" Misra ") of his : 

" He became uncontrollable, and I also divested 
myself of my clothes/* 

This was the condition of the Mussulmans of the City. 
As for the Hindus, the " Kyasts," and the Brahmins, 
the former to a greater, and the latter to a lesser extent, 
were versed in accounts. The distinction was due to the 
fact that the Mussulmans were either professional 
soldiers, or were employed in the Regular Troops, or 
received mansabs or allowances. 

It used to appear to me as if I had come into an en- 
campment, especially when I happened to sit at Rahim 
Baksh's shop. I used to see a kaleidoscopic scene before 
me, with the lesser noblemen and Officers of the Irregular 
Troops, going to and fro to the Minister's Palace, in their 
conveyances, escorted by their retainers, with great pomp 
and grandeur. But the most interesting sight was seen 
on the 5th. of Mohurrum, on which day the Minister's 
palace was specially decorated for the entertainment of the 
British Officers. From the early hours of the morning the 
Irregular Troops, the Paigah Troops, the Sarf-i-Khas and 


the Peshkar's Troops, in their varied uniforms old and 
new, marched past ; the Jemadars, bedecked with jewels, 
dressed in variegated and bright colours with the para- 
phernalia of rank followed ; while the Arabs with drawn 
swords, firing their matchlocks, came dancing along to 
the tunes of their national music, followed by the stalwart 
braves of the African Cavalry Guard and Myseram 
Regiment, in their picturesque costume with bag-pipes 
discoursing martial music. And then after these, came the 
Regular Troops under the command of Colonel Neville, 
with English bands playing delightful music. This martial 
host filed past, one troop following another, saluting the 
Dewan and the English guests, after which they marched 
to the residence of the Peshkar, via the old palace. 
Thence they proceeded to the Panch Mahal Palace, to 
salute His Highness, the Nizam ; and then, doubling back 
to Char Minar*, dispersed to their various cantonments. 

* Char Minar. In the very heart of the city, denoting th e 
intersection of four main streets, rises the Char Minar (" Fou r 
Minarets "), the work oi Mohamed Kuli Kutb Sliahi (1591). Uhe 
forefronts are broken by long lines of windows and the Minarets, 
which are 180 feet high, and spring from the abutments of open 
arches facing the cardinal points, aie not very top-heavy the mam 
fault of Hyderabad mosque architecture in general, whilst the 
strangulated dome too much resembles the onion. 

During the occupation of the Moghuls one of the minarets 
was struck by lightning, and its reconstruction cost Rs. 60,000. 

M. Bussy, the French General, and his troops occupied the 
Char Minar in 1756 ; and the building was thoroughly renovated 
by Sir Salar Jung a few years before his death. 

The block to the South- West, with the upper lattice windows, is 
occupied with the palace of His Highness ; and the Sepoy guard, 
with the quaint chimney-pot shakos, whose topknot is split in two, 
dating from the days of the old Jack Sepoy and the French officer, 
reminds us of the las>t century. 

Close to it is the Mecca Musjid, built about A.D. 1600, by the 
same King. The date of its completion is A.H. 1023, as is known 
by the words, " Baytul-Atik " (Kaaba). The height above the 
ground is 108 feet, and the cost computed at 33 lakhs. It is 225 feet 
long and 180 feet broad, and occupies a paved quadrangle 360 feet 
square. It is built entirely of stone, and fifteen arches support the 
roof, which is surmounted by two large domes ; and it can accom- 
modate 10,000 worshippers. Mohamed Kuli Kutb Shah did not 
live to see its completion, but after his death its construction was 
continued by Abul Hassan, and finally completed by Aurungseb. 
Hyderabad may well be proud of her Jaama. 

A marked feature in Hyderabad is the " Tak " or " Kamaan," 
that takes the place of the triumphant gate. It is a pointed arch, 


This wonderful " Tamasha " (the well-known Lungar* 
procession), maintained the glory and dignity of the state 

with horizontal coping and side windows, which, towering above the 
lower tenements, crosses a thoroughfare ; it relieves the mournful 
aspect and forms a resting-place for the eye. The Royal founder 
directed the four main bazaars to be fronted by as many elevated 
arches the Char Kamaan. 

I may here also refer to the " Gulzar House," formerly known 
as the Chaharsu-ka-Hauz. It is a pretty cistern up the main street, 
leading to the Char JMinar, and forms the centre of the Char Kamaan 
alluded to above. 

The reign of the present Nizam, His Exalted Highness Mir Osman 
Ali Khan will ever be remembered as is that of Emperor Shah 
Jehan, for the construction of splendid buildings and beautiful 
lairy-like parks along the banks of the River Musi. The High Court 
is housed in an imposing building entirely of stone (granite) and 
surmounted with splendid domes and spires. The Osmarna General 
Hospital opposite lends enchantment to the view. The City Improve- 
ment Trust is busy in evolving a thoroughly modern metropolis with 
broad paved roads and pavements, electrically lighted in the night, 
lined on either side with shops especially designed to enhance the 
beauty of the main thoroughfare. 

* Lungm. The Lungur is a festival peculiar to Hyderabad, and 
though it is usually celebrated on the 5th of Mohurrum each year, 
it is in no way connected with it. A short account of its origin may 
perhaps be not uninteresting. About 300 years ago the young 
Sultan, Abdulla Kutb Shah, was out for an evening ride on an 
elephant, which was newly caught and not quite trained for use. 
Suddenly, to the consternation of the Sultan's attendants, the 
elephant disappeared, and as was afterwards discovered took 
the nearest road to the jungles. The mother of Abdulla Kutb 
Shah, distracted by grief and the dread that something evil 
might befall him, made a vow that, should the elephant safely 
bring back her son, she would cause a golden " lungur " or 
chain to be made, which she would place on the elephant's neck, 
and then take him in procession to the Hussainee Alum, a shrine 
where standards consecrated to the martyrs of Kerbella are 
housed. And from the ist to the loth of Mohurrum, each year, 
they are ceremoniously placed in the " Big Hall," where people 
congregate in their thousands to offer their " Mannuts " (vows) to 
the Saints. This place is within the city wall, close to the Afzul 
Ganj Bridge. 

It is said that after a month and three days, and during the month 
of Mohurrum, the elephant returned, and restored the young prince 
to the arms of the sorrowing mother ; and this lady, in fulfilment of 
her vow, ordered a chain of gold, 384 ounces in weight, to be made. 
This was then put round the elephant's neck, and the animal, 
forming part of a grand procession, was taken to the Hussainee 
Alum, where the chain was broken into pieces and distributed 
amongst the poor. This incident is celebrated annually, though 
latterly it has been much shorn of its former pomp and grandeur. 


and caused much astonishment to the British who were 
invited to see it. They felt that the nineteenth century 
had not yet arrived, and that they were still in the times of 
Akbar and Aurangzeb. The grandeur of this wonderful 
sight remained untarnished during the lifetime of this 
Minister, and perhaps to some extent to the times of 
Maharajah Narinder Pershad ; but during the regime of 
Nawab Laik Ali Khan, much of its glory was lost, and 
after him, the candle, which was flickering went out. And 
during the Premiership of Sir Asman Jah and Sir Vikar-ul- 
Umra, the nineteenth century coloured the scene mainly 
through Mohsin-ul-Mulk and Vikar-ul-Mulk that is to say, 
the gorgeous past gave place to the prosaic style of the 
present century.* 

So far as the administration of the State was concerned, 
this far-sighted Minister had bound himself to follow 
certain well-defined rules. 

Every servant of the State, high or low, could ap- 
proach him in person, and was free to place his requests 
before him ; the Persian language was, as far as possible 
made the medium of instruction ; and the scions of the 
nobility were given instruction in methods of practical 
administration. In pursuance of this object, the oldest 
amongst them, like Bashir-ud-dowlah, Mukram-ud-dowlah 
Shamsher Jung and Mir Yavar Ali Khan, were appointed 
Assistant Ministers, with the designation of Sadr-ul-maham 
and as these gentlemen were not very experienced, able 
secretaries were given them. 

Then, with the exception of the higher Revenue 
officials, who were called Sadr-Talukdars, the rest of the 
servants in the administration were not allowed to draw 
more than five hundred rupees salary, and none of them, 
whether high or low, were given the power of dismissal, 
promotion or reduction, although they could make 
a recommendation in this connexion ; and with 
the exception of friendly and private correspondence, 

* Mohurrum. The manner of its celebration and the events 
which led to the assassination of Imam Hussan, the beloved grand- 
son of the Holy Prophet, and the present-day observances are so 
fully described by Mrs. Meer Hassan Ally's " Observation ol the 
Mussulmans of India, descriptive of their Manners, Customs, Habits 
and Religious Opinions," that I need not recapitulate them here. 
Vide pages 6, 17, 25, 32, 51 and 53. 


which was in English, in all administrative affairs com- 
munications with the Resident were made in the Persian 
language. For the ordinary private and friendly corres- 
pondence, an English office was kept, under the charge 
of two Madrassi copyists, and Mr. Bowen, an Anglo-Indian 
who was also called the private Secretary. This office was 
mainly concerned with such matters as requests for 
elephants, horses and carriages, with making appointments 
for interviews or issuing invitations for banquets, etc., 
and with giving permission for " shikar " : but it had 
nothing to do with administrative affairs, 

The Persian daf ter was called the Daf ter-a-Mulki (Home 
Affairs), and Munshi Mohamed Siddeek was its secretary. 
He could write Persian prose exceedingly well, and was a 
straight-forward religious man, and charitable to those 
who came into contact with him. He had daily interviews 
with the Minister. Perfectly content with his pay and pros- 
pects, treachery and intrigue never entered into his mind 
nor did he interfere with things foreign to his depart- 

It is an astonishing fact that nearly all the officials of 
the Executive branch possessed similar qualities of head 
and heart. None of these intrigued, interfered, or, for the 
sake of procuring promotion, used their influence impro- 
perly. They looked only to the Minister and wished to 
secure his approbation in their work ; and this sagacious 
Minister met them with such encouraging politeness, that 
they, always respectful, were at ease in their conduct and 
free in their speech. And some of them, like Syed 
Saad-ud-din, Moulvi Shaik Ahmed, and Darogah Abdul 
Wahab, and, above all, Raza Ali, who used to attend 
fully turbaned and belted, in the mornings instead of 
intriguing used to bring pleasure to the mind of the hard- 
worked Minister, by relating humourous stories, while 
remaining all the time respectful and dignified. With 
regard to the first named, Syed Saad-ud-din, one of his 
countrymen a Madrassi poet, composed a parody, of 
which I remember a couplet. It is this : 

" From biting, snatching and falling on one's 
body, cat, dog and monkey have learnt these 
from you." 

And the Nawab, thus finding relief, used to take part in 


this humour and hilarity. Occasionally, too, he got a 
similar opportunity while playing billiards. 

However, the Mulki office was concerned with all 
correspondence relating to " Kharitas " between the ruler 
of the Deccan and the Viceroy, and also with all com- 
munications between the Prime Minister and the Resi- 

All important political and ordinary affairs in relation 
to the British Contingent of Secunderabad, Bolarum and 
the Berars, and also all matters connected with civil, 
criminal and revenue cases between the subjects of the 
two governments were settled by Moulvi Aminuddin 
Khan, in consultation with the First Assistant Resident. 
But when Mr. Bowen died, and Mr. Oliphant became the 
Private Secretary, the latter had Mr. Syed Hussain 
Bilgrami to assist him. Then, so long as Mr. Oliphant 
remained with the Secretariat, some important matters 
between the two Governments were also made over to 
this office ; but the result of this was that Mr. Oliphant 
had to leave Hyderabad on short notice, nolens volens. 
The reason for this will be mentioned later on. In his 
place, Major Gough, who was Military Secretary, was 
appointed Private Secretary, on the recommendation of 
Captain Clerk. 

In all important matters connected with the person 
of His Highness and the Royal palace, the opinion of 
Nawab Shamsul Umra Amir-o-Kabir Omdut-ul-Mulk was 
taken, Narsing Rao, an enlightened man of honourable 
character, playing the part of a vakil (intermediary) on 
behalf of the Amir-o-Kabir, and being daily in attendance 
on the Minister. 

The personality of the Amir-o-Kabir was very popular 
in the Deccan, and the city people lovingly called him 
" Manjlay Mean/ 1 Well-versed in mathematics, he knew 
Arabic and Persian literature exceedingly well ; and he 
was so pleasant and polite, and so very generous, that, 
apart from his own servants of the Paigah, the city people 
high and low, worshipped him, and all the nobles, jemadars 
and mansabdars of the state bowed their heads in respect 
to him. 

Another rule followed by this Minister, was that 
those of the nobles and other servants who served from 
father to son in the palace, were retained, so that they 


9 8 MY LIFE 

might not be deprived of their hereditary rights. No 
change was ever permitted in this. 

Further, this Minister did not permit any interference 
in the management of the Royal palace, without con- 
sultation first with His Highness's grandmother ; and he 
maintained that lady's prestige so well that in certain 
important political matters, he was able to protect 
himself from the unreasonable interference of the Resident, 
by the use of her ladyship's name. 

He also took care that no European or Anglo-Indian 
servant of the Government should make himself free or 
behave impolitely in the Royal presence. Therefore, all 
such servants, with the exception of the Military officers, 
were allowed in the Royal Presence only with bared heads 
and shoes removed from the feet. In fact no European was 
allowed to sit ; they made their requests standing and 
then retired. The Minister himself, never conversed with 
them in English. It is said, indeed, that he discussed 
political matters even with the Resident, in Urdu. He 
used to say that the Resident would get the upper hand 
of him in a discussion carried on in English, but in Urdu he 
would get an advantage over the Resident. 

Since then I have myself conversed with Europeans 
in Urdu, and they, seeing me with a long beard and in old- 
fashioned clothes, never took me to be as one who knew 
English. Therefore my humble advice to His Highness, 
the late Mir Mahboob Ali Khan (of heavenly abode), 
was that in all important matters he should speak in 
Urdu, and simply say that he would think them over, and 
report his decision on them in writing. 

Above all, the Minister was very particular that those 
of the servants whose domicile was outside the Deccan, 
should on no account have anything to do with his private 
affairs or with the Royal palace. He said that although the 
people of Madras, Hindustan, Bombay and other parts of 
India, are clever, experienced, and well-versed in various 
sciences, it was not in the nature of things, possible that 
they would have the same sympathy as those who, from 
father to son, were serving the State. 

He wished to utilise the knowledge and experience of 
these outsiders in administrative matters only ; and this 
rule was so strictly enforced, that no Dewani official 
was allowed to see the Resident or any other noble of the 


Paigah, without special permission. I will quote a couple 
of instances of this later on. I, the writer, was the only 
person who was exempt from this regulation, and of this 
also I shall speak in its proper place. 

It would be more interesting to know that, so far as 
the Central Treasury and the Accountant-General's office 
were concerned, only Hindus, having members of families 
who have had connexion with the State for generations, 
were employed, and that no Madrassi or Hindustani 
official was appointed in these departments. 

The accounts were kept as in ancient days for the 
Minister used to say that the English way of keeping 
accounts was not only complicated, but would also cause 
delay ; and that from the time of Akbar to the present 
time, the current system had been in vogue and was of 
so simple a nature that one could inspect accounts 
without loss of time.* The Hindus, especially the 
" Kyasths " f amongst them, were the people most com- 
petent to be entrusted with this responsibility. 

It was the rule that every night at 12 o'clock, Pattapi 
Rama Rao, and before him his father, should present the 
register of the Central Treasury to His Excellency the 
Minister, who would put his signature to the last item on it. 
and, thus striking the balance between the expenditure and 
income would close the account for the day. His Excellency 
would then get into his night-clothes and retire for the 
night. As ill luck would have it, the night when he fell ill 
never to rise again, he had signed the register and had 
retired as usual ; and before day-break the hand of death 
had snatched him away from us. As the poet has said : 

" It would be long before the victorious firma- 
ment would pioduce a horseman of your calibre." 

Every age has its own special characteristic. In one 

* " It is partly due to the greater flexibility of the native bj-btem, 
which quality is often more profitable to the Exchequer than the 
n^idity of the British method." " India in 1880," by Sir Kichard 
'ieinple, Bart., p. 65. 

f The " Kiyath " or " Kyasth " caste occurs chiefly in the 
C if-ital, but they are the " men of the pen " all over India. Subtle, 
clever, and intellectual, they are very ready in acquiring a knowledge 
of English ; and usually they have also a good knowledge of Persian. 

They lay claim to be " Khatris," second only to the Brahmins, 
but tl.ey are actually clashed with the Sudra.s, tl.e lowest caste in 
the Hindu hegemony. 

ioo MY LIFE 

age men of lower capacity and of less sagacity are pitch- 
forked into places of responsibility, to the detriment of 
the country and its people. And the prophecy made by 
our holy Prophet (peace be on him !) is increasingly 
evident to-day. In another age, men, although capable 
and clever, but who prefer to use their power to serve 
their own selfish ends and bring destruction on the 
country, are placed over the destiny of the people. 

But sometimes it comes to pass that men of real worth 
and sound common sense are placed in commanding 
po, itions men who use their power to make such rules 
and regulations as will conduce to the enhancement of the 
prestige and reputation of the country and to promote the 
well-being of its inhabitants. Such were the days when 
men like Sir T. Mahdeo Rao, Maharaja Jung Bahadur and 
Sir Salar Jung, were respectively ruling in Gwalior, Nepal 
and Hyderabad men who were equal to those statesmen 
who left undying fame in Europe. 

The Minister readily gave effect to the recommendations 
of the Resident and his First Assistant, as also to those 
of other British officers, but he was very chary of accepting 
any from the Government of India. It is well-known that 
when the Regular Force was formed, he selected Colonel 
Neville of his own accord, and appointed him Commander, 
but refused to accept the nominee of the Government. 
Likewise when the question of the education of his late 
Highness Sir Mir Mahbub Ali Khan arose, he sent for 
Captain John Clerk direct from England, and would not 
allow the Foreign Office to interfere improperly in the 
matter. Further, when Mr. Bowen, his former tutor 
died, he appointed Mr. Oliphant as his private secretary ; 
and in posts where the appointment of Europeans was 
necessary and beneficial to the country, he invariably 
made his own selection. 

But of all the rules that this Minister made it in- 
cumbent on himself to observe, the following was the 
most praiseworthy. The etiquette employed from the 
time of Akbar the Great to the days of Aurangzeb, the 
Puritan, was strictly enforced, and every man, whether 
high or low, was honoured according to his rank or status. 
The Minister had not only heard of it, but had seen it in 
practice, from the days of his childhood, under the loving 
care of bis ancestors. To a visitor from outside, Hyderabad 

MY LIFE ioi 

recalled memories of the times of Akbar and Alamgir. 

I was reminded of the Andalusian story of Gil Bias, 
whenever I attended on His Excellency at his residence. 
I had read an English translation of this work. The in- 
interesting details of the Andalusian Minister's Palace 
and of the candidature of Gil Bias which the author gave, 
were portrayed vividly before my mind's eye. From the 
small hours of the morning to midnight, the hum and bustle 
in the palace beggars description. Apart from the guards 
who were posted on the wide court yard, throughout the 
night and day, the servants and officials of various de- 
partments came in their respective conveyances, such as 
palanquins, horses, and elephants, together with the 
escorts of retainers of the visiting noblemen. These 
were posted and parked outside. 

In the interior the General Treasury and the office of 
the Accountant-General was located, and the hall op- 
posite was reserved for chobdars, peons, and other 

The staircase led through this hall to the upper 
apartments of various dimensions, which were occupied 
by those who had to attend at their appointed time 
between morning and evening; and these, as I have 
mentioned before, were subject to the despotic discipline 
of Fakir Mohamed. In the Hall of Mirrors sat those of 
higher rank in expectation of an interview ; in the gallery, 
the Secretaries and the heads of departments waited to be 
called to the presence of the Diwan ; and then, still 
higher in rank, like the members of the nobility, Rao 
Ramba, Raja Shiv Raj, the Sadr-ul-Mahams, met the 
Minister by appointment. The learned men belonging to 
various religious denominations had also a special time 
to meet the Minister, and he used to leave the " Masnad," 
whenever these gentlemen called on him. In fact, for some 
of these according to their status, he went forward a few 
steps to receive them. 

This great crowd including as it did men differing in 
status, position and dignity, attended the palace of the 
Minister, and all of them were there on business of some 
kind or other ; and he, the Minister, met them smilingly 
so that they returned home, every one of them believing 
that he had been specially favoured. No greater com- 
pliment could be paid to the generous nature and extreme 

102 MY LIFE 

politeness of this eminent Prime Minister. I may here 
give three instances of his great courtesy. 

A gentleman who had been in expectation of a post 
for a long time, approached the Minister's " Masnad/' 
and read out a quatrain, of which I happen to remember 
a couplet : 

" Don't enquire what I eat and drink ; I sit 
in the palanquin and drink the atmosphere/* 

Another gentleman at the " Eed " Durbar offered 
paper rupees as " Nazzar." The Nawab withdrew his hand 
at which the man said : 

" Whatever I had brought from my home I 
had spent. As it is necessary for me to present my 
11 Nazzar/' I request you to accept this." 

Another man had transferred his " Mansab "* to his 
children. After a short time he presented a petition, 
stating that, owing to his having done so, he was on the 
verge of starvation, and requesting that he might be given 
some support. It is a trite saying. " Fear the man who 
knows how to control his temper/' 

Although he was by nature credulous, the Minister 
was yet a lover of justice. Without enquiring into facts, 
he was chary of punishing, but ne\ertheless he was a 
great disciplinarian, and never spared the guilty, whom 
he destroyed root and branch. For instance, Ahmed All, 
son of Moulvi Akbar, was punished in such a manner 
that his name was quite obliterated. Likewise those who 
were responsible for creating mischief between the ruler 

* Mansabdar. In Akbar's time there were 33 grades of official 
rank, and the officers wore known as commanders of 10,000, com- 
manders of 5,000 and so on Only princes oi the blood royal were 
granted the commands ot 7,000 and 10,000 The number of troopers 
actually provided by each oiricer, did not, however, correspond 
with the number indicated by hi** title. The graded officials were 
called Mansabdars, no clear distinction between civil and military 
duty being drawn. (" The Emperor Akbar," by Count Vohn 
Noer Tr : by Annette S. Beveridge, Cal. 1890, Vol. 1^ page 267.) 

In Hyderabad the Mansabdars now are said to be those persons 
who are in receipt of allowances more or less perpetual for past ser- 
vices rendered to the State. Since Sir ( ioorgc Gascon-Walker's time, a 
reduction of 25 per cent, is made for every fresh grant made to the 
heirs of deceased manyaldars ; end in ceuue of time this particular 
grant will disappear. 

MY LIFE 103 

and the Minister, as, for instance, Moulvi Mahmood an d 
Akbar AH, the protege of Mr. Tweedie, got their deserts. 
On the other hand, he was so appreciative, that he shower- 
ed his favours without let or hindrance, as in the cases of 
Ghalib Jung, the Arab, Inayat Khan, the Pathan, and 
Tahniyath Yar-ud-dowla, who serving him, regardless of 
their lives, received titles, troops, the paraphernalia of 
office, Jagirs, and Mansabs. In short, he kept up the pres- 
tige and dignity of his office, and would not permit any 
Government servant or any of those who attended his 
durbar, to do anything derogatory to himself. Con- 
trariwise he would show respect and honour to them ac- 
cording to their rank and status. Above all, he was very 
particular to maintain the dignity of the sovereign. So 
also was Shumshul-Umra, Amir-o-Kabir Omdut ul-Mulk, 
who laid great stress on this. On one occasion, a Man- 
sabdar spoke of His Highness as a big child. The Minister 
became red in the face, and, in addition to inflicting a fine, 
he ordered the man not to attend the durbar again. 
Tahniyat Yavar-ud-dowlah and the Arzbejee (the Lord 
Chamberlain) were specially empowered to eject anyone, 
whether a nobleman or a commoner, from the royal 
palace, who happened to misbehave himself. In fine, the 
action and the character of this sagacious statesman were 
regulated according to rules and procedure then in vogue. 
He was a connoisseur in the matter of food, and was 
very fond of delicious dishes, whether English, Moglai, 
Hindustani or Dakhani ; and these were daily prepared 
for him. Darogh Abdul Wahab (Madrassi) was the man- 
ager of his kitchen. His invitations were occasional, and 
issued to a small number only often to his special 
English friends, and usually to breakfast. But such 
dinners as he gave were marked with a pomp that as- 
tounded his guests. A table for his English guests was 
spread, and beautifully decorated, at which no fewer than 
500 could sit ; while a spread for his Indian guests was 
made ready in the opposite hall. The whole of the Bara- 
dari was beautifully lighted up, and from every tree and 
grass walk, lanterns threw rays of light. The Nawab 
Sahib would wait for his guests at the entrance. 
With the higher British officials he shook hands and bowed 
to others. The Indian gentlemen, with folded hands, 
saluted him, and passed on. After the reception ceremony, 

104 MY LIFE 

he sat with the Resident at the table. Mir Tahawar Ali, 
Darogah Abdul Wahab, and members of the staff, looked 
to the comfort of his Indian guests. All State officials 
and his personal acquaintances were invited to these 
functions ; and I have often heard from English officials 
that even in Europe such elaborate banquets are not seen. 
At the time of departure the Minister would again go to 
the door, and, standing there, offer long scent-bottles to 
some a dozen, to another ten, to another two, and to 
another one, according to rank and bid his guests 
good-bye. At first I used to get two of these ; but later 
they were increased to five, and finally to nine. 

The management of his household was also admirable, 
and was not less praiseworthy than that of His Highness 
Asaf Jah (of heavenly abode), Every department of his 
household had a statement prepared of the monthly ex- 
penditure and not a rupee more than the fixed amount was 

The management of the palace (internal) was separate 
from that of the external. Sidee Ambar was the manager 
of that part of the palace which was distinct from the 
" Mahallat " (ladies' apartments), which was managed 
by His Excellency's mother herself. Also the department 
which the " Jaghirath " managed was separate from that 
of the troops which had to be maintained. 

No state official was permitted to interfere in the 
Minister's household affairs ; and although he was econo- 
mical in matters affecting his person, yet he maintained 
the dignity of his position as the Prime Minister of the 
Dominions, and was generous in the extreme. This was 
the reason why he always found himself in debt. One day 
when I attended on him, I perceived a basket made of 
coco-nut leaves placed close to the " Masnad," which 
contained a few marble curios of Agra workmanship. 
Noticing signs of astonishment on my face, he smiled, and 
said that that was the fine which he had to pay for his 
position as Minister. An Englishman had come to see him, 
and had brought these curios as presents, and had then 
sent in a bill for RS.SOOO. which he had to pay. 

His Highness was in residence at the Golconda Fort, 
and according to the old age custom, the noblemen in 
attendance, together with their retainers, had accompanied 
him. His Excellency was also in waiting, and had put 

MY LIFE 105 

up in his ancestral house in the Fort. I attended on him 
at the appointed time, and noticed that the house was in a 
dilapidated condition and in want of repairs, I spoke to 
him on the subject. He asked where he was to get the 
money, for the Darogah (Manager) had put in an estimate 
of Rs.3000. 

Here was a Minister whose prestige and dignity was 
well-known not only throughout India, but in almost all 
the countries of Europe. When this sagacious Minister 
travelled in India, the Resident himself was in attendance 
on him ; and His Excellency the Viceroy had issued orders 
that this dear guest of his should be received and enter- 
tained, and that no effort should be spared to that end. 
Later on, when he went on a tour to Europe, he was 
received by the King of Italy and His Holiness the Pope. 
He was similarly entertained in France, and the hos- 
pitality that he received in England was in no way less 
than that accorded to the Shah of Persia. 

Much higher in rank, and with greater possessions in 
respect to Jaghir and Troops than His Excellency the 
Minister, was the nobleman, Nawab Shumshul Umra, 
Amir-o-Kabir, Omdut-ul-Mulk (alias " Man j lay Meah ") 
who was closely related to his Highness the Nizam. 
Although the Minister enforced the observance of ancient 
customs, yet as he came into contact with British officials, 
there was just a tinge of Anglicism in him. For instance, 
the Hall of Mirrors was decorated with a beautiful suite of 
furniture ; and at dinners to which British officials were 
invited, he sat and ate his food with them at the table ; 
and his relations, like Nizam Yar Jung, followed his lead. 
But at the Amir-o-Kabirs', English influence was not in 
the slightest degree noticeable although the Nawab had in 
his younger days travelled to Calcutta and had been the 
guest of the Viceroy there. On stepping into his palace, 
one felt that one had entered the times of Alumgir. Every 
servant of his, with the exception of Military officers, wore 
long Deccani Angarakkas (which costume resembled more 
or less a petticoat of the Victorian period) reaching to 
their ankles, and, belted and turbaned, carried a sword in 
the hand, and wore a dagger attached to the belt. 

As the durbar was not customary with him, people 
:ould, if necessary, obtain an interview at any time ; and 
1 there was no such necessity, then either in the morning 

io6 MY LIFE 

or in the evening. He never invited any Britisher. In 
pursuance of the old-established custom which prevailed 
at the durbars of the Kings of Delhi, he shaved his beard, 
but in all other matters he was strictly orthodox. He never 
interfered in political affairs. If anyone had the mis- 
fortune to complain against the Minister, he used to get 
into a temper, being displeased. He was generous to a 
degree with the city people, whether poor or rich, and then 
felt ashamed because he could not do more. At the time of 
the " Eed festival," " Nowroz " and " Basant," and on 
sacred nights like " Barat," or at the anniversary of 
Saints, the celebrations at his palace, according to the 
family custom, were worth witnessing. The whole of the 
Staff, servants and officials and those of the Paigah were 
invited, and according to the family custom in vogue from 
the times of Tegh Jung (progenitor), he washed the hands 
of each of his guests and stood till the function was over. 
Really, as he was very aged, lean and weak, his nephews 
performed this duty on his behalf. He had two nephews, 
one, Motha Sham-ud-dowlah, born of a Negro Lady, and 
the other, Bashir-ud-Dowlah, born of a respectable lady of 
the Harem. 

In the dominions of H.H. the Nizam there were five 
important Jaghirs (States), (i) Sarfikhas ; (2) Dewani ; 
(3) Peshkars ; (4) Paigah* ; (5) Samasthans. The last 
were tributary States, and their Rajas came into daily 
contact with the Prime Minister, and were considered 
independent in all other respects. The Paigah estate, in 
its entirety, was under its nobles, and the Prime Minister 
had no concern with it. In the early period of my service 
little more than half of the estate was with the late Omdut- 
ul-Mulk, the remainder being shared between Vikar-ul- 
Umra, Rashid-ud-din Khan, Mohta Sham-ud-dowlah, and 
Bashir-ud-dowlah. After the death of Mohta Sham-ud- 
dowlah, his share went to Bashir-ud-dowlah. When any 

* Paigah. The Jaghirs were assigned by a former Nizam to the 
first Shumsool Umra, for the maintenance of a body of horse called 
His Highness's Household Troops. The word " Paigah " means 
Stable. These lands still remain in the possession of the several 
members of the Shamsool Umra family, and the troops are divided 
among the three present heads of the house. No public information 
is obtainable as to the numbers and composition of the Paigah troops. 
The net yield of the Paigah Jaghirs, though originally something 
like 30 lakhs a year, has now almost doubled itself. 

MY LIFE 107 

of these gentlemen went out, people congregated to witness 
their equipages, as they made a sight not to be missed. 
Especially was this the case when Omdut-ul-Mulk visited 
the Resident, for then he took with him so many of his 
retainers, and that with such pomp and grandeur, that the 
band and the elephant carrying his flag, which formed 
the head of the procession, would arrive at the Residency 
Gate while the Nawab was just taking his seat in his 
palanquin at the gate of his palace. (The distance 
between the Nawab's palace and the Residency was about 
two miles). 

Raja Narinder Pershad*, the Peshkar (Clerk) of the 
State, was the grandson of Raja Chundoo Lall. The story 
of Raja Chandoo Lall has become famous, in that when 
he came from the Punjab to the Deccan, he was very poor ; 
and in those days the city people, whether rich or poor, were 
illiterate, as, with the exception of the profession of arms, 
they looked down with contempt on other professions and 
sciences, and only a few Kyasths and Brahmins could read 
and write. The Raja, in the days of his poverty, used to 
spread a cloth on the ground, near the Char Minar, and, 
sitting there with paper, pen and ink, wrote letters. He 
charged fees ranging from one anna to a rupee, according 
to the position in life of his clients ; and of whatever he thus 
acquired, he kept the little that was necessary for himself, 
and gave the rest in charity. Nawab Amir-i-Kabir came 
to know of him, and eventually employed him ; and he 
then gradually rose to such a position in the Paigah, that 
he administered the whole State. To be brief he was able 
to approach the person of His Highness, and was appointed 
the Peshkar of the State ; and then, very soon, he 
became the Minister of these Dominions with full 

Of all the nobles of the State, Raja Narinder was equal 
in learning to Omdut-ul-Mulk and Muktar-ul-Mulk him- 
self. In fact, he excelled them in Arabic, besides being 
well versed in Sanskrit, Telugu and Marathi. And in 
generosity, he was not a whit behind his grandfather, 

* Born 25th Ribi-us-sani, 1254 H. Appointed Peshkar 20th 
Shaban, 1269 H. Appointed Prime Minister on the death of Salar 
Jung I till His Highness the late Nizam was installed by Lord 
Ripon, 3oth Rabi-us-sani, 1301 H. Died in his 62nd year on I3th 
Ramzan, 1306 H. 

io8 MY LIFE 

Chundoo Lall. He was fond of the Fakr* and Mashi- 
yaki (sacred orders), and was very much given to reciting 
the rosaries f ; he said prayers too, in the Muslim 
fashion. He was a Unitarian, but in all other matters he 
observed Hindu customs. More facts about him will be 
mentioned later on. 

Of those who attended the Royal palace, Tahinayat 
Yaver-ud-dowlah, an intermediary of State between the 
Ruler and the Minister (Vakil-a-Saltanat), was the most 
distinguished. Originally he was an ordinary " Mansab- 
dar," but he discharged his duties with such distinction, 
that he gradually rose to the high position named. He was 
very sensible, far-sighted and loyal towards the persons 
of the Ruler and the Minister, 

Nawab Rashid-ud-din Khan Vikar-ul-Urnra, J was 
the younger brother (of a different mother) of Nawab 
Shumshul-Umra, Amir-i-Kabir Omdut-ul-Mulk. A bitter 
animosity existed between him and the Prime Minister ; 
but the details of the matter are lengthy, and had better lie 
covered up, hidden from public gaze. Of middle-height, 

* Fakr (Fukar) is another word for " Fana." The Prophet has 
said, " Fakr is my pride, and it is from me." " Al Faqru Faqri 
wal Faqru Minm." " Fakr " is therefore synonymous with " Fam," 
which means one who has attained " Fana," which, in its literal 
sense, is the state of a " Shay " (thing) that does not last ; i.e., 
when permanence of the state comes to an end, it is said to have 
attained " Fana." " Fana " is not considered to be an attribute. 
It is not like a dissolution of sugar in water. The author oi " Kushful- 
Mahjub," (page 262), thinks that it is not the disappearance of 

| Rosaries. The belief in the efficacy of the " beads " seems 
to be common to nearly all faiths, for we find their use in connexion 
with prayer prevalent in countries of widely diverse character. The 
origin of the practice is not known, but the telling of the rosary is 
given a high place in worship. The beads forming the rosaries are 
made of many materials glass, stone, coral, shells, bones, seeds, and 
fruits. Beads of all kinds are used by different sects. The rosaries 
are used in connexion with several important daily and annual 
ceremonies, specially among the Hindus. It is interest ng to note 
that the Tibetans have adopted the number of 108 as their standard, 
and they say that the extra eight beads are added to make up for 
any omission owing to absent-mindedness or for the loss of beads 
through breakages. The Muslims have adopted the number of loo 
as their standard. Instead of the rosary, they count up to one 
hundred on each finger of the right and left hands, marking off each 
ten on the joint of the fingers. 

f Born 22nd Ramzan, 1230 H. Appointed Co-Regent 2oth 
Ramzan, 1294 (nth October, 1877). Died I9th Zillada, 1299 H, 



brown complexion, and slender proportions, and wearing 
a moustache that was turned up in such a fashion, that 
a lemon could be balanced on each end (a la kaiser), he 
was brave, soldierly and excitable. Illiterate, he was a 
man imbued with high ideals, and one who was always 
ready for action ; and like his elder brother, he was of a 
generous nature, and after doing anyone a good turn, he 
would feel ashamed that he did not do more. He got into 
temper easily, but was as easily prone to pardon. Accused 
persons ^ escaping from the city jurisdiction, often took 
shelter in his palace, and remained there, secured from 
legal punishment. I shall mention the details of such 
cases in their proper places. The Resident would receive 
him at the end of the steps, and would take him along, 
hand in hand. 

The Diwani portion of the dominions was administered 
internally, as well as externally, by the Diwan, that is to 
say, the Prime Minister. None of the servants of the State 
could take the liberty of visiting the Resident without the 
permission of the Minister, nor could they visit any of the 
Paigah noblemen Only a few of the specially selected 
officials of the State could attend His Highness, 
accompanied by the Vakil of the State, Tahinayat Yar-ud- 
dowlah, for presentation of " Nazzars." This was the 
reason why during his time the door of intrigue and con- 
spiracy remained closed. The hopes and fears of the 
officials of the State were centred in the person of this 
sagacious Minister. 

The management of the Sarfikhas Ilaqa was entrusted 
to a distinguished nobleman, who was honoured with a 
title and other paraphernalia of office, and whom His 
Highness selected from among his staff. The Diwani was 
distinct from the Sarfikhas. 

It is a wonderful fact that the people of Hyderabad, 
whether high or low, were by nature so loyal to their 
Sovereign that they were prepared to lay down their lives, 
" in presentia " or " absentia/' as if they considered him 
worthy of worship after God and his apostle. And the 
Hindu nobles and servants looked upon him as God 
and their "Avatar/* (incarnation). No man, whether 
Madrassi, Parsi, English, or Hindustani, had the courage 
to mention His Highnesses name discourteously. 

Besides Tabinayat-Yar-ud-dowlah, there were other dis- 


tinguished men, who attended the palace daily on behalf 
of the Minister and the Amir-i-Kabir. Of these 
Muiz-ud-din and Fasih-ud-din, attended on behalf of 
the Amir-i-Kabir, and Shasawar Jung, Mustakim Jung, 
and Ikram Jung, on behalf of the Minister. 

Of those who held appointments in the palace, " Urz- 
begee " was the most distinguished. He was of so ugly 
an appearance, that if anybody happened to meet him 
in the dark, he would, even were he as brave as Rustom, 
be frightened out of his wits. After him came the Daro- 
gahs of various departments, like the Tosha-Khana, 
and Jawahir-Khana, whose appointments were hereditary 
in their respective families. It is not necessary to mention 
the lesser nobles and the jemadars name by name. 

The city people, whether Hindu or Muslim, were 
similar in conduct and conversation and dress; and it 
was a wonderful fact that the Hindus and the Mussulmans 
lived side by side like sugar mixed in milk. The Hindus 
were appointed to the higher positions, and enjoyed 
" Mansabs " and Jagirs in the Diwani, Paigah and Sar- 
fikhas portions of the Dominions ; and the Muslims were 
similarly employed in the Pcshkari States and also by the 
Hindu nobility, like Raja Shivraj, etc. Members of the 
two communities jointly took part in each other's national 
and religious festivals. Persian was the written language 
and Deccani (antiquated Urdu) was the spoken one. 

I would now briefly mention some facts about another 
distinguished nobleman, before I say anything further 
about myself. This nobleman was Nawab Khurshed Jah,* 
the eldest son of Nawab Vikar-ul-Umra Rashid-ud-din 
Khan, and eldest son-in-law of H.H. the Nawab Afzal-ud- 
dowlah Bahadur (of heavenly abode). Of middle height, 
fair and thickset, he was a handsome man of commanding 
aspect. In the lifetime of his father he had separated from 
him, with his share of the Paigah, and become independent 
of him. The reason for this was that his grandfather was 
very fond of him, and used to give him lakhs of rupees, 
jewellery, and lots of money, without the knowledge of his 
father, who became jealous of him. Moreover, His Highness 
also was very fond of him, and used to honour him with 
gifts of money and jewellery independently of his father ; 

* Bora in 1257 H., died in 1320 H. 


and when his younger brother Ekbal-ud-dowlah was born, 
unpleasantness between father and son increased. After 
Nawab Muktar-ul-Mulk, this distinguished nobleman was 
considered a capable administrator. He was clever in 
accounts, and could read and write Persian well. His 
palace, like his father's was a haven for criminals and 
accused persons. The Police and the Emissaries of the 
Judicial Departments could not enter it, nor was the order 
of the Minister carried out within the precincts of his 
jurisdiction. In other words, the area within his juris- 
diction was considered an independent state in itself 
(" Imperium in imperio "). He had a separate stamp 
of his own, and his courts and police were also separately 
administered ; but the best quality that he had was that 
he was a worker, like the Prime Minister himself. His 
Coldawallahs (whip-men) had a special uniform, They 
held whips in their hands, and were so cheeky that they 
would respect nobody. The Prime Minister had kept a 
Mukhtar who may be called an Ambassador at the 
Durbar of this nobleman, through whom he could generally 
get the orders of the Civil Courts and the Police carried 
out in the area under him. Nawab Khurshed Jah, had a 
right to confer the titles of Khani and Bahaduri, and to 
grant Jagirs, which right was delegated to him by his 
Highness the Nizam. As he was the pet son-in-law, His 
Highness had conferred his own head-dress on him. Ihe 
servants of his palace and the subjects of his Jagir were 
in a happy and prosperous state. Ihe Governor-General 
of India used to meet him on an equal footing, while 
the Nawab, invited the British officers with as much pomp 
and grandeur as did the Prime Minister himself. But more 
about him later on, in its proper place. 


Thanks to the generosity of my late uncle, this period 
of my life was spent in comfort. Every Wednesday I 
visited the Prime Minister, and on Fridays I called on 
Amin-ud-din Khan ; and on other week days I employed 
my time in prayers and religious recitations. Often I would 
meet Delhi people in employment here. Of these, Pirji 
Imdad Ali was a very learned man and of a religious turn 


of mind. He was serving in one of the offices, and occasion- 
ally read out the Masnavi to me. He was himself a poet, 
and he used to take me along with him to meet some of 
the Fakirs (saintly persons). 

It is a trite saying, that a traveller on a visit to any 
city should get to know the Kotwal (Chief Commissioner of 
Police) and the Physician of the place. In pursuance of 
this principle, I often visited the Police Inspector of the 
Mohalla I was staying in during the afternoons. He was 
a scion of a noble family, pleasant and pleasure-seeking. 
He kept a mistress, whom he used to teach horseman- 
ship. She was a young woman, but dark and ugly. 

In like manner, I visited Huzrut Omar Ali Shah 
whom I came to know in this way. One moonlight night, 
when, about two o'clock, I was strolling quite alone, 
on the road in front of my house, I saw a man going along 
with a number of ducks towards the old bridge ; and when 
on enquiry in the morning, I learned that this gentleman 
was considered an angel of mercy by the townsfolk that 
even men of the lowest castes, e.g. dhers and chammars, 
used to take him to their houses for healing the sick, and 
that he shared in every man's sorrow or joy I had a great 
longing to meet him. I found him in a house, which 
though it had an ordinary tiled roof, was devoid of furni- 
ture. Instead, the sand of the river was spread on the 
ground ; and the gentleman was sitting resting his back 
against the wall. He was a very well-made man, with a 
long beard, and it appeared as if he were from Samarkhand 
or Bokhara, so huge and fresh did he look. From con- 
versation I gathered that he was a Persian and Arabic 
scholar and perhaps he knew Turkish also. He appeared 
to be well versed in philosophy, logic, hadis (traditions), 
and the religious law (" Fika "). His knowledge was also 
extensive in astronomy, mathematics, history and geo- 
graphy. His age appeared to be over sixty, and he had a 
large number of disciples ; but he never accepted any 
presents from them, and people wondered how he managed 
to pay his daily expenses. I acquired from him the science 
of " Isthakak," the principles of which are quite different 
from those of comparative philology. I also read with 
him a book of Arabic Literature which is called Hayat-ul- 
Hy wan, which contained pleasant discourses on most of the 
known sciences. He was so contented that, although 

MY LIFE ii3 

during the regime of His Highness Afzul-ud-dowlah, men 
of all sorts of religious pretensions had grown rich and had 
Jagirs conferred on them, he had never sought pre- 
ferment ; and he had never visited the house of a nobleman 
or well-to-do person, except on certain definite conditions, 
according to the sayings of the holy prophet, On one 
occasion a member of H.H. Afzul-ud-dowlah's harem who 
was a disciple of his, was taken ill with some severe 
disease, and he consented to heal her only on the condition 
that when he entered the Royal Mahal (Harem), no act 
against the religious law would be perpetrated during the 
time he remained there. It so happened that His Highness 
longing to meet him, visited the Royal Mahal (Harem) 
while he was there. The Shah Sahib stood up to honour 
him, but then, having said, " Peace be on you ! " (" Salam 
Alaikoum ! ") he sat down and added : 

In these dominions, comparatively small as they are 
you occupy the position of the Amir of the Believers 
and Khalifa of the Mussulmans, and therefore it is in- 
cumbent on me to honour you. But beyond this, the facts 
about you do not entitle you to be honoured/ 1 

Having said this, he arose, and although His Highness 
tried to detain him, took his stick and walked quickly 
away, and without stopping anywhere on the way reached 
his house. 

The Prime Minister, although of the Shiah persuasion, 
also wished to meet my friend, but the latter flatly refused 
to arrange a meeting. He used to say that the Minister, 
although loyal to the Sovereign and conscientious in his 
work, was still a " Ravzi " (a traducer of the four rightful 
Khalifs), and totally ignorant of the principles of Islamic 
Government, and that during his tenure of office he 
had brought about a great revolution based on wrong 

On one occasion His Excellency was on a visit to 
Sarurnagar*, when the Shah Sahib came on foot from 
Mustaidpura, to see me at a place where I was then 

* Sarurnagar. The townlet forms the centre of the Nizam's pre- 
serves. Spotted deer and buck wander over the plain, as tame as 
sheep ; and peafowl very good eating during the first year 
jungle-cocks, partridges and hare abound. Close to it we see the 
broad Madras highway winding over the Bund (Dyke) of Sarurnagar 


putting up. In the afternoon when I went to see the Min- 
ister, incidentally a reference to the Shah Sahib was made 
in conversation. His Excellency, in a tone of wonder, said 
that the Shah Sahib was never known to visit anybody. 
I replied that he held me in much regard and affection, 
that when my son, Zoolcader, was born, he was present in 
my house and gave the name to him. Also that because^I 
was his pupil, he visited me fortnightly or so or, if he did 
not, I visited him ; and that whenever he entertained 
people to hear music, he would never permit me to be 

His Excellency then told me that the Shah Sahib 
formerly held a distinguished post in the British Army, 
but that he resigned, and, giving away all his pro- 
perty, began to lead the life of an ascetic (fakir). 
"He is very much displeased with me, but if he 
has such regard and affection for you, then bring about 
an interview with me." 

I said that I could bring him over with me, but at that 
the Nawab Sahib smiled, and declared that he would never 
come, and that there was only one way of doing it. He 
would, while taking his morning recreation, suddenly 
drop in at my place, during the Shah Sahib's present 
visit to me, and that then the Shah Sahib would not be 
able to get away provided, of course, that I made no 
mention of this to him. 

However, when I returned, I thought anxiously about 
the matter, and finally decided, that though it would be 
possible for me to make amends for His Excellency's 
displeasure, there could be no remedy so far as the Shah 
Sahib was concerned, if he fell out with me. I therefore 
informed him of the Nawab's Sahib intention to visit him, 
and he at once got into a temper and said that he woul^ 
never meet His Excellency. Then taking his stick, on 
which, because of old age, he leaned, he arose to go. 

" Very well/' I said, " if you go away, I resign my 

and damming up the precious element which all about Hyderabad 
is being preserved in vast reservoirs. 

Also close to it is found General Raymond's grave, a full descrip- 
tion of which is given by Captain Burton in his article published 
in the " Times of India," dated March 28th, 1876, together with 
descriptions of the tombs of the Golconda Kings and the Mir Alum 
Tank in which there is no repetition of what the ordinary guide 
books say of them. 

MY LIFE 115 

appointment, because, in contravention of His Excellency's 
command, I have informed you of all the facts. And now 
I cannot show my face to the Minister, and the advantages 
I have secured through your prayers will now be lost/' 

The Shah Sahib having heard this, seated himself, and 
said, " Resentment of the Der vish is on the Dervish," and 
that being a " Fakir/' he had no further outlook on life, 
but to remain in certain expectation of that which was 
certain to come. As the poet Ghalib has put it : 

" Troubles and tribulations are all over, O 

Ghalib ! The one thing that is left, is death that 

overtakes suddenly." 

And he added that he was not certain what he might 
say if he met the Minister. 

I replied that he should keep his temper in control, 
and only meet the Minister after morning prayers. 

I then placed some chairs and got ready my turban 
and belt, in the expectation of the Nawab Sahib's visit. 

Just then the Shah Sahib, leaning on his stick said that 
he would go for a stroll in the garden. He referred to 
one that was opposite to where I was putting up, and which 
had high walls all around it, and only one gate for both 
ingress and egress, I forget its name perhaps it was 
Saida Bagh, 

I saw him enter the garden, and just afterwards the 
Nawab Sahib galloped up. 

I presented my Nuzur, which he accepted, and then 
asked where was the Shah Sahib. I replied that he had just 
that moment gone into the garden for a stroll, and that I 
would send for him. His Excellency then declared that 
perhaps I had informed him of the intended visit, and 
therefore he had disappeared, and with this His Ex- 
cellency turned back. I then went to search for the Shah 
Sahib in the garden, but though I tried my best, I found 
no signs of him. Goodness only knows how he left the 
garden and reached my house in Chanchulgooda ! 

I used also to meet another gentleman in the city, 
whom Pirji Imdad AH held in deep respect. His name was 
Mirza Sirdar Beg. Tall, and much advanced in age, he was 
so thin that he appeared a mere bag of bones ; and the deep 
yellow colour of his countenance betokened a man given 
up entirely to religious exercises and devotion. He lived 


by binding copies of the Koran. His brother, Mirza Shah 
Sowar Beg, was a wealthy nobleman of ancient lineage, 
possessing Jagirs and retainers. 

Mirza Sirdar Beg had presented his share in the 
property to his brother, and became an ascetic (Dervish). 
He would not allow rich folk to approach him and was 
not inclined to make disciples for himself. He and Omar 
Ali Shah often met and conversed in secret, exchanging 
views on matters of deep religious significance. 

My own Pir Syed Padsha Sahib Bokari* was at this time 
a city Magistrate, and after office hours he visited a 
Masoob Hazrat Gali Charwala,| in whose company he 
spent much of his time ; while he fasted in the day and 
devoted his nights to prayer. 

I now received a letter from Mr. Syed Hussain Bilgrami 
asking me to get him to Hyderabad by any means in my 
power. He was one of the very few Muslims who 
held a literary degree perhaps he was the only Muslim 
who in those days possessed it in Oudh or in the 
Punjab. He was, indeed, not a whit less in literary 
merit than most of his contemporaries Bengali gradu- 
ates and therefore he was made much of by the 
community, and encouraged by the British officials. 
The influence and effect of the English education as 
imparted in Schools and Colleges, had already begun to be 
felt in India, and especially so in Bengal. 

The Syed, in his younger days was proud of his 
education and knowledge, and freely gave expression to his 
views. He was disinclined to meet the British officials, and 
when he visited them, he had not the patience to wait in 
the verandah with the peons, till he was sent for. Then, 
when the lordly conduct of the British officers began to be 
commented on in such papers of the Indian Press as the 
" Hindu Patriot/' the Syed also took up the cudgels on 
his countrymen's behalf, and, in incisive language, gave 
expression of his views of the swaggering behaviour of the 
Oudh officials ; and Sir John Cooper, who was in those days 

* " Pir" and " Murid " mean in Sufi phraseology, " master " 
and " disciple," respectively. 

" Sahib " stands for " Mr." a term of respect. 

f " Masoqb " in Sufism means a man whose mind is turned 
because of deep contemplation on religious matters. 

" Hazrat " is a term of respect, meaning " presence." 

MY LIFE 117 

the Chief Commissioner, felt so displeased at the language 
employed, that it was all up with the Syed, so far as that 
province was concerned I mean, the British officials 
there were ready to get him punished. He was therefore 
forced to leave Oudh, and in his anxiety he wrote to me. 

Although I was not entitled to make requests, I, 
taking my courage in both hands, placed the Syed's letter 
before His Excellency, who, I knew, was a patron of letters. 
Having read it, His Excellency said, " He may come," 
and then relapsed into silence. But the final outcome of 
this was good. 

I showed that letter also to Moulvi Amin-ud-din Khan, 
who, through his influence, had got his maternal uncle, 
Inayat-ur- Rahman Khan, appointed the Director of Public 
Instruction. This gentleman considered himself an Eng- 
lish scholar like the old proverb, " When they saw a camel 
in the village, they called aloud they had seen a God/' 
but he was only superior in merit to the few Madrassis, 
who were employed in offices where the work in English 
was carried on by translators and clerks. However, in 
those days Amin-ud-din Khan was displeased with his 
uncle, and so he asked me whether Mr. Syed Hussain 
would rebel against his authority as Inayat-ur-Rahman 
Khan had done ; and then, accepting my assurance to the 
contrary, said, " Let the Syed write to me." 

I informed Mr. Syed Hussain about this, and at the 
same time sent him a copy of a brochure in Arabic, which 
Amin-ud-din Khan had written in the scholarly style of 
Surat-ul- Rahman, on the law of Evidence (this as a hint 
to the Syed to compose his letter in a similar style). 

In a few days the Syed's letter addressed to Amin-ud- 
din Khan arrived, and the latter then placed it before the 
Minister. His Excellency replied that he had already 
spoken to Agha Mirza Beg (myself), and he (Syed) might 
come, and that he would for the present draw Rs. 300 as 
salary, while as for the future, he must await events. 

The Syed being in deep anxiety over Sir John 
Cooper's displeasure the latter was ready to punish him 
left Lucknow in haste ; and one day, when I returned 
from the city, I found him sitting on my bed. I immediate- 
ly informed Amin-ud-din Khan of his arrival, and the 
Moulvi sent over for him and put him up in his own house. 
The next day he took him to the Nawab Sahib. 


His Excellency, on the one hand, endowed with great 
politeness, and the Syed, on the other, possessing literary 
taste, they conversed with each other for a long time, and 
then the Nawab gave orders for the Syed to be put up in 
the Lakkercote palace, and to be provided with food twice 
daily from his kitchen. He also passed orders to the effect 
that until the Syed removed to another house and made 
arrangements for himself, he would draw Rs.3OO monthly 
as salary, which would be increased to Rs.400 later on. 

As his work, the Syed was appointed to write the 
history of the Minister's regime in Persian, and the 
work of " Wassaf " was given to him as a model to go by ; 
and thus he was placed on the horns of a dilemma, as he 
could hardly be expected to emulate the high-flown and 
flowery language of that famous historian without con- 
stantly consulting the Kamoos (a well-known Persian 

His Excellency then placed the Syed to act as Deputy 
to Mr. Bowen, his private Secretary ; and in this capacity 
my friend found an outlet for his abilities, and so dis- 
tinguished himself that he was nominated, conjointly 
with Captain John Clerk, to teach His Highness English. 
But for some reason he was deprived of his post. 

On the I5th of December, 1873, a short time before the 
arrival of the Syed, I received a docket from the Judicial 
Secretariat, to the effect that I was appointed to the 
Audit Branch of the P.W.D., and I was asked to report my- 
self to Nawab Khadeer Jung for duty. This department 
had for its English branch, an Anglo-Indian, Mr. Grey, and 
for its Persian branch, Moulvi Hidayat Ullah Khan. These 
were called Superintendents. The latter was a maternal 
relation of mine, although I was not aware of it ; but both 
the Superintendents were very sympathetic towards me. 
I had no inclination towards Accounts, nor did I know the 
Persian figures, but as I was greatly in need of employ- 
ment, and as I believed the offer of this post to be the 
order of the Minister, I was constrained to accept it. But 
later, on making enquiries, I came to know that the Nawab 
had no knowledge of it, and that it was Moulvi Hidayat 
Ullah Khan, acting on a hint from Amin-ud-din Khan, 
who had found this post for me. 

In the mednwhile, General Barrow sent me a letter, 
addressed to the Nawab Sahib, from Scotland, in which he 

MY LIFE 119 

recommended me and said that I could translate well; 
and as Mr. Syed Hussain had also greatly praised my 
general knowledge and my proficiency in Urdu and English, 
the Nawab Sahib thereafter began to show greater 
regard for me. In short, I had been working in this 
department some two or three months, when I received a 
docket from the Revenue Office asking me to attend at the 
New Palace on a certain day to work with Mr. O'Connor. 
This gentleman had recently arrived from England, and 
had been appointed tutor to His Excellency's sons, having 
to assist him, an aged Bengali Mussalman, who had come 
under some domestic bereavement. Be that as it may, the 
tuition of these promising youths was entrusted to me. 
And here my college and school education did not stand 
me in good stead ; but my general taste for reading came 
to my rescue. Mr. O'Connor was totally ignorant of Urdu, 
and as he was busy the whole time in entertaining his 
young and beautiful wife, the whole brunt of the tuition 
fell on my shoulders. 

In those days a limited number of students attended 
the class Laik Ali Khan and his younger brother, Saadat 
Ali Khan, the two sons of the Nawab Sahib ; Sarfaraz 
Hussain Khan, His Excellency's brother-in-law ; Mir 
Yavar Ali Khan, the son of the Nawab Sahib's sister and a 
younger brother of Hakim Baker Ali Khan ; Mir Mohamed 
Ali ; and the sons of Abdul Wahab Darogah. Rajah 
Kishen Pershad joined the school later on. 

The two sons of Abdul Wahab Darogah were grown-up 
perhaps between 25 and 30 years of age and the sons of 
Mukaddam Jung, by name Mohamed and Suleman Yar 
Jung, were perhaps in their twentieth year. 

There were also Suban Khan, the son of a Pathan 
Jemadar, and two brothers who were known as " Baday 
Agha " and " Chotay Agha " and perhaps one or two 
other students whose names I do not remember. 

Laik Ali Khan and Saadat Ali Khan were known as 
" Baday Sahib " and " Chotay Sahib." They had long hair, 
plaited in Indian fashion, falling down to their waist, and 
they wore, with gold embroidered caps, the long " Deccani 
" Angarakkas." 

Baday Sahib had a brown complexion, and was cor- 
pulent, while the Chotay Sahib, by contrast, was thin and 
lean, and of a dark complexion. The former was in- 

126 MY LIFE 

telligent, strong of memory, courageous, and of high ideals; 
but Chotay Sahib was dull, weak of memory, and timid. 
Sarfaraz Hussain Khan was equal to Baday Sahib in in- 
telligence, but only about equal in memory to Chotay 
Sahib, He was however, courageous. Mir Yavar Ali was 
less intelligent than Baday Sahib, but superior to all the 

As for the other students, they were of ordinary in- 
telligence. A ,. T rt_ J 

Mr.O'Connor took up the brother of Baker All Khan and 
one of the sons of AbduliWahab,and the rest were entrusted 
to me. And one day Mr. O'Connor gave over even these 
two pupils of his to me, and went away. As these^ two 
were grown-up and had sufficiently developed minds, 
Mr. O'Connor had difficulty in explaining things to 

In the lesson one day, there was some mention made 
about the prophets of Israel. I gave their Arabic names, 
and, in a concise manner, explained the facts connected 
with them, at the same time telling the pupils about the 
early History of Andalusia. And so they came to look 
upon me as very learned and a man of extensive know- 
ledge, and spoke very highly of my learning to the 
Nawab Sahib. On the other hand, I put the two 
sons of His Excellency together with Sarfarez Hussain, 
and Yavar Ali and the two Aghas, to a severe 
test, by teaching them geography and Elementary 
Mathematics as well. I also made a practice of sending 
a daily repor in English for the perusal of the Nawab 

When, in 1874, Lord Napier of Magdala paid a visit to 
the Prime Minister, he came into the class-room and asked 
the boys questions as to certain places marked on the map, 
and was very pleased with their answers. And now I 
began to gain distinction. 

There is another incident I will relate. One day the sons 
of His Excellency and other boys consulted together, and 
became inattentive, and in spite of my warnings to the 
contrary, the time for their tuition was spent uselessly ; 
and so when, in due course, a maidservant of the Mahal 
came with the information that the Sirkar was at table and 
wished his sons to be sent at once, I refused point-blank to 
allow them to go. The servant reported the matter in my 

MY LIFE 121 

very words to the Nawab Sahib, and my attitude had a 
great effect on him. 

When Mr. O'Connor left a Mr. Krohn took his place. 
The latter appointed a time for sports, and as he was an 
expert in Indian and English games, I became very in- 
timate with him. 

The kitchen of His Excellency made special arrange- 
ments for my food. In the morning I got tea, at noon 
lunch, and in the afternoon tea and fruits. I was sup- 
plied with these meals under special orders. 

His Excellency himself began to look upon me with 
kindness and sympathy, and as for the students, they, 
in spite of my severity hung about me calling me 
" Hazrat, Hazrat ! " * 

At this time the Bismillah ceremony of His Highness 
Sir Mir Mahbub Ali Khan (of heavenly abode) came off, 
and Mohamed Zaman Khan,f a man of great erudition, 
independent character, and of the Sufi School, was ap- 
appointed to give lessons in the Holy Koran. He was a 
man of saintly character and high ideals, who had given 
up worldly pleasures ; and he met the Amir-i-Kabir and 
His Excellency the Minister, with the independence of a 
" Dervish." 

However, I did duty for several months, and during this 
period, taking leave, I went to Delhi and got married, 26th 
July, 1874. On my return I heard that His Highness, Sir 
Mahbub Ali Khan,J was about to receive tuition in English, 
and that Mr. Syed Hussain Bilgrami was appointed to the 
post. The Syed had got his Durbari dress, the Neema 
Jama, ready for the purpose, and was expecting final 
orders. Mr. Saunders, the Resident, informed His Ex- 
cellency that the Government of India would appoint an 
Englishman to the post, but the two well-known noblemen, 
that is to say, H.E. the Minister and the Nawab Amir-i- 
Kabir, would not consent to this, and they summoned 

* loth Shaban, 1287 H. 

f 7th Jamadi-ul-awal, 1288 H. 

t His Highness Sir Mahbub Ali Khan was born on the 5th Rabi- 
us-sani, 1283 H. His Highness Nawab Afzul-ud-dowlah died on the 
I2th Zilkhaid, 1285 H (1869), when the former was 2 years and 6 
months old. Mr. Saunders and the nobles placed him on theMasnad 
on the i6th Zilkaid, 1285 H. 

122 MY LIFE 

Captain John Clerk*, who held an honourable post in the 
household of the Queen Empress, for this purpose. A few 
days before the Mohurrum, the Captain entered Hyder- 
abad. He was well-entertained and a carriage and pair 
from the Royal Stud were sent for his use. 

One day I was busy teaching in the class-room, at about 
nine or ten in the morning, when a servant came in and 
said that H.E. the Ministerf wanted to see me. I had my 
ordinary clothes on, with only a turban, and was busy 
giving lessons, so I told the servant to present my respects 
to His Excellency, and inform him that I was wearing 
ordinary clothes, but that if he gave me time, I would, 
after finishing the lessons, put on my belt and attend upon 
him. The servant looked so surprised, that I enquired the 
reason for it, and he replied, " Do you know why you have 
been sent for ? it would be more advisable to obey the 
command/' Accordingly I left the lesson and rose to ac- 
company him. He left me in the gallery and announced me 
and I was immediately summoned. 

* The education of the Nizam, who was left entirely to the care 
of his mother and grandmother, commenced in 1875. The tutors 
were placed under the control of Captain Clerk, who was appointed 
Superintendent of Education. 

Captain John Clerk, late of the Rifle Brigade, and now Colonel 
and Equerry to the Duke of Edinburgh, arrived in 1875. Owing, 
however, to the sudden death of Mrs. Clerk, he resigned his appoint- 
ment and was succeeded by his brother, Captain Claude Clerk, 
who arrived in Hyderabad in 1876. During the period between 
1877-1881, His Highness's education was carried on with activity 
and earnestness. 

On the occasion of the young prince having been declared heir 
to the throne, namely, on the 6th March, 1869, a regency consisting 
of Sir Salar Jung and the Amir-i-Kabir was formed for the adminis- 
tration of the affairs of the State, and for the purpose of training the 
young Nizam. 

The 5th of February, 1884, will ever be remembered as a red- 
letter day in the annals of Hyderabad State, not only on account 
of the Installation of His Highness Sir Meer Mahboob Ali Khan 
Bahadur, but also as the first instance on record of a Viceroy and 
Governor-General having visited Hyderabad. (From the " Me- 
moirs and Correspondence of General J. S. Fraser," by his son, 
Col. Hastings Fraser, C.B.) 

f Born on the 24th Jamadi-us-sani, 1244 H (1839), Appointed 
Prime Minister by H.H. Nasjr-u<l-dowJah on the 22nd Shaban, 1269 H 
( I ^53). Appointed Regent during the minority of H H. Mir 
Mahbub Ali Khan in 1269 (1853), died 29th Rabi-ul-awal, 1300 H 
{8th Feb., 1883, 

MY LIFE 123 

His Excellency was sitting, with a pencil in his hand, 
on a couch surrounded with a heap of papers. A number of 
" bastas " (cloth-wrappers) full of papers were lying below 
the couch. He motioned me to sit on a chair, and placing 
the papers aside, turned towards me. He first conversed 
about his sons, and then said that Captain John Clerk 
wished to read Urdu with me and asked me to meet him, 
and to continue to go to him in my spare time. His Ex- 
cellency intimated to me that Mr. Krohn had no objection 
to this. 

I foolishly made two objections. First, that there 
would be interference with the study of His Excellency's 
sons, and, secondly, that I had not the capacity to teach 
old people. 

The Nawab Sahib laughed at this, and changing the 
subject, asked whether I was of " Sunni " persuasion 
whether my uncle was a " Shiah," and what was the reason 
for this. 

I answered that of all my family, my uncle alone was a 
Shiah and that because, in a dream, he saw a severed head 
hanging in a vessel, which asked him to love Ahlay-baith (on 
whom be peace !) and that several years afterwards, when 
he came to Lucknow from the Punjab, he imagined 
the head he had seen was similar to that of Mirza Dabir. 

His Excellency then remarked that Mirza Ghalib was 
also a Shiah. I replied that he was half a Shiah, in the 
sense that he was a lover of the " Ahlay-baith, " but that he 
had not embraced the Shiah religion. 

After this His Excellency handed to me a closed en- 
velope, and asked me not to attend the School in the after- 
noon, but to take the letter to the Captain. 

Taking it, I rose to go, but then His Excellency asked 
me to stay a while, and proceeded to enquire whether I had 
any connection with the Kings of Delhi. I answered that 
my mother was the granddaughter of Shah Alum, but 
that we had now fallen from that state and were obliged to 
take service ; and therefore, my grandfather, Mirza 
Jevan Beg Khan, and his brother Ashraf-ud-dowlah, son 
of Mirza Ashraf Beg Khan, were commanders of troops in 
the Royal Army. 

His Excellency then said that my uncle Mirza Abbas 
Beg was a jagirdar in Oudh and a loyal servant of the 


I, in fact, could not understand the reason for these 
irrelevant questions on the Minister's part nor did I use 
my thoughts to unravel them ; and I left his presence 
with a depressed heart, thinking how I should I be able to 
teach an old parrot like Captain John Clerk. 

However, in obedience to the command I went over to 
the Captain, He was getting ready to go out. He at once 
sent for me to his room, and having read His Excellency's 
letter, appeared quite glad. He shook hands with me, and 
said that he was just then going out, and added, " You can 
come again in the morning, and bring some Urdu books 
with you." I replied that my morning time was taken up 
in the school. He sat down at this, and writing a letter to 
Mr. Krohn, gave it to me. 

As I was about to leave him he stopped me again, and 
conversed with me on other topics before letting me go. On 
leaving him, I said that if he could send for me in the after- 
noon I could come with great satisfaction, and in the end 
it was agreed upon that I should go to him at any time 
that I could conveniently spare. 

The next day, after having had my meals at the palace, I 
went over to him, direct from the School. He met me with 
great courtesy, and said that he was going to meet His 
Highness, and would like me to write a few sentences in 
the Roman character, so that he could commit them to 
memory ; and he asked me, further, to bring an Urdu copy 
of the " Thousand and One Nights," as he wished to hear 
it read. 

After this, he introduced me to his wife, who, I found, 
was Mr. Browning's widow, she having married again. 
She was very learned and a poetess. 

In short, Captain Clerk used to get me to write Urdu 
sentences daily, and he only heard the translation of the 
" Thousand and One Nights " from me. I used to read out 
each line in Urdu, and then translate it to him. 

When I visited him on the day of Ashura (tenth of 
Mohurrum) in the afternoon, he requested me to write 
facts about " Mohurrum." I said that it was a well-known 
historical event. He said that he did not care to read books 
and that he expected me to write about it as briefly as 
possible, and to bring it over early the next morning. 

I returned home and wrote till about midnight, and 
had not finished my task before sleep had the best of me. 

MY LIFE 125 

The next morning I took the incomplete and hurriedly 
written pages to the Captain and showed them to him, and 
expressed a wish to take them back with me, with a view 
to reviewing and " fair-copying " them ; but he took them 
from me, and said that he did not mind them as they were 
as he could read them. He then asked me to come on the 
following day, and without any idea of what was coming, I 
left him with an easy mind. 

When I visited him the next morning, he had gone out 
for a drive, and as my papers were lying on his table, I 
took them up, with the idea of going over them. I then 
saw that on the corner of one of the pages the Captain had 
written that he had examined me orally and in writing, 
and that I was a competent man, and useful to him ; and 
just below this the Nawab Sahib had written that he had 
specially selected me and sent me over to him. Having 
read these endorsements, I placed the papers again on 
the table. 

Just then the Captain returned from his drive, and 
greeted me very heartily with " How d'ye do ? " and then 
taking his seat, asked me whether I had seen the Nawab 
Sahib or not, and whether the latter had said anything to 
me. I replied that I had neither seen him nor had any con- 
versation with him, Then he sat down and wrote a few 
lines and gave them to me, with the remark that I should 
see the Nawab Sahib at once. 

I took the letter and went to the palace, although it 
was neither the day nor the hour appointed for me to see 
the Minister. But His Excellency saw me at once, and 
having spoken a few common-places, said that Captain 
Clerk was very pleased with me. I replied that being a 
servant of his (the Minister's) I was more concerned to 
secure his approbation rather than that of the Captain's 
and added that the Captain had neither read nor written 
but wasted his time in talking. I am not sure whether His 
Excellency heard my remarks or not, for he remained 
silent. After a few minutes, however, he said that he had 
to tell me a few things, but that being busy just then he 
would ask me to call again at 5 p.m. I saluted him and 

On reaching home, I found my mother busy with 
several pieces of cloth lying about her, and her foster- 
brother, Shujaat Beg, who had acquired proficiency in 

126 MY LIFE 

tailoring, cutting and measuring the same ; and when I 
asked the reason for this, my mother said that I had sent a 
message to the effect that I was to attend on His Highnesss 
the next day, and that I wished the Neema and the Jama 
(court dress) to be ready for me. I was astonished at this 
and denied having sent any such message But Saajid Beg 
and Wajid Beg, who were then about 5 and 6 years respect- 
ively, remarked, " Bai Abba "(myself)" a man riding 
on an elephant, passed this way, and said that we should 
have the Neema and Jama ready for you for your visit to 
His Highness to-morrow." (The Minister had sent the 
material and the message.) 

However, I reached the palace punctually at 5 o'clock. 
I was then wearing a short Achkhan, the folds of which fell 
about my knees, with a turban on my head and a belt 
round my waist. 

His Excellency smiled when he saw me, and intimated 
that Captain Clerk had selected me to act as his assistant, 
and asked me to accompany him to the Royal Palace. 

I was struck dumb at this, and enquired the reason for 
the displeasure in relieving me of my present position and 
sending me to act as a clerk or translator under an English- 
man, seeing that there were many servants who knew 
English, in the Government Service, who could well be 
sent to work with the Captain. I also suggested that the 
trouble I had taken with the Sahibzadas' (sons) education 
would be all in vain. 

But the Nawab Sahib was rather astonished at the 
reply I gave him, and asking whether I had lost my reason, 
pointed out that the post for which I had been selected was 
one of such great importance, that one day, perhaps, he 
might be in need of my recommendation to His Highness. 
However, first asking me to go to Amir-i-Kabir forthwith, 
and on my way back to report myself again, he laugh- 
ingly enquired what conveyance I had. I replied that I 
rode a black pony. He said that would not do, and sent an 
order to the Khansamah (Superintendent) through a 
palace servant, to get a palanquin ready for me, and also 
to send two harkaras (peons) to accompany me. Then 
summoning Narsing Rao, he ordered him to proceed, and 
inform the Nawab (Amir-i-Kabir) about this. 

Turning to me, he said that Captain Clerk would also 
visit the palace for the first time, and therefore that I 

MY LIFE 127 

should present myself there in Court dress, and not in the 
clothes that I was wearing then, and suggesting that the 
dress could be got ready in a day, he wanted me to show 
myself to him before I went. As I had no idea that I should 
have to visit the Amir-i-Kabir, His Excellency gave me 
Rs.5 to present as a Nazzur to him, saying smilingly that 
he was advancing this money as a loan to me. 


Taking my seat in the well-appointed palanquin, with 
the two harkaras (peons) proceeding in front, and a ser- 
vant holding on to the sides of the palanquin, I went along 
in state through the very streets and bazaars through 
which I had walked on foot in search of employment. The 
time for the " Assur " prayer was almost coming to an 
end when I arrived at the palace, and the moment I 
stepped into the courtyard from the " palki " a tall 
heavily-built man, with a white beard and the long turban 
of the chobdars on his head, came forward and stood be- 
fore me, He wore wrapped round his waist a band of cloth 
ten or twelve yards in length, into which he had stuck a 
dagger, and he carried a sword in his hand. He accosted 
me in a loud harsh voice, and asked what politeness was 
this to let the Nawab Sahib wait for me for so long a time. 
I said within myself, " The year that is good is known by 
the spring/' and then blurted out a few excuses. 

He took me towards the three-arched room, Two of 
the arches had curtains drawn down, and in a third, as I 
entered, I saw a very aged man. Clothed in a turban and 
jama, he looked wan, weak and ill ; but from his face 
shone the power and influence of nobility. I bowed and 
saluted him. He raised his hand to his head very courteous- 
ly, and having smilingly accepted my " Nazzur " motioned 
me to take my seat near the Masnad. The room was a small 
one, and the carpet and its white coverings, were the only 
furniture behind the " Masnad/' and a small almirah. 

The gentleman who had accompanied me, also salaam- 
ed and sat down ; and Narsing Rao, being summoned, also 
came in. 

The Nawab then enquired my name, and^I replied 
" Your humble servant is known as Agha Mirza," 

128 MY LIFE 

Turning to Narsing Rao, the Nawab said that both 
" Agha " and " Mirza " were words denoting a dis- 
tinguished family ; and then, having enquired about my 
education and bringing up, he asked me whether I knew 
Latin. I replied that Latin was not taught in any of the 
schools. He then asked whether I knew mathematics ; 
and I having replied that I knew sufficient for the purpose, 
he wanted to know what I meant by that. I pleaded 
that I knew as much as was required for the examination. 

Having heard this, he remained silent for a short while, 
and then enquired about my religion and as to whether 
people here knew me. I said that, with the exception of 
Moulvi Amin-ud-din Khan, no one knew me, and that the 
same gentleman knew what religion I professed. 

He remarked that there was no necessity for calling 
anybody to witness " Your statement is enough/' and 
turning to Narsing Rao, said, " Tell Muktar-ul-mulk 
that I like this gentleman/ 1 Then addressing me again, 
he added, " May God Almighty bless the duties you are 
called upon to perform ! " 

Upon this, Narsing Rao signed to me to present my 
" Nazzur " again ; but my pocket was empty. However, 
he placed the money in his handkerchief, and pushed it 
towards me. Amir-i-Kabir again smilingly accepted it, 
and ^ then asked me to sit down, while he also sat 
up. " 

Then looking attentively on me, he said, " Are you 
aware to what responsible post you are appointed.* I'll 
call you to account on the day of judgment, if His 
Highnesses religious and social thoughts are in any way 
affected/ 1 

To that I respectfully submitted that that responsibil- 
ity could|not falljon my shoulders, as I was but a subordi- 
nate servant and under the orders of himself and His 
Excellency the Minister, my only duty was to carry out 
orders, and that the right to control rested with those 
who had the power. 

On my reply, a couple of tears dropped from those 
blessed and honoured eyes, and he said that a vision of a 
e;reat revolution was already before his mind's eye. He 
had not many days to live, he went on, and he could not 


MY LIFE 129 

expect to witness the regime and the coming into power 
of his Highness. 

But apart from that it did not fall to their lot to advise 
and represent matters to His Highness, as it did, to those 
who daily attended on his person. The latter were the 
people who looked after him. He did not know what effect 
the appointment of an English tutor and of English 
education would be upon His Highness, but Mukhtar-ul- 
Mulk was a wise and far-sighted man, and, in the words of 
Nasir-ud-dowlah, was a jewel that they had the good 
fortune to possess. However, it was not possible to stem 
the tide of English influence, and they could not say how 
the new generation which was rising after them, would 
being ignorant of their ancient ways and customs, play 
the game. But this much was necessary, that religious 
ideals should be maintained and the royal etiquette 
preserved, and should not be thrown aside like an old 

Having said this, he ordered " Attar " to be presented, 
and changed the position of the pillows, and that being a 
sign that the interview had come to an end, I made my 
salutation and departed. 

I went straight to His Excellency the Minister's palace. 
I first said my " Magrib " prayers, and being then 
summoned, I went before His Excellency, where I found 
Thaniyat Yar-ud-dowlah and his son, Mustakim Jung 
also in attendance. 


On the next day, in the afternoon, I put on the Court 
dress (Jama, Neema, Turban and Belt) and proceeded 
to see the Minister. He laughed aloud on seeing 
rne dressed in that fashion, and did not approve of its cut. 

From there I went to the Royal Palace, where leaving 
my conveyance in the outer courtyard, and holding the 
folds of my Jama with care I passed through several 
other courtyards on foot, until I reached the " Kilvat " 
(Private Hall of audience), where I found Tahniyath 
Yar-ud-dowlah* and Mustakim Jung waiting for me. We 

*Died i3th Zilhoj, 1307. 

130 MY LIFE 

said our " Assur " Prayers together, and then Tahniyath 
Yar-ud-dowlah left us, and went towards a small building 
called the Roshan bungalow. 

After a short while I was summoned to appear before 
His Highness. I found myself in a small " Dalan " 
(covered verandah), with a small courtyard in front. A 
" Masnad " was placed in the Dalan, and on that His 
Highness was sitting. He appeared to be about eight years 
of age. He had a gold embroidered cap on his head, and 
his hair, which he wore plaited in Indian Fashion, fell down 
to his waist. He was wearing a Deccani Angarakka (a 
loose garment falling down to the ankles). Two or three 
" Mamas " (female attendants), wrapped in snowy-white 
garments, stood behind him. Tahniyath Yar-ud-dowlah 
and his son Mustakim Jung sat with folded hands in 
front of the Masnad. 

The first sentence which fell from His Highness's 
lips was " What is the English language like ? Let me hear 
it," I said " I pray for Your Highness's life and prosper- 
ity." Immediately afterwards he rose and went away. 

From there I went direct to the Minister to present my 
" Nuzzar," and then by his orders, I called on Captain 
Clerk, whom I had not seen for two or three days. He met 
me warmly, and both he and his wife were amused when 
I related all the facts to them. They specially burst out in 
laughter at my appearance, dressed as I was in " Neema " 
and " Jama/' 


Early the next morning, as arranged, I made haste to 
be at the Royal Palace. Getting down at the Buggy 
Khana (garage), I entered the Chow Mahalla Palace by 
the side entrance, at a building called Aftab Mahal (the 
Sun Palace, so called because of the paintings of that 
luminary on the ceiling). There I met Tahniyat Yar-ud- 
dowlah, Mustakim Jung, Akram Jung the Arz Begee,* 

* Known as Ethasam-ud-dowlah, died 2ist Safar, 1298 H. He 
was wounded by a man called Syed Munir. 

MY LIFE 131 

and also Moizuddin and Fasihuddin, who had as- 
sembled there before me. On the ground floor I saw 
Hakim Baker All Khan, Masih-i-uduran Khan, and Drs. 
Mohd. Ashraf and Ghulam Dastagir, sitting on the car- 
pet, spread on the ground ; and I shook hands with these. 

Just then a scion of a noble family, very fair and in- 
clined to corpulency, wearing Neema, Jama, and a Turban, 
to which a " Toora " was attached (a sign of distinction 
and worn only by those of royal blood), came on the scene. 
I was told that he was Zuffer Jung, a son of Khurshed Jah, 
who was to be His Highness's companion in his lessons. 

At this very moment information was brought by a 
harkara (peon) that Captain Clerk was on his way to the 
palace, and had reached Char Minar ; and while Mustakim 
Jung rose and went to the gate to receive him, Tahniyat 
Yar-ud-dowlah ordered a chobdar to inform the palace 
people (the Zenana) to bring forth His Highness. And then 
Captain Clerk arrived and shook us all by the hand. 

We were anxious that His Highness might not be over- 
awed by his first meeting with an Englishman, but I satis- 
fied His Excellency the Minister on this score ; and now, 
when, as his Highness arrived on a " Havadar " (an open 
palanquin), followed by several female attendants, Cap- 
tain Clerk advanced to receive him, I stopped the latter. 

A table and chairs were placed in a room on the right 
side of the palace, and there Captain Clerk and myself, 
together with Zuffer Jung and Mustakim Jung, took our 
seats, the others in attendance, including the " Mamas/' 
going outside. 

The countenance of His Highness did not show signs 
of fear, but he was evidently puzzled. 

I now drew out two or three pictures from my pocket, 
and, placing them before His Highness, began to speak at 
random, and in such a manner that both His Highness, 
and Zuffer Jung began to laugh, I then, with the permis- 
sion of Captain Clerk, said that His Highness might now 

Captain Clerk was very pleased with me, and took me 
along with him and Mustakim Jung. On our way we 
sawan open piece of ground called the place of " Kul Piran" 
(a place within the palace precincts, where the anniversary 
and Fatteha of the Saints was annually celebrated), and 
the Captain suggested that a lawn-tennis court might be 

I 3 2 MY LIFE 

made there. The Captain spoke in English, and I explained 
to Mustakim Jung in Urdu. 

The next day I took a beautifully bound volume con- 
taining pictures of animals and short stories about them, 
and when we had taken our seats at the table, I opened 
the book at the page where the picture of a tiger was 
shown. I read out the English and explained it in Urdu, 
in my own inimitable style, and then, on a sign from the 
Captain I said that the work for the day was over and 
that His Highness could retire. We all left, glad at the 
turn matters had taken. 

The day following I took a pencil and a slate. The work 
began by first reading out the stories and then placing the 
slate before them I purposely drew a defective picture of a 
tiger. Zuffer Jung objected, at which Mustakim Jung and 
Captain Clerk laughed ; and then His Highness, snatching 
the pencil from my hand, engaged himself in rectifying 
the defect in the picture. In three or four days we became 
free, and he as much at home with us as if we had known 
one another all our lives. 

H.E. the Minister was so pleased with me, that he 
sent a watch and chain by Mustakim Jung to His Highness 
for the latter to make a present of it to me ; and Captain 
Clerk especially invited me to dine with him. Mr. Hussain 
Bilgrami and Mr. Riasat Ali were also invited from among 
the officials, together with Nizam Yar Jung and others from 
among the nobility. On this occasion I wore a head-gear 
(amama) in the Farukbad style at which the Syed called 
me a " cockney " ; and he was right, because my first big 
success had almost made me forget myself, and this remark 
of his awoke me to the reality. So I threw the amama 
aside and put on the turban as usual. 

The next day, I began with the English alphabet, and 
established my prestige with His Highess by a show 
of temper towards Zuffer Jung. 

After this, lessons were given in the following way : 
Captain Clerk and myself sat at the table with His High- 
ness, and Zuffer Jung, other attendants, spreading their car- 
pets, sat in the courtyard on the ground floor of the palace. 

A few days later, H.E. the Minister stopped my 
attendance on his sons, with the excuse that he would not 
take any work in a private capacity from those who were 
employed at the palace ; and then I got my dear cousin, 

MY LIFE 133 

Rafiuddin Beg, employed there. This fact displeased a 
man called Akbar Ali, whom Mr. Syed Hussain had helped, 
and who, in the early days, read with me for a short while 
at the Canning College This man (God have mercy on his 
soul ! ) laid the foundation of disagreement between Mr. 
Syed Hussain and myself, and involved me in such anxiety 
and trouble that I feel the effect of it right to the present 
day. The disagreement continued to increase, and several 
times my connexion with the palace was on the point of 
being severed ; but God (The Omnipotent !) protected 
me, and preserved me through His mercy from harm, 
without any effort on my part, and I am the only one of 
those who attended on His Highness, and in whose hands 
his education began and ended, on whom Royal favour 
continued to be shown. The other tutors joined me at 
intervals, and parted company before His Highnesses 
education was over. 

To establish my prestige, I had to resort to an old 
English device known as the " Whipping Boy." It was 
not possible for me to continue to threaten Zuffer Jung, 
who was a scion of a noble family and held a higher rank 
than most of the other nobles ; and to punish him was out 
of the question. It was therefore agreed upon that a few of 
the sons of the Mansabdars should be made to attend, and 
that they should be taught separately. In other words, a 
small school was to be started under my supervision ; and 
I selected Mirza Rafiuddin Beg to assist me in this work. 
Of the students I only remember the name of Mumtaz Ali, 
who now holds the title of Mumtaz Yar Jung, and is 
distinguished by being the son-in-law of Afsur-ul-Mulk. I 
admonished these boys in a loud tone, and often struck 
them with the cane twice or thrice. 

At one period it was the general custom in Europe to 
employ " Whipping Boys/' to control and discipline sons 
of Princely families. But the custom with the Kings of 
Delhi was just the opposite, and Mulla Jewan used to 
chastise Alumgir pitilessly. 

The order of lessons now was, that English was taught 
from morning till noon ; then Zaman Khan (the Martyr) 
gave his lessons at fixed hours ; and in the afternoon Muzza- 
furuddin* the caligraphist gave exercises in handwriting. 

* Appointed nth Jamadi-us-sani, 1288. 

134 MY LIFE 

The martyred Moulvi was fond of friends, and those in 
need succeeded through his influence. Once he took a man, 
who, having left his native land, was in search of a living, 
to the Minister, and said " You are Mukhtar-ul-Mulk in 
both its esoteric and exoteric sense. I have brought a 
Mowhtaj -ul-Mulk to meet you " (the words " Mukhtar " 
and " Mowhtaj " are used to denote opposites, " Mukhtar" 
meaning one that has power, and " Mowhtaj/' one that is 
in need) ; and the Nawab Sahib forthwith issued a decent 
Mansab (allowance) for the man. 

I also had the good fortune to meet the Moulvi, for it 
was decided that, apart from lessons in the Holy Koran, 
lessons in Persian should also be given, and that from time 
to time, during my leisure, I should consult the Moulvi. 
He was of so saintly a character, that the city people 
were awed out of respect for and regard towards him, and 
students from all quarters flocked to acquire knowledge of 
logic, philosophy and traditions (of the Holy Prophet) at 
his feet. 

The facts relating to his marytrdom are a strange 
story. Amongst the students was a young Pathan of 
Mahdevi persuasion (a sect differing from the Sunnis and 
Shiahs, in that they believe that Mahdi, the expected One 
had come and gone in the person of the founder of their 
sect), who was a disciple of Syed Nusrut, an Imam of the 
Mahdevi Pathans in Hyderabad. Now the Moulvi had 
written a voluminous work in contradiction of the Mahdevi 
religion, which had caused heart-burnings in that commun- 
ity ; and Syed Nusrut, their Imam, a man of learning, 
made preparations to compile a book as a reply to the 
Moulvi's and began to collect material in Arabic, for 
reference, from Bombay and Egypt. But quite suddenly 
the youthful student got into such religious frenzy, that 
he made up his mind to lay down his life. On that day, it 
is said, his mother bathed him, anointed his head, and 
passed " Surma " (antimony) through his eyelids ; and 
then, placing a garland of flowers round his neck and offer- 
ing him a dagger, said to him, " Be a martyr and save us." 

The brave youth arrived at his destination at a time 
when the Moulvi was busy reading the Holy Koran, after 
the Zohur (afternoon) prayers. The young fellow made 
two protestations these are called Nafils, and are op- 
tional, as opposed to Furz, which are incumbent and 

MY LIFE 135 

then going up to the Moulvi, quietly plunged the dagger 
into him with such force, that his heart and lungs were 
pierced through and through.* 

H.E. the Minister was on a visit to the Viceroy at 
Calcutta at the time, and Nawab Mukram-ud-dowlah, his 
nephew, was acting as Deputy. 

The city was convulsed at the news of this dastardly 
murder, but the youth made good his escape to Chun- 
chulgooda (a mohalla exclusively inhabited by Mahdevi 
Pathans), and went to Syed Nusrut. The city people, 
however, especially the Mundozai Pathans (of Sunni 
persuasion) and the Arabs, made ready to avenge the 
murder, and the gates of the city were closed, and guns 
placed into position near Char Minar. But Mukram-ud- 
dowlah met the situation with courage, and promised the 
city people that on His Excellency's return the deed 
should be fully avenged ; and when the Minister came 
back, he passed orders prohibiting the entry of the Mah- 
devis into the city, and made Syed Nusrut a prisoner in his 
own house. The murderer was then sentenced to death, 
and he met his doom joyfully as a sacrifice to his religion. 
Only God knows whether he went straight into the arms 
of the Houris, or into the jaw of the fire-ejecting Dragon ; 
but he certainly inflicted a severe loss on me, in that I lost 
a friend in the person of the Moulvi, at whose hands I had 
received strong encouragement and support. 

His younger brother, Masiuz Zaman Khan, was ap- 
pointed in his place. I had worked with him at the Minis- 
ter's, and here again I came into contact with him. On 
taking charge he began to find fault with his late brother's 
work, and in a short time was able to deprive Mustakim 
Jung of the management of the palace. He also took 
possession of all the departments, with the exception of 
the Garage and the Stables, and established his influence 
to such an extent, that even the Minister began to look 
askance as to his motives. He was so annoyed with me, 
that when we met in the palace, we saluted each other from 
a distance. 

* Murdered on the Otli Zilhaj, 1292 H. 

I 3 6 MY LIFE 



In accordance with the old established customs of the 
Kings of Delhi, in the month of Safar (the 2nd of the 
lunar calendar) gold and silver rings were distributed. 
Raja Girdari Lai alias Bansi Raja sent me seven, and 
eleven to Istekam ud-dowlah Mustekil Jung Captain John 
Clerk Khan Bahadur, Commander of 500 cavalry, with a 
mansab of 7000. These were the titles conferred on Captain 
John Clerk. 

In the month of Rajab (7th of the Calendar), I received 
in invitation through the Bansi Raja to attend the " Koon- 
day " feast (Koonda is an earthenware vessel in which 
eatables are placed). This feast is celebrated in the month 
of Rajab, in honour of one of the Imams. I arrived at the 
Khilwat after Maghrib (sunset). The whole place, with its 
extensive open courtyard, was full to overflowing with 
guests. With the exception of the nobles of the highest 
rank, the whole of the gentry and the well-to-do citizens 
were honoured with an invitation to attend the feast. 
Perhaps an unfortunate one, here and there, was left out. 
The Khilwat was enclosed with Kannat. 

His Highness, surrounded by his Staff, was seated on a 
raised platform, while in the covered verandah below, 
cloth was spread for the feast, on which large earthenware 
vessels and plates were arranged. 

The guests would come in from outside, and, after par- 
taking of the " Biryani " would mount by the staircase to 
the right, and then, passing along the foot of the platform, 
would stop awhile, salute, and then retire. Bansi Raja, in 
Court dress, with his family head-dress, and a belt round 
his waist, would be busy entertaining the guests. 

The Raja, a fair-complexioned, beardless man of 
middle height, was corpulent ; but he was very active, and 
was a Persian poet of elegance and literary merit. The man- 
agement of the palace rested on his shoulders, without 
anyone else to share his responsibility. He was a special 
henchman of the Minister, and looked after all the 
" Zenana " (internal) and the " Mardena " (external) 
affairs of the palace on festive occasions. He also made 
arrangements for the Durbars, both Moglai and English 

MY LIFE 137 

and in addition he was Serishtadar (Head-clerk) of the 
troops, and had under his control the Iron Foundry and 
other important departments. 

He had a special regard for me, and in his spare hours 
we whiled away the time in reciting Persian poems. 
He wrote Persian, but could hardly write a couple of Urdu 
sentences, and considered it bad taste to do so. The same 
was the case in Delhi, up to the time of the Mutiny. 

The Raja also tried to enforce the old customs and 
regulations in vogue at the Court of the Kings of Delhi, 
and handed down from the times of the First Asaf Jah*, 
and would not permit deviation from them. In consequence 
he came into collision with Masi-uz-Zaman Khan. 

In Shab-e-Barat (corresponding to All Saints' day), I 
received fireworks from three or four places from the 
palace through Mustakim Jung, H.E. the Minister, Nawab 
Amir-i-Kabir, and Kurshed Jah, as a special favour ; and 
likewise in Bakr-Eed, camel's flesh ; in Nowaz eggs ; and 
during the Mango season, mangoes. 

The distribution on such occasions was made by the 
aforesaid Raja. A distinction with regard to these dis- 
tributions was made in the case of those who attended in 
the Royal palace, and in the case of the Minister, and of 
the nobles of the Paigah and the Peshkar. And on some 
occasions a general distribution was made to all the ser- 
vants of the palace and the Mansabdars without distinc- 
tion ; especially was this the case in the mango season. 


The month of Rarnzan was nearing its end and pre- 
parations were in progress to celebrate " Eed-ul-Fitr." In 

* The House of the Nizams was founded by Asaf Jah, who was 
appointed Viceroy of the Deccan in 1713, with the title of Nizamul- 
Mulk. He died in 1748. Nizam AH Khan, his fourth son, was pro- 
claimed Ruler in 1761. He died in 1803, and was succeeded by his 
son, Sikander Jah. On the latter's death in 1829, he was succeeded 
by Nasiruddowlah, who died in May, 1857, and was in turn succeeded 
by Afzulud Dowlah, who died in 1869. 

138 MY LIFE 

the times of the Kings of Delhi, a department to watch 
that nothing irreligious was done, was kept up in great 
state. The head of this department had entrusted to him 
the supervision of prices in the bazaar, and of weights and 
measures. Also immoralities of all kinds, such as gambling 
and drunkenness, eating and drinking in the month of 
Ramzan in the bazaars, and other licentious acts were 
suppressed by him. 

On the Eed Day the Kazi drove out. The citizens 
dressed in their best, according to their means and their 
rank, would go in small crowds, riding on horses and 
elephants or in palanquins, accompanied with escorts and 
retainers, and with bands playing to the Eed Gah. The 
scene brings a vision of Islamic grandeur before the eyes, 
and makes amends for the sorrow felt at the licentious 
p actices during the Mohurrum. The noblemen made 
preparations to hold the durbar, the well-to-do and the 
gentry of the place decorated and cleaned up their houses. 
The scents wafted their sweetness over the city ; and 
Hindus and Mussulmans, bedecked in jewellery, clothed in 
raiment of different colours, and wearing turbans of 
different shapes and belts round their waist, were seen at 
every turn and corner of the city. 

Then, when the guns were fired, and the prayers came to 
an end, the people returned to their houses, the Amirs 
made preparations to attend the Royal Durbar, and the 
city people made haste to attend on the Amir under whom 
they served. And as the matchlocks were fired in the 
streets and by-lanes of the City, the scene reminded me of 
Ghalib's poem, viz., 

" It is the ' Eed ' The season of gaiety, gladness 
and frolic is general." 

I thanked God that, after the destruction of Delhi, I 
lived to see this Islamic grandeur and power. 

I also dressed myself in plain clothes of Neema and 
Jama, turban and belt, and proceeded towards the palace ; 
and the streets were so crowded with conveyances, 
together with their escorts, that I was on the road for an 
hour instead of the usual 10 minutes. With great difficulty 
I reached the " Buggy Khana," and getting out of my 
palanquin I reached the " Khilwat/' and then passed 

MY LIFE 139 

through Chowmahalla Palate* and the Rag Mala 
(Glory and Power is with God). 

The whole extensive maidan of the Khilwat, inside, as 
well as outside, was full of Mansabdars, Jemadars, the 
lesser nobility, the gentry, and the well-to-do of the City. 
The Khilwat was decorated and furnished in the old style 
with furniture, chandeliers and mirrors. In the outer 
" Dalan," just at the edge of the platform, a " Masnad " 
was placed, which had a covering over it, the latter being 
held down in its place by weights ; and in the next 
" dalan," a canopy of silk was drawn up and underneath 
it sat a few musicians, with their instruments. 

Viewing these interesting sights I passed on to the 
" Roshun " bungalow. 

His Highness came outside for a change of clothes. 
Tahniyat Yar-ud-dowlah, the Vakil of Riasat, Musta- 
kim Jung, f the attendant, Ekram Jung, the Super- 
intendent of the Sarfikhas Treasury, the Urzbegee, 
and Moizuddin and Fasihuddin, on behalf of Naib 
Shamshul Umra Amir-i-Kabir Bahadur, were pre- 
sent with folded hands. These looked on me with 
astonishment, and said that no tutor attended the 
Durbar for fear of lessening his prestige. I replied, 
*' I am here because I have a great desire to see the 
ceremonies in connexion with the Royal Durbar." 

At this juncture the " harkara " gave the information 
that the Dewan, riding on an elephant and seated in the 
Ambari (howdah), had approached, and then that the 
Amir-i-Kabir, seated in a " Bocha " (palanquin), had also 
arrived at the gate of the Royal Palace ; and in the same 

* The Nizam's Chowmahalla palace consists of three quadrangles, 
with handsome buildings on either hide, and large cisterns in the 
centre. The palace is luxuriously and tastefully furnished, and the 
zenana or ladies' apartments lie beyond the third quadrangle. 

There are other Royal residences, at Golconda, Sururnagar, 
Mouia Ali, Asafnagar, Lingampalh, MalakpeL His Exalted Highness 
at present resides in the King Kothi Palace. 

The Falaknuma palace was built by the late Sir Vikarul Umara 
at a cost, it is said, of 35 lakhs. It was purchased by His Highness, 
the late Nizam, in 1897. It is built on the summit oJt a neighbouring 
hill, from which the view of the city and the suburbs is most striking ; 
and no building in Hyderabad equals it in point either of architecture 
or design. 

f Died 6th Rajab, 1318 H. 

140 MY LIFE 

manner they announced the arrivals of the Peshkar, 
Vikar-ul-Umra, and other great noblemen, 

Mustakim Jung and Moizuddin Sahib dressed His High- 
ness in his special costume, and proceeding via the Rag 
Mala, brought him to the Khilwat. Immediately a great 
clamour arose, that His Highness had arrived, and men 
seated far and near at once rose to their feet. 

His Highness took his seat on the " Royal Masnad." 

I stood in a corner and began to witness the scene. 
First of all, Nawab Shamshul Umra Amir-i-Kabir, 
Bahadur came to the Adab-Gah (the place appointed to 
offer salutation), and the chobdars cried aloud, " Eyes 
front, with respect and regard ! " At this, Nawab Amir-i- 
Kabir, with Mothesham-ud-Dowlah and Bashir-ud-dowlah 
bowing low, made seven salutations. After this, the chob- 
dars holding the Nawab with their hands, led him to the 
platform, where he, saluting, sat down facing His Highness. 
Mothesham-ud-dowlah took his seat at the back, with the 
" Morchal " (Peacock Fan, a sign of Royalty). 

Then the Diwan came to the spot from where salut- 
ations were being exchanged, and, likewise bowing low, 
paid his homage ; and, following him, every Amir of rank 
saluted in like fashion. The chobdars, holding their hands, 
led each Amir from the Adab-Gah to the edge of the 
Khilwat, to present his " Nuzzer " ; and afterwards, in 
obedience to the command each Amir was taken on to the 
platform of the Khilwat and made to take a seat facing the 
Royal Masnad. From the Adab-Gah to the Khilwat, the 
Durbaris flocked in great crowds ; but the chobdars plied 
them with sticks, and restored order. One or two sticks 
inadvertently touched the higher nobles ; and at this 
durbar, Mukram-ud-dowlah's dress was torn, while the 
Baday Sahib, i.e. Laik Ali Khan, the son of H.E. the 
Minister, was one of those who was struck with a stick. 

Subsequently purses from every department were 
presented in Nuzzers. The Minister presented large 
purses on behalf of Government servants, Judicial 
Revenue, Police and Troops ; and every nobleman like- 
wise presented the Nuzzer of his State, Now from every 
side the Durbaris made haste to present their nuzzers, and 
the Chobdars again began to ply their sticks to maintain 
order. When that had been done, Tahniyat Yar-ud-dowlah 
transplaced the pillows of the Masnad, as a sign that the 

MY LIFE 141 

durbar was over, and then the noblemen arose, and, 
making their salutations from the Adab-Gah, departed. 

His Highness now returned to " Roshun " bungalow, 
where the attendants presented their Nuzzers. 

And so the Eed Durbar came to an end ; and I having 
seen the sight returned pleased. 


During the reign of H.H. Afzul-ud-dowlah, it was 
customary for the Resident to make a request through the 
Minister for an audience. On these occasions His Highness 
would take his seat on the " Masnad " ; the Resident, 
with his companions, would sit on the carpet to the right, 
bare-headed and without shoes ; and to the left the 
Diwan, the Peshkar, and other great nobles, would be 

When H.H. Afzul ud-dowlah passed away, and before 
the Resident could be informed Mukadam Jung, the Arab 
Jemadar, took possession of all the gates of the City, so 
that no Englishman, or anyone in their employ, could 
enter the City. Possibly this was done at the instance 
of the Diwan and the Amir-i-Kabir. In the mean- 
while, the great nobles assembled at the palace, and 
making Sir Mahboob All Khan ascend the " Masnad," 
presented " Nuzzers " to him. Then, and then only, the 
gates of the city were opened. The Resident made a great 
fuss about this, but the thing was a fait accompli. Ac- 
cordingly the Resident then became obstinate, and 
insisted that, since they had dispensed with his presence 
and advice, he would not take off his shoes, or attend the 
Durbar unless chairs were used. The Amir-i-Kabir and 
the Diwan were obliged to accede to these conditions, and 
from that date chairs were introduced into the Dur- 

142 MY LIFE 

At this time a " Kareeta "* from the Viceroy, ad- 
dressed to the Ruler of the Deccan, was received, to the 
effect that the Prince of Wales, the Heir-apparent to the 
throne, was coming on a visit of travel and sight-seeing to 
Her Majesty's possessions in the East, and that all the 
Ruling Chiefs would be in Bombay on a certain day and 
date previously fixed, and that His Highness should also be 
there, to join in the welcome to be given to this honoured 

The two Governments had been in correspondence 
regarding this matter for some time past, and the lan- 
guage and tone employed by them was becoming unpleasant 
and painful. The discussion centred round the word " Suze- 
rain/' Mr. Oliphant, a former Editor of the " Jimes of 
India/' and a man of exceptional literary attainments, 
with Mr, Syed Hussain, who had experience in journalism 
and was equal to Mr. Oliphant in merit, carried on the 
correspondence with such telling effect that men of lesser 
ability in the Foreign Office began to use threatening 
language. Their contention was in effect, this : " We are 
ruling in place of the kings of Delhi, and that treaties made 
in the past could not be made to fit in with the present 
conditions, and that these treaties cannot be used in 
argument against us." In other words, treating treaties 
" as scraps of paper " according to modern phraseology 
they ordered Mr. Saunders, the Resident, to invite the 
Nizam to Bombay in open Durbar, and it was for this 
purpose that a Durbar was now held. 

The Captain and I reached the Palace early in the 
morning. Mustakim Jung, Tahniyat Yar-ud-dowlah, and 
others were already in the main hall of the Aftab Mahal 
Palace, and a gilt chair was placed in the middle. 

Below the dais, to the right, a chair was placed for the 
Captain, and behind him, two other chairs, one for myself, 
and the other for the Moulvi. Lower down (in the same 

* A " Kharita " (or " Kareeta ") is a letter enclosed in a bag of 
rich brocade, which is contained in another ol fine muslin. To the 
mouth, which is tied with a string of silk, hangs suspended the great 
seal, which is a flat mass of sealing wax, with the seal impressed 
on each side of it. This is the kind of letter which passes among 
princes of great rank in India, and between them and the public' 
functionaries of government. 

MY LIFE 143 

direction), other chairs were placed for the Resident and 
those who accompanied him. 

To the left, there were chairs for the Amir-i-Kabir, the 
Diwan, the Peshkar, and other nobles of rank. Raja 
Girdari Lall was seated lower down, with garlands of 
flowers, attardhans (scent-boxes) and pan* (betel-nut), 
arranged in trays. 

His Highness was present in one of the rooms of the 
palace, in order to change his dress. 

In the meanwhile the nobles began to arrive. The lirst 
to come was Amir-i-Kabir, suffering from a disease which 
eventually carried him off. He was supported by several 
of his retainers, and with great difficulty ascended the 
steps and sat down in a corner of the building. His 
Highness, playing about, came in and out of the 
room several times, and each time he appeared, the 
Amir-i-Kabir was assisted by his men to stand and 
again to sit down. To my misfortune, I went up to the 
Amir, and explained that His Highness was merely playing 
about, and therefore it was not necessary for him to take 
the trouble of standing each time. He looked at me with 
displeasure and said, " Praise God ! " you wish me to be- 
come disrespectful ! " 

The Prime Minister and other nobles assembled in the 
Palace opposite. 

When the harkaras (peons) announced that the 
Resident was about to leave the grounds of the Residency, 
Mustakim Jung and Moizuddin began to coax His 
Highness to put on his dress. Later it was announced that 
the Resident had reached Pather Gutti (a street so named 
because it was paved with large slabs of granite) ; and 
yet a little later it was made known that the Resident was 
now close on to the Char Minar a beautiful structure 
of the time of the Kutb Shahi Kings, with four minarets. 
Upon this information, His Highness was made to occupy 
the chair on the " Dais," and the female attendants stood 
behind him. 

The Moulvi and I took our seats at the back of the 

* Pan. The leaf of " Piper Betel " handed to guests at ceie- 
monial entertainments, along with the nut of areca catechu, made 
up in a packet of gold and silver leaf. It is a well-known Indian 

144 MY LIFE, 

Captain, who sat to the right of, the ais. On the left, 
Amir-i-Kabir occupied the fapt ehair, the Prime Minister 
the next, and then followed Vikar-ul-Umra and the Pesh- 
kar, and other noblemen in order of precedence and rank. 

The Minister, with the Urzbegee and other officials 
of t;,e Palace, went as far as tl.e entrance to receive the 
Resident, and then the Resident walked, hand in hand, 
with the Minister up to the steps of the palace, where Vikar- 
ul-Umra and the Peshkar were standing to receive him, and 
where first the former and then the latter embraced him. 
This ceremony was brought into vogue by Abul Fazl, 
during the reign of Akbar, in order that the Hindu and 
Muslim durbaris, by embracing each other, might pro- 
mote feelings of love and brotherhood between the two 

The Resident was then led by the hand up to the Dais, 
where he first bade His Highness good morning, and 
then advanced to embrace the Amir-i-Kabir. He after- 
wards shook hands with Captain Clerk, and then he 
and those who accompanied him, including the surgeon 
and the Military officer in uniform, took their seats to 
the right according to rank. 

The Resident, Mr. Saunders, having first enquired after 
His Highness's health, now presented the letter, which the 
Prime Minister, rising took and gave to the Munshi of 
the Durbar (generally a distinguished official was deputed 
to hold this post), who from the Adabgah read it out aloud. 

It was the Resident's bad luck that he first spoke to 
Captain Clerk, in the hope of securing his support, saying 
that His Highness would not only get the benefit of the 
change, but would also enjoy the sights of Bombay. The 
Captain threw out his legs lengthwise and, pressing 
his back to the chair, straitened himself, and then replied 
nonchalantly, that the change and the enjoyment rested 
on one's free will and pleasure, and could not be forced. 

Mr. Saunders was evidently much puzzled at the reply, 
but he then turned to His Highness, and said, in the hope 
of exciting his boyish curiosity, " Your Highness should 
4ee the sights of Bombay/ 1 

His Highness only looked blankly into his eyes, and 
remained silent, the Amir-i-Kabir then spoke. If force were 
meant to be used, he said, then they were ready to obey, 
but the ladies of the Harem, and especially His Highness's 

MY LIFE 145 

grandmother, could not allow His Highness to be separ- 
ated from them for a single day, let alone consenting to 
send him to Bombay. 

The Resident put in that the ladies could accompany 
His Highness, to which the Peshkar courageously replied 
that His Highness's grandmother being old and infirm, 
could not undertake such a long journey. 

Throughout the conversation the Prime Minister ob- 
served silence, but now he motioned to Raja Girdari Lall. 
to come forward at once with the " Pan Dhan/' and then 
he garlanded the Resident himself, and presented the 
" Pan Dhan " to him a Chaprassi who was standing 
behind took possession of it. The Peshkar garlanded 
others, and handed the " Pan Dhan " to them. 

The Durbar came to an end, but the controversy 
remained, 'ihe Resident began to press for the journey to 
Bombay, and the Minister on his side apparently busied 
himself with arrangements for it ; but he and the Amir-i- 
Kabir carried on consultations. Finally, the Resident was 
informed that the revered grandmother had issued a 
" Firman " that His Highness, who had suffered from 
tonsilitis from babyhood, was not permitted by the at- 
tending physician to go to Bombay with its damp climate. 
The consequence was that Dr. Wyndowe the Residency 
Surgeon, was sent to examine His Highness and to report 
on his general state of health. The final result was, that 
the journey to Bombay fell through like a slaughtered 
animal which breathes its last with a tremor ; and in this 
wise, H.E. the Minister scored a victory over the Foreign 
Office and the question of suzerainty. 

Mr. Saunders, who was blameless in the matter, fell 
under displeasure, and was transferred, his place being 
taken by Sir Richard Meade, who was now sent to Hyder- 
abad, with special instructions to punish the loyal Minister. 


Captain John Clerk was the scion of a noble family, and 
had a lordly temperament. He considered every British 
official, including even the Resident, as lower in status 
to himself, and used to say that these men having taken 
degrees in examinations, came out to India and there 
conducted themselves in an overbearing and self -conceited 


146 MY LIFE 

manner, while they were utterly ignorant of the ways 
and behaviour of nobility in respect to speech, dress, 
etc. Colonel Neville and Mr. Oliphant were men of 
similar views. They rarely met British officials, and when- 
ever they did so, they were reserved towards them and 
carried themselves high. 

Captain Clerk was so kind to me, that he never did 
anything without consulting me. His wife also treated me 
in like manner. At the time when lessons were given 
he sat quiet and never interfered in anything. 

I used to teach a few necessary sentences to His High- 
ness and Zuffer Jung* every day and, apart from this, I 
had begun lessons from the ordinary " Reader/' and also 
in grammar, geography and arithmetic, according to a 
settled programme. I went in the morning and returned in 
the afternoon. Whenever His Highness and Zuffer Jung were 
slack in their studies, I made the sons of the Mansabdars feel 
the weight of my displeasure. In short, I became popular 
in the palace, and carried out my duties with independence. 

Quite suddenly a change came over the times. First 
of all, Mohamed Zaman Khan (on whom be peace !) met 
his martyrdom, f and I was deprived of his true friendship. 
After him, Nawab Shumshul-Umra Amir-i-Kabir Omdut- 
ul-Mulk passed away ; and in him also I lost a supporter. 
Then Captain Clerk's beautiful wife, leaving an infant at 
the breast as her memento, stepped into the world beyond 
the grave ; and the Captain was so broken-hearted, that 
he left for England with his child. 

And so now I had the Minister alone to encourage and 
support me. Indeed, the time had arrived in which, not 
only myself, but others, having lost our former peace of 
mind, and pleasure and comfort, were thrown into the 
vortex of sorrow, pain and care ; and so much so, that 
every man, high or low, began to think of his preservation. 
The state of affairs in the palace was coming to this, that 
Masi-uz-Zaman Khan,J being just the opposite of his 

* Bora on tne ^jlh cxuiar, 1283 If., no was tue boil oi Sir Khui- 
shed Jah, by Prmecbs Husbam-uz-Zciman, Begum. He died on the 
23rd Zillada, 1324 H., aged 43. 

f Assassination oj Moulvi Mohamed Zaman Khan. The culprit's 
name was Syed Mohamed. For full particulars vide " Biography 
of Moulvi Ma&ih-uz-Zanian Khan," by Moulvi Muzafftr Hussan 
Khan Sulimam ; pp. 240-250. 

J Appointed in place of his brother on 2nd Mohurrum, 1293 U- 

MY LIFE 147 

brother, the martyr, was apart from his legitimate duties 
as tutor, beginning to take upon himself other duties as 
well, and nothing could be done in the palace, without his 
permission and order. He was ambitious to advance his own 
interests, while his brother had had a dislike for all worldly 
things ; and he was as greedy and self-seeking as his 
brother had been contented and selfless. Everybody, 
including servants, and those who were in constant 
attendance on His Highness, watched the demeanour of 
Moulvi Masi-uz-Zaman Khan with anxiety, hope and fear ; 
and the latter began to feel his own power and influence to 
such an extent, that he began to look on the Minister as 
his rival. I through short-sightedness and pride, kept out 
of the way of despotism, and fled from him like an arrow ; 
but, all the same, he tried to lower my respect and be- 
little my dignity which after all, was not much and to 
bring me into contempt at every step. He used to say, 
" I know all about this gentleman," meaning me. " If he 
came from Shahjehanabad, I am an inhabitant of Shah- 
jehanpur ! " 

I was involved in these anxieties when a private dis- 
pute arose between Nawab Rashid-ud-din Khan Vikar- 
ul-Umra and Bashir-ud-dowlah, from which Vikar-ul-Umra 
through the support of Sir Richard Meade, came out the 
victor, and so came into possession of all honours and 
offices connected with the Royal Palace, and also of the 
titles of Shamshul-Umra, Amir-i-Kabir. In fact, he was 
appointed Co-regent with the Minister.* All these orders 
came from the Foreign Office, on the recommendation of 
Sir Richard Meade, and the Minister was forced to ac- 
knowledge them. 

And now a tug-of-war began, which affected people in 
general. Sir Richard Meade, f a military man who had 
travelled far and wide, and who had great influence and 
power with his Government, whose confidence he posses- 
sed, adopted the following plan for so bringing things 
about, that the Minister's old enemy should, as a punish- 
ment for the former, share the responsibilities of his 
position. This nobleman had a loyal and experienced 
Parsee servant whose name was Shahpurjee, who could 

* 22nd Jamadi-us-sani, 1294 H. 

t Resident, 5th December, 1875, to 24th March, 1880. 

148 MY LIFE 

read and write English well. Of middle height, and brown 
complexion, pleasantly polite, and well-dressed, he was a 
clever, active man and, like his renowned master, was 
ready to oblige every one. In other words, so far as the 
PaigaTi was concerned he was all in all. His Excellency 
possessed no such loyal servant as Shahpurjee, who, in a 
very short time, succeeded in bringing Nawab Amir-i- 
Kabir and the Resident together ; and so the chastise- 
ment of the Minister began. 

First of all the Iron foundry, in charge of Raja 
Girdari Lall,* was made a target for attack, because a few 
guns were made there, suspicion being thrown on the Min- 
ister's intention in regard to them. 

Nawab Amir-i-Kabir, who owed his position to Sir 
Richard Meade, and was under obligation to him, assisted 
him in every matter. 

The old established rule that no person from the city, 
whether official or non-official, could visit Secunderabad, 
let alone Chadarghat, without permission, was, after great 
efforts, set aside ; and even I was ordered to call on Sir 
Richard Meade every Saturday, and present to him a 
weekly report of His Highness's progress. 

The officers of the Irregular Troops, that is, Arab and 
Pathan Jemadars, were summoned to the Residency and 
there specially tutored ; but as H.E. the Minister had full 
control over the officials and heads of the Judicial Revenue 
and of the Miscellaneous departments, and of the servants 
belonging to these, they therefore since their hopes and 
fears were centred in him nolens volens, observed the 
old rule. 

Captain Clerk, Mr. Oliphant and Col. Neville openly 
sided with the Minister, and opposed the Resident, 
who, however, succeeded in giving the coup de grace to 
Mr. Oliphant, and sent him away one night in a helpless 
condition to Bombay. But the other European gentlemen 
fearlessly stood their ground. 

At this juncture Shahpurjee was the only man who 
held sway, and it was generally believed in the city that the 
Minister would not be able to maintain himself. As the 
poet says : 

* Died 231x1 Safar, 1314 II. He was a poet, and his pen-name 
was " Baki." 

MY LIFE 149 

"If he remains, he remains a night only, but 
the following night will chronicle his departure. 

Sir Richard Meade had, according to his own views, 
completed his arrangements. He then informed His 
Excellency that he had received a docket from the Vice- 
roy, which he wanted him to come and hear ; but his 
Excellency, making an excuse of indisposition, summoned 
the Resident to himself, and calling the officers of the 
army together, that is to say, the Jemadars, etc., gave them 
the necessary instructions. 

On the day of the meeting, the courtyard was full of 
Arab and Pathan troops, and the Jemadars, fully armed, 
were sitting in the " Hall of Mirrors," when Sir Richard 
Meade's carriage entered the courtyard. At sight of the 
crowd, he was thrown into anxiety, and when he reached 
the Hall of Mirrors, he did not find the Minister there to 
receive him as was customary. Instead, Mir Tehvur Ali, 
the Minister's foster-brother, advanced and intimated 
that the Nawab Sahib (bad luck to his enemies !) was 
indisposed ; and Sir Richard perceiving the Jemadars in 
full war kit, became more anxious and inferred that his 
tutoring had had no effect on them. 

Finally he reached the gallery, and there the Nawab 
advanced up the threshold to meet him, and, taking him 
by the hand, made him sit on the same couch with him. 

After exchange of greetings, the Nawab made a 
request to see the docket ; but the Resident replied, " You 
are indisposed. After recovery, you may come over to me 
and I will then explain the whole matter to you." 

His Excellency smiled and said, " Sir Richard, I know 
the whole facts." And throwing his handerchief on the 
ground, he went on : "I have not as much respect for 
office as for this handkerchief." My gracious master has 
given me enough to make me satisfied even without 
holding this office, but you cannot snatch the latter away 
from me. My late Master and Sovereign gave the hand of 
his orphan son into mine on his death-bed, and expressed 
the wish that I should serve him faithfully, even at the 
risk of losing my head. 

The Government has not appointed me, nor am I 
subordinate to it. You certainly have the power to arrest 
and carry me away, but the responsibility for bloodshed 

150 MY LIFE 

in, and disaster to, the State, will wholly rest with the 
Government before God and Man." 

While this conversation was taking place, the door of 
the room was shoved open and Ghalib Jung, Mukadam 
Jung, and other Jemadars, armed to the teeth, entered, 
and in a loud voice cried, " Nawab Sahib, we are prepared 
to lay down our lives we await your command/' 

The General appeared frightened out of his wits, but 
the Nawab in a harsh tone and with evident displeasure, 
warned the men away, and then returning to the Resident, 
apologetically said, " These savage men of the desert 
express their loyalty in a crude manner." 

He then requested that the docket might be shown to 
him, and also asked the Resident to inform the Govern- 
ment of his reply, and not to think of the uncivil conduct 
of the Jemadars ; and he added that the subjects of his 
Sovereign, one and all, held him in similar affection and 

The General possibly believed that all was up with 
him, and, although he knew that the Government would 
take the necessary steps in the matter, he wished to get 
out of the dilemma. At last he said, " Nawab Sahib, you 
are indisposed, and are upset and angry over these 
matters postpone them for the next meeting." 

He then rose, but after looking hither and thither, 
again sat down. 

The Nawab Sahib guessed the reason for his action, 
and accordingly himself escorted him to the door, where 
he said that as he was unwell, Tehvur Ali would see him 
off and also accompany him, and that no one would dare 
raise his small finger without orders from him. The inter- 
view was thus concluded. (These facts came to my know- 
ledge through Riasat Ali, the son of Tehvur Ali). 

Those were stirring times for the Minister, and although 
he did not possess a man to equal Shahpurjee in sagacity 
and ability, he passed through the ordeal with great 
determination and patience. 

Among those of the matters that suffered most, His 
Highnesses education was the most important and was in 
grave danger of being adversely affected. 

Moulvi Masi-uz-Zaman Khan was now beginning to 
consider his subordination to the Minister a hardship, and 
his ambition was, not only to take under his direction all 

MY LIFE 151 

matters connected with the palace, but also to take charge 
of the person of his Highness to the exclusion of all others ; 
and at this period the opportunity he sought came in his 

The Amir-i-Kabir laid claim to introduce two or three 
of his own men from amongst his Mansabdars and at- 
tendants, into the Royal Palace to remain there night and 
day this on the plea that His Highness was surrounded 
by Diwani officials who had the chance of conveying 
praises of the Minister to the Royal ears. (The real fact, 
however, was that with the exception of myself and 
Masiuzzaman Khan, the rest had hereditary connexion 
with the palace). Finally, on the one side, the Minister and 
Captain Clerk acted in unison, and on the other, the Amir- 
i-Kabir and the Resident worked hand in hand. However, 
on behalf of Amir-i-Kabir a doctor, Mohamed Ashraf , and 
two of his attendants, Abdul Majid and Moinuddin, 
entered into the palace. Abdul Majid was a very simple 
Muslim, but Moinuddin, a member of the family of the 
Mashayaks of Aurangabad (a religious order), and an 
instrument in the hand of Shahpurjee, was shrewd and 
ambitious. He soon became an adviser and a confidant 
of Moulvi Masi-uz-Zaman Khan. As a set-off, he succeeded 
in turning the Moulvi over to the side of the Amir-i- 

The Minister also placed three of his men, namely, 
Riasat Ali* son of Tehvur AH, Agha Nasir Shah, a nephew 
of the Agha Khan, and an Indian Government servant, 
Mirza Mohamed Ali Beg the last on the recommendation 
of Agha Nasir Shah. Of these, Agha Nasir Shah was a man 
of princely temperament, and a bosom companion of Mr. 
Syed Hussain ; Riasat Ali, like the other city people, was a 
simpleton, with no experience of the tragedies of life ; and 
the third, a Rasaidar of a British Regiment, was a far- 
sighted, thoughtful man, well up in his dealings with the 
British officials. This last was also more ambitious than 
even Moinuddin ; and, in addition, was a good horseman. 
Agha Nasir Shah led a life of ennui, while Mohamed Ali 
Beg occupied himself with thoughts of future prosperity. 

Now Riasat AH was alone to face Moinuddin and the 

* A.D.C. to H.H. the Nizam, Nawab Mahbub Yar Jung, died 
2nd Shawal, 1325 H, 

152 MY LIFE 

Moulvi, and his position, as compared with these two, 
was such as the poet describes, viz. : 

" He who has come to pierce my breast to the heart, 
is one who cannot put a thread through the eye 
of a needle/' 

As for myself, first as a tutor to His Highness, I was 
only concerned with matters relating to tuition ; secondly, 
General Meade's threats were ringing in my ears ; and 
thirdly, my duty kept me at the palace, for a few hours 
only, that is, from morning to about noon. During the 
rest of the time, I remained at my house doing nothing, 
whereas those gentlemen attended the palace at all times 
of the day and night. 

Captain Clerk, being a European, did not know our 
ways of living. 

Sir Richard Meade openly declared that the Minister 
was so fond of power, that he was neglecting His Highnesses 
education, and wished him to remain ignorant and illite- 
rate, so that he might enjoy his own power the more. 

Poor Mustakim Jung knew neither how to read nor to 
write, but he was dubbed " Mohamed the Learned." He 
was a simple gentleman, very honest and constant, and 
truly loyal to the Ruler and the Minister. 

He always spoke to me of his difficulties and dis- 

In the meanwhile the Minister (with true diplomatic 
foresight) went to England*, and left Mukram-ud-dowlah 
and the Peshkar as deputies. 

The Captain had preceded him, with his orphan child, 
and so I was now left alone without friend or supporter, 
and while filled with all kinds of fears, was nevertheless 
responsible for the education of a great Ruler. I was 
young, quick of temper, and irritable, and was so lazy 
that I never kept up with the officials and nobility of the 
State, so that, in time of need, their friendship could stand 
me in good stead. I do not know how I managed to pull 
through this period of anxiety in safety. 

H.E. the Minister appointed Captain Claude Clerk, and 
an elder brother, in place of Captain John Clerk, and 
brought him along with him on his return from his 

* i6th April, 1876 A.D. (1293 H,) 

MY LIFE 153 

European tour. At the very first meeting, he met me 
coldly, and maintained that attitude throughout his stay 
in Hyderabad. He was a Military man and through some 
cause had lost the use of one of his legs. He was also a life- 
long sufferer from bladder complaints. He did not know 
how to teach ; nor, owing to his continued bad health, 
was he fit for any work. At the same time he was con- 
stantly anxious about what people thought of him ; and 
without any previous experience of my work he had, 
whilst in England, come to look upon me as one of lesser 
ability than Mr. Syed Hussain. 

Immediately on his arrival, he refused to be called 
a tutor, and began to use the style, Superintendent of 
Education, in regard to himself ; and he persistently 
pressed on the Minister to employ a qualified and ex- 
perienced Englishman as his assistant, with the result 
that Mr. Davidson was appointed to this post. The latter 
was a sporting young man. He also left the whole work to 
me, and, as luck would have it, became my friend. But 
he was not to live long, and passed away in a couple of 

And now Moulvi Nazir Ahmed began to make friends 
with the Captain. This gentleman was an inhabitant of 
a small town near Delhi, and had held a high position in 
the Education Department of the British Sirkar. After 
retirement, he came to Hyderabad, enjoying a fat pen- 
sion, and was given the post of a Sudder Talukdar (Com- 
missioner of a Division). He was a man of advanced age, 
but very shrewd and clever, and was soon able to in- 
gratiate himself with the Captain. He was an author of 
repute, and had written several books ; and now he com- 
piled in simple Urdu a glossary of Revenue terms and also 
wrote short essays on the procedure employed in Revenue 
courts. These were " fair copied/' in the caligraphic style 
of the East, and presented to Captain Claude Clerk. 

It was now decided that, together with English educa- 
tion, lessons on administrative matters should also 
be given ; and the Resident, who had already made 
charges against the Minister, as regards His Highness's 
tuition, unwillingly fell in with the Captain's views, in 

* Mr. Davidson was appointed on the I2th Jamadi-us-sani, 
1297 H. (1880 A.D.), and died on the 4th Shawal, 1297 H. 

154 MY LIFE 

regard to the employment of the Moulvi, a pensioner of 
the British Government and a man of great erudition. 
The Amir-i-Kabir, who was a protege of the Resident, 
perforce agreed to this arrangement. 

It may be said with truth that Shahpurji tried hard 
to dissuade the Resident, but now the Minister himself 
was obliged to sanction the appointment ; and when I 
went to see him as usual, he being very kind to me, said 
to console me, that, although the appointment was made, I 
should not suffer by it, and that Captain Clerk would look 
to the distribution of the work. I said that my duty was 
to serve the Sirkar, and that I would gladly discharge any 
work entrusted to me. 

On the other hand, Captain Claude Clerk informed me 
that the Moulvi would begin the work the next day, and 
that he and I should distribute the work between ourselves. 
As for the Moulvi, he began to give away appointments in 
the palace, name by name, to his relatives and friends, 
a day previous to his taking charge. With the exception 
of Amin-ud-din Khan, Inayat Ullah Khan and Inayat-ur- 
Rahman Khan there was not a Hindustanee who did not 
call to congratulate and flatter him ; and a great durbar 
was held at his house. 

Now hear a strange story. A very old gentleman, 
who had arrived in Hyderabad from some place outside, 
stayed with me for several months. Of middle height, lean 
of body, and brown of complexion, he was, although very 
old, active and erect. He had a white beard, neither large 
nor small, and wore Turkish costume, with his hair 
falling to his shoulders. He was utterly ignorant of Urdu, 
but he was an elegant Persian scholar, and when he spoke 
on Sufi doctrine*, one became enchanted with his flowery 
language ; and after Assur prayers he often delivered 
sermons, which the audience loved to hear. 

* Tassawwaf (Theosophy) is the means by which a man in this 
world can make personal approach to God. Most moderns seem 
to think that the existence of God is debatable. The Muslim does 
not think so, for his belief in God is not based on faith alone, but 
also on his personal experience ; and Sufi writers have described 
that experience with critical exactness. Some of the best philosophy 
the deepest thought, and the most splendid poetry, that Islamic 
culture has produced, is to be found in Sufi literature. True Sufism 
is the spirit, as against blind worship of the letter of Islam, 

MY LIFE 155 

One day, when, after my return from the Minister's 
he and I were taking tea together, Mir Rahmat Ali, a 
Delhi man, came to see me, and said to me in a loud tone, 
" Be happy on your death (discomfiture) ! Now your 
existence in the palace is impossible. There the Depart- 
ments are being given away." 

The Shah Sahib (religious men are called " Shah 
Sahib/' out of respect) having heard the words " Murgay 
To " (your death), turned in astonishment to me, and 
enquired in Persian what the man meant ; and Mir 
Rahmat Ali then related the whole story. 

The Shah Sahib was greatly shocked, and, after re- 
maining silent for a short time, said to me catching hold 
of his beard, " Rest assured, he " Nazir Ahmed " will 
not be allowed to enter the palace." 

On this Mir Rahmat Ali laughed ; and the Shah Sahib 
becoming angry, then said, " By God, if Nazir, the fool, 
goes to the palace to-morrow, I will get my beard 

On seeing the Moulvi get into temper, Mir Rahmat Ali 
became silent. 

Till nine or ten in the evening, the Shah Sahib's 
countenance showed signs of anger, and a state of silence 

The next morning I reached the palace early, before all 
others, and sent Mustakim Jung to bring forth His 
Highness, while I waited the arrival of Nasir Ahmed and 
Captain Clerk. When the time for tuition had come, and 
with it His Highuess and Zuffer Jung, the two men men- 
tioned above had not put in their appearance ; but I 
began to teach for fear of wasting time. 

A good while later, I received a letter from the Captain 
requesting that after finishing the lessons, I should pro- 
ceed to him quickly. 

The tuition duly came to an end, and the Khansamah 
prepared the table for the afternoon meal. His Highness 
and Zuffer Jung then came to the table, and Mustakim Jung 
and myself shared the meal with them. After it was over, 
Mustakim Jung said to me that Masi-uz-Zaman Khan was 
only the " mother of the world," but now the " father " 
(Nazir Ahmed) " of the world " was coming, but it was 
strange that he had not yet come. 

I reached the Captain's bungalow in a state of great 

156 MY LIFE 

astonishment. He was in a great temper, and much worried, 
and immediately on meeting me, said that the Amir-i- 
Kabir had played a great trick on him and injured his 
reputation in the eyes of the public. " Read this letter 
from the Prime Minister." 

The letter said that Nawab Amir-i-Kabir Bahadur had 
not sanctioned Nazir Ahmed's appointment, and that he 
should not be taken to the palace. 

Then, after telling me that he had also been to see the 
Resident, the Captain went on to say that until then the 
Resident had supported him, but to-day he had shown 
annoyance, and said that we fought between ourselves 
and worried him. " What was the necessity of getting a 
Purdasi man like Nazir Ahmed introduced into the Pala<, e 
against the wishes of Amir-i-Kabir Bahadur ? " con- 
tinued the Captain. " Therefore you go to the Minister, 
and tell him that if Nazir Ahmed does not go to the 
palace, I give up my appointment." 

I asked him not to involve me in this dispute, as I 
should get a bad name for nothing ; but on his insistence 
I was obliged to go to the Nawab Sahib. 

He met me smilingly and said, " ' All's well that ends 
well/ But the part which Amir-i-Kabir plays is not ac- 
cording to his dignity, and Captain Clerk's obstinacy is not 
proper. Last night Amir-i-Kabir's vakil, Abdul Majid, 
came to me and said that if Nazir Ahmed entered the 
palace this morning, he would leave the City and go out. 
After this a letter from Sir Richard Meade came to the 
effect that Nazir Ahmed should not be permitted to enter 
the palace." 

I returned home from the Minister's and found the 
Shah Sahib in great worry and anxiety, walking up and 
down. The moment he saw me, he asked me whether his 
beard was to remain whole or to be cropped ; and I re- 
lated to him the full facts. He then fell in a Sigdah (he 
rested his head on the ground as a sign of devotion) to 
praise God, and afterwards said to me in Persian, " Mirza, 
be happy God is your protector ! " 

This misfortune, too, passed away, but as it was known 
that Captain Claude Clerk did not like me, another man 
then wished to take my post. His name was Dost Muham- 
mad Khan, and he was an inhabitant of Delhi. A man of 
ordinary attainments, he was employed in the Educational 

MY LIFE 157 

Department, and had a previous conviction of gambling 
against him. He knew a little of Urdu and Persian, and 
had read English at home : and now having translated an 
English Grammar into Urdu, he took it to the Captain, 
and somebody praised it up. The result was that Captain 
Clerk not only recommended this man's appointment to 
the Minister, but began to insist upon it. However, as it 
happened, the man fell ill, and passed away. 

God the merciful preserved me from this misfortune 

Matters now took a new turn. On the one hand, the 
Captain, prejudiced against me even while in England, 
was in search of another man, and on the other, Sir 
Richard, defeated as he was, acting under the in- 
structions of the Foreign Office, continued his efforts 
against the Minister while Nawab-Amir-i-Kabir and Shah- 
purjee had almost succeeded in their antagonism towards 
the Minister. 

It was now proposed that His Highness should be ex- 
amined, in order to see what progress he had made. 
The Captain agreed and insisted on this course, but His 
Excellency became very anxious. I, however, reassured 
him, and also made one condition, namely that honest men 
should be selected as examiners. Accordingly Mr. Krohn* 
was appointed to examine His Highness in English, 
literature, while a Hindu gentleman, of an eminent 
family, and both fair-minded and good-hearted, who held 
a high appointment in the P.W.D., was sent to examine 
him in Arithmetic. 

On the very first day of the examination, His Highness 
answered questions from the grammar and the reader 
with firmness, and read out a lesson with fairly good pro- 
nunciation ; but Zuffer Jung got flurried, and, after 
pauses here and there, finally broke down. But in geo- 
graphy both pointed out places on the map correctly ; 
and they also did fairly well in history. 

Mr. Krohn was much astonished. 

The Rai Sahib came the next day. He wore the usual 
Neema and Jama, turban and belt, the folds of the Jama 
being held in position by bands which fell in a cluster 
on his chest ; and dignity and nobility shone from his 

* Appointed tutor on the 22nd Shawal, 1297 H. (1880 A.D.) 

158 MY LIFE 

countenance. He put questions in Division, Subtraction 
and Multiplication, all of which His Highness answered 

Mr. Clerk wondered and thus another defeat was 
inflicted on the enemies of the Minister. 

Nevertheless Mr. Clerk did not give in, and now I, 
myself, made a request that another man should be 
appointed to share the responsibility with me, and, in 
furtherance of my object, I summoned Mirza Nasir Ali Beg 
to Hyderabad and presented him to the Minister. He had 
formerly served in a responsible position in the Edu- 
cational Department of the Province of Agra, and later as 
Deputy Collector, and was now a pensioner. He had been 
sent on behalf of the Government to Egypt, Turkey 
(Constantinople) and other countries, to investigate the 
conditions in regard to matters educational prevailing in 
those countries. He was well-up in English and Persian, 
and possessed a knowledge of the customs and ceremonies 
of the Moglai Durbars : and was a good-hearted and pure- 
minded man. 

His Excellency was glad to meet him, but Captain 
Clerk objected to his old age and bowed body ; and at last 
the latter succeeded in getting Mr. Krohn appointed in- 
stead in the hope that he and I might fall out. But we had 
worked together before, and Mr. Krohn held a good 
opinion of me ; and he and I got on together in perfect 
agreement, right to the end. In fact, approving of my 
method of teaching, Mr. Krohn entrusted to me the whole 

But Masi-uz-Zaman Khan continued to attack me, and 
thanks to the efforts of Shahpurjee and Moinuddin, he was 
won over to the side of Amir-i-Kabir, and looked upon 
him as his supporter. And openly defying the Minister, he 
now proposed that since he could not spare the time, 
through being engaged in administrative matters in the 
palace, he should be given two assistants. Accordingly 
Moulvi Ashraf Ali Chidyad Kothi and Moulvi Anwar-Ulla 
were appointed assistants. The latter was a young man 
of good parts and of noble mien, and conducted himself 
like a true Muslim. 

I found, however, that His Highnesses time re- 
served for Persian was being wasted, and that though 
two or three sittings, perhaps, came off in a week, they 

MY LIFE 159 

were very short ones. The two Assistants could not 
pick up courage to face the Moulvi. It often happened, too, 
that His Highness, when he came to take the lesson, would 
bring forth from his pocket a piece of valuable jewellery, 
such as a ring, etc., and would say, " I have brought this 
for you." Moulvi Masi-uz-zaman would at first make a 
show of refusal, but then would accept it, if His High- 
ness insisted. 

After consulting Mr. Krohn I began Urdu lessons also 
during my hours of work ; and later in the afternoon I 
took possession of Munshi Muzufferuddin's time. The 
Munshi had not proceeded further than the alphabets, and 
His Highness, after passing his pen over a few words, 
would lay aside the " Thakhti " (a wooden plate covered 
with chalk, and with words inscribed on it, over which the 
student would pass his pen, dipped in ink.) The Munshi 
had no equal in Caligraphy in Hyderabad, or, for the 
matter of that, in India. 

I also took advantage of this opportunity, and, coming 
to understand the formation of letters, according to the 
principles of the art, was thus able to rectify defects in 
His Highnesses education. 

But in the eyes of the Moulvi, my interference appeared 
improper ; and becoming emboldened one morning, at 
breakfast-time he honoured me and Mr. Krohn and the 
Captain with some very harsh words, openly at the table. 
Captain Clerk took it very ill, but the Resident, on the 
recommendation of the Amir-i-Kabir, supported the 
Moulvi. At last it was proposed that the Minister, Amir-i- 
Kabir and the Peshkar should go to the palace, and, after 
investigating the matter, present a report. The whole of 
the palace staff, however, were so intimidated by the 
Amir-i-Kabir and the Moulvi, that they held themselves 
aloof, raising the pica of alibi and of their complete ignor- 
ance of the affair ; and only I and Riasat Ali re- 

Before the sitting the Resident sent for me, and when 
I had frankly informed him of all the facts, said, " You say 
this, but I have heard that this dispute is improper for 
Captain Clerk." 

Then the Amir-i-Kabir summoned me. There also I 
frankly related the facts. The Nawab was very much put 
out, and said, " What do you gain by saying such things ? 

160 MY LIFE 

and why should the Moulvi call Captain Clerk ' the Lame 
Timur ' ? " 

Shapurjee now suggested that, when summoned, I 
should make an excuse and not appear, and at last they 
agreed not to subpoena me, and to settle the dispute by 

Then the Minister sent for me and informed me of the 
facts, including the conversations the Resident and the 
Amir-i-Kabir had had with me. The Nawab laughed, and 
asked how could I get out of it. I suggested that since 
Riasat Aii would be there, my presence might be excused. 
The Minister replied that Amir-i-Kabir had objected to 
Riasat Ali as my partisan. 

Finally, on the appointed day, the three distinguished 
noblemen assembled at the Rag Mala palace. His 
Highness came forth to take his lessons, and I walked in 
quickly, through a drizzle towards the palace. The Min- 
ister seeing me pass, sent a peon with the order that I 
should first present myself before him. But Nawab Amir- 
i-Kabir said there was no necessity for me to do so. 
However, while this exchange was taking place, I reached 
the spot, and saluting sat down. 

Maharaja Peshkar then suggested that there was no 
harm in taking down my statement, as the decision would 
still rest with them ; but Nawab Amir-i-Kabir put in that 
I had expressed my ignorance of the affair. On this, the 
Minister asked me whether it was the case that I had no 
knowledge of the matter ; and I replied that since I had 
already made statements before the Resident and him, how 
could I now deny knowledge of it. 

Hearing this, the Nawab Amir-i-Kabir, in a state of 
frenzy, said to the Minister that this was all due to his 
intrigue, and that he, Amir-i-Kabir, had been brought there 
to be insulted ; and he left the hall and went out into the 
pouring rain. The Minister sent his servant after him with a 
waterproof, but he threw it down in the mire, and, regard- 
less of the rain, entered his conveyance and drove away 
to his palace. 

I then respectfully represented to the Minister that 
this temper and displeasure were meant for poor me ; but 
the Maharaja laughed, and said that they, and not I, had 
fallen under Amir-i-Kabir's displeasure. 

Here, again, the opponents of the Minister tasted 

MY LIFE 161 

defeat, but now Moulvi Masi~uz-Zaman Khan made a new 
and strange move on the chess-board, giving out that His 
Highness was suffering from a certain disease, and that 
the fault lay with the Minister, since he kept His Highness 
in the Mahallat (Ladies' quarters), where he could not 
possibly supervise His Highness's movements. 

The Resident subjected the Minister to a very 
severe correspondence regarding this matter and 
Baker Ali Khan, the Court Physician, had his days 

On the other hand, the ladies of the Royal Palace 
protested against these shameful accusations, and Captain 
Clerk complained that he could not carry on the work of 
education under these conditions. 

Dr. Law, the Residency Surgeon, was deputed to see 
into the matter for himself. Dr. Ashraf had died, but 
Hakim Baker Ali Khan, Dr. Ghulam Dastagir, and Vazeer 
Ali, were present. 

Dr. Law was obliged to report that His Highness was 
not suffering from any disease, but was weak and thin, 
owing to the negligence of the Court Physician. 

Here once more the Minister scored a victory, but 
Masi-uz-Zaman gained his object. Mahtab Mahal was 
made the residence of His Highness, where he lived and 
slept, only occasionally being permitted to visit the Ma- 
hallat ; and the Moulvi, together with his supporters, put 
up at the palace, and staying there throughout the day and 
night, controlled the person of His Highness, so that it was 
only during the lesson-hours that the latter came to me at 
the Suleman Jah Haveli (Palace). 

The Minister saw through this, and ordered my con- 
tinual attendance at the palace ; and, to relieve me of 
anxiety on behalf of my children, he granted a Mansab 
of Rs.aoo from the Diwani to my father-in-law, Fakhr-ud- 
din Khan, and made him stay at home. 

After some time His Highness's residence in Chau- 
mahalla Palace was not considered advisable, and now the 
Minister got an opportunity to score off the Resident. 
Pointing out that the Residency Proper was at Bolarum, 
and that the building at Chadarghat was only for tem- 
porary use, he wrote requesting that the Resident should 
vacate and remove himself and his belongings to Bolarum, 
and hand over the building for His Highness's residence, 

162 MY LIFE 

as his place of instruction. Sir Richard agreed to this ; 
but the ladies of the Mahallat, and especially the revered 
grandmother on the advice of the Amir-i-Kabir, refused 
to sanction the proposal, and accordingly Purana Haveli 
(the old palace)* was then got ready as a school for His 

The Mahallat were influenced against the Minister on 
the ground that his policy was to hand over His Highness 
to the British, in order that he (the Minister) might in- 
dulge in power the more. 

During the short stay of the Moulvi and Amir-i-Kabir's 
men at Mahtab Mahal they used the opportunity to buy 
off the female attendants at the palace with presents and 
gratuities, so that praises of the Amir-i-Kabir and blemishes 
of the Minister could be carried by men and women alike 
to the Royal Ear ; and the effect of this was becoming 
apparent. Shapurjee began to be invited to the palace at 
the time of the evening meals. Mir Riasat Ali was no 
match for Moinuddin ; Agha Nasir Shah, ignorant of the 
ways of intrigue, could not act the part of a go-between ; 
and Mirza Mohamed Ali Beg gave himself entirely to the 
thought of his future betterment. Of the other three 
of us Captain Clerk and Mr. Krohn were Europeans, who 
had neither the aptitude nor an opportunity for this sort 
of work ; and I, unable to put up with constant attempts 
to bring me into contempt, stayed away from the Palace, 
and contented myself with going at the time fixed for 
His Highness's lessons, or to be present at the table for 
breakfast and the evening meals. 

How far the opponents of the Minister succeeded in 
their efforts, can be estimated from one incident that took 
place at the breakfast-table. One day Captain Clerk sat 

* His Highness's residence at Purana Haveli. The proposal 
was to take him to Bolarum (vide letter of Sir Salar Jung I., dated 
the 1 7th Rabi-us-sani, 1298 H.) This letter was written to Moulvi 
Masih-uz-Zaman Khan, and is given " in extenso " in " Hiyath-a- 
Masih," the biography of Masi-uz-Zaman Khan, by Muhammad 
Muzaffer Hussan Khan. (Page 50.) 

The author was sent with this letter, and the correspondence 
that passed between Sir Salar Jung and the Resident, to Moulvi 
Mashi-uz-Zaman Khan, who was asked to use his influence with the 
Mahallat to prevent His Highness from taking up his residence in 
Bolarum. The influence and domination of the Moulvi in all matters 
connected jWith the palace, require no further elucidation. 

MY LIFE 163 

down with an album, and began to show photographs of 
various persons, and pointing to the Minister's photo, 
he lavished praises on him. His Highness at this threw 
aside the album. 

During the absence of Captain Clerk,* Major Wilson, 
the First Assistant-Resident was sent as a " locum tenens," 
and Nawab Amir-i-Kabir sending for him, said, " I dislike 
Agha Mirza Beg. Find another man to take his 
place/ 1 

Major Wilson informed me of this, and thinking to 
myself, as the maxim goes, " Stop before they ask you to 
stop/ 1 I wrote my resignation and presented it to the 
Minister. He, however, with expressions of kindness and 
sympathy, refused to accept it, telling me that I should 
have to face greater difficulties, advised me to keep up my 

It was in these circumstances that I was obliged to call 
on the Nawab Amir-i-Kabir, who was ill with a disease that 
was soon to carry him off. I met Shapurjee, and this 
gentleman went in personally to announce my arrival, 
and then called me to an upper storey of the palace. 

The Nawab Sahib was dressed in Angharakka and 
Dastar, the latter a head-dress peculiar to Hyderabad. 
He looked weak and ill, but sat erect propped up with 
pillows, and had his moustaches twisted up as usual. 
A sheath and a sword lay close to the Masnad. 

I saluted him. He took my salute coldly, motioned me 
to sit down, and then enquired why I had come. I pulled 
out my resignation from my pocket and placed it before 
him. He threw it away, and said, " Give it to one who 
has employed you." And when Shapurjee came to my 
assistance, and said that Mukhtar-ul-Mulk had sent me, 
he became still more peevish, and said, " that Ravzi" 
" is accustomed to throw his trouble on others/' 

Then turning to me, said, " I am not afraid of him. 
You are welcome to tell him this/' 

" I dare not interfere in such delicate matters/' 
I returned. 

" But if I were to prove that you do interfere ? " 

" In that event/ 1 I submitted, " my resignation 
should be refused, and I ought to be dismissed from service, 

* loth Jamadi-us-sani, 1298 H. 

164 MY LIFE 

but on condition that the one who has accused me should 
be summoned to face me." 

" Hear me/' he then said, "your family has been in 
close contact with us. I even know the names of your 
womenfolk your father-in-law, Ghulam Fakhruddin, 
knows this. Then why are you a partisan of Mukhtar-ul- 
Mulk and opposing me ? " 

I replied to the effect that I refused to accept this accusa 
tion. That there could be no partisanship between me a ser- 
vant and Mukhtar-ul-Mulk, the Minister, and how could I 
dare oppose him (Amir-i-Kabir). The fact that I had had 
dealings of old standing with his celebrated house was a 
a boon to me I had just become aware of this, and now I 
was more entitled than ever to expect especial favours at 
his hand. There was no doubt that Nawab Mukhtar-ul- 
Mulk had appointed me to my present post, but it did 
not necessarily follow from that, that I should endanger my 
old connexions with his honoured house. 

He said the example of Moulvi Sahib (Masi-uz-Zaman 
Khan) was before me, and added that Mukhtar-ul-Mulk 
could not grant the favours that he could. 

He then inquired whether I were meeting Khurshed 
Jah, and I replied that the latter's son Zuffer Jung, was 
one of my pupils, and that whenever Khurshed Jah sent 
for me, I went to him. And I added that Khurshed 
Jah was a scion of his own house. 

" Yes/' he returned, " he was such a scion as to try to 
administer poison to his younger brother, Ekbal-ud- 
dowlah." I was much perturbed at this. 

Finally, he made two stipulations with me. First, 
that on proper occasions I should convey his panegyrics 
to His Highness, and, secondly, that I should sing the 
praises of Ekbal-ud-dowlah, rather than those of Khur- 
shed Jah. I was pardoned, and he himself tore up my 
resignation, and ordered Shapurjee to take me to 
Ekbal-ud-dowlah. In those days the latter was of tender 
age and very reticent. 

I related the whole story to His Excellency, the Min- 
ister who laughed heartily at it and said, that, on his 
part, he permitted me to praise up Amir-i-Kabir 

The next day, a beautiful phaeton and a very big 
Arab horse were brought to me by one of the servants 

MY LIFE 165 

of Amir-i-Kabir, as a gift from the latter, who also sent me 
a piece of paper on which the estimate of the pay for the 
coachman and the syce, fodder, etc., was entered, the 
same being paid from the estate of Amir-i-Kabir every 
month. I was greatly perplexed over this, for I could 
neither accept nor refuse the gift, because in either case 
I was afraid of the result. In my quandary, I had the horse 
and carriage stabled at my place, while I immediately 
wrote a petition to His Excellency, and then went over to 
see Major Wilson. And both of them permitted me to 
accept the gift. To forgive and to honour was customary 
with the Omras (noblemen) in bygone days ! Neverthe- 
less, as a precautionary measure, I had the name of my 
father-in-law, Fakhrud-ud-din Khan, entered as owner, 
instead of my own. 

I was thus able to busy myself with the education of 
His Highness, with peace of mind, and in a short time His 
Highness was able to write and read Urdu, while he also 
made sufficiently good progress in Arithmetic. His 
Highness used always to say that if I had not been there, 
he would have remained illiterate. 

But the Moulvi continued to harass me, and the Cap- 
tain also occasionally made himself unpleasant. This was 
due to my having foolishly said on one occasion, that, 
after I had finished tuition, I should be entitled to lay 
claim to serve His Highness as a Secretary. 

On one occasion, when at Purana Haveli, His Highness 
became indisposed. The physicians assembled, and the 
Residency Surgeon was sent for, and they, having felt 
the invalid's pulse, turned to me instead of to the 
Moulvi, and gave me instructions as to food, medicine, 
etc. ; and then I foolishly drew the attention of the 
attendants to these, and asking Baker Ali Khan to get the 
prescription prepared quickly, gave orders that every 
physician should attend by turns. Thereupon the Moulvi 
began openly to use such abusive language towards me, 
that I was forced to reply to him in a similar strain. 
Then telling me sarcastically to look after the arrangements 
of the palace, he went home and gave orders that all 
the attendants should also leave. But the Nawab Amir-i- 
Kabir countermanded that order, and asked them to 
return. The other attendants obeyed, but the Moulvi 
remained away, 

166 MY LIFE 

I then went to the Minister. He was very angry with 
me, and said I had lost a fine opportunity, for I ought at 
once to have taken the palace administration into my 
hands, and not to have allowed the attendants to depart. 
He asked me to go back immediately, and said that he 
would see the matter through. 

I went back to the palace, and remained there the 
whole night. I summoned the " Mansabdars " whose duty 
it was to watch the Royal Bed, and issued orders to those 
who attended at regular intervals. 

The next day, without being asked, the Moulvi 
returned, and winning over Captain Clerk to his views, 
commenced to work. 

There is no doubt that up to this time His Highness 
said his prayers five times a day. He also used to learn 
swimming daily in a cistern (small tank), with his atten- 
dants and the Moulvi. But he took his meals at a table 
only during the periods set apart for his English education. 
At all other times, neither in his speech nor in the matter 
of dress, had he in the slightest degree a liking for English 
habits or etiquette. 

He wore a gold embroidered Samarkand Cap, and an 
Angrakha of the old Decanni style, or Sherwani ; but at 
Durbars he put on a " dastar/' with the " Toora " (gold 
brocade placed on the forefront of the head-gear as a sign 
of royalty), according to the old usage*. Nawab Amir-i- 
Kabir and Shapurjee were in complete agreement in 
regard to this matter, with the Minister. 

When Sir Richard proposed, contrary to the estab- 
lished rule of the " Durbar/' to visit His Highness in his 
private capacity at any time he liked, and to interview 
him alone, none of the great nobles would agree to this, 
but could not advisedly refuse it. The Minister therefore 
located a few of his harkaras (peons) on the bridge 
(Afzul Gunj) leading to the Palace, and gave special 
instructions to Raja Girdhari Lall. Then one day, the 
Resident came riding up to the bridge,and on seeing him the 
harkaras (peons) ran in all directions to convey information 
of this ; and while Captain Clerk and I were conversing 
together, the Resident galloped in and soon afterwards 

* This special puggaree was bestowed on the great Asaf Jah, 
the founder ol the dynasty, by the Emperor Alamgir. 

MY LIFE 167 

the troops also marched in and falling into line, saluted. 

The Resident was greatly put out, and enquired by 
whose authority they were there ; to which the Arz Begee 
replied, that they required no especial orders, but were 
bound to discharge their duty, from time immemorial. 

In the meanwhile the Minister, the Nawab Amir-i- 
Kabir and other noblemen, also arrived. The Resident, 
with Captain Clerk, His Highness and Zuffer Jung, were 
in the room, and the nobles and the Durbaris were on the 
verandah. It was a strange impromptu durbar that thus 

His Highness being of tender years showed a slight 
anxiety, and evinced wonder at the proceedings, and 
when the Resident began to converse with him, he con- 
tinued to look silently into his face. 

I spoke in a whisper to Captain Clerk, and he, holding 
the Resident by the hand, led him to the breakfast-table ; 
and then I, on the advice of Captain Clerk, went outside 
and told the nobles that they were summoned to the 
Royal presence. They then also entered the room, and sat 
down at the table. After tea, Captain Clerk excused him- 
self, as that was the time for him to begin his tuition ; and 
the Resident seemingly put out and displeased, abruptly 

Sir Richard subsequently proposed that His Highness 
should accept his invitation to dine with him, and as the 
nobles could not very well refuse it, they accepted the 
invitation conditionally. 

On this night the Residency* was brilliantly lighted 
up, even the trees in the compound being decorated with 
myriads of lanterns of different colours, which swayed to 
and fro in the breeze. The grounds of the Residency were 
full of conveyances of all sorts, and of British troops, 
while Military officers who were then in Bolarum or Secun- 
derabad, were in attendance within the Residency, in 
their uniforms. In addition, the whole of the nobility 

* The Residency is situated on the left bank of the River Musi, 
opposite to the north-eastern corner of the City. The building is an 
imposing one, and stands in the midst of a beautiful park-like 
expanse, with handsome laid-out gardens. It was commenced in 
1800, under the supervision of Mr. Russell of the Madras Engineers, 
and was completed about 1807. It contains a Durbar Hall on the 
grand floor, measuring Oo feet by 33 feet, and 50 feet high. 

168 MY LIFE 

of Hyderabad, dressed in variegated costumes, and gather- 
ed into small groups, was present on this occasion. 

His Highness accompanied by the staff, the Moulvi 
and myself, took his seat on a gilt chair in a central 
position. He had on the dress usually worn by the Royal 
family, with the " dastar " and the " toora." 

The hall and the surrounding rooms were full of 
guests, who rubbed shoulders with one another. 

In due course the Resident advanced and announced 
that dinner was ready, and then a commotion was the 
result, as the guests hurried towards the dining-room. 
After the meal, they again assembled in the main hall. 

Mustakim Jung then spoke to me. and said, " Agha 
Sahib the wind in my stomach is becoming troublesome. 
Hookah cannot, of course, be had but get me a cigar from 
some Englishman. 

A British officer was standing close to me, and so I 
told him that the Nawab wanted a cigar. He looked with 
wonder at me and said, " Have you not read the notifica- 
tion, that if a man be found with a cigar in his pocket, he 
will be turned out at once ? Tell this Nawab from me that 
I do not wish to be so treated/' 

After a pyrotechnic display, the function came to an 
end, and the guests departed to their homes. 

Some time later, the Resident, invited His Highness 
to witness the Military Sports, and there was some dis- 
cussion about this invitation also ; but in the end Nawab 
Amir-i-Kabir consented, and the Minister was obliged to 
acquiesce in it. Nawab Amir-i-Kabir, though weakened by 
his illness accompanied His Highness, he and the Minister 
taking their seats in the yellow State carriage facing His 

Mustakim Jung and myself drove in another carriage, 
and as we were going along, Mustakim began to complain 
of the Moulvi, whom he called the " Mother of the World " 
(Masi-uz-zaman was so named because of his greed), 
and I, getting tired of saying " Yes " to him, at last told 
him that people thought he was a fool. At the time, mutter- 
ing to himself, " Ooh. . . ooh 1 " Mustakim dropped into 
silence, but later he spoke to His Highness, complaining 
against me in a very sorrowful manner. His Highness and 
Zuffer Jung, however, took it as a joke, and often enquired 
of Mustakim Jung whatHazrat (that is I) had called him, 

MY LIFE 169 

And then the poor man felt ashamed, while the other 
attendants laughed. 

However, to return to the sports. They began after 
we had partaken of tea, and then, when His Highness was 
about to take his departure, Sir Richard expressed a wish 
to accompany him as far as Chadarghat. The two noble- 
men thought to themselves, that the Resident would sit 
next to His Highness, and they would have to sit in 
front of him, with folded hands, according to Royal 
etiquette. Amir-i-Kabir had the excuse of going separately 
in his carriage because he was ill, but the Minister had 
no such excuse to offer. The suggestion of the Moulvi 
that he and Captain Clerk should take their seats in the 
State carriage, with His Highness, was not favoured by 
the Minister ; and, to tell the truth, Shapurjee himself was 
perplexed over the question. But now the Minister spoke 
something in a whisper to Mustakim Jung, and so it 
happened that as His Highness was about to enter the 
State carriage, a horseman galloped up and said that the 
Begum Sahiba had been taken ill, and had summoned His 
Highness to attend on her. At that the two noblemen 
immediately took their seats in the carriage with His 
Highness, and drove away, while we followed pell-mell, 
going as fast as our horses could carry us. 

Captain Clerk and Mr. Krohn now put forward a 
suggestion that His Highness should see a portion of his 


Nawab Ikram ullah Khan, a " Rais " (one of the landed 
gentry of Kakori, a small town about 15 miles from Luck- 
now), was the deputy collector in the province of Oudh. 
He was a comely man, fond of the company of friends, 
whom he knew well how to entertain with his pleasant 
conversation and humorous stories. I remember a story 

* Gulbuvga.- Traditional accounts relate that Gulburga was 
formerly a Hindu city of some importance, and was included in the 
Dominions of the Rajas of Warangal. It became the first capital 
of the Bahmini Kings in 1348 A.D., on its capture by the Muslims 
To-day it is a small town 104 miles east Hyderabad, and the 

i;o MY LIFE 

which he related one evening when we were dining as 
usual with our uncle Mirza Abbas Beg. He was sitting on a 
chair opposite to us, and was engrossed in conversation, 
when all of a sudden his vein of humour came into play 
and he said : 

A Moulvi lived in the neighbourhood of a certain Sheik. 
The latter sent his servant for some grass, which he re- 
quired for his horse, and when the servant conveyed the 
request the Moulvi replied in Persian, " My brother, I 
have not so much grass in my stables as to make a 
sparrow's nest." 

So the man returned without the grass, in reply and 
to the Sheik's enquiry, said that, instead of giving grass, 
the Moulvi Sahib read an Ayyat " (verse) " from the 

However the Deputy Collector having retired on pen- 
sion, came to Hyderabad, and was honoured with the 
post of Suddar Talukdar, Gulburga division. He was a 
good administrator, and possessed a discriminating mind. 
Gulburga had fallen into ruins, but he took steps to put 
the town into a sanitary state and make other improve- 
ments, and in a short time he succeeded in making it a 
prosperous and populous town. He took special pains to 
put the Jama Musjid of the Kutb Shahi Kings and the 
tomb of Hazrat Khaja Bunday Navaz in proper 
repair, and a visit to these places was well worth the 

His Excellency the Minister, therefore, resolved to take 
His Highness to Gulburga for a change, and also to visit the 

official head-quarters of a district of the same name, with a popula" 
tion of almost 36,000. It is two miles North of the G.I. P. Railway 

It is noted for its tombs, the most important of which is the 
shrine of Khawja Bunday Nawaz, who lived there in the fourteenth 
century, and whose shrine is the object of an annual pilgrimage. 
On the anniversary of the Saint, thousands of people from all parts 
of India assemble, and celebrate it with great e"clat and pomp. 

It also has a famous mosque in the fort ; and nearly every 
archaeologist and antiquarian who has visited this place, has spoken 
in the highest praise of this great musjid, and pronounced it to be a 
superb structure and unique of its kind in India. It was built 
probably in 1365 A.D. by Mahomed Shah, the second Bahmini King. 
Fergusson has particularly mentioned it as one of the most remark- 
able of its class in India, the peculiarity of the building being that 
the courtyard is wholly covered by a roof with conical domes. 

MY LIFE 171 

tomb of the Saint. Accordingly preparations for the 
journey were set on foot, and as this was His Highness's 
first tour, all the departments concerned were warned. 

Nawab Kadir Jung, the Mir Manzil (Stage Master) and 
the Superintendent of camp furniture reached Gulburga 
and a camp was set up near the Railway Station ; and 
then, under the supervision of Nawab Ikram Ullah Khan, 
the whole camping-ground was turned into a flourishing 
garden a model of the garden of Eden. 

His Highness took up his residence in the Dak bunga- 
low, and the noblemen had separate encampments for 
themselves at some distance from the Royal Camp. The 
lessons continued as usual at the appointed hours. His 
Highness would go out riding on a beautiful horse, attended 
by his staff and others of the Household for an airing in 
the morning, and in the evening he dined with the nobles. 

One evening when the Minister, the Amir-i-Kabir and 
other nobles were in attendance, a vaporous cloud 
ascended the sky and it began to drizzle. His Highness was 
then on the verandah, and the nobles were standing 
below under the shade of some trees. I went forward and 
requested the Minister to come on the verandah, as the 
rain had commenced to descend. The Amir-i-Kabir 
stared hard at me, but the Minister smiled and said that 
that was the privilege of those like myself who attended 
on the person of the Highness, but as for themselves, 
they dare not go forward without being invited. Just then 
Mustakim Jung called out that all were commanded to 
come in. Such were the nobles, who maintained at all 
times the dignity of the Sovereign. 

After this, a journey to Pattancheroo was under- 
taken ; and on every occasion the full parapher- 
nalia of royalty was in evidence ; for, apart from the 
great nobles who accompanied His Highness with pomp 
befitting their status, the big and small Jemadars of the 
Nazm-i-Jamiath (Irregular Troops) were also there, with 
their retainers. The Roshan Chowkee (kettle-drum) went 
round in the nights according to old usage, and a diary 
was kept. I am sorry that I have no such diary before me 
as I am writing. 

At this time a dispute was going on between Khurshed 
Jah and Bashir-ud-dowlah regarding certain duties (more 
or less honorary), as, for instance, the presentation of 


garlands of flowers, the presentation of a tray of " Totak " 
(a dish resembling curry puffs), and the holding of the 
Moorchal (a fan of peacock feathers held over His Highness 
while he sat on the Ambari, and at the Eed Durbars and 
on State occasions) ; and the Minister and the Resident 
were appointed arbitrators to decide the dispute. One 
day, in the afternoon, when I went to salute the Minister, 
a reference was made to this dispute during the conversa- 
tion, and, as bad luck would have it, I said that the Nawab 
Khurshed Jah appeared to have the greater title to these 
offices. The Nawab looked hard at me and said petulantly, 
" Well, then, you had better decide the que stion. You 
are also his son's tutor/' 


Two incidents on this journey deserve to be mentioned. 
The first one is this. The Sahib Alee Shan Bahadur 
(the Resident), while making a tour of the Dominions 
against all established usage reached Aurangabad, and 
it was resolved to invite him to a banquet. Mr. Krohn 
was of opinion that wine and liqueurs should be placed on 
the table, but none of the Amirs would agree to this. 
Argument gave place to obstinacy, the two European 
gentlemen insisting that either the invitations should be 
withdrawn or the guests provided with wine. At last they 
(the Europeans) won the day, and wine goodness 
knows where it came from was seen on the table. 

All the accompanying noblemen were invited to the 
banquet. The Baday Sahib and the Chotay Sahib (the 
two sons of the Minister), Mohamed Ali Beg, and Riasat 
Ali, wore black coats and white cuffs and collars, and 
others were dressed in black Sherwanis. I had neither 
black cloth nor white cuffs and collars, but just my ordin- 
ary dress; and I sat watching this new scene. ^The 
picture of the late Omdut-ul-Mulk stood before my mind's 
eye, and I was reminded of my interview, and of his 
Vasiyeth (wish). 

His Highness was simply dressed ; and the Minister 
and the nobles were in their usual costumes. 

In the meanwhile the European guests arrived in their 
uniforms, and then all sat down at the table together, 

MY LIFE 173 

and the corks from the bottles of wine flew around. 
Perhaps the spirit of Omdut-ul-Mulk hovered over the 
table, like the flight of a tumbler-pigeon, complaining of 
the changed times. 

The second incident is the following. Mahdi Ali, who, 
like the other Diwani officials, was accompanying the 
Minister, went up to Captain Clerk and suggested that 
mere touring might not be so advantageous to His High- 
ness as an inspection of some of the many offices, as the 
latter course might give His Highness some insight into 
administrative matters. Captain Clerk liked the idea so 
much, that, without loss of time, he secured the Minister's 
approval : and the next day several offices were inspected. 
So far there was nothing to quarrel about, but now 
Mahdi Ali went a step further, and won over Captain 
Clerk to his views, that he, Mahdi Ali should daily attend 
on his Highness, to explain procedure, etc. At this 
suggestion Masi-uz-Zaman and the Minister were taken 
by surprise, but Captain Clerk remained obdurate, 
although Masi-uz-Zaman advanced a reasonable argument 
that among subordinate officials (like a Talukdar or a 
Tahsildar) someone could be found to discharge this duty, 
and that there was no necessity of insisting on Mahdi Ali. 
While this argument was going on, I happened to go 
towards His Excellency's encampment, and apparently 
he saw me, because a chobdar (personal attendant) came 
to inform me that the Minister would like to see me. I 
accordingly went to his tent. 

At first we conversed generally, and then His Excel- 
lency said that that tent was especially made, and had 
double accommodation. I agreed with him. He then refer- 
red to Captain Clerk's obduracy in all matters, and said 
that he, the Minister, was already being accused of not 
wishing his Royal Master to be educated. What was he to 
do as the proverb goes, " To say or not to say is the 

I replied that if His Excellency did not approve of the 
matter steps should be taken to avoid it ; and to that he 
said, " You know what ideas people had tried to instil in 
His Highness's mind against me, and, now, if one of my 
men were to have access to His Highness, he would try to 
gain influence and would not spare me either." He added 
that Mahdi Ali was continuously changing, like a chame- 

174 MY LIFE 

leon and if he succeeded in getting there he would become 
as unmanageable as a hard-mouthed horse, and that 
Captain Clerk was not in a position to understand his, the 
Minister's, difficulty. 

I suggested that Captain Clerk's obstinacy was on 
account of Masi-uz-Zaman, and that if he so wished Mr. 
Krohn and I would try to persuade him ; and His Excel- 
lency asked me to go and make a trial. 

I rose and first went to Mr. Krohn. He flatly refused, 
and so I was left alone. Having thought over the situation 
carefully, I made my way to Captain Clerk's tent. I found 
him sitting doing nothing, and getting an opportunity, 
I opened the subject. 

Captain Clerk spoke very highly of Mahdi AH, and said 
that His Highness would benefit by such an able man's 
company. I said I agreed with him completely, but that 
Masi-uz-Zaman would not approve of it, and his objection 
was also worth considering. And I quoted a Persian 
couplet " Have you managed earthly things so well as 
to cast your eyes on things ethereal." We had not, I went on, 
succeeded in imparting the elements of Urdu, Persian and 
English to His Highness, and that would handicap us the 

Captain Clerk declared that I had always differed from 
him, to which I returned, that I was a friend of his and 
wished him no ill ; and I reminded him of Nazir Ahmed's 
case. If he, Nazir Ahmed, was a " Naturee " (one of those 
who based their faith on the laws of Nature rather than 
on orthodox Islam, the name being given, to distinguish 
English educated men of Aligarh from orthodox Muslims,) 
then Mahdi Ali was evidently the " Guru " (high priest) 
of this sect, and nobody could foresee the effect of this on 
the city. 

Why then, asked Captain Clerk, did His Excellency 
approve of my proposal. 

I replied that he did not sanction it, but was pleased 
to remain silent on account of his opponents' " Malafides." 
This was a religious matter, and the whole of the city would 
support Masi-uz-Zaman. 

At this the Captain was put out, and said why did not 
His Excellency speak to him frankly on the subject before. 

I suggested that it could even now be done, and re- 
quested him to see the Minister. 

MY LIFE 175 

He then called out an inquiry as to whether Murtuza 
(his servant) was there and when the man appeared, he 
asked him to inform the Minister that he would like to see 
him. But I said that I was going that way, and would 
convey his message. 

Then I went across to the Minister's and his Excellency 
was very pleased at the turn the affair had taken. Finally 
the matter was shelved, and Mahdi AH avenged himself 
on Amin-ud-din Khan ; and the latter was of so proud a 
nature that he confined himself to his Louse, and never 
stepped out till he died. I had seen him hold his audiences 
with great eclat, and now I saw his corpse laid on 
a mat, his head resting on a soiled pillow. The poet* 
Sa'adi has it : 

" When the pure soul thinks of departing, then 
what matters dying on mother earth or on royal 
couch ? " 

God grant salvation to him ! He was a good man of con- 
servative views. 

I might mention that my maternal uncle, Sahib Alani 
(a term to denote one of the Royal blood of Delhi), 
Mirza Jamal-ud-din Ghorghani, was the Darogah (mana- 
ger) of the Doulatabad Fort. Disguised in name, dress and 
appearance, he came to me one night, and having intro- 
duced himself, embraced me. I was very sorry to see him 
in that plight, and wished to recommend him to the Minis- 
ter, but he would not have it, as he preferred remaining 
unknown. He, however, pointed out a Mausoleum to me 
which belonged to my maternal grandmother. The 
building which was lofty, and situated in a spacious 
compound, was now used as a " Dak " bungalow. I spoke 
to His Excellency about it, and he promised to hand it 
over to me on his return to Hyderabad. Indeed, Mr. 
Mahdi Ali, the Revenue Secretary, received an order 
regarding it, but the topsy-turvydom that followed His 
Excellency's sudden demise, stayed further steps being 
taken in the matter. 

* Sa'adi, The poetic name or nom-de-plume of the celebrated 
Persian Poet, whose proper name was Shaik Maslahuddin, or, 
according to other authorities, Sharf-ud-din Musla. He was born 
about A.D. 1194, an d is supposed to have lived for more than a 
100 years. Some writers say that he died in A.D. 1292. His best- 
known works are the " Gulistan " and " Boistan." 

176 MY LIFE 

Anglicism was now becoming noticeable in the Royal 
Palace this due to Agha Nasir Shah, Mir Riasat Ali and 
Mirza Mohamed Ali Beg. An English Jew, by name 
Badham Pile, had opened a tailoring shop in Secunderabad, 
and the above-mentioned gentleman and other scions of 
noble families flocking to his shop, orders for Sherwanis, 
with high collars and long curls of silk, tweed, etc., for 
evening suits, and riding-costumes, began to be placed, 
and new fashions in dress and cut came into vogue. 
Mr. Krohn brought over this merchant to the Royal 
Palace, and dresses of all kinds were ordered for His High- 
ness. The low and bodiced " Angarakhas " and gold- 
embroidered caps were disappearing from the scene. The 
East and the West shook hands in the palace. On 
the one hand you had Masi-uz-Zaman and his group of 
palace servants, who dressed and conducted themselves 
as of old, and on the other, you saw the new generation 
with modern ideas as to dress, speech, conduct, etc. As 
the proverb says " All that is new is delicious/ 1 and the 
latter began to supersede the former. 

Some of the greater nobles, however, remained staunch 
to their conservative ideas, as for instance H.E. the 
Minister, Bashir-ud-dowlah, Khurshed Jah, and the 
family of Vikar-ul-Umra, till the time of their death ; and 
Badham Pile was not destined to invade their palaces. 

Although the Minister disliked the onrush of this 
revolution, as regards himself and the person of His 
Highness, he could not stem the tide, and finally, soon after 
His Excellency's death, the Yagoog and the Magoog (Gog 
and Magog) broke loose from the mythical well and took 
possession of the country. 

It will not be out of place for me to mention here some 
facts relating to social intercourse in the times of H.H. 
Nasir-ud-dowlah, which have reached me from several 
reliable sources. 

It is known that this prince refused to accept the title 
of His Majesty ; but he was not only completely adverse 
to Englishmen and English ways, but also totally disliked 
outsiders, whether they were from Bombay, Poona, or 
Madras, together with their dress and social conduct. 
However, if a Hindustani, and especially a Delhi man, 
visited Hyderabad, he favoured him, and he had issued 
a general order that none of the Amirs should go 

MY LIFE 177 

beyond the Chadarghat gate without his permission. 
Moreover, he had posted harkaras (peons) at every gate 
to watch those who entered or went outside the City; 
and had also given orders that no English article should be 
used, but only those manufactured in the country. 

In all departments of State, paper made in Kagazipura 
was in general use, and dresses of " Neema-Jama " of the 
" Saylas " of Nander (a fine muslin hand-woven) were 
ordinarily worn. A nobleman once dared to attend the 
Durbar in a dress made of English muslin, which he had 
bought of a Bombay merchant, and His Highness noticing 
it, asked where he had got the cloth from. The poor man 
mentioned the name of Secunderabad. His Highness 
then said, " You have amassed a lot of money you shall 
pay so much in fine, and confine yourself to your house till 
further orders/' 

I also heard this strange fact from His Excellency 
himself, namely that Nawab Nazir-ud-dowlah used to 
express a wish to pay his respects to the King of Delhi, 
whom he looked upon as his Suzerain. 


I have mentioned above that Nawab Amir-i-Kabir 
(Rashid-ud-din Khan) was ill with a fatal disease, but so 
long as he lived, he and the Moulvi (Masi-uz-Zaman) were 
a constant source of anxiety to the Minister both in palace 
affairs and in administrative matters, in which latter, 
Shapurjee worked with the Nawab Amir-i-Kabir ; and 
matters came to such a pass at last, that a resort was 
made to the Court of Law. 

Nawab Amir-i-Kabir, on the advice of Mr. Palmer, a 
Barrister, brought a suit against Mr. Knight the Editor 
of a Calcutta paper, which caused a sensation in India and 
England. Extraordinary stories and unbecoming reports 
were put in circulation against Sir Richard Meade, and 
began to be openly mentioned in English circles. 
But the truth was that these accusations (" Statesman/' 
April 8th, 1884), were wrong and entirely ground- 
less. Sir Richard and Lady Meade could not have 

178 MY LIFE 

been so mean and low, as to accept presents, nor could 
Nawab Amir-i-Kabir and Shapurjee have stooped to such 
undignified methods in order to attain success, but the 
supporters of the Minister gave such publicity to these 
matters, that they came to be known to English people 
far and near. The truth is that Sir Richard came in 
affluent circumstances, and left the Residency involved 
in debt. 

Sir Stewart Bayley was now appointed to the Am- 
bassador's chair at the Court of H.H. the Nizam. He was 
a just, enlightened, and well-known gentleman. 

Amir-i-Kabir had passed away. Simple, but of a 
soldierly instinct, and a man of high ideals, he was the 
last of the noblemen of the type and times of Alamgir. 
During his prolonged illness, Shapurjee took him for 
change and treatment to Bombay. There the merchants 
who knew of his name and dignity, flocked to him, and 
he bought of each of them all that they had to sell, to the 
value of several lakhs of rupees, so that Shapurjee, 
getting anxious, spoke against such purchases. At this 
the Nawab was put out, and said, " Then why did you 
bring me here ? I am not one who will disgrace my name 
or that of my Sovereign. I do not wish it to be known that 
a servant of a great Ruler possessed the qualities of a 

These were the noblemen who looked to their repu- 
tation, and kept up the dignity of their Sovereign. 

After the Amir's death, Shapurjee's star of influence 
and power began to wane, and by the appointment of 
Sir Stewart Bayley, H.E. the Minister began to breathe 
freely. He and the Resident worked together with heart 
and soul. The appointment of a Co-regent was not 
considered necessary, and Nawab Mukhtar-ul-Mulk be- 
came the one regent and sole ruler of these dominions. The 
dispute between the Paigah noblemen was easily settled 
with the help of Sir Stewart otherwise both the claimants 
had mobilised their troops and artillery and my father-in- 
law, Nawab Fakhruddin Khan, on one side, and his uncle, 
Nawab Moinuddin Hassan Khan, on the other, were 
anxiously moving about, at the instance of the Minister, to 
bring about an understanding between the two nobles. 
Nawab Khurshed Jah received a knighthood, and the 
title of Shamshul-Umra, Amir-i-Kabir, and became 

MY LIFE 179 

entitled to a seat in the " Kavasi " and the " Morchal " 
(a seat at the back of the ruler on State occasions ; and 
likewise Nawab Bashir-ud~dowlah received a knighthood 
with the titles of Asman Jah, Amir-i-Akbar(24th Mohurrum 
1299), anc * succeeded to the office of presenting Totak, etc. 

A decision was also reached with regard to the Berars, 
namely, that the Minister, in his capacity as servant, 
could not re-open the question, which must be kept in 
abeyance till His Highness attained his majority. That the 
Berar was handed over to the British Government, in 
payment of the expense of the Contingent, was due to the 
mistake of Raja Chandoo Lai and the negligence of Nawab 
Siraj-ul-Mulk (uncle of Sir Salar Jung I). Mukhtar-ul- 
Mulk tried to wash away this stain, and undertook the 
journey to England, but returned unsuccessful. 

A strange procedure was now adopted to decide the 
question of suzerainty. H.E. the Viceroy and Governor- 
General of India, held a Durbar to celebrate the assump- 
tion of the title of Kaiser-i-Hind by the great Queen 
Victoria, who had, it was alleged, taken the place of the 
Mughal Kings of Delhi. The ruling chiefs, including H.H. 
the Nizam and all the nobility of the country, were invited 
to attend the Durbar to establish this claim. Omdut-ul- 
Mulk had died, and also the Baday Begum Sahiba (grand- 
mother of His Highness) had passed away, and so the 
Minister had not their assistance in putting forward, with 
any hope of success, the excuse that His Highness had 
never gone out of his Dominions. Accordingly preparations 
for the journey to Delhi were set on foot. The " Kool- 
cha " * of Inayat Shah were brought forth ; the Nakkera 
(drum) of the Sidee Derwish was put in order ; a regiment 
of Sappers and Miners was formed ; and Kadir Jung, the 
Mir-i-Munzil, who was the hereditary holder of this office, 
together with Nawab Jahandar Khan, Superintendent of 
Tents, and the Superintendent of Camp, left for Delhi. 

A programme of the journey from Hyderabad to Delhi, 
including stoppages on the way, was then prepared, and 
elephants, horses and carriages, together with Superin- 

* Koolcha is a round piece of bread still shown on the Royal 
Standard of Hyderabad. It was given to the first Asaf Jah, when he 
was on his way to take up the Governorship oi the Deccan, by the 
Saint Inayat Shah. Success attended his arms and since then the 
device has been borne on the Royal Standard. 

i8o MY LIFE 

tendents of the Departments of the Royal household, were 
sent ahead. 

From the army, the African Cavalry Guards, the 
Myseram Regiment, and a portion of Colonel Neviirs 
Regular Troops, were selected for an escort together 
with Mukadum Jung, Barak Jung, Ghalib Jung, and Sultan 
Nawaz Jung, with a posse of Arabs. The Paigah nobles, 
with companies of their troops, also accompanied the 
Royal Party. 

The Mir Munzil and the Superintendents had in the 
meanwhile decorated the Royal Camp with trees, plants 
and light, in the old (Moglai) style ; and at reasonable 
distances from the Royal camp, other camps were pre- 
pared to receive the nobles, Amir-i-Kabir, etc., according 
to their ranks. Especial attention was given to cloak 
rooms, kitchens, and stabling-yards. 

With all these arrangements completed the Mir Munzil 
and the Superintendents of the Royal household awaited 
the Royal entry into the Camp, and at every place post and 
telegraph offices were opened, with the sanction of the 
British Government. 

With such Royal preparations made, His Highness 
left Hyderabad, with the Mahallat and Nobles, and 
reached Poona, where a wealthy Parsee Dastoor ("Das- 
toor " denotes a priest) entertained His Highness with 
pomp and ceremony for three days. Food, fruits, tea, etc., 
were supplied at meal-times by the servants of the Dastoor, 
to all who accompanied His Highness, from Nobles 
downwards, according to their rank. 

The Minister paid back the compliment on a lavish 
and befitting scale. 

From Poona the Royal party left by train, and by 
stages reached Jubbulpore. At every stage a stop was 
made for resting for two days, and the British officials, like 
the Commissioner or the Deputy Commissioner, waited 
on His Highness, and took the necessary precautions for 
the safety of the Camp. They also arranged a sight-seeing 
trip to the Parainda Ghat. 

From here the Royal party proceeded to Agra where 
visits to the Taj Mahal and Fort were made.* 

* Agra. Akbar began the works of the fort of Agra in A.D. 
1564-5. The palaces and the Taj were designed by Mohammad 
Esa Ustad Effencii " Nadir-ul-Asr," and there is no reason to suppose 

MY LIFE 181 

An unjust historian has, in order to decry the artizans 
of India, written that the Taj Mausoleum is the result of 
European intellectualism, but it is well known that it is 
the work of Indian workmen. 

A tunnel, lighted, and spacious enough to admit two 
horsemen, side by side, extends from the fort of Shah- 
jehanabad to the Fort at Agra and thence to the Fort of 

From Agra we proceeded to Delhi, the capital of the 
Moghul Emperors. All the British officials were present 
at the station with troops, colours and bands, to receive 

that Austin de Bordeaux had anything to do with the Taj, as some 
Europeans, including Ta vernier (1-108 Tr. Ball), suppose. For a 
summary of the controversy concerning the alleged share of Geronimo 
Veroiies in the design of the Taj, see H. F. A. 19*1 (pages 416-418). 
The real fact, however, is that no European had any share in its 
design or construction. 

Ta vernier only says, " Shah Jehaii had intended to cover the 
arch of a great gallery which is on the right-hand, with silver and a 
Frenchman named Austin de Bordeaux was to have done the work. 
But the Great Mogul, seeing that there was no one in his kingdom 
who was more capable to send to Goa to negotiate an affair with 
the Portuguese, the work was not done, for, as the ability of Austin 
was feared, he was poisoned on his return from Cochin." (Tr. Ball 
Vol. I, page 108). 

The Palace in the fort is a magnificent building constructed by 
Shah Jelian within fortifications raised by Akbar. The best account 
is the article by Nur Bux, entitled " The Agra Fort and its Building," 
in A. S. Ann. Ref., 1903-1904, pages 164-193- 

The Marquis of Hastings, when Governor-General of India, 
broke up one of the most beautiful marble baths of this palace to 
send home to George IV of England, when the latter was Prince 
Regent ; and the rest of the marble of the suite of apartments from 
which it had been taken, with all its exquisite frontwork and mosaic, 
was afterwards sold by auction on account of the British Govern- 
ment, by order of the then Govern or- General, Lord William Bentinck 
Had these things fetched the price expected, it is probable that the 
whole of the Palace, and even the Taj itself, would have been 
pulled down and sold in the like manner. Vide Fergusson's indignant 
protests (" History of Indian and Eastern Architecture," Edition 
1910, Vol. 2, page 312, etc.) 

The credit of the modern policy of reverence for the ancient 
monuments is due to Lord Curzon more than to any one else. 

I may here refer to the conversation which Major-General 
Sleeman had with an Indian boatman on his visit to the tomb of 
Itimad-ud-dowlah, as it brings out very clearly the truth of the 
author's statement regarding the feelings with which Europeans 
look upon Indian architecture, and ancient buildings. 

In reply to a remark of the General, the boatman said, " The 

182 MY LIFE 

the Ruler of the Deccan. The Viceroy did not himself 
come to the station, but instead, deputed one of his staff. 
However, the terminology of the word Suzerain thus 
became effective. 

To write in detail all the facts in connexion with 
visits to the city and to the tombs of the Saints, and with 
meetings between the great chiefs, is beyond my object 
and unnecessary. 

H.E. the Viceroy paid a visit to the Royal Camp, and on 
that day a durbar was held on similar lines to those already 

H.E. the Minister introduced my uncle, Mirza Abbas 
Beg, th^Jagirdar of Badagaon, to His Highness the Nizam. 

Subsequently the Minister wished to present a ivhillat 
and some jewellery to my uncle which he could not 
possibly accept without the sanction of the British 
Government, and he did not think it advisable to pro- 
ceed in the matter. 

My maternal uncle, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, refused to 
put on the " Dastar " and the belt, and wished to be 
introduced, dressed in Turkish cap, black coat and trou- 
sers ; but the Minister would not agree to break through 
the old-established procedure, and instead of him, it was 
finally decided to introduce another uncle of mine, 
Moulvi Sami-Ullah Khan, a representative of Mufti Sadr- 
ud-din Khan, on behalf of the Aligarh College. The Moulvi 
was well-known throughout India as an authority on 
Muslim religious law. 

He had previously met the Minister in a strange man- 
ner. In the days when His Excellency was touring in 
India, he had visited many places, and had gone also to 
Agra. There was a High Court in the city in those days, 
and the chief Justice, to show off his dignity and the 
procedure of His Court, invited the Minister there, and 

European gentlemen who now govern, seem to have no pleasure 
in building anything but factories, Courts of Justice and jails." 
Ihe General gives vent to his leelmgs in these words: " Feeling 
as an Englishman, as we all must sometimes do, be where we will, 
I could hardly help wishing that the beautiful panels and pillars 
of the bathroom had fetched a better price, and that the palace, 
Taj, and all at Agra, had gone to the hammer, for so sadly do they 
exalt the past at the expense of the present in the imaginations of 
the people." ( Vide page 326, Sleeman's " Rambles and Recol- 

MY LIFE 183 

heard a case before him, which was argued on the one side 
by Mr. Sami-Ullah Khan, and on the other side by a 
" pundit/' whose name was Ajudhyanath. The two 
learned pleaders argued the case in Urdu with such elegance 
that His Excellency invited them both to enter his ser- 
vice, but this they declined. The pundit became the 
founder of the Great Indian National Congress and 
a source of great anxiety to the British officials and 
the Moulvi Sahib, on his part, became one of the 
founders of the college in Aligarh, which is known as 
the Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental College.* 

We returned safely from Delhi to Hyderabad. 

Till now the administration had been carried on, on 
the principle of educating the people of the country in 
such a way as to secure their co-operation and help in 
the administration. For this purpose, a college for Urdu, 
Persian and Arabic was founded ; and also a medical 
school was opened under the auspices of the Residency 
Surgeon, in which instruction was imparted in Urdu, the 
successful alumni being posted to Civil Dispensaries in the 
Districts. Further, it was thought proper to send sons of 
Mansabdars and scions of nobility to complete their 
education in England. In these days the words " mulki " 
and " ghair-mulki " were not coined, and Hindus and 
Muslims from Punjab, Oudh and other parts of India 
were looked upon as countrymen and brothers. Accord- 
ingly, Syed AH Bilgrami and Mirza Mehdi Khan Irani 

* It is not generally known that the word " Mohammedan," 
as used in Europe in respect of Muslims, is a term of contempt that 
causes misconception in the minds of the general public, it having 
been coined by the missionaries in order that the public, and especially 
the female section of it, should believe that the Mussulmans had dei- 
fied Mohamed, as the Roman Catholics do in respect of Christ, in 
order to set up the belief that it is the duty of every indi- 
vidual Christian to displace the false God, and instead, 
enthrone the true one. Therefore I think that the Indian Muslims 
ought to petition the Government of India, asking that, as the 
Prophet Ebrahim gave them the appellation of Mussulmans, the 
word " Mohammedan " should be effaced, and that the Government 
should use only the word " Mussulman " in their official corres- 
pondence. The result of this would be that the enlightened British 
officials would then use the word " Mussulman " in both their speech 
and correspondence. We need not worry about the common people, 
nor about the Press in so far as it is represented by such papers as 
the " Pioneer " they could write what they like. We have the 
example of the Anglo-Indian community before us. 

184 MY LIFE 

were the first to be sent to England. Mir Davar Ali's 
selection was also made. Moreover, the Hindus of the 
place selected brides and bridegrooms for their sons and 
daughters from different provinces of India, and had 
their hereditary rights transferred to them. Maharaja 
Narinder's son-in-law, Raja Hari Kishen, the father of 
Maharaja Kishen Pershad, is an instance in point. 

The men from Madras occupied high positions under 
such noblemen as Nawab Bashir-ud-dowlah, Mukram- 
ud-dowlah, Shahab Jung and Shumshir Jung. 

Similarly in the Nazm-i-Jamiath (Irregular Troops) 
large numbers of Rajputana Pathans were found honoured 
with high posts, but now things changed and men from 
Northern India very often on the recommendation of 
Sir Syed Ahmed Khan began to be employed in the 
departments of the State. Prominent among these were 
Moulvi Mehdi Ali, Nawab Ikram Ullah Khan of Kakori 
Nawab FidaHussain Khan, and later, Moulvi Mushtak Hus- 
sain. Immediately on their arrival they were honoured with 
high appointments, and very soon, constituting them- 
selves as advisers to H.E. the Minister, they got the 
upper hand of the Madrassis. Then breaking through 
the old principles as will be mentioned further on, they 
secured such influence and control over the administration 
that the Minister aside the powers of His Highness 
were encroached upon. 

H.E. the Minister had himself witnessed the behaviour 
of Mehdi Ali and was determined to relieve some of these 
gentlemen. With this object in view His Excellency 
sought Sir Stewart's advice, for Amir-i-Kabir Rashid- 
ud-din Khan had passed away and Sir Richard had retired, 
the policy of the whole administration had rested with 
him, and he resolved to prepare new schemes of adminis- 
tration with the leaven of Islamic principles in other 
words, to draw up a constitution for the State. Sir Stewart 
Bayley placed before him a few names of the gentlemen 
of Bengal, as for instance, Moulvi Dalil-ud-din and Moulvi 
Karim-ud-din Khan, were men of good family, 
learned and straightforward, and their introduction 
brought credit on the State. 

The Minister's relations with the Government of India 
were now secure, and as he wished to go to Simla to con- 
sult H. E, the Viceroy on some important matters, he left 

MY LIFE 185 

entrusting the administration to Maharaja Narinder 
Pershad Bahadur. 

The day he returned from his journey, His Highness, 
who was then in residence at Maula Ali, went out for a 
drive as far as the Lingampalli Gardens. He went in a 
landau, in which the Moulvi and I occupied seats opposite 
him, while the other attendants followed in different 
carriages ; and it so happened that, as we drove along, the 
Minister, as he proceeded from the station, carne up in the 
opposite direction. We met just by the gate of the garden. 
His Excellency, immediately descending from his carriage, 
mads the seven prescribed salutations, while His High- 
ness's coach also stopped to accept the same. Then, on 
the spur of the moment (I cannot assign any reason for 
my action), I suggested that, as the Minister was going to 
his camp at Maula Ali, His Highness should take him, his 
loyal servant and Minister, along with him, and that we, 
the Moulvi and I, should alight. The Moulvi disliked 
the suggestion and tried to dissuade me from it, but, 
without losing a moment, I called out to the Minister 
that His Highness desired his presence. The Moulvi 
was now obliged to descend, and the Minister, in spite of 
his lameness, came quickly forward, smiling and glad, 
and, having saluted again, entered the coach. Then, 
taking the seat opposite His Highness, he sat down with 
folded hands. 

The Moulvi and I of course remained standing, and 
then His Excellency, with great politeness, asked us to 
get into his own carriage. 

It may be said here that the aversion which His High- 
ness had felt towards his Minister during the time of 
Amir-i-Kabir and Sir Richard, was gradually lessening, 
and that the influence of Masi-uz-Zaman was likewise on 
the wane. 

With this sudden inspiration of mine, the Minister was 
so pleased, that, in the evening, he sent for me and lavishly 
praised me, observing that he would always remember my 
services, and would, at the termination of my tutorial 
duties, bestow a jagir on me. He also detained me to take 
dinner with him that evening. 

At this time, a gentleman by the name of Mr. Jones 
was appointed as Resident. He was a lover of justice and 
a man of great determination. 

186 MY LIFE 

Although Captain Clerk still worried both Mr. Krohn 
and me, we now occupied ourselves with the work of educa- 
tion with complete satisfaction. 

Also His Highness was approaching the age of dis- 
cretion, and was beginning to feel the power of his position 
as ruler ; and at the same time he was beginning to ap- 
preciate the humble writer, and not only evinced affection 
towards him, but honoured him with favours of all kinds, 

A brief account of a suggestion put forward during Sir 
Stewart Bayley's time, for a visit to England, deserves a 
hearing. One day Captain Clerk said that he would take 
the lessons of the day by himself, without requiring the 
presence of Mr. Krohn and myself, and accordingly we 
descended to our rooms below, leaving the Captain with 
His Highness and Zuffer Jung. 

After a short time, my servant Rahim Baksh, came 
running to me, and said that Captain Sahib wanted to see 


I went upstairs, and Captain Clerk, shewing me a letter 
addressed to the Resident in His Highness's handwriting, 
said, " What a nice letter His Highness has written of his 
own accord ! " 

I read the letter over, and after lavishing praises on 
it, laughingly added that His Highness had written it 
better than I could, and that the composition of it was as 
good as the Captain's. 

Captain Clerk then asked me to get a similar letter 
composed in Urdu, for the Prime Minister. Accordingly 
I began to dictate, while His Highness wrote, and when we 
had finished it, the Captain, summoning a " chobdar," 
sent the letter to the Minister. 

So far His Highness and I were completely in the dark, 
and believed that this letter-writing was in order for the 
Resident to know what progress had been made in His 
Highness's education. 

The Minister summoned me the next day, and asked 
me why I had got that letter written ; and I informed him 
of what had happened. He drew a deep sigh, and said, 
" It were better he had died before this/' and then en- 
quired what could be done now to get the opinion reversed. 
I suggested that that was within his power, 

MY LIFE 187 

" No/' he replied, " this letter in the hands of the 
Government of India will be like a coco-nut in the hands 
of a monkey," and that the visit to England could not be 
stopped. He regretted that all his schemes for the ad- 
ministration would remain in abeyance and his wish 
unrealized in his heart. As the poet says, 

" Oh the many wishes that were blighted ! " 

Who knew what might happen after the return from 
England, and what luck had in store for him ? 

I remember that the Minister wrote in a similar 
strain to his Parsee servant, who was his confidant, and 
at one time his Secretary. That letter may still be in the 
possession of that aged Parsee's children. Now prepara- 
tions for the journey, on a scale similar to those for the 
King of Persia or the Sultan of Turkey were contemplated. 

And now see how the will of Providence plays with the 
destiny of men. H.E. the Minister, like other world- 
famous men, knew the movements of the stars, and had 
faith in Astrology and " Rummal," and men like Gulab 
Shah, of the Punjab and Gothsi Pandit were em- 
ployed by him ; and these men also had their time and day 
for salutation fixed. One night, when it was the turn of 
Mohan Lai, the Pundit (who had been employed on my 
recommendation), to be present, His Excellency, after 
affixing his signature to the papers of Pattapi Rama Rao, 
the accountant, issuing urgent orders, and attending to 
the correspondence in other words, having finished that 
day's work accorded an interview to the Pundit, and 
asked him to draw up the horoscope of the hour. The 
Pundit, as was the custom of men of his profession, drew 
up the horoscope, showing prosperity and success, and 
His Excellency, having looked into it, smiled and said, 
" Panditjee the compartment reserved for life is vacant " 
or words to that effect. 

The Pundit tried to pass the matter off, and then, 
being allowed to depart, came direct to me as fast 
as his legs could carry him, and informed me of the 

I was angry with him, because for a little matter like 
that, he had spoilt my rest ; but he said, " I wish to God 
that my horoscope were wrong ! " 

In the morning I went as usual to the Parana Haveli 

188 MY LIFE 

Palace, and Captain Clerk and Mr. Krohn also came. His 
Highness was still asleep, and the Mansabdars were on 
the watch. 

And then Tippu Khan, broken-hearted, with dishevel- 
led hair, eyes dripping with tears, and sighing aloud, came 
in hurriedly, and said that His Highness should be awaken- 
ed and informed that his loyal and devoted Minister had 
passed away. Captain Clerk looked anxiously at me, and 
I caught hold of Tippu Khan's hand and asked him to 
take breathing time and state the facts. 

He then began to cry aloud, and to ask us to inform 
His Highness quickly. Accordingly I awoke His Highness. 
He got up rubbing his eyes, and then, when he had 
descended below, Tippu Khan informed him of all 
that had taken place during the night, adding that 
Doctors and Hakims were all present, but nothing could 

His Highness then asked me to go and bring back a 
full report. 

I got into Captain Clerk's carriage and reached His 
Excellency's palace. As I stepped into the room, Hakim 
Baker Ali Khan came out weeping, and on my questioning 
him, said, " You go yourself and see. The unfortunate 
doctor hastened the end, and, in spite of our advice and 
before we could stop him, gave His Excellency soup to 

I went inside and there was the great Minister, lying 
stiff and stark on the bed ; and I received a shock when I 
looked into his face, and retraced my steps. Both his 
sons were calling aloud, " Oh Father ! Oh Father 1 " 
and the whole place inside and outside top and below was 
one scene of lamentation and sorrow. It suggested to one 
the day of Judgment. I tried to console the Sahibzadas, 
but that was not the time for them to be influenced by my 
consolatory remarks. 

Then I returned to the Royal Palace. Captain Clerk and 
and Mr. Krohn also cried, and tears dropped from the 
eyes of His Highness. Captain Clerk and Mr. Krohn now 
took their departure, and Masi-uz-Zaman Khan and the 
great nobles, Sir Khurshed Jah, Asman Jah, Vikar-ul- 
Umra, and Maharaja Peshkar, presented themselves at 
the palace. There a state of silence prevailed. 

In the meantime, Major Gough, Captain Clerk and Mr 

MY LIFE 189 

Syed Husain Bilgrami went to Mr. Jones*, and requested 
him that he at once should proclaim that Laik AH Khan, 
the late Minister's eldest son, was appointed in his father's 
place, as of right otherwise there was danger of a breach 
of the peace. 

But Mr. Jones was very much put out at this, and said, 
" One of you is a Hindustani Pcrdasi, another a clerk in 
the office, and you " referring to Captain Clerk " are a 
tutor. You people are not entitled to interfere in political 
affairs, nor have you a right to speak to me in such matters. 
Go away and if I hear that you are encouraging intrigue, 
it will not be well for you. And you, Captain Clerk, in the 
capacity of a tutor, have only to concern yourself with 
teaching, and if I hear that you spoke to His Highness in 
regard to this question of the appointment of a Minister, 
I shall suspend you." The three gentlemen returned 

Then Mr. Jones paid a visit to the Minister's palace, to 
condole with the ladies and the late Minister's sons ; and 
from there he went direct to the Purana Haveli Palace and 
condoled with His Highness in very sorrowful words at the 
loss of a devoted, loyal and far-sighted Minister.! 

After that he summoned Maharaja Peshkar, Sir 
Khurshed Jah and Asman Jah to the Residency, and till 
a permenent arrangement could be arrived at, made 
Maharaja Peshkar, who was old and had served as a partner 
with the late Minister, responsible for the peace of the city 
and administration of the State. J 

* Resident from 3rd July, 1882, to April, 1883. 

f 3oth Rabi-us-sani, 1303 H. 

j I may here mention that at that time Mr. Baring (afterwards 
Lord Cromer of Egypt), the financial Minister of the Government of 
India, was staying at Hyderabad as the guest of His Excellency the 
Minister, and also a European Prince was on a visit to Hyderabad ; 
and His Excellency had entertained both these honoured guests 
with his usual hearty hospitality. On the morning prior to his death, 
he took a hasty breakfast with them, and then took them out to 
the Mir Alam Tank, where everything was provided on a lavish 

After returning from the Tank, h came to the Royal palace. 
His Highness was then in the zenana, and I was standing alone on 
the Afzal Mahal platform ; and I enquired if His Excellency wished 
to see His Highness. He replied that he had no thought of troubling 
His Highness but and he pointed to some marble tables of excellent 
workmanship he would be glad if I would present them to 


While this was going on, I, as usual, at the appointed 
time called on Mr. Jones. He looked annoyed, and asked 
what right had the tutors to interfere in administrative 
matters. " When I had warned Captain Clerk, Moulvi 
Masi-uz-Zaman Khan came to me on behalf of Asman Jah 
and Vikar-ul-Umra. Now, on whose behalf have you 
come ? " I replied that I had come to see him, as was usual 
with me ; and he then said that if he heard that the tutors 
interfered in such matters, he would turn them out. 

His Highness. He was then hale and hearty, and in the pink of 

In the evening he dined \vith his guests. Then, it is said, later, 
a lady relation of his bent him a dainty dish of which he was very 
fond, and, as bad luck would have it, he eould not restrain himself 
from partaking of it, with the result that he had an attaek of indiges- 
tion, which developed into something more serious. 

It will not be out of place or uninteresting to refer to the con- 
versation which Mr. Wilired Scawen Blunt had with Mademoiselle 
Gaignaud, Salar Jung's French Governess, with regard to the char- 
acter of Sir Saiar Jung I, and the cause of his tragic death. (Vide 
" India under Ripon," pages 200-201). 

She says that Sir Salar Jung was the best and nobiebt of men, 
and that he never said an unkind word or did a dishonest action 
in his life. All, even his enemies, respected him ; and the old Amir-i- 
Kabir, the bitterest enemy of them all, sent for him on his death- 
bed, and recommended his sons to his care. 

She says, further, that she had no doubt in the world that the 
Minister was poisoned. He had not complained of anything till 
late on Wednesday evening, the evening of the \vater~party at the 
Mir Alum Tank, and he died at a quarter past seven on Thursday. 
On Tuesday he had dined at the Residency. 

The symptoms were not those of cholera. There was no vomiting, 
except such as he himself caused, by putting his fingers down his 
throat ; he complained only of a burning in his throat and chest, 
and great thirst ; and after death his colour remained unchanged. 
Of the two English doctors, Beaumont, one, said it was cholera, 
and the other said it was not ; but no post-mortem examination 
was made. 

Mile. Gaignaud draws a fearful scene of the confusion in the 
Zenana on the occasion, and also of the old Minister being plied 
with potions mixed by two holy men, who wrote words in Arabic, 
Persian and Sanskrit on leaves, of which they then made an infusion ; 
and she states that the English doctors were only called in when 
there was no more hope. 

A crowd of women, friends and relations eight hundred of 
them had collected in the house, and when they heard of the Min- 
ister's death for he died in the outer part of the house they 
shrieked and cursed and screamed and rolled upon the floor, tearing 
their clothes, breaking their bracelets and behaving like mad 
creatures ; and nobody fully recovered their senses for a week. 

MY LIFE 191 

With the policy and administration of the State entrusted 
to Maharaja Peshkar, there arose in the hearts of self- 
interested officials such an imaginary fear, that fanciful 
though it was they fell to thinking deeply of their 

They resorted to intrigue and machinations, not only 
to save themselves, but also to further their ambitious 
motives ; and these conditions prevailed right up to the 
the end of the regime of H.H. the late Nizam (of heavenly 
abode). The powerful Minister had in the space of a 
night passed away, and in his place there stepped ia an 
aged and bowed man, with fossilised ideas of the past, 
who could easily be cornered. 

The gates of the Residency were thrown open to these 
intriguers, Mr. Jones, the Resident, being himself a 
newcomer. With the exception of Sir Khurshed Jah, the 
other nobles were without much education and experience, 
and everyone felt encouraged to grind his own axe and 
seek his own personal gain. 

Masi-uz-Zaman Khan was the first of the Palace 
servants to make a move. He was the Chief of the Persian 
tutors, and also gave lessons on the Holy Koran, and, as 
such, he believed he had acquired sufficient influence over 
His Highness. It happened that Samsam-ud-dowlah, the 
uncle of H.H. the late Afzul-ud-dowlah in other words, 
a grandfather of His Highness passed away quite sudden- 
ly leaving an estate comprising troops, and of these the 
Moulvi coveted 500 horsemen for himself, and pressed 
on the Maharaja to issue orders accordingly.* But the 
Maharaja, though outwardly courteous to all, was a strict 
observer of rules and regulations, and a man of determin- 
ation, and so he told the Moulvi that the matter was 
beyond his powers, and that he should obtain orders from 
His Highness. The Moulvi was much annoyed and wanted 
to force the Maharaja's hand. On the other hand, a cry 

* 500 Horse. Vide Sannad published in the biography of Moulvi 
Masih-uz-Zaman Khan Hayath-a-Masiu, by Munshi Muzaffer 
Hussan Khan Sulimam, page 79 ; also on pages 53-55 concerning 
the Moulvi's endeavours and ambition to secure a jaghir, and the 
correspondence between Captain Clerk and Sir Salar Jung I regard- 
ing this. This correspondence brings into relief the self-seeking 
and ambitious character of Moulvi Masih-uz-Zaman Khan. 
(" Hayath-a-Masih," by Munshi Muzaffer Hussan Khan Suli- 

I 9 2 MY LIFE 

was raised in the Royal Mahallat for His Highness was 
informed of all that was taking place as to what this 
rapacity and loot meant, so soon after the death of the 

The Maharaja tried to draw me in, but I kept out, 
because the Moulvi had already won over Captain Clerk. 
I, however, advised the Maharaja to consult His Highness 
over this matter, and he did so. At this the Moulvi got 
into a great temper, and while giving lessons used threats 
to His Highness, and the word " Nashudnee " (a Persian 
appellation, akin to abuse, meaning " It were better you 
had not been born ") fell from his mouth. 

His Highness closed his book, and, with tears dropping 
from his eyes, rose and walked out of the class-room. 
The attendants and His Highness's companions, when they 
saw this, immediately collected around him, and His 
Highness said that he would not take his lessons from the 
Moulvi ; but nearly all of the staff supported the Moulvi 
as they expected favours and preferment from him. There 
were, however, two exceptions ; one was Mohamed Ali Beg 
who like myself, had always been disliked by Masi-uz- 
Zaman, and the other, Mir Riasat Ali, who had here- 
ditary relations with the family of the Minister. These two 
agreed with His Highness, but the rest made continued 
overtures on behalf of the Moulvi. 

In the meantime, Saadat Ali Khan, a son of the late 
Minister, arrived on the scene, and not only supported His 
Highness, but suggested punishment for the Moulvi. The 
thoughts of these two then turned towards me, and a 
decision was reached that Agha Mirza Beg (that is I) 
should be sent for. It was in the afternoon that this 
disagreeable affair took place, and consultations lasted till 
past midnight. 

In those days I was staying in some Government 
buildings, with my family, for change of air, at Sarurnagar, 
and it was as late as 2 a.m. that a horseman galloped up 
with a letter, which was either written by Mohamed Ali 
Beg or Mir Riasat Ali, commanding that I should at once 

I immediately drove to Purana Haveli, anxious and 
worried, and when I arrived at the palace, a strange sight 
presented itself to my eyes. On one side of the Dalan 
(covered verandah) the Moulvi was seated with his sup- 

MY LIFE 193 

porters, and on the other was His Highness, surrounded 
by the sons of nobles and his two advisers. Moin-ud-din, 
the Moulvi's man as he saw me, was the first to run up and 
say to me in Persian, the respect for the tutors had gone 
and the next moment Nawab Zuffer Jung turned up and 
said, " Hazrat, come quickly ! His Highness is weeping." 

Very much perturbed, I ran forward and enquired 
what had happened, and then was told the whole story. 

I humbly requested His Highness to ease his mind, 
telling him that the matter was a trivial one, which would 
easily be attended to ; and I added that, as morning had 
dawned, His Highness should take a wash and remain 
happy. My request had the desired consolatory effect. 

I was then asked my opinion as to the course to be 
adopted, and in reply, I humbly suggested that His 
Highness's nobles, who did not hesitate to sacrifice their 
lives for him, would make the necessary arrangements. 
On that I was immediately commanded to fetch the nobles 
but I said that, while I was ready to obey the command, 
as I and the Moulvi were fellow tutors, my action might 
be misconstrued. 

I was then ordered to fetch Maharaja Peshkar, and 
Zuffer Jung to call his father, Sir Khurshed Jah, Mir Saadat 
Ali Khan, his elder brother Nawab Laik Ali Khan ; 
these three nobles duly arrived. 

Maharaja Peshkar and Nawab Kurshed Jah were 
nobles of the old type, and worshipped their Sovereign ; 
and Mir Laik Ali Khan, though of excitable tempei, was 
a courageous young nobleman. 

The three of them, having heard the facts, deeply 
sympathised with His Highness, and gave orders that the 
Moulvi's lessons should cease immediately till further 

Just then Captain Clerk and Mr. Krohn came in. 
The latter sympathised fully with His Highness, but 
the former was very much put out, and saying that all 
matters connected with the education were entrusted to 
him, asked what right had the nobles to interfere with 

The nobles in their turn, grew angry, and Nawab 
Khurshed Jah reminded the Captain that he was a mere 
servant, and that it was improper for him to speak such 
words in his presence, and that but for fear of the matter 


194 MY LIFE 

being complicated, he would suspend him for giving utter- 
ance to such remarks. 

Captain Clerk was perhaps reminded of Mr. Jones's 
warning to him for he quickly retired to his chamber, and 
then sending for me and Mr. Krohn, said that our honour 
was in jeopardy, " How can we now keep His Highness 
under control ? " he asked, and added that it was necessary 
for three of us to support the Moulvi. But Mr. Krohn 
turned his back, and, saying that it was not his business, 
walked out of the room. 

The Captain then caught hold of me, and said that I 
must go and explain matters to His Highness otherwise 
he would resign. 

I asked him to go with me saying that I would then 
explain to His Highness whatever he wished. On this he 
grew warmer, and said, " You expect to become His 
Highness's Secretary, but, remember, you will be the first 
to suffer." 

In the meantime, Laik Ali Khan had announced to the 
nobles that they should attend the palace on a certain day 
and at a certain time, to deliberate over the question of the 
Moulvi's punishment, and to make fresh arrangements for 
the office vacated by him. 

Captain Clerk advanced his claim to be present, but 
the nobles unanimously rejected his application. However 
on my pointing out that their refusal in this respect might 
enable the Captain to prolong the dispute, and finally 
have it sent up to the Government of India, in which case 
he would be bound to appeal* with the result that the 
Government would never agree to the dismissal, they gave 
way, and the Captain was present at, and took part in, 
the deliberations on the date named. 

Nawab Laik Ali Khan, Khurshedjah and Maharaja 
Peshkar unanimously decided that the Moulvij should be 
deported from the city within 24 hours, and that the Maha- 
raja should issue a decent pension for him. J Captain Clerk 

* Vide Deccan Times, 23rd Oct., 1883. 

f yth Mohurrum, 1301 H (1883). 

t The dismissal of Moulvi Masih-uz-Zaman Khan. The decision 
of the Council of Regency dated 7th Shaaban 1301 H., the fourth 
article of which runs as follows : Raja Narinder Bahadur proposed 
the dismissal of Moulvi Masih-uz-Zaman Khan in the Council, 
and Nawab Khurshed Jah agreeing with him, the proposal was 

MY LIFE 195 

and Asman Jah disagreed but were forced to acknowledge 
the decision of the majority of the Council. 

A second matter that was also decided by the majority 
was this, that Agha Mirza Beg (myself), apart from his 
present duties, should at once be honoured with all the 
offices which the Moulvi held* ; and that in respect of 
this extra work, the Maharaja Peshkar should arrange 
for an increase in his salary. 

With these arrangements made, the palace enjoyed 
immunity from intrigue, till the termination of His High- 
ness's education, Mr. Krohn, in his English branch, and 
Moulvi Anwar-Ullah Khan, Moulvi Ashraf Ali and I, in 
the Hindustani Branch, working with perfect contentment. 

I ordered Moulvi Anwar-Ullah Khan to lead us in 
prayer early every morning, before the English lessons 
began. After Zohur (afternoon) prayers, I and Ashraf Ali 
took the Holy Koran, reading it one day with the trans- 
lation of Shah Rafiuddin, and on the next, with the trans- 
lation of Shah Abdul Kader. Further I stopped the Per- 
sian lesson for the time being, and, instead took up Urdu 
till 4 p.m. (Assur time) ; and then after the Urdu lessons, 
an hour was given to copy writing. Nawab Zuffer Jung 
took a share in this, and occasionally Nawab Saadat Ali 
Khan also joined. 

The interference of the bigger nobles after the death 
of Amir-i-Kabir Rashid-ud-din Khan had disappeared, 
and to tell the truth, Maharaja Peshkar and Sir Khurshed 
Jah helped me in every way in the management of the 
Royal Palace. 

Nawab Laik Ali Khan also did so for some time, but 
then, on incitement by certain gentlemen, in which 
Mohamed Ali Beg and Riasat Ali Khan took a great part 
he began to look upon me as his adversary, and one who 

accepted by the Council. Vide Biography (" Biyath-a-Masih ") 
by Munshi Muzaffer Hussan Khan Sulimani, page 82. He received 
a pension of Rs 400/- per month, and his tainily continued to receive 
Rs 800 per mensem between them, besides Rs 500;'- for the upkeep 
of his martyred brother's tomb. In all, the Moulvi, to the time oi 
his death, which took place on the i3th Zilhaja 1328 H. (lylh 
December, 1910 A.D.), received Rs 1800. The full particulars of 
the Moulvi's emoluments are given on page 76 of his biography 
(" Hiyath-a-Masih ") by Munshi Muzaffer Hussan Khan Sulimani. 
* 3rd Ramzan, 1300 H (1882). 

196 MY LIFE 

was a well-wisher of the Maharaja Bahadur. To my 
misfortune, therefore, I again had to face difficulties, but 
they were of a personal character and did not affect my 
duties, and I had the fullest opportunity to look after the 
education of His Highness and the progress he made. 

This was the state of affairs at the palace and of His 
Highnesses education after the death of the sagacious and 
far-sighted Minister ; but with regard to State matters, 
strange tribulations now arose. 

Syed Abdul Huq, who was known as Sirdar Diler 
Jung, first came into prominence. He was, as his title 
suggested, a man of pushing character, and having 
held out hopes of favour to Mehdi Ali and Syed Hussain 
Bilgrami, he succeeded through Mr. Trevor, an official, 
in securing the support of the Resident, Mr. Cordery. 
By this means he scored a success in matters relating to 
the Railway, and became a very rich man, but to all 
those who had helped him and to whom he had held out 
hopes, he did not pay a penny. The truth is that he was 
honest, and a devoted servant of the King and country ; 
and whatever he earned was not the State money.* In 
fact, he was the first Indian who looted the London market 
and he was so far-sighted and wise, especially in financial 
matters, that his extraordinary success made Englishmen 
and Indians so jealous of him that they became his enemies. 
And finally the latter got an opportunity to dismiss him 
from the State Service, and the shock of this was so great, 
that he could not survive it for shame. 

Now various groups were formed, from the nobility to 
the lowest officials, to gain their particular object, and 
virulent attacks began to be made on the Maharaja Peshkar, 
the aged and loyal servant of the State, who was tempo- 
rarily responsible for the administration and he almost 
became disgusted with his life.f Think of it an old and 
infirm man carrying such a heavy burden on his head, 
that he has to use both of his hands to stop it from falling, 
while at the same time, when he has neither the power of 
defending himself or of freeing himself from the burden on 
his head, there stand around him a few dacoits, one of 

* See Bombay Gazette of Juno isth, 1883, giving the opinion of 
Mr. Jones (at that date recently the Resident at Hyderabad) and 
oi Sir Owen Burne oi Abdul Huq's honesty of purpose. 

f See Bombay Gazette of April 25th, 1884. 

MY LIFE 197 

whom is pulling at his garment, another is tearing at his 
collar, and yet a third is standing behind him with a 
dagger ! 

Likewise some clever officials plied this poor Min- 
ister, who was not even permanent in his position, 
with all kinds of attacks ; also some greedy Europeans 
(in order to earn a livelihood), surrounding Mr. Cordery on 
all sides, helped these disturbers of the peace. These 
people attacked this helpless and silent old man, not only 
in the Bombay, Madras and Calcutta papers, but espec- 
ially with lengthy articles in the " Pioneer," an Allah- 
abad paper, which was inimical to the cause of India and 
Indians generally. 

And the Government of India also committed a grave 
error that is to say, they failed to realize the effect which 
the name of the late Salar Jung carried, from India to 
Persia, to Turkey and thence to Europe, and especially 
England, where the name Sir " Sailor Young " (Sir Salar 
Jung) was worshipped. Therefore, not relying on the wis- 
dom and experience of Mr. Jones, they sent Sir Stewart 
Bayley to prepare a skeleton scheme for the administration 
of the State. 

Sir Stewart was a man of noble temper, and very polite, 
but he had a good opinion of everyone with whom he came 
into contact, and very soon he was surrounded by the 
Hindustani gentlemen and their hungry and irresponsible 
European supporters, who now attacked not only the 
aged Maharaja, but also Sir Khurshed Jah from fear that 
the latter might step in when permanent arrangements 
were made. 

This claim of Laik Ali Khan was, however, admitted, 
and his youthfulness was the only obstacle in the way of 
success. Thereafter Khurshed Jah Bahadur's name was 
struck oil the list of candidates, and it was decided that 
Nawab Laik Ali Khan should remain under the tutelage 
of the Maharaja, and, sitting with him, dailyjshare the 
responsibility of administration, with a view to his be- 
coming, after a short period, the permanent Prime Minister 
of these dominions ; and that until then, the Maharaja 
Bahadur should remain responsible for the peace of the 

The decision upset the Maharaja, and he quoted the 
following couplet : 

198 MY LIFE 

" You have placed me on a plank on the breast 
of the deepest of the deep sea, and yet you warn 
me again and again not to wet my garment/' 

But Mr. Palmer and Rustumjee and others, who sym- 
pathised with the Maharaja, came in the way of his refusal, 
and so encouraged him, that he accepted this temporary 
arrangement in the hope of its receiving modification in 
the future. But the result brought nothing but shame. 

Mr. Jones could not put put up with this insult, and 
got himself transferred to Nagpur ; and on the 2ist, April, 
1883, Mr. Cordery was appointed Resident, with instruc- 
tions to supervise this arrangement, 

As has already been stated, after the death of the Min- 
ister the door of the Residency was opened to intrigue ; 
but, to be just, the Deccan people and the nobles of the 
State took no part in them, although men of lower rank 
were busy snatching one another's places. In every de- 
partment intrigue was at its height, and bribery and 
corruption were openly rampant, placing honest people in 
a state of anxiety and fear. In every direction group after 
group of these men, like cattle without a herdsman, 
lowing, striking with their horns, charged about, after 
having selected for their patron men on whose protection 
they could rely. And every criminal who had secured 
acquittal through recommendation, became emboldened. 

And while this was the condition of things with men of 
the lower strata, bigger men kept the field with higher 
ambitions. Of these Mohamed Ali Beg was the first to take 
the lead. An ambitious young man, of soldierly accom- 
plishments, and with his heart full of hope, he had few 
equals in Hyderabad, and accordingly, with such qualities, 
was in constant attendance at the Palace ; and, indeed, in 
the matter of Masi-uz-Zaman Khan's dismissal, he re- 
ceived royal favour. On the other hand, being a 
Resaidar in the British Army, he was looked upon by the 
Resident as his own man ; while, at the same time, his 
military position had enabled him to secure special 
influence with the Europeans. Also, at this time, he had 
acquired a special position in the company of Nawab Laik 
Ali Khan ; and, following the example of the Minister, he 
had begun to entertain Englishmen on a smaller scale. 

I met this gentleman in the beginning, in a strange 

MY LIFE 199 

way. Omer All Shah brought over to me one day a young 
man in Military uniform and gold-laced turban, and said 
that this young fellow was like his son. As he was to be my 
co-worker at the palace, the Shah Sahib wanted me to 
promise to help him as far as it lay in my power. I gave the 

Mohamed Ali Beg then told me that the difficulty in 
which he was placed, was, that he was a Sunni, and could 
only expect help from Agha Nasir Shah and Riasat Ali, 
his patrons, so long as his religion remained a secret to 
them. I, however, assured him, and, indeed, always 
supported him against Masi-uz-Zaman Khan. 

Mr. Mehdi Ali followed suit, and, having assured 
Nawab Laik Ali Khan of his loyalty, began to visit the 
Residency and to entertain English officials. The right- 
hand man of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan he was self-possessed 
and polite, and his speech was sweet and very effective. 
He was also prepared to do a good turn to everybody, if 
it did not militate against his own personal interests. His 
subordinates were loyal, even unto death to him, and as 
he was able to surround himself with a circle of able, 
experienced, and well-read men, he was generally looked 
upon as a very popular man. 

Although I lived in seclusion this gentleman had had 
friendly intercourse with me. 

The participation of two or three Eropeans in this 
group, combined with the fact that the Resident began to 
speak highly of Mr. Mehdi Ali, made the Maharaja very 
uneasy in mind. He could not, without danger lay his 
hands on Mirza Mohamed Ali Beg, because of his comrade- 
ship with the Ruler and his connexion with the British 
Government ; but he proceeded against Moulvi Mehdi Ali, 
and Pattapfi Ram Rao and a Mehdevi Pathan (I forget 
the latter's name) but he held a high position in the Treas- 
ury) were ordered to call for accounts from Mr. Medhi 

The poor Moulvi was at his wit's end. In the morning, 
as I was preparing to go to the palace, and when my con- 
veyance was ready waiting for me, he appeared before me. 
I had a mirror in front of me and the Holy Koran was in 
a niche, and the Moulvi, without even greeting me, took 
the Koran from the niche, and placing it on his head, 
said : 

aoo MY LIFE 

" My friend, if you can save me now, I swear on this 
Holy Book that I shall ever remain grateful to you, but 
otherwise I shall take poison and kill myself, and the 
innocent blood of a Syed will rest on your head." 

I asked him to put back the Koran in its place, and 
tell me how I could interfere in his case, adding that if 
he but showed me the way, I would not hesitate to help 
him, and, in reply, he requested me to bring about a 
meeting with the Maharaja, and then leave the rest to 
him. It was therefore agreed that he would be at the 
Maharaja's palace at about "magrib" time (evening 
prayers), and that I should try to arrange an inter- 

This was accordingly done, and at the interview, the 
Moulvi, in beseeching the Maharaja to withhold his hand, 
paid him such a glowing tribute, that the Maharaja gave 
up the idea of degrading him. 

At this time a new visitor, in the person of Mehdi 
Hussain he had read with me for a short time in the 
school at Kaiser Bagh, Lucknow came to Hyderabad, 
bringing with him an Anglo-Indian lady. This was the 
first time in Hyderabad that women began to take part in 
plots and intrigues. 

As it was difficult to approach the Maharaja, this Mehdi 
Hussain and Moulvi Mushtak Hussain came to me and 
pressed a long-standing claim on me. I admitted the claim 
at once, but had to explain that I had no " locus standi '* 
in the administration. However, I began to think how 
I could interfere re the man's appointment. The Maharaja 
was already ill-disposed towards Upper Indian men, and 
was about to lay hold of Moulvi Mushtak Hussain himself, 
but the fact that Mehdi Hussain had been my school- 
fellow, influenced me in his favour. It was therefore 
agreed that Nawab Laik Ali Khan should make a recom- 
mendation, and that I should vouch for Mehdi Hussain's 
good conduct and abilities ; and accordingly the Nawab 
Sahib made a written recommendation for him in the 
Judicial department, mentioning also the fact that he was 
known to me. 

Maharaja could not refuse such a recommendation, 
and Mehdi Hussain was introduced into the service ; but 
gradually he also became involved in the topsy-turveydom 
that was taking place, and came into prominence and 

MY LIFE 201 

notoriety more through the diplomatic moves of the 
Anglo-Indian lady referred to. As the poet says : 

" Not the curtain, but we, did fall, when she 
showed her beauty, by lifting the veil/ 1 

In the palace itself, peace prevailed, except when 
Captain Clerk occasionally lost his temper. In the 
Paigahs, too, there was no necessity for any intrigue. Sir 
Asman Jah possessed in Mr. Dosabhoy, a Parsee gentleman 
of experience and excellent judgment, and with the latter 
managing his State Jagirs and troops, the Nawab Sahib 
led a life of ease with his companions. And the same was 
the case with Nawab Vikar-ul-Umra, under the manage- 
ment of Shapurjee. If any question was asked of these 
noblemen regarding their estate, they would look to their 
managers to answer it, This statement, however, does 
not apply to Sir Khurshed Jah, who was a nobleman of 
experience, and understood perfectly well how to adminis- 
ter his Illaqa (estate). 

However, at this time, a powerfully big group of 
Upper Indians, including men of exceptional ability, vast 
experience, erudition and foresight, were acting in unison 
and singleness of purpose to bring about discredit on the 
administration of the aged Maharaja, and the position 
may well be described according to a well-known saying : 
" One doomed man, with a hundred executioners." 

These men were trying to break down the present 
temporary arrangements, so that Nawab Laik Ali Khan 
might become the Diwan (Prime Minister) with full 
powers, and that then, having thus published to the world 
their loyalty to the late Minister, they might the more 
easily take shelter under the youth and inexperience of 
the new Minister, in order, on the one hand, to prove to 
the Government of India, through the Resident, their 
ability to work, and on the other, to strike their roots 
deeper into the soil of the State, and establish themselves 
permanently. Those few gentlemen who were sent for on 
Sir Stewart's recommendation, did not live long, and in 
quick succession sacrificed themselves for their Sovereign 
and Country. 

In this group there were two officials who con- 
cerned themselves only with the work of their own 
departments, and here, like the bullock in the oilman's mill, 

202 MY LIFE 

they kept moving round and round to the exclusion of all 
other matters. Moulvi Chiragh AH was one of these. ^ A 
man of great erudition, a litterateur in Arabic and English, 
and taciturn by nature, he was a very recalcitrant sub- 
ordinate of Mehdi Ali, though he was superior to him in 
respect of his education. 

Nawab Ikram-ullah Khan, the other of the two officials 
in question, was an elegant speaker of a humorous turn of 
mind, and came of a high family. He was fond of the 
company of friends, and disliked intrigue to such an extent 
that soon after the death of the Minister, he tendered his 
resignation and left for his native country ; and the 
British Government then appointed him as adviser to the 
Nawab of Rampur. 

Of the Madrassis, Moulvi Shaik Ahmed possessed all 
good qualities and disliked intrigue, but he, too, to the 
regret of all, did not live long. 

Moulvi Mohamed Siddik did not possess sufficient 
talent to emulate the successes of the Upper Indians, 
and as he could not then gain access to higher authorities, 
he confined himself to giving expression to his ambitious 
ideas on a lower plane. 

This group, although disagreeing within itself, was 
united as regards the discomfiture of the Maharaja. 

I have already briefly alluded to Sirdar Diler Jung 
Abdul Huq.* He was not supported by any group of 
men like Moulvi Mehdi Ali, but relying only on his natural 
gifts, was able to face and successfully offer opposition 
to them ; but he was neither against nor in favour of the 

Almost every day, things derogatory to the Maharaja 
were conveyed to the Residency, and this occasioned 
the interference of the Resident more and more in the 
internal administration of the State : and the art of 
espionage because of the position of those in the intrigue 
was encouraged to a greater degree at the Residency. 
In fact, it began to be inferred that, but for a few tried 
servants, the work of the administration could not go 
on for a single day. 

Although I was not included in any group, I was sus- 
pected to be a partisan of the Maharaja, and because I 

* Died in London 6th Zilhej, 1313 H. 

MY LIFE 203 

attended on the ruler night and day and was influential, 
they thought I would sing the praises of the Maharaja and 
belittle the dignity of others before the Sovereign. Accord- 
ingly they now turned their attention on me, and succeeded 
in turning Nawab Laik AH Khan against me, although he 
was my pupil, and favoured me. 

(These gentlemen were only in appearance well- 
wishers of Nawab Laik AH Khan, and in the end they 
hoodwinked him.) 

On one occasion when we were having tea together 
the Nawab, the tutors, and all the palace staff were there 
and when, as it happened, I was sitting close to Nawab Mir 
Laik AH Khan, the latter began to talk unpleasantly. 
As he was accustomed to use abusive language, I, to 
safeguard myself, said to him in the words of the poet : 

" You can abuse strangers if you like, but if 
you say anything to us, the responsibility will be 

And I added that this was a couplet of Mir's (this is a 
poetical pseudonym of a gentleman who is considered to 
be one of the best Urdu poets), and that as I was 
one, who was helped by his father, I should like him to 
be careful in his speech towards me. After I had said this 
the Nawab, pressing his back to the chair and raising his 
head, cried aloud, " Hai Baba ! . . . Hai Baba ! " 
(Oh, my father ! Oh, my father ! ) and began to cry like 
a child. At once attendants from all directions ran towards 
him, and even His Highness came over ; but he continued 
to cry. 

I was then questioned, and I related the incident. 
As His Highness knew my temperament, he did not say 
anything, but taking hold of the Nawab's hand, took him 
away, saying, " Do not take ill what the ' Hazrat ' says." 

From that day Nawab Laik AH Khan came to believe 
that I was hostile towards him, and the methods which 
he and his coadjutors, Mohamed AH Beg, Riasat AH, and 
his younger brother, Nawab Saadat AH Khan, adopted to 
injure me are too unpleasant to mention. 

And very soon another man was to share our lot. 
This was Nawab Khurshed Jah, whose administrative 
ability was well known. He was the only nobleman now 
who enjoyed the title of Shamshul Umra Amir-i-Kabir, 

204 MY LIFE 

and the city people looked up to him as their protector ; 
and as the agitators feared that the Government, recog- 
nizing his ability and prestige, might turn its attention in 
his favour, they began to poison the Resident's ear's 
against him. 

Mr. Cordery's mind was clear as regards myself 
he and I used to converse on literary subjects but 
matters reached such a climax, that the administration 
began to go from bad to worse, and the blame for it fell 
to the lot of the temporary incumbent (Maharaja Pesh 

The Maharaja, on the advice of Khurshed Jah, was of 
opinion that His Highness's education should now cease, 
so that, taking the reins of Government into his own hands, 
he could relieve his suffering subjects from the painful 
situation ; but Captain Clerk disliked the idea, and 
Major Gough and those who supported Nawab Laik Ali 
Khan, began to instil fears into the Nawab's mind, that, 
if this were done, the Amir-i-Kabir and the Maharaja 
would carry the day. Therefore attacks began to be made 
on His Highness's tender age and inexperience. 

On the other hand, I was also worried, and thought 
that my own safety also lay in acting on the Maharaja's 
suggestion, and accordingly I told him that I thought 
that His Highness should go to Calcutta for the purpose 
of seeing the Exhibition that was then being held there, 
and also in order to allow Lord Ripon to decide for himself 
whether His Highness's education should cease or not, and 
at the same time settle the question of investing His 
Highness with full ruling powers. 

The two noblemen did not, in the first instance, favour 
my proposal, and this on the ground that, His Highness 
being in his own right a hereditary ruler of this State, and 
that, barring the Delhi Durbar (held 4th Zilhij, 1293 H.) 
not one of the former rulers had gone beyond the confines 
of the Dominions they would not in their life-time be a 
party to anything " infra dig." ; but when they found that 
the Resident was also won over to the views of ^ these 
agitators, they decided to act according to my opinion. 

I, on my part, began to persuade His Highness to visit 
Calcutta, and to end his tutelage, in order to take into his 
hands the full control of the administration. My per- 
suasion had the desired effect, and Zufler Jung and His 

MY LIFE 205 

Highness became so interested in their visit of enjoyment 
to Calcutta, that His Highness gave a written order to the 
Maharaja to make preparations for the journey. 

Our sole object was to tide over the ugly storm that 
was raised by these agitators, and to save our honour at 
any cost ; and now those very men, acting under the fear 
that we were strengthening our hold by this move, tried 
their utmost, though without success, to stop the journey. 

The preparations were now made on a similar scale 
to that of the visit to the Delhi Durbar, which the late 
Minister had planned. In fact, the Maharaja gave a 
further impetus to enhance the Royal dignity on the jour- 
ney, by sending Mr. Cordery to Calcutta to arrange for 
a reception befitting His Highness's rank, and to see that 
nothing derogatory occurred. 

We reached Allahabad, resting at each stage of the 
journey, and enjoyed a visit to the Fort. At Benares* we 
were the guests of the Maharaja. 

None of the intriguers accompanied the Royal party, 
but Mohamed Ali Beg, Mir Riasat Ali and Nawab Saadat 
Ali Khan commenced to attack me and the Maharaja, and 
Captain Clerk gave Nawab Laik Ali Khan a full opportunity 
to obtain results that might be useful to him in the future. 

An incident that occurred here deserves to be noticed. 
Mr. Cordery, when on his way back from Calcutta, came 
to see the Maharaja, and told him that at Calcutta, the 
capital of the Empire, it was not customary for the Govern- 
ment of India to honour anyone, with the exception of 
the Royal family of England, with salutes and reception. 
The Maharaja was perplexed at this, but Khurshed Jah 
courageously pointed out to Mr. Cordery that, wonderful 
as it might appear, at every step the question of suzer- 
ainty seemed to bar their way. Mr. Cordery shook his 
shoulders, and replied that in his subordinate capacity, 
he could do nothing. 

It then fell from my mouth that His Highness was 
on a visit of enjoyment, and that the journey as far as 

* Benares. Benares, on the opposite .MCIC of the river Ganges, 
is the principal seat ol the worbliip of Mahdeo Siva, whose shrines 
are found everywhere throughout India. 'Ihe Province of Benares 
became British territory in 1775, and is now included in the Agra 
Province of the United Provinces of Ag^a and Oudh. It is a well- 
known place of pilgrimage. Recently restored to the Maharajah. 

20 6 MY LIFE 

Benares was sufficient for the purpose ; but Mr. Cordery, 
turning to me, said that I was totally wrong, and that 
His Highness could not cut short his trip midway and 
return, as special arrangements were in progress to enter- 
tain him on a much superior scale to that of any other 
ruling Chief. 

The conversation then became unpleasant, the Nawab 
Amir-i-Kabir replying to the Resident in the same strain 
as that in which he was addressed. 

Captain Clerk kept himself aloof during this conversa- 
tion, and turned the whole responsibility on the Maharaja 
and the Amir-i-Kabir. 

The Maharaja had made one mistake, Before he left 
on this trip, he had summoned to help him, on the advice 
of Tom Palmer, at great expense, a very influential 
Englishman named Sir John Gorst. This gentleman 
was so highly connected that he stayed with Lord Ripon 
as his guest. But the Maharaja's move proved futile, and, 
unluckily, had the opposite effect to that desired, for 
the subsidized newspaper men raised such a cry that, 
the Government of India began to suspect the Maharaja 
although formerly it had favoured him in spite of the 
efforts of his enemies to the contrary. But now it became 
hostile to him ; and Sir John Gorst, too, having taken the 
money, cooled off. 

Finally Mr. Cordery, becoming angry with me, asked 
what right I had to intervene, and requesting me to inform 
His Highness that he wished to see him, added that he 
would personally represent the matter to His Highness. 

I accordingly conveyed Mr. Cordery's wish to His High- 
ness, and at the same time informed him of what had taken 
place. I humbly suggested that His Highness should never 
consent to go to Calcutta except on the assurance of 
receiving fitting salutes, etc., and that I confidently 
believed that, if he remained firm, he would be received 
there in Royal fashion. Otherwise, I said, we should be 
laughed at throughout the length and breadth of India. 

Then I sent for Mr. Cordrey. He spoke very logically 
and said that His Highness's dignity and prestige were 
such that it could never suffer diminution, and that the 
Government was bound by its rules and procedure. 

As bad luck would have it, I let drop the remark 
that the procedure and rules were meant to be observed 

MY LIFE 207 

in durbar how could they effect matters which were 
private ? 

At that Mr. Cordery's face reddened, and he told His 
Highness that if he possessed such advisers he would come 
to grief. But in spite of his arguments and persuasion, 
he received a reply in the negative, His Highness 
saying that it was his intention to go back from there ; 
and shaking hands with the Resident His Highness went 
away into the Zenana. 

Mr. Cordery was now very angry with me, saying that 
I had set a light to this conflagration. 

I replied that, even if I admitted the accusation, 
it would enhance his own reputation to support our 
position in the matter, for the Nizam of Hyderabad was 
held in deep affection by Hindus, Muslims, Parsees, 
Sikhs (who had a sacred shrine at Nander), and Native 
Christians alike, and that the great Hindu princes still 
held grants of Puras (lands) in Aurangabad, and Kharitas 
(letters of friendship) with sugar, til, etc., were even 
now presented through the Resident ; and that if the 
dignity of His Highness suffered any slight, these people 
were bound to resent it. I therefore suggested that Mr. 
Cordery would add lustre to his name, when it became 
known that he had fought to maintain the dignity of 
the Nizam, and that the Muslim historians would mention 
the fact as a memorable event in their histories. 

Mr. Cordery however, was a gentleman, and although 
he first enquired why Sir John Gorst* had been sent for, 
he finally acceded to the request of the Amir-i-Kabir and 
the Maharaja that he should make an effort in support of 
their views. 

Accordingly the decision was arrived at that His High- 
ness should proceed to a station beyond Benares, perhaps 
Mirzapur, and stay there, while Mr. Cordery would go 
to Calcutta forthwith, and then return to Mirzapur, to 
inform us as to the result of his mission, when we should 
be able to decide what course to adopt. 

Mr. Cordery eventually returned quite happy and glad, 
to inform us that His Highness would be received with 
all the ceremonies demanded, with the one exception that 
the Foreign Secretary would not be at the Station. He 

* Vide " Pioneer," April i8th, 1884. 

208 MY LIFE 

further announced that His Highness would reside at 
Chowringhee as an honoured guest of the Govern- 

Highly pleased, we reached Calcutta,* and took up our 
abode in those spacious buildings, which contained all 
that was necessary to entertain us hospitably. The 
Maharaja requested the Government to post guards 

The time was spent in visits and return visits, dinners 
and parties, and visits to the racecourse. 

The Mussulmans of Calcutta applied for permission 
to present an address of welcome, and Captain Clerk 
appointed a day for it, and requested me to write a reply 
on behalf of His Highness and read it. I pleaded that this 
was the work of the Maharaja or Nawab Laik Ali Khan ; 
but when the deputation came, it was I who replied to the 
address. The Maharaja felt this very much, because it was 
specially aimed to lower his prestige. 

After this Captain Clerk told me that Syed Amir Ali, 
a Judge of the High Court, would visit His Highness and 
he asked me to bring forth His Highness early, saying 
that we alone would be present. In other words, a durbar 
on a very small scale would be held. I again reminded him 
that this was the work of the Maharaja or Nawab Laik Ali 
Khan, and at this he seemed annoyed, and said that that 
old man was not the minister, and that Laik Ali Khan 
would become the Minister he would see to it. I then 
told him that I consented on one condition, and that was, 
that the Syed should come dressed with the " Dastar " 
and belt around his waist. And I reminded him of Sir 
Syed's case. 

Captain Clerk replied that he knew I was against the 
Syed, and a^ked me to carry out his orders. He 
also asked me to vMt the Syed at his bungalow. 
I said there was no harm in my meeting him, and 
I would go at once, but that the holding of the 
private durbar was beyond my power, and, further, 
that the Syed ought to observe the rules of the durbar of a 
Muslim King. His prestige would in no way suffer if he 
wore the " dastar " and belt, and if he came without these, 

* The Niz^rn arrived at Calcutta on the ijtli Salar, 1301 H. 
(1884 A.D ) 

MY LIFE 209 

I would not be present in the room at the interview, 
let alone the durbar. 

In short I visited the Syed. He first of all kept me 
waiting on the verandah, and then sent for me ; 
and then, again like a Sahib Bahadur, after meet- 
ing me for two or three minutes, let me depart. 
The result was that the Syed came and went away without 
anybody's knowing who had come and gone. The Syed 
was a very learned man, and the author of many books ; 
and his dignity could not have been affected by his putting 
on a " dastar " and a belt. 

Sir Roper Williams, who was then a guest of the Viceroy, 
hearing that I was a tutor of His Highness, and was there- 
fore, necessarily, a very learned man, requested to see me, 
and when we met, he conversed on the ancient Hindus and 
their writings in the Sanskrit language. I knew nothing of 
this subject, and perhaps we did not enjoy each other's 

After dinner I met Sir Stewart Bayley at an evening 
party. Perhaps Captain Clerk or my friend, Mr. Syed 
Hussain had told him that I was the author of the article 
in which his proceedings were severely criticised. That 
article was published in Bombay by a Mahratta friend of 
the Maharaja, who had heard a few facts from me and had 
entered them in the article. Of this Captain Clerk and 
my old friend were aware, and therefore they had made a 
wrong presumption in regard to myself. However, at 
this interview that article was referred to. I admitted my 
share in it, but in spite of Sir Stewarts' persistence, denied 
all knowledge of either the author or of other facts. 

I met another old class-fellow at this function. 
He came from behind me and suddenly closed my eyes, 
and when he lifted his hands off my eyes. I saw Rajah 
Amir Hussan Khan, the great Rais (Talukdar) of Mah- 
moodabad, standing before me. We embraced each other. 
Amongst my class-fellows, this Raja and Raja Binga 
alone made a great name for themselves. All the others 
remained mediocrities Raja Inder Bikram Shah would 
have distinguished himself, but he died, while still a 
youth. I now hear that his Ranee has made a reputation 
for herself amongst the ladies of Oudh. Choudhri Wajid 
Hussain, the Talukdar of Guddea, was also a well-read 
man. He wanted to visit me in Hyderabad, but died soon 

210 MY LIFE 

afterwards, and now his son, Shahid Hussain is of a very 
pushing character. 

We returned from Calcutta by similar stages to those 
of the journey there, with pomp and glory. 

The Maharaja and the Nawab Amir-i-Kabir made one 
blunder, in that they invited Lord Ripon to Hyderabad, 
to invest His Highness with full ruling powers. Up to now 
the Viceroy had not begun to tour Native States as do the 
Governors of Bombay, Madras, the Punjab, and Bengal, 
who, following a specially drawn up itinerary, proceed 
through the provinces under their charge ; but the result 
of this invitation which was gladly accepted by Lord 
Ripon was that the Viceroy also began to make a 
tour in Hindu and Muslim States like the movement of 
the planet Neptune and to consider this as a duty 
among his other duties. Hundreds of thousands were 
spent by the States on his entertainment, with no useful 
result to either, while the word " Suzerain " was the more 
completely established. 

However, on our return to Hyderabad, a riotous scene 
occurred, the very memory of which makes my hair stand 
on end. 

I have already mentioned the formation of a group of 
adventurers whose avowed object was to continue to 
harass the aged Maharaja, in order to serve their own 
selfish ends, and now these agitators came, as it were, 
into the arena of intrigue with drawn swords, and, while 
fencing with one another, had for their common object 
the blood of the old Maharaja and the wide-awake Amir-i- 
Kabir. And they were so shrewd, that if the opportunity 
did not of itself come their way, they would use their fore- 
sight to create it. They were like horses without bits, who 
kicked in all directions ; and now that the great horseman, 
in the person of the late Minister, was no more, no other 
rough-rider could be found of sufficient ability to keep 
these hard-mouthed horses under control. They would, 
shewing their teeth, bite one another, and at the same time, 
kick at the Amir-i-Kabir and the Maharaja. In fact, 
they burst open the gates of the Residency with their 
kicks, and having entered it, began to jump and romp 

It was Hyderabad's misfortune that there were at 

MY LIFE 211 

this time, in the city, a few Englishmen, who in straitened 
circumstances and in search of a livelihood, began to sell 
their knowledge and pen to those who required it, for filthy 
lucre. It is a painful fact that one or two honoured and 
retired Englishmen sold their reputation and honour to the 
highest bidder, and so in the newspapers, far and near, 
there began to appear lengthy articles which, in the guise 
of loyalty and fidelity, made, before the eyes of the Resi- 
dent and the Foreign office, the most of the inexperience 
and youth of the Ruler and the would-be Minister. But 
this was only the ostensible object of those who were be- 
hind the articles ; their real object was to prove their own 
ability and their own indispensability in Hyderabad. The 
then Resident a simple gentleman of literary tastes 
was caught in the meshes of the net spread for him, and 
and was thus thrown into anxiety at the idea of the ad- 
ministration of the State falling into disrepute and affairs 
daily growing worse which condition of things was 
actually the result of the deeds practised by the agitators 

Now the two parties, clearly outlined, faced each 
other. One was the party of the aged Maharaja Narander, 
which included only two Englishmen and one or two 
Parsees who could face the agitators on equal grounds. 
The rest of the people of the City, whether Hindus or Mus- 
lims were simple-minded folk of the old type, who, 
while in heart, well-wishers of the Maharaja, had not the 
means or the courage to come forward, but remained 
indoors, calling on Parmeshwar or on Allah as the case 
might be. 

It was the same in the palace. There Mirza Mohamed 
Ali Beg, Mir Riasat Ali, under the leadership of Captain 
Clerk, and Nawab Mir Saadat Ali Khan, formed a power- 
ful group against the Maharaja and the Amir-i-Kabir; 
and, in addition, believing that I was a partisan of the 
two noblemen, they began to make shameful and unworthy 
attacks on me, in order to reduce my dignity in the eyes 
of His Highness. 

The other attendants of the palace, who belonged to 
the time of Amir-i-Kabir Omdut-ul-Mulk or Amir-i- 
Kabir Rashid-ud-din Khan, were men of the old type, 
who were ignorant of English and English ways. They 
knew a smattering of Urdu, but nothing of Arabic and 

212 MY LIFE 

Persian ; and like the City people, frightened, they held 
their turbans with both hands, and called for God's pro- 
tection. These were neither against nor for either of the 
contending patries. 

The opposite party although apparently favouring 
Nawab Laik AH Khan, was in reality serving its own 
selfish ends. Including shrewd and clever men, it was 
sub-divided into minor sections, and the section led by 
Moulvi Mehdi Ali was composed of men, highly cultured, 
highly connected, and of ability and education, The other 
section was founded by Mr. Sycd Hussain. As he was an 
English scholar of merit, he and the Resident, who was 
also a literary man, became fast friends. This group 
included men like Major Gough, Captain Clerk and Mir 
Riasat Ali. 

As to Mirza Mohamed Ali Beg, smearing himself with 
blood, he entered the circle of the martyrs solely for 
purposes of his own. 

Sirdar Abdul Huq, Diler Jung, a man of high courage, 
of good judgment, clever, and a thorough Muslim, 
formed a party by himself. With a complete aversion to 
intrigue and fraudulent dealings, and possessing the 
qualities of an administrator, he kept his subordinates 
under such control and fear, that none had the audacity 
to hold intercourse with the agitators ; and he saw 
through the intrigue which with the ostensible object 
of supporting Nawab Laik Ali Khan, but in reality to 
further the agitators' own schemes, was set on foot, to 
lay the Maharaja and the Amir-i-Kabir by the heels. 
It was not difficult for the schemers to prove to the satis- 
faction of the Resident and the Foreign Oifice, that the 
Ruler and the Minister were youthful and inexperienced. 
The Resident, unaware of past history, naturally 
concluded that even the success of the late Minister's 
administration was due to the ability and capacity of these 
gentlemen, and that to them could be applied the words 
of Firdausi, namely : 

" I have made Rustom the Rustom of the 
story, otherwise he was merely a warrior in 

And the mercenary English writers strengthened this 
belief of the Resident by their articles in the Press. 

MY LIFE 213 

Sirdar Diler Jung therefore became, as it were, an 
obstacle in the way of the agitators' success. 

Finally a compromise was effected, with the division 
of the spoil in equal shares ; and then the different 
groups, joining together, awaited the arrival of Lord 
Ripon, the Viceroy. 

Though a scuffle used to take place as to whom should 
get the better of the other, in connexion with Nawab 
Laik AH Khan, Moulvi Mehdi AH, invariably courted 

On the other side, the faction supporting the Maharaja 
being unenterprising, was in consequence decisively 
beatenat the Residency and the Foreign Office 
by this combination and by Captain Clerk at the 
palace. . 

Finally, Nawab Laik AH Khan's claim to the Prime 
Ministership was admitted ; but, as a drowning man will 
catch at a straw, Mr. Palmer and Colonel Dobbs continued 
to encourage the Maharaja in believing that Lord Ripon 
and Sir Mortimer Durand would not offer the position of 
Minister to one so young. The Amir-i-Kabir also held the 
same opinion ; but as I knew all the facts, for Abdul 
Huq and Mehdi AH called upon me frequently, I sent 
the following line to the Maharaja with my servant 
Malliah : 

" Stop before they ask you to stop/ 1 

Lord Ripon was at Poona, and our arrangements 
to accord him a befitting reception and entertain him 
on a splendid scale were completed. Just then a letter 
addressed to the Maharaja, arrived from the Resident 
which was briefly to this effect that His Highness 
ought personally to have received the Viceroy at the fron- 
tier of the State, but that the Viceroy had foregone this, 
and now wished that four noblemen of high standing 
should proceed to the frontier to receive him. 

At this the Maharaja shed tears. As I happened to 
be with him, I said we should not have come to such a 
pass if he had not invited the Viceroy. " It was from us that 
it had come upon us/' 

On the other hand, Amir-i-Kabir said that if His 
Highness would support him, he was ready to carry on 
conversations on this question ; and even Nawab Saadat 

2i 4 MY LIFE 

Ali Khan could not help giving vent to his feelings, 
saying, " I wish my father were alive/' 

However, Lord Ripon arrived the next day, and the 
four noblemen who had gone to the frontier to receive 
him, waited on him in the morning for " Mizaj Pursi^" 
ceremony. Then followed the visit and the return visit, 
the Durbar and the Banquet, the details of which 
it is not necessary for me to go into. 

But the day on which the Viceroy arrived at the 
Residency, the intriguing group became excited and 
rushed there. By their good fortune an English gentleman, 
by the name of Blunt, having travelled through Eygpt, 
Syria and other Islamic countries had come to India 
with his wife (who was called Lady Blunt and was said 
to be a granddaughter of Lord Byron, the great English 
poet.) This Mr. Blunt was a man of foolish ideas in 
fact, a monomaniac who claimed to possess a great love 
for the Muslim in general and Arabs in particular and both 
he and his wife were desirous of meeting well-known 
Muslims, all over India, like Moulvi Samiullah Khan, 
C.M.G., in the hope of enlisting their sympathy in con- 
nexion with the founding of an Arab University either in 
India, or Egypt. Further although this man was an 
Englishman he disliked English statesmen and their 
methods, and in defence of Muslims he would not hes- 
itate to criticize British officials, high or low. 

Now this pair, in the course of touring through India, 
found themselves at this particular time in Hyderabad 
(Sir John Gorst was also there, to help the Maharaja), 
and as the man was fearless, had a glib tongue, and could, 
thanks to his wife's high family connexion, mix in in- 
fluential society, he was an acquisition in the hands of 
those who favoured Nawab Laik Ali Khan's candidature, 
Accordingly they surrounded him, and began to entertain 
him handsomely, while some were told off to din into his 
ears Hyderabad affairs, while conversing with him on 
his pet subject, the University ; and by this means 
they poisoned his mind against the Minister. 

Mr. Blunt also saw for himself the highly modernised 
life which Nawab Laik Ali Khan, Asman Jah and Vikar- 
ul-Umra led, and the social amenities they and their 
companions indulged in, with regard to speech, conduct, 
dress, etc. ; and also on the other hand, he saw an_old 

MY LIFE 215 

man, bowed down with the weight of years, in simple 
loose garments and turban, with no furniture to decorate 
his palace, and with no men of cultured ideas to discuss 
with him the benefits which an Arab University would 
confer ; and the contrast between the old and the new 
was so obvious, that Mr. Blunt was completely won over 
to the side of Nawab Laik Ali Khan, and became an 
instrument in the hands of the latter's supporters. 

Sir John Gorst* having made good his fees, made 
himself scarce. 

Mr. Blunt had already come into contact with Lord 
Ripon's secretary, and had spoken to him of his ex- 
periences in fact he had corresponded with him while he 
was staying here ; and being a disinterested traveller, 
his word and writing proved effective. 

I met this gentleman only once, and our meeting 
was not pleasant as I fear he had already been spoken to 
against myself, t 

* Sir John Gorst. It is not generally known that Sir John 
Gorst, Q.C., was formally retained by the late Sir Salar Jung, as 
the Nizam's Counsel for the restoration of the Berars. As the de- 
ceased Minister was in .England in 1876, it wa> not unnaturally 
supposed by tho^e who did not know the facts, that Sir John Gorst 
was inviied to India in December, 1883, to preter the young Nizam's 
claims to the territory upon his coming of age. He, however, came 
upon a less important mission, viz., he was brought out, on Mr. 
Thomas Palmer's recommendation, to secure the Dewanship for 
the old Peshkar, and was to receive Rs. 75,000 for his services 
which sum he did after all receive. Disappointed in his object, 
Sir John Gorst wrote a bitter philippic in the <% Fortnightly Review " 
upon the administration of Hyderabad territories. The gross and 
indecent accusation against the Nizam and his Minister were natur- 
ally the points that provoked much indignation. 

The Peshkar's position in this matter was so painful as to pro- 
voke commiseration, were it not at the same time so ridiculous. 
The poor old Maharaja pays a lot of money to obtain the assistance 
of a lawyer from London, who, after doing nothing for him in India, 
goes back home again to earn another 10 note or so by writing 
an article the only motive of which was to damage an opponent 
on the English political stage in which his unlucky employer was 
damned with a word or two of faint praise, just enough to fix upon 
him the responsibility for the author's sentiments. 

f Mr. Wilfred Scawen Blunt, in his book " India under Ripon," 
refers, on page 204, to his conversation with the author (nth 
February, 1884), Mr. Blunt also mentions Moulvi Samiullah 
Khan, C.M.G., and Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, in connexion with his 
visit to the Aligarh College (page 155). 

2i6 MY LIFE 

When Lord Ripon, himself arrived* here he had already 
formed his opinion, but nevertheless, it was necessary for 
him to know what His Highness thought of the matter. 

Mr. Cordery who was in favour of these men who were 
acting ostensibly on behalf of Nawab Laik AH Khan, gave 
them full opportunity to approach Sir Mortimer Durand, 
and it was now decided that the Maharaja should be dis- 
missed with ignominy, and with no recognition of his ser- 
vices, as if he had committed a crime punishable by both 
the Governments. The Maharaja and the City people, how- 
ever, were so oblivious of what was taking place, that they 
sat quiet, with hopes that Providence would help them. 

The installation Durbar came off the next day. 
Sir Mortimer Durand had the chair of the Maharaja 
thrown to a distance, while, on the other hand, he had 
Nawab Laik Ali Khan's chair placed at the spot reserved 
for the Minister. As for the Maharaja, he wished that he 
might be buried alive, for shame ; and the whole of the 
City was stupefied. Just then the Viceroy arrived, 
and took his seat on the dais, on a gilt chair, side by side 
with His Highness. Then Sir Mortimer Durand, standing 
up, read a lengthy address in Persian, after which His 
Highness presented the " pan dhan," the scent box, etc., 
to the Viceroy, and Nawab Laik Ali Khan, in his capacity 
of Prime Minister, presented the same to Sir Mortimer 
Durand and the Resident. And with that the durbar came 

toanend.t , n , .. , 

The Maharaja greatly perturbed, fled to his house 
and hid himself, whereas the new Minister, J riding an 
elephant and sitting on a green howdah, formed a pro- 
cession of great pomp and rode home. 

The treatment of the aged Maharaja recalls the poet s 
words : 

"Oh, God, what guiltless person has the execu- 
tioner laid low, 

Believing him worthy of the blow ! 
A voice arising from the resting-place, 

Says, ' Lo ! thou murderest an innocent man 1 ' " 

But while on the one hand there was such desolation 
at the Maharaja's and such stupefaction in the City, on 

*4th Rabi-ul-awal, 1301 H (1884) . fTth Rahi-ul-awal, 13* ]1 ( l8 
JSalar Jung II. appointed 7th Rabi-us-sani, 1301 H (1884). 

MY LIFE 217 

the other, God the Omnipotent granted a new lease of life 
and prosperity to the Minister's family. His friends were 
happy, and his enemies doomed. His younger brother, 
Mir Saadat Ali Khan, was appointed Commander-in- 
Chief, and Mohamed Ali Beg was made his deputy, with 
the rank of Captain or Major. 

Now hear the sto.y of tie wiiter. 

The next day after the installation I attended the 
palace as usual, and sat down with His Highness in the 
Mahtab Mahal Palace ; and I spoke the following 
words : 

" Your Highness has ascended the throne, while yet 
in your childhood. Lord Ripon's visit and the installation 
of your Highness on the " Gadi " were meaningless e^ ents. 
This was due to the anxiety I was in, and to a diplomatic 
error of the Maharaja, but I pray that you may shine, 
like the moon, in beauty and safety and live in the domin- 
ion of love everlastingly. 

" To-day my duty as tutor ends. God be praised that 
that which my heart yearned to see the cu^ tain of destiny 
lifting is before mine eyes ! " 

" Your Highness is well aware that the Minister 
is very displeased with me. Therefore your devoted ser- 
vant is forced to request to be given six month's leave. 
As for my future maintenance, My Lord knows the method 
of how to exalt his servants/' 

His Highness continued to listen to my conversation, 
and then, suddenly drawing paper, ink and pen towards 
himself, wrote on it : " Hazrat Agha Mirza Beg be granted 
six months' leave, and from the date of the dismissal of 
Moulvi Masi-uz-Zaman Khan to date, Rs. 1500 monthly 
be paid as salary, and the same salary be paid to him 
from month to month." 

Having written it he gave it to me and said, " Hazrat, 
if you wish to go outside, then do not do so without 
informing me." 

I put the paper in my pocket, and returned home 
satisfied, but as luck would have it, the paper somehow 
fell out of my pocket while I was on my way home, and 
when I reached there, I found my pocket empty. I was 
extremely sorry at this, but as there was no other alter- 
native, I smothered the rising pangs in my heart, and 
remained quiet at home. In the words of the Holy Koran, 

218 MY LIFE 

" That which seems a loss to you, is often a gain " ; * 
and, indeed, this happened for the best, as I will relate 
later on. 

Now, hear what was passing in the world around. 

The intriguing group had under their control a State 
with a yearly income of almost 10 crores of rupees. 
The reason for this was, that Mr. Cordery had formed a 
settled opinion that the Ruler and his Vazeer were both 
young and inexperienced ; and that as the present officials 
were picked men, selected for their experience, ability 
and family connexions, relying on whose capacity the 
late Minister had carried on the administration of the 
State, they should therefore be made responsible for the 
maintenance of peace. 

The Foreign Office sanctioned this policy of the 
Resident, especially as it was alleged by these very men 
that the youthful Ruler and the Minister were surrounded 
by young pleasure-seeking companions. And so this policy 
became a settled one and remained in force until the end 
of the regime of Nawab Bashir-ud-dowlah. 

It therefore became necessary for these officials to 
keep on the friendly side of the Resident, and in order to 
maintain their dignity and prestige in his eyes it became 
essential for them to make a show of their work. And to 
do this, it was necessary that one official should vie with 
another in currying favour with the Resident and the 
Prime Minister. Accordingly a race now began as to which 
of the officials should pass the winning-post first, with the 
result that Hyderabad became notorious as a hot-bed of 

The palace, however, remained immune from intrigue 
for several reasons, The first reason was, that, with the 
exception of Mirza Mohamed Ali Beg and Mir Riasat Ali, 
the rest were men of the old-type in both dress and con- 
duct. Uninfluenced by modern social amenities they re- 
mained contented with their lot ; and the Royal etiquette 
had with them become part and parcel of their daily life 
to such an extent, that they never took the liberty to 

* Al Koran, Part II. (Al-Baquarat Sayakul), Ch. 2, Sec. 216. 
" Fighting is enjoined on you, and it is an object of dislike to you ; 
and it may be that you dislike a thing while it is good for you, 
and it may be that you love a thing while it is evil for you, Allah 
knows what you do not know." 

MY LIFE 219 

represent even ordinary matters to His Highness, as com- 
pared with these two gentlemen, who had obtained great 
influence. The distinction between these two was this, 
that Mir Riasat Ali was of mediocre ability, and never 
went beyond the duties connected with the departments 
entrusted to him, whereas Mirza Mohamed Ali Beg, a 
" pardasee " himself was a far sighted, calculating, clever 
young man. As one instance of his cleverness the following 
incident may be cited. One day His Highness, with the 
Minister and companions went out to Sarurnagar to enjoy 
the air. While they were on the road, the Minister dropped 
his handkerchief, and Mirza Mohamed Ali Beg galloped 
after it, and, without dismounting, bent down and lifted 
it from the ground. For this performance he received 
praises from all sides. Furthermore, if anyone had the 
courage to open his lips to complain against anyone, His 
Highness's face would undergo a change, because, from his 
childhood, he had come to know the character of every 
one of his attendants. 

The second reason was, that the great nobles remained 
secluded in their palaces. 

But the third and great reason, was this that His 
Highness had entrusted the whole work of administration 
to the Nawab Laik Ali Khan, for whom he had such regard, 
that he had the following couplet written and sent to 
him : 

" I became body and you the soul : I became 
you and you became me, in order that no one 
could say after this that I and you are different." 

Therefore the Residency and the palace of the Minister 
became the centre of intrigue. 

The day after the installation durbar an order to 
convene the Moglai durbar was made, at which the 
humble writer received the title of Sarvar Jung with 7000 
Cavalry and an allowance ; and the other companions 
were honoured with various titles, like Afsur Jung, 
Mahboob Yar Jung, etc. 

Very foolishly, after taking the permission of His High- 
ness, I issued a firman with regard to the administration 
of the Royal Palace, and made rules pertaining to Royal 
Durbars. In accordance with these rules, a special seat 
and place was allotted to each of the Durbaris, from the 

220 MY LIFE 

nobles to the small Jemadars and Mansabdars, con- 
sistent with his rank, but the firman and its contents 
and my interference were so disliked by the Prime Minister, 
that he got the firman cancelled, and I, falling under his 
displeasure, had to retire into private life, where I 
remained for a long period of time, a silent spectator of 
all that was taking place. 

The Minister, on the other hand, impatient of restraint, 
broke through the old rules, and made new regulations 
for the Royal Palace. . 

Afsur Jung and Mahboob Yar Jung were appointed 
A D.C.'s, instead of the old time Arzbegees ; the wiiting 
of the Shiahah (a diary regularly kept in the palace, 
recording palace affairs), remained only in name : ^ and 
all requests, permission to obtain audiences, private 
orders, etc., had to be made through the aides-de-camp. 
Further, under the new arrangements, the latter issued 
notkes for the English Durbar under the English rules, 
and a list of all those gentlemen who were invited to din- 
ners, etc., was prepared and kept by them. In short, a 
great revolution was taking place at the Royal palace. 
Urgent matters or important Residency correspondence 
were only occasionally placed before His Highness, and 
then they were only meant for his information. 

But the fact that the administration was now wholly 
under the control of the Dewan, was exactly what the 
late Minister had planned, and which the Maharaja had 
vainly tried to uphold ; and it was only because of his 
sudden death that the changes which the late Minister 
had contemplated and the rules that he had wished to 
enforce, had not been able to be carried into effect. 

But one great change which the new Minister brought 
about, was the introduction of Urdu, instead of Persian, 
as the official language. 

Here I am reminded of a conversation I had with 
Salar Jung I. One day when I was in attendance on 
the late Minister, he, while conversing, incidentally 
said, " To-day Moulvi Mushtak Hussain told me a strange 
thing that Urdu should take the place of Persian in 
all the offices and departments of the State," I foolishly 
supported the suggestion, and then the Nawab, who^ was 
reclining on pillows, suddenly sat up and said, " By 
God, no I " And he laid such emphasis on his words, 

MY LIFE 221 

that I was puzzled and thought to myself that I had 
unwittingly offended him. And then he went on : 

" You Hindustanee people are not practised in speak- 
ing or writing Persian. The Persian language is a 
sign of the Vktory of Islam, and points to our being 
a victorious people. You have effaced it in your country, 
and are trying to reproduce the same effect here. We have 
conquered the country by the sword, and so long as I 
am living, Persian shall also live/' 

Another great change was, that the correspondence 
between the Minister and the Residency began to be 
carried on through Major Gough and Syed Hussain 
Bilgrami. The Munshi Khana remained, to all intents 
and purposes, merely in name, and Munshi Mohamed 
Siddik, who held charge of this office hereditarily, and 
never left the side of the Minister, whether at Head- 
quarters or on a journey, could with difficulty gain an 
interview, Major Gough being a military man, was not 
a penman ; and although Mr. Syed Hussain wrote so 
elegantly, that even those whose mother-tongue was 
English, admired his scholarly style, yet the late Minister 
(Sir Salar Jung I.) never consulted him on matters of 
policy or entrusted any administrative work to him. He 
and Mr. Bowen, in the capacity of Private Secretaries, 
only carried on ordinary correspondence, as, for instance, 
replies to communications from the Residency, and had no 
concern whatever with political and administrative matters. 

After Mr. Bowen's death Major Gough who was made 
Military Secretary on the recommendation of Captain 
Clerk, was appointed Private Secretary, and Mr. Syed 
Hussain remained as his assistant during the late Minister's 
lifetime, though he continued to attend to correspondence 
such as that referred to above. But now be became the 
Minister's own adviser, who honoured him with the 
appellation of " Uncle/ 1 and he began to intervene in 
all matters.* 

On the other hand, Mr. Mehdi Ali, who as Revenue and 
Finance Secretary, held one of the highest appointments in 
the State, lost all colour and scent like a drooping four-o'- 
clock flower ; and although he continued to visit the 

* Vide Government Gazette Extraordinary, 6th January, 1885, 
re the changes in the administration of the State. 

222 MY LIFE 

Minister's palace, with his book of morals under his arm- 
pit, lessons aside, he found it difficult even to get an 
interview with the Minister. 

As for the writer he remained aloof and secluded 
in his own house ; and Mr. Krohn retired on pension, and 
left for his country. 

Captain Clerk, however, visited the Royal palace 
with many hopes pent up in his heart. He had come to 
believe that His Highness would make him his Private 
Secretary, and place also under his charge the Sarfikhas 
Secretariat ; and he had great hopes of realizing his 
ambitions through the help of Mahboob Yar Jung 
Bahadur and Afsur Jung Bahadur, his proteges and also 
through that of Mr. Syed Hussain Mohtamin Jung Baha- 
dur, who was his especial friend because of their ex- 
traordinary influence with the Minister. But as he was 
wanting in strength of character, the Minister did 
not consider his presence compatible with his future 
safety, and making the Resident agree to his proposal, 
he pensioned him off and sent him home. He then ap- 
pointed Mr. Syed Hussain Bilgrami, who was already his 
adviser, to the post of Private Secretary to His Highness 
and Superintendent of the Royal Palace. 

The opportunity which Mr. Mehdi Ali sought, now 
presented itself. Being very learned himself in fact, 
more clever than necessary he had men of all shades of 
knowledge under him as assistants, and now, when the 
Minister was in need of a literary man who knew English, 
he, Mr. Mehdi Ali, selected from among his subordinates, 
one Faridunji,* who, although he could not write so 
elegantly as Mr. Syed Hussain, was specially efficient 
in correspondence relating to administrative matters, 
and placed him at the disposal of the Minister, believing 
that he would be able to control him. 

Now, God had gifted Nawab Laik Ali Khan with a 
wonderfully strong and retentive memory, and Mr. 
Syed Hussain and Mr. Faridunji wrote lengthy addresses 
for him, which he, at a glance, committed to memory, 
and then delivered them so unhesitatingly and with such 
good effect, that people were deceived into believing 

* Afterwards Sir Faridunji-ul-Mulk, K.C.I.E,, c.s.i., C.B.E, Late 
Miscellaneous Member of H.E.H. the Nizam's Executive Council, 
who, to the regret of all, passed away recently. 

MY LIFE 223 

that they were composed by him. He could hardly write, 
but spoke English and Persian well. 

And so now Mr. Syed Hussain and Moulvi Mehdi Ali 
confronted each other as experienced wrestlers, and began 
to dodge and face about with the result that not only the 
relations between the two, but also those between them 
and His Highness, and those between His Highness and 
the Minister became strained. 

The Minister then deputed Hussan bin Abdulla to 
approach Mr. Syed Hussain Bilgrami, and explain matters 
to him ; but the former foolishly reminded Mr. Syed 
Hussain of his earlier days, and added that he owed his 
position entirely to the Minister's house. At this the 
Syed, getting into a temper, replied that he was not the 
slave of his (the present Minister's) father.* 

Nawab Laik Ali Khan then remembered me, and sent 
Mr. Hussan bin Abdulla to see me. As I happened to be at 
prayers, he met my father in law Nawab Fakhruddin Khan, 
and left the Minister's message with him. It was this : 

" Hazrat, come out of the seclusion of your house, 
and bring about an understanding between myself and 
His Highness. If you succeed, I will grant Mansabs 
to all your people, and will also pay you two or three 
lakhs of rupees. I will fulfil the promise of my father to con- 
fer a Jagir on you, with the permission of His Highness." 

Nawab Fakhruddin Khan congratulated me, and asked 
me not to let this opportunity pass out of my hands, and 
advised me to step out of my way to do my best in the 

I observed silence, and when, in the afternoon, Mr. 
Hussan bin Abdulla called again, I told him that I had 
served both the Ruler and the Minister in the days of 
their boyhood, and since the question of reward was 
raised, my reply was that I would not betray my master, 
and until I found the extent to which His Highnesses 
was displeased, I could make no promise against His 
Highnesses wishes in the matter. Mr. Hussan bin Abdulla 
was put out, and said I, too, was proving ungrateful and 
unworthy of my salt (to the Minister). 

Then after a fortnight or so, Mr. Mehdi Ali visited 
me and spoke to me thus : 

* Vide account of controversy, " Deccan Times/' 6th September, 

224 MY LIFE 

" My friend arise, and praise God that you are 
righting yourself with the Minister. Forget the past, and 
come with me." 

I told him to let me remain as I was, saying that I 
should be smashed between the collision of the two 
mighty combatants. He replied that my foolishness knew 
no bounds, seeing that I was letting such a splendid 
opportunity pass out of my hands. 

After that Abdul Huq came to see me, and I gave him 
the same reply. He then suggested that there could be 
no harm in my going to the Minister, and making my 
reply to him personally. 

Thinking now that any further refusal on my part 
might be attributed to my alleged hostility towards the 
Minister, I consented to accompany Abdul Huq. ^ 

That day a grand ' At Home.' was in progress in the 
Khana Bagh, and a large crowd of Dewani officials were 
present. The Minister caught hold of my hand, and walk- 
ing along, took me aside. He then said, " Your displeasure 
with me is undoubtedly well-founded, but you must 
forget that matter. Don't think of me, but think of my 
dead father." 

I might here relate what that matter was, 

On the 6th Jamadi-ul-awal, 1301 H., His Highness, 
when at Sarurnagar had fallen a victim to cholera, and 
his condition reached almost the last stage. The Resi- 
dency Surgeon, Dr. Beaumont, reported this fact to the 
Resident, and the Minister, believing that a Council of 
Regency would again be established, sent Mr. Syed 
Hussain to Amir-i-Kabir for consultation and future action. 

Leaving His Highness's side, I unluckily, in a great 
state of anxiety and with tears in my eyes, happened to 
visit Amir-i-Kabir. The Syed, on seeing me, closed his 
conversation and left, and then the Nawab told me that 
Laik AH Khan had sent Mr. Syed Hussain to him, in 
order that they might approach the Resident with a 
view to meeting future contingencies. I replied that up 
till then, relying on God's mercy, we hoped for a good 
turn. , , A , 

Subsequently His Highness fully recovered from the 
attack, as we had hoped, and then the Minister being 
afraid that Amir-i-Kabir would inform His Highness 
of what had passed between them, found an opportunity 

MY LIFE 225 

to represent to His Highness that Sarvar Jung and Amir-i- 
Kabir had approached the Resident with the proposal 
of Zuffer Jung's succession. 

When I came to know this, I immediately wrote a 
petition informing His Highness of the true facts, and 
Amir-i-Kabir also sent the Resident's letter contradicting 
the accusation. 

Now I return to my story. 

While the Minister was talking to me, Moulvi Mehdi 
Ali, Hussan bin Abdulla and Abdul Huq came over. 

Owing to my being there, and in the Minister's pre- 
sence, I could not but promise to visit the palace again, 
to see what turn affairs there were taking, but at the same 
time I asked the Minister not to keep on summoning 
me, and assured him that I would come of myself if 

The next day, after Magrib prayers I went to the 
palace. His Highness was seated on a settee in the court- 
yard, and all his companions were also present. A poetical 
entertainment was in progress, and I thought to myself 
that, if I could concentrate my mind to compose a poem, 
I could with better excuse take part in it. 1 therefore 
began to think, and quietly jotted down my thoughts with 
a pencil. The following are a few couplets of the Ghazzal 
that I managed to compose : 

" My heart, the Kaaba of love, quivers with sorrow 

for years. 
My beloved's face remains printed on my heart for 


It is the effect of our name, no blame on you, beloved. 
The turned-up sleeve in wrath has not been turned 

down for years. 
You come as light to my eyes your coming makes 

my house as a garden. 

Stop for a few moments, if you cannot for years. 
The King of the Deccan is a patron of letters come, 

oh, Hazik,* quickly. 
You sat doing nothing, sorrowful and listless, in your 

house for years." 

* Haxik-^the poetic name of the writer. 

226 MY LIFE 

The meeting lasted till late in the evening. At the 
time of the distribution of " Pan/' His Highness honoured 
me with one, and pushed with his own hands the golden 
" Pan Dhan " towards me. A short while afterwards I 
returned home not thinking it advisable to remain longer. 

After a few visits to the palace, I became aware that 
interested persons prolonged the affair, and that with 
the exception of Mir Riasat Ali (Mahboob Yar Jung), 
there was no one who could put in a good word for the 
Minister, and that His Highness disliked the very mention 
of his name. I spoke to the Minister about this, and asked 
him to give a hint to Mohamed Ali Beg (Afsur Jung) to 
second my efforts. He sighed deeply, and said that that 
gentleman was more hostile to him than anybody else 
and that he had refused to see his messengers. Then, 
requesting me to exert myself on his behalf, he admitted 
that His Highness's mind could not now be wholly cleared 
in respect of him, but that he only wished for a " modus 
operand!/' so that the work of administration might not 
be brought to a stand-still. And he reminded me of my 
own quatrain, viz : 

" Set fire, set fire, oh, let it burn the heart 
My beloved deserves that chastisement. Make 
me shed tears yes, shed tears, that I may in 
them drown. These eyes of mine deserve that 

Now hear this. Somehow Nawab Amir-i-Kabir 
and the Maharaja came to know that I was trying to 
support Nawab Laik Ali Khan, and they cornered me 
tightly about it. I, on my side spoke to them of the real 
facts. Nawab Amir-i-Kabir suggested that there was no 
possibility of a reconciliation, because Mr. Syed Hussain's 
uncalled for correspondence had made Mr. Cordery and 
the Foreign Office favour Nawab Laik Ali Khan's claims 
completely, while on the other hand, His Highness had 
become obdurate ; and he advised me to stop interfering 
in the matter as quickly as possible. He added that if 
Laik Ali Khan cared to take his advice, he would tell him 
to send the intriguers, bag and baggage to their homes, 
for then his reconciliation with His Highness would only 
be a matter of time. 

I now began to scent danger to myself, and I consulted 

MY LIFE 227 

Moulvi Mehdi Ali (Muneer Jung) and Abdul Huq (Sirdar 
Diler Jung). The former said that Khurshed Jah, being 
an enemy, was trying to frighten me, but Syed Abdul 
Huq said that the Nawab Amir-i-Kabir was telling the 
truth. The Government of India was entirely in favour 
of Salar Jung, and Mr. Cordery had written a very severe 
and impertinent letter to His Highness. It was therefore 
advisable for me to get out of this. 

I was thinking as to what course to adopt, when, one 
day, Amir-i-Kabir's servant, Syed Mir, came and said 
that Nawab Sahib wanted me at once. I accompanied 
him without delay, and the Nawab Sahib told me that 
His Highness wished to see me, and that the command 
was that he should bring me over. I flatly declined 
to go and suggested that my having an interview in his 
company with His Highness, might be very harmful, 
and was very impolitic, and that His Highness should 
summon me directly. The Nawab Sahib also favoured 
my opinion, and said that he would inform me again. 

Accordingly after three or four days Syed Mir brought 
a " palki " (palanquin) with him, and asked me to get in 
and closed the door, and then get along to Lingampalli 
garden and alight in the zenana quarters of the palace, 
so that nobody could see me. Wonderingly, I accompanied 

The house was empty except for Zuffer Jung, who was 
sitting alone. He informed me that His Highness was com- 
ing alone, and that it was his wish that nobody should 
know about this interview. In the meantime Nawab 
Amir-i-Kabir Bahadur also came. 

I said my Zohar, Assur, Magrib and Issha prayers 
there, and also had my dinner there. 

At about one o'clock in the morning, His Highness 
came, driving a dog-cart with a black pony, and with 
only one syce and Tippu Khan to accompany him. He 
accepted our " Nuzzers," and took his seat on a chair. 
We also sat around the table. 

Then, turning to me, His Highness said, " Hazrat, 
you may be aware in what difficulties I am en- 

I humbly replied that I had no knowledge of them ; 
that I had heard only from Abdul Huq that the Govern- 
ment of India was completely on the side of Salar Jung, 

228 MY LIFE 

but that I had not understood why the Govern- 
ment of India should interfere in our private arrange- 

On this the Amir-i-Kabir put in that the Government 
had likewise interfered in the times of H.H. Afzul-ud- 

I said that that also must have been due to some mis- 
take in policy. I met Laik Ali Khan more than once, and 
found him nuu h frightened and worried, and he believed 
that His Highness, personally was not displeased with 
him, and laid the blame for the present state of affairs 
on Mr. Syed Hussain and others. 

Nawab Khurshed Jah said that he had declared before, 
that unless the self -interested " Pardasis " were turned 
out, we should continue to be worried. 

His Highnesss replied that all that was nonsense. See 
the attitude Laik Ali Khan had taken up in respect to 
himself. For instance, without permission and knowledge, 
he did what he liked in important matters. " He will 
sit on a chair, with legs straightened out, while I stand ; 
he will take out cigarettes and smoke without hesitation 
in my presence ; and in spite of strict orders, he wears 
whatever dress he likes at Court functions, and will sit with 
his back turned towards me, laughing and joking with 
others. He did not consider me even equal in rank, but 

I said I was surprised at his recalcitrant behaviour 
towards His Highness. His late father had similarly 
complained to me, and had related that once, when he 
was driving out to some function, and had ordered his 
two sons to be present, ready dressed at Khana Bagh, 
they were not there when he came down, and only turned 
up after much delay ; and when he showed his displeasure 
towards them at this disrespectful behaviour, they said, 
" Father, you are quick tempered." 

The late Minister turning to me, said sarcastically, 
that that was due to my tuition. 

His Highness then asked me what I had to say in this 
matter, and, in reply, I quoted this couplet : 

" You won't find so devoted a servant as I 
in the world, even if you search with the light of 
your beautiful countenance." 

MY LIFE 229 

" Your Highness's devoted servant/' I added, " is 
ready to sacrifice himself/ 1 

At that juncture I was reminded of a dream that I 
had had a long time before. In that dream it was as if I 
saw His Highness, the late Afzul-ud-dowlah, lying prone 
on his bed, while a lady bedecked with jewellery was 
sitting close to him ; Khurshed Jah was standing at the 
head of the bed, and Zuffer Jung was at the opposite end. 
His Highness asked me to go near him, and then said, 
" My son is in trouble, and you are sitting doing nothing 
at home/' 

I related this dream, and then quoted the following 
couplet : 

" Who can dare my heart entice or enmesh, 
we who are wont to look in thine eye." 

I said His Highness should ease his mind, and sugges- 
ted that when Mr. Cordery, who was a good man, came to 
know the real facts, a new move would be made on the 
chess-board. The present state of affairs was due to 
mistaken policy. 

His Highness then rose, and said, " Very well, you 
come to me to-morrow, and I'll show you all the 

We separated, and the next day, about the afternoon, 
I went to the palace. 

His Highness, on being informed, immediately came 
forth from the zenana, and summoned me to his office- 
room. Then sending for his despatch-box, be placed the 
whole correspondence before me. 

I went through the papers carefully, and the effect on 
me of His Highnesses letters, drafted by Mr. Syed Hussain 
and addressed to the Resident, was to make me feel that 
it was as if an applicant were writing to a superior person, 
requesting a favour at his hands. Perhaps the letters had 
a similar effect on the Resident's mind, and he had been 
led to believe that His Highness was not really displeased 
with his Minister, and that a reconciliation would come 
about in a few days. Mr. Cordery's reply however, 
was very impolitely worded. Briefly, it was to the 
effect that His Highness's deposition from the "Gadi" 
would be easy, but Nawab Laik AH Khan's dismissal 
was impossible. 

230 MY LIFE 

His Highness, with tears in his eyes, declared that his 
life was not worth living. 

I respectfully asked His Highness not to give way to 
grief, reminding him that Mr. Cordery was a subordinate 
official ; and further, that not only did His Highness to-day 
possess the status of Amir-ul-Momineen and Khalifa with 
the Muslims in India, but also the Hindu Rajahs looked 
upon him as their Maharaja, and, up to the present 
day, addressed " Kharitas " to him for " Thil " and 
Sugar, and held " pooras "* in Aurangabad. Apart from 
this, His Highness's sovereignty was of a much earlier 
date than the Government of India, and was not like 
Mysore or Baroda, where the position of Ruler was either 
bought and paid for, or the prince was brought from the 
field and placed on the " Gadi." There could not be any 
doubt that the British Empire to-day was very powerful 
grand and glorious, but it would be to suppose it 
bitten by a mad dog, to think that it would depose a great 
ruler for the sake of a minor official. 

These were merely Mr. Cordery's threats, I continued, 
and that the British Government was under such obliga- 
tion to His Highness, that it could not raise its head. 
But for the clever ruse of Mir Sadik Ali, Tippu would 
have been a Sultan of Southern India, and if His Highness's 
troops had not gone into action at the battle of Assaye,| 
the Mahratta nation would have established its sove- 
reignty not only over Balaghat and Lower Ghat, but 
extended it right into Central India. In the Mutiny of 
1857, tne Hindu states, whether Mahratta or Rajput, 

* There are 54 suburbs (puras) to the City of Aurangabad. 
Of these a couple, ljj& Aurang Pura and Begum Pura are populated, 
but the rest are in ^pis or falling into ruins. 

Jaswant Pura, Pahar Singh Pura, Kutub Pura, Beluch Pura, 
Karim Pura, Padani Pura, were inhabited by the Rajas who ac- 
companied Aurangzeb to the Deccan. 

Subkaren Pura and Pahar Singh Pura belong to the Raja of 
Bundel-khund, Padampura and Karanpura to the Raja of Bekanir, 
and Jai Singh Pura to the Raja of Jaipur, 

(For further details vide " History of Bijjapur," 3rd part, p. 53, 
by Moulvi Bashiruddin Ahmed.) 

f Assay e is a village close to Jalna, a taluka of the Aurangabad 
District, in the Nizam's Dominions. Here, on the 23rd September, 
1853, Sir Arthur Wellesley, afterwards Duke of Wellington, with 
less than 5,000 men, defeated the Mahratta host, which, under 
European leaders, numbered more than 10,000. 

MY LIFE 231 

were turning their eyes towards Hyderabad and if H.H. 
Nazir-ud-dowlah had moved a step forward, no trace of 
the English would have been left in India. Sir Salar Jung I . 
His Highness's loyal Minister, had, true to his salt, rescued 
the British at the most critical hour of their existence. 
(Mr. Stuart Elphinstone's famous telegram to the British 
Resident, " If the Nizam goes all is lost/') The British 
might well forget the deep debt of gratitude that lay on 
their shoulders, and might content themselves to-day with 
with mere lip-thanks, but it could not be imagined that they 
would punish the master for the sake of a servant. 

I asked His Highness not to be aggrieved, but to 
reply to the Resident in a similar strain to his, and end 
the controversy. I would, I said, if His Highness com- 
manded, draw up a reply for his signature. 

My conversation relieved His Highness, and he said, 
" Write what you want to." 

Accordingly I took up the pen and wrote a few lines, 
and placed them before him. The gist of which was this, 
" Your letter was not such as to evoke a reply, but 
as the matter is important, I have to inform you that I 
cannot work with Laik AH Khan for a single day. I have 
therefore dismissed him, and I will soon let you know 
whom I appoint in his place, in order that you may inform 
the Government of India/* 

His Highness considered this letter for some time, and 
at last took up the pen and signed it. He then quoted the 
following couplet : 

" I my works to God entrusted, to see what 
He, the Architect, has in mercy for us/ 1 

He then observed it was well that these impertin- 
ences ought to be stopped and placing the letter in my 
hand, commanded me to take it to Mr. Cordery. 

I picked up courage to suggest that it would do no 
harm, if Afsur Jung took it, but His Highness looked an- 
noyed, and said, " Let all these alone I have tried them/' 

I took the letter, and went to Nawab Amir-i-Kabir and 
informed him of the fact. He felt very glad and said, 
" Well done ! " and then enquired what reply I could 
make to Laik Ali Khan. 

I swore by God that I had not done this with any sense 
of animosity towards Laik Ali Khan. It was the duty of 

232 MY LIFE 

every loyal subject, whether Hindu or Muslim, to maintain 
the dignity of His Highness, and Mr. Cordery was not 
entitled to treat a premier ruling chief with such contempt. 
And I added that I could even now make up matters 
with Laik Ali Khan. 

The Nawab then inquired who would replace Nawab 
Laik Ali Khan. I replied that it depended on His Highness's 
pleasure. Zuffer Jung said it was their turn now, and 
requested me to exert myself on their behalf. 

From there I went direct to the Residency. Mr. 
Cordery used to be very kind to me. He had given me a 
signed copy of his translation of Homer's Iliad, and we 
often conversed on literary subjects ; but now, on reading 
the letter, he became incensed, and said, " Server Jung, 
this is your writing." I admitted that it was so, but that 
the letter was His Highness's. 

Then he asked if I knew what the result of it would be, 
and I replied that, being a servant, I had no concern with 
the result my duty was to carry out orders. 

Mr. Cordery then said that he would not permit a 
third man to interfere between him and His Highness ; 
that he would personally reply to him, and that he would 
have to take back the letter. 

I arose silently, and went to Nawab Amir-i-Kabir, 
from there to the Royal Palace. 

It seemed as if His Highness were awaiting me, I 
informed him fully of all that had passed, and His Highness 
enquired what should be done then. 

I humbly suggested that this was merely the indigna- 
tion of a squirrel, which, on seeing the cat, runs up the 
tree and begins to chirrup, chirrup ! If Mr. Cordery 
returned the letter, His Highness should tell him em- 
phatically that it was not a private note, and that he 
understood that the correspondence which passed through 
him, the Resident, would reach the hands of the Viceroy. 
His Highness should also tell him that he had informed 
him of the dismissal of the Minister and that he would also 
inform him of the new appointments. 

Mr. Cordery came, and went back discomfited. 

Lord Dufferin, the Viceroy, immediately replied that 
he would himself visit Hyderabad and that he would be 
obliged if His Highness did not take any further steps in 
the matter till then. 

MY LIFE 233 

Mr. Cordery, to save his face, went away on several 
months' leave and Colonel Ross was sent to act for him. 
This gentleman * was a plain soldier, and soon fell into the 
meshes of those who were favouring Laik Ali Khan ; and 
he frightened His Highness out of his wits, by saying that 
not only the Viceroy and the Secretary of State, but also 
both Houses of Parliament, and even the Queen-Empress 
herself, felt themselves to be under such obligations to 
H.E. Sir Salar Jung, that they would not permit any harm 
to his son, or, for the matter of that, to any member of 
his family. He also told His Highness that his advisers, 
who were making him fall out with the Minister, were 
disloyal people. The effect of this was to create a great 
fear in His Highness's mind, and he felt worried over it. 
He summoned me again, and, with tears in his eyes, 
enquired what could be done now. 

I humbly replied that whatever Colonel Ross had said 
was true, and that if His Highness wished, I would bring 
Laik Ali Khan and make him fall at his feet. 

His Highness replied that a reconciliation with him 
was now impossible. He would rather relinquish the throne 
than do that. 

On hearing this, tears came into my eyes, and I said 
that if his Highness were determined to dismiss him, it 
could be effected without much difficulty, and I, his de- 
voted servant, was ready to sacrifice myself in the 
attempt. I quoted the following couplet : 

" I seek no reward for duties performing ; 
dead or alive my endeavours continuing." 

I suggested that I should first meet Colonel Ross, 
so as to ascertain what he intended doing, and after that 
I should be able to form my opinion. 

His Highness asked when I could visit him and I 
replied that if I were allowed a Government carriage 
and a " chobdar," I would go at once. It was so arranged, 
and I reached Bolarum with pomp. 

Colonel Ross was having his tea, which he made me 
share, and then asked a few questions about myself. I told 
him that I was Highness's tutor, his education having 
been entrusted to me ; that I did not possess any admin- 

* Resident from I3th April, 1886, to October, 

234 MY LIFE 

istrative post ; and that I had simply to attend at the 
Royal Palace and carry out orders that were given 
to me. 

He then enquired what work I had with him, and I 
replied that I had simply come to see him. 

He was silent for a few minutes, and then, after saying 
it was good that I had done so, he questioned me as to why 
His Highness and his Minister had fallen out. 

In reply, I asked him to tell me whether in Europe no 
disagreement ever occurred between King and Minister ; 
and he burst out laughing, and said, " You appear to have 
read the history of European countries/' 

I said that in every country such incidents had occur- 
red under personal rule ; but the King is the master, and 
the Minister is his servant, and the latter's dismissal 
or continuance in office was at the pleasure of the 

Then he asked whether dismissal could be without 
any reason, and I replied that when the master found that 
one of his servants was not necessary or useful, did he not 
dismiss him ? The retention of the servant depended 
on the pleasure of the master. 

Then he again asked as to why and when this hostility 
began. I said that my inference, which was turned into 
a belief, was this, that in the days when His Highness 
almost loved his Minister, the Minister committed a 
mistake in regard to a religious matter. The Minister was 
a Shiah, and under incitement by some fanatics, he allowed 
his co-religionists to bring out a " zaree." with all its 
paraphernalia and ceremonies in the city. ("Zaree" 
means a replica of Imam Hussain's tomb in Karbela. It is 
a sacred emblem with the Shiahs, around which the passion 
play is enacted with great ceremony).* The City people 
therefore became frenzied, and Nawab Amir-i-Kabir, 
throwing aside his turban, wrapped his handkerchief 
around his head (as a sign of mourning), and wrote to the 

* The models of the Tombs of Hasan and Hussain, or the models 
of buildings containing the Tombs, which are carried about in pro- 
cession during the ten days of Muharram. On the tenth day the 
models of the Tombs are buried or, in some places, thrown into 
water. The model of the building, if made of cheap materials, shares 
the same fate ; if costly, it is carried back and deposited in the 
Dargdh or Karbela. 

MY LIFE 235 

Resident and His Highness, that if the " Zaree " were 
taken out in the City, rivers of blood would flow, and he 
would be the first to drink the cup of martyrdom. From 
that time the love between the ruler and the minister gradu- 
ally changed into aversion. 

Hearing this, Colonel Ross was much surprised, and 
said that he had lived a long time in Persia, and he was 
aware of the hostilities between the Sunnis and the Shiahs, 
but that he had heard that the private secretary was at the 
bottom of the disagreement, and that otherwise His 
Highness, personally, was well disposed towards his 
Minister. He also said that certain men in the company 
of His Highness were not good. 

Then having spoken a few commonplaces, he stood up 
and, shaking me by the hand, said that he was very 
pleased to have met me. 

I said that I was in the habit of calling on the Resi- 

Yes, he said, he had read my name in the book and had 
thought I was a Persian. 

From there I went direct to the Royal palace, and 
related all the facts. His Highness laughed when he 
heard the story of the " Zaree/' 

I humbly suggested that now His Highness should 
depute Nawab Khurshed Jah to meet the Resident, 
because, generally speaking, the weight of one's opinion 
depended upon the rank he carried. Besides, His Highness 
possessed men like Moulvi Syed Hussain and Afsur Jung. 
the one being a literary man of well-known merit, and the 
other, who had served in the Contingent, being wary and 
astute and that I would likewise prevail on Abdul Huq, 
who was a good man of sound judgment. In the meanwhile, 
I added, I would continue to pray to God, night and day, 
for His Highnesses complete victory in this matter, which 
now depended entirely on the Viceroy's visit. 

His Highness replied that that was all right, but he 
would not let me remain doing nothing. 

He then enquired what steps should now be taken. 
I said that the matter demanded reflection, and that I 
would express my humble opinion later on, but I could 
not refrain from saying this, that the work of adminis- 
tration should not be stopped, and that His Highness 
should pass orders on matters placed before him by the 

236 MY LIF 

Minister, from time to time, or else the blame for it might 
be laid on His Highness. 

Although I did not wish to say anything against the 
State officials, I went on, the time had come to lay the 
real facts before His Highness, so that he might know the 
exact situation. Sir Stewart Bayley's view, when he came 
here, had been, that Laik Ali Khan, although entitled to 
the Prime Ministership, should be placed under the Maha- 
raja Peshkar for some time, in order that he might learn 
the work of administration, This policy however, was 
resented by the officials concerned, the Maharaja being 
unknown to them, and they to the Maharaja ; and 
therefore they collected round Nawab Laik Ali Khan, 
with the result that the work of administration was inter- 
fered with. His Highness was aware with what indignity 
the old man was dismissed. Afterwards they were 
still further encouraged to create a belief in the minds 
of the British officials, from the Resident to the 
Foreign Office, that the ruler and his minister were both 
youthful and inexperienced, and that, in fact, they were 
the persons whose advice and help even the late Minister 
was in need of. The result was that the Resident and the 
Foreign Office decided to make these men responsible for 
the peace and order of the state, while they lost confidence 
in both the Ruler and his Minister. 

His Highness replied that he now understood why these 
men had gathered round Nawab Laik Ali Khan because 
they thought their safety depended on his continued ex- 
istence. And he asked me to explain to Moulvi Mehdi Ali 
and Abdul Huq that they were his servants, and not 
Laik Ali Khan's and his father's in fact, Kurshed Jah 
should send for these men and explain matters to 

Now let me write something about myself. 

When Mr. Cordery's letter was replied to, as mentioned 
above, a great commotion was the result at the Minister's 
palace. Moulvi Mehdi Ali came to me and saying, 
" Friends stealing and Saints defrauding ! " asked why 
I had done this, adding that I had merely complicated 
matters, and that I should come to grief over it ; and he 
advised me to retire to the seclusion of my house again, 
and leave him and Mr. Syed Hussain to put the matter 

MY LIFE 237 

And Hussan bin Abdulla came with upturned sleeves, 
and said that I had proved more unworthy of my salt than 
Mr. Syed Hussain and that in spite of everything to the 
contrary they would remain unscathed to the end. The 
dismissal of Imad-us-Saltanat he said, was not child's 
play, and he warned me that I had sown thorns in my 

They then began to subject me to attacks ; in fact, 
they thought I should be arrested on some criminal 
charge. They also tried their level best to bring me into 
contempt with Colonel Ross, who in one of his interviews 
with His Highness, told the latter that he had heard that 
he had acted on Server Jung's advice. And the Colonel 
even added that he had met Server Jung, and that he did 
not think that he was loyal to the State. 

His Highness, however, replied that I had been his 
tutor from his boyhood, and that at the present time, 
barring myself, he had no confidence in anybody else ; 
and he requested the Colonel to have confidence in me also, 
as he intended sending me to him. 

Accordingly by command, I again visited Colonel Ross. 
He met me very kindly, and said that he now understood 
that if I had tried, the dispute would be settled. I asked 
him to shew me the way to do so, and that I would act 

Colonel Ross then said that Sir Salar Jung was a great 
man, and that the whole British nation was under obliga- 
tion to him. I replied that I was myself indebted to him, 
and honoured his memory deeply, and that Nawab Laik 
Ali Khan, who had been my pupil, had also every claim 
on me ; but I requested him to show me how to proceed, 
so that his efforts might be crowned with success. 

He said, " You make His Highness understand that 
we sympathise with the Minister, and will not let him be 
dismissed." Therefore His Highness should pardon him ; 
and if he preferred it, he, the Colonel, would get any 
condition His Highness wished, submitted to the Minister. 
And he added that they were not so ungrateful as not to 
save the son of their benefactor from dishonour and his 
house from destruction. 

" Colonel," I said, " I should like to ask you one ques- 
tion. Was Sir Salar Jung the Ruler and the Master of these 
dominions ! If His Highness, the late Af zul-ud-dowlah, had 

23 8 MY LIFE 

not approved his policy, and stopped him, would Salar 
Jung have achieved anything ? It is strange that leav- 
ing aside ' our faithful Ally, the Nizam/ by whose order 
all was done, the services of the Minister alone should 
thus be recognised ! " 

Colonel Ross said that all my arguments were useless, 
and as he was only here for a few days, Mr. Cordery would 
see to it ; and he added that I was fanning the flames, 
and not seeing the dispute settled. 

To that I replied that I would speak to him plainly, 
and inform him that those gentlemen, whom he considered 
responsible for the peace and order of the State, were the 
cause of this conflagration ; and that although His High- 
ness had summoned me only recently, I believed, and was 
indeed, quite confident, that His Highness had resolved 
to change the ministry, and that the more he was pressed, 
the more obdurate he would become. His Highness was 
only awaiting the arrival of the Viceroy. 

We conversed in a similar strain for a short 
time more, and then bidding Colonel Ross, good day, I 

I knew now that the officials of the State had girded up 
their loins to injure me. And an excellent opportunity 
for them to do so soon presented itself. One night my 
coachman got drunk, and, in a state of drunkenness, 
riding out on my children's pony to Sarurnagar, fell on the 
way with such force that he fractured his skull. My ser- 
vant Amir brought in both the coachman and the pony, 
but at the gate of my house, Amir and the coachman's 
wife fell to fighting. To be brief, the woman took her 
husband to the Police Dispensary, which was in charge of 
an Anglo-Indian doctor named Johnson, and the man 
died there. 

The next morning while I was still engaged in prayers, 
Hakim Syed Ali, whom I had got employed in the State 
service, came to me, and said, " In what oblivion are you ? 
The Kotwal, Akbar Jung, is charging you with the murder 
of your coachman/' 

I replied by asking whether the Kotwal had lost his 
senses, and stating that I would at once write and inform 
him of all the facts. And then, just as Syed Ali was asking 
me not to make such a mistake, a Thanadar (Police 
Inspector) arrived, and asked my permission to draw up 

MY LIFE 239 

a plan of the spot where I was accustomed to sit. I 
gave him permission. 

Syed Ali now advised me to send for the Civil Surgeon 
to get a post-mortem performed quickly, or else the body 
would be interred, and in that case the Police Surgeon's 
testimony would be the only one to go by. Accordingly I 
wrote to Dr. Lawrie, who came over at once, and having 
heard what I had to tell him, he went to the Police 
Dispensary and did what was necessary. He returned to 
me and said the case was clear, and he had noted it. He 
asked me to send Rs, 500 as his fees. 

And then with a great flourish a case was trumped up 
against me. Ten or twelve eye-witnesses were procured, 
as if, late in the night, they had entered my house and 
stood close to me, and Dr. Johnson was made to write a 
report to the effect that I had offered him a bribe of 

The Minister then wrote to His Highness that the charge 
of murder was proved against Server Jung ; and Mr. 
Cordery, who had returned from leave, wrote that Server 
Jung should personally conduct his case, not being per- 
mitted to engage a barrister or pleader and that, murder 
apart, he should also be charged with offering a bribe to 
the Police Surgeon. In short, all preparations were com- 
pleted for having me hanged. 

The coachman's wife was the chief witness, and the 
Kotwal (Commissioner of City Police) controlled and 
tutored her. 

They tried to send me manacled to the Criminal 
Courts, in which intrigue the Minister, and the State 
officials took part, and so also a couple of Palace 

I on my part sent a petition to His Highness, praying 
that, for God's sake, he would not take my side, or else 
I should be a ruined man, but that instead of sending me 
to the Criminal Courts, His Highness would appoint a 
Commission, with the approval of the Minister and the 
Resident. I assured His Highness that he would then soon 
see how I made these ungodly men dance. 

Accordingly a Commission was appointed, and the 
Purana Haveli Palace was selected as the venue. Major 
Campbellfrepresented the Resident on the Commission, 
Sirdar Abdul Huq, the Minister, and Khadir Jung was 

24 o MY LIFE 

there on behalf of the Durbar. The Kotwal was appointed 
Public Prosecutor. 

Akbar Jung was the well-known protg of Mr. 
Tweedie, who was the First Assistant of Mr. Saunders, 
the then Resident. He was originally employed in the 
Contingent, but through the favour of Mr. Syed Hussain 
was appointed Kotwal at the beginning of the regime of 
Nawab Laik Ali Khan. 

The extent to which his short-sighted, misconceived 
actions militated against the best interests of the State, 
will be related in its proper place ; suffice it to say that 
he laid the foundation of breaking up the power of the 
Arabs* who once formed the pomp, grandeur, and strength 
of the State. 

The prosecution's evidence was produced, and the 
witnesses, who were all tutored, gave their concocted 
stories with a flourish, and all as if they had entered my 
house, in spite of the fact that Arabs and Ali Ghol Pathans 
stood guard at the gate. And after them, the Kotwal, as 
prosecutor, was called. He gave his statement stammering- 
ly and appeared obviously frightened. 

Now came their chief witness, the wife of the coachman. 
She bore an immoral character. Also the Kotwal had made 
the mistake of making her drunk, so that she might speak 
out unhesitatingly ; but the reverse was the case. Sirdar 
Diler Jung got up and smelt her mouth, and then asked 
Mr. Campbell to do likewise. Mr, Campbell said that the 
case was spoilt, and that they would take Dr. Lawrie's 
statement. Dr. Lawrie appeared and mentioned all the 
facts, together with the conclusion he had arrived at from 
his notes. He also complained against me in that I had not 
paid him his fees, and requested the Court to order pay- 
ment. I at once laid the money on the table, and Dr. 
Lawrie took it and went away. 

The members of the Commission now consulted. Mr. 
Campbell thought the case was proved, but Khadir Jung 
and Sirdar Abdul Huq differed, and said they would 
write separate judgments. 

I was accordingly informed that judgment would be 

* Fight between police and Arabs on loth Mohurrum, 1303 H. 
leading to the appointment of a Commission, For fuller account* 
see " Hyderabad Affairs." 

MY LIFE 241 

delivered the next day ; and to my remark that " defence 
evidence " had not been taken, no reply was made. 

Mr. Campbell went from there to the Minister's palace, 
and thence to the Resident. 

Finally the Commissioners delivered a unanimous 
judgment that the case should be struck off, and Server 
Jung acquitted on all charges. I, washed in milk and 
bathed in honey, returned home, and preparations for 
my incarceration at Zaffergarh proved futile. 

But Mr. Cordery wrote a letter to His Highness, 
saying that though Server Jung was acquitted on all 
charges, he still had to answer the charge of mismanaging 
his house, so that a life was lost ; and therefore, 
he should remain interned in his house for six months, 
and be instructed to manage his house more carefully 
in future. 

His Highness showed me this letter, and I said that 
when His Highness summoned his devoted servant in the 
beginning, I had then understood what would happen to 
me. And I quoted the following couplet : 

"To be able to cast my eyes on your face, 
oh, beloved, I must first immolate myself ; One 
who wishes to buy you, must first sell himself." 

I implored His Highness to have mercy on his de- 
voted servants, and put an end to these troubles, 
and pointing out that there could be only two 
methods of doing so. Either I would bring along 
Laik Ali Khan with me, for His Highness's pardon, 
and bind him with such conditions that he would not 
be able to raise his head again. Or, His Highness 
should use his royal prerogative and dismiss Laik 
Ali Khan and honour some other nobleman with his 

His Highness enquired whom he should select instead 
of Laik Ali Khan ; and I said that before I could express 
my opinion, I would relate an historical incident. 

Lord Dalhousie sought Sir John Lawrence's advice as 
to the person who would be the best man to administer 
the Punjab, and Sir John replied that, if he were not 
suspected of partiality, then, to the best of his knowledge 
and belief^ he would suggest that none other than his 
brother, Sir Henry Lawrence, could be found. Lord 

242 MY LIFE 

Dalhousie at once entrusted the administration of the 
Punjab to Sir Henry Lawrence. 

The friendship existing between the Amir-i-Kabir 
and myself was well-known, and he looked upon me as his 
brother. " In your devoted servant's humble opinion," 
I said, " no better minister could be found than he." 

His Highness, after hearing this, said that the matter 
required^deliberation, The arrangements for the Viceroy's 
visit* and his entertainment were now in progress. The 
Dewani officials began to rush towards the Residency, 
and daily consultations with Mr. Cordery were taking 

At last Lord Dufferin entered Hyderabad. The details 
of the Durbar, Dinner and Parties in his honour, are too 
lengthy to be given here, and also they are foreign to the 
subject. To be brief, the Governor-General of India and 
the Ruler of the Deccan met two or three times and Lord 
Dufferin sounded His Highness. Also Mr. Cordery used 
all his power to force Lord Dufferin's hand, that he might 
bring about a compromise between the ruler and his 
Minister ; but both Lord Dufferin (and he was considered 
famous amongst the European statesmen of his day) and 
Mr. Cordery failed to exercise any influence on His High- 
ness at this juncture. 

I am reminded here of a strange incident. During the 
stay of the Viceroy, Mirza Mohamed AH Beg Afsur Jung 
was commanded to make arrangements to hold sports at 
the race-course. He did so. (He was also ordered to keep 
the hunting leopards in readiness). In the afternoon His 
Highness, with his staff, accompanied Lord Dufferin to the 
sports, and His Highness himself took part in the races and 
tent-pegging, and won encomiums from Lord Dufferin at 
his brilliant display. When His Highness was returning 
towards the Stand, Lord Dufferin went up to congratulate 
him, and walked alongside His Highnesses horse some little 
distance ; the sight of His Highness riding and Lord 
Dufferin walking by his side, was one which everybody 
saw and appreciated. 

Lord Dufferin, who was a nobleman, and the son of a 
nobleman, one who was born a Britisher, and in whose 
veins there was no mixture of foreign or shopman's blood, 

* 27th Safar, 1304 H. (1886 A,D.) 

MY LIFE 243 

did not consider it derogatory to walk alongside an 
Indian Prince ! Compare the course which Lord Reading 
recently adopted towards His Exalted Highness it is, 
to say the least, a sad historical incident*. The difference 

* Lord Reading's letter published in March, 1926, re retro- 
cession of the Berars. 

The Pioneer of Allahabad, which was formerly a declared 
opponent of all nationalistic activity, has since changed in its policy, 
and given free expression to its views on the sad plight of the 
" Indian India." it points out that the Princes, " these pillars of 
the State," have to contend not only with the bugbear of para- 
mountcy, but also with the ill-conceived and distorted attacks of 
the Swarajists, and that the introduction of reforms in British 
India has set aglow the smouldering embers of the dormant nation- 
alism of the intelligentsia of the country, who would turn an Indian 
Prince into a Constitutional Monarch, and would expect him to 
support their iiew-f angled chimera of independence. 

The Pioneer m its new r61e as a pro-Nationalistic journal, devotes 
a leader under the caption of what the Princes must do, and shows 
its keen insight into the secret diplomacy of the Government. Its 
unbiassed comments on Indian questions are also refreshing. It 
says : 

" The ruling Prince to-day finds himself between the devil and 
the deep sea. On the one hand, there is the Government of India, 
whose steady policy since the days of Lord Curzon has served to 
belittle the order, to restrict its privileges, and to make its individual 
members toe the line of secret and unmistakable orders ; and on 
the other hand, there is the rising tide of nationalistic feeling in 
British India, which, not content with attempting the solution of 
its own problems, views with inquisitive horror the form of Govern- 
ment found in most of the Indian States. 

" The Princes have recently placed voluminous evidence con- 
cerning the infringement of their Treaty rights before the Butler 
Commission, but so inadequately has the publicity of their case been 
conducted, and, perhaps, so nervous have they been of offending 
the Political Department, that the general impression that exists 
in India to-day as to the merits of their case, is that they are not 
fighting for their strictly legal position as pledged to them in said 
agreements, but are attempting, somehow or other, to put the clock 
back, and to stay the inarch of liberal progress. 

" For this incomplete recognition of the actual position of their 
order, the Princes have themselves to blame. We are aware, for 
instance, of countless cases in which the Government of India has 
acted in a most illegal and high-handed fashion, and in which the 
Prince affected and we are not concerned at the moment with the 
merits or the demerits of the case has been dealt with, in secret, 
and often unjustly. If the Princes concerned in these incidents had 
recognized the value of a little publicity, the issues would have been 

244 MY LIFE 

between the two courses is so apparent that it does not 

need comment.* 

Now I return to my story, A consultation took place 
at the Amir-i-Kabir's palace. RLE. the Viceroy and His 
Highness sat on a couch, Amir-i-Kabir was in front, on a 
chair, and I was commanded to stand behind His Highness. 
Lord Dufferin, who knew Persian, began to speak in that 
language, At that I thought to myself that His Highnesses 
slender knowledge of Persian might become known, and 
so I picked up courage and said, " Your Excellency, there 
are many persons here who can understand Persian. It 
would be better if the conversation took place in 

Lord Dufferin, turning, looked at me closely, and said, 
" Very well ! " And then began to speak to His Highness 
in English. 

The gist of what he said, was that he conjectured that 
His Highness was not, in his heart of hearts, displeased 
with Salar Jung and he would himself say this much, 

vastly different and what applies to the individual, applies to tlie 

" It may be some time, of course, before the Chamber of Princes 
openly and courageously proclaims its dissatisfaction with its 
treatment by the Government of India, but the open discussion 
of such matters is bound to come eventually as a corollary to the 
step just announced by the Maharaja of Patalia." 

The lead thus given by the Pioneer is taken up by other Indian 
journals, as, for instance, the Orient of Lticknow, which, in its issue 
dated the 24th February, 1929, comments on the above, and remarks 
that, unlike other Anglo-Indian papers, which praise the Princes so 
long* as they keep on good terms with the Political Agents or Resid- 
ents, and carry out submissively the mandates of the Political 
Department, but the moment they show signs of independence and 
question the lordly attitude of Political Officers, condemn them as 
unfit to rule, the Pioneer has a word of sincere sympathy for them, 
and recognizes the difficulties of their position, hedged in, as they are, 
on one side by Political Officers, and on the other by a pronouncedly 
hostile nationalist movement. 

* " Considerateness and graciousness on the part of the British 
Government towards the Native States, are popular in the British 
Dominions. Harshness or undue severity on the part of the British 
Government towards the Native States, would be unpopular in the 
British territories, and would excite unfavourable comment among 
the educated Natives especially." 

Page 62 of " India in 1880," by Sir Richard Temple, Bart., 

The moral of the matter is this. The Native States, with their 
alleged excessive armaments, their hotbeds of intrigue, and their 

MY LIFE 245 

that Salar Jung was not guilty of any such offence as to de- 
serve such severe punishment ; but if for any special reason 
His Highness disliked him, he could dismiss him, and in 
that case he would approve of the selection of Khurshed 
Jah, who was the premier noble and a man advanced in 
age and experience. But he expressed a wish that His 
Highness might await his decisision until he reached 
Calcutta, and till then let the administration go on as it 
was at present. 

After this, Lord Dufferin turned towards Amir-i-Kabir, 
and remarking that he was ripe in age and experience, 
said he was confident that he would secure His Highnesses 
approval, and also that he would promote progress in the 
administration and strengthen the friendship between the 
two Governments. 

But Moulvi Mehdi Ali, using his diplomatic ability 
and intellectual subtlety, destroyed our long-drawn out 
efforts in the twinkling of an eye. God had gifted him with 
such brains, that if he had been born in Europe he would 
have equalled even Bismarck and Disraeli. 

The facts are these. Lord Dufferin had not departed 
yet he was leaving on the next morning. It happened that 
His Highness was seated on a throne near the billiard- 
alleged disloyalty, will remain so until the British Government 
change their method . 

Mr. Wilfred Scawcn Blunt wrote in the " Fortnightly Review " 
of February, 1885, that Hyderabad was most loyal. And all 
through a little honest dealing and a little Viceregal sympathy ! 

The truth is, honesty in the Indian Political Department is a 
thing enormously wanted ; and I will venture to say, that if that 
Political body would only mend its ways, and treat the Native 
States according to the same moral prim ipals of straightforwardness 
and respect for right which each member of the department doubtless 
acknowledges in his own private life, we should hear no more of 
disloyalty. Till then, however, we must expect storms ; and storms, 
also, are the element on which the Anglo-Indian thrives ! 

Lord Ripon's farewell progress through India, with its wonderful 
demonstration of Native loyalty, should open English eyes to the 
value of his ideas of rule. Nothing in them was more remarkable 
than the treatment of Native Princes, and the spectacle of Holkar 
travelling to Bombay to press his hand for the last time, must have 
convinced even his worst enemies that there was something advan- 
tageous for the Empire in the confidence and affection the departing 
Viceroy had inspired. An honest course, guileless of all intrigue, is 
the only safe one in these troublous times. The end of regaining 
Indian loyalty is a high one, and Lord Ripon's example is there for 
his successors to follow. 

246 MY LIFE 

table, and the staff and attendants were all standing 
respectfully near him. I was also present ; and the Minis- 
ter, frightened and quivering, was standing near the 
edge of the " Dahlan," some distance away. His Highness, 
as was his custom, honoured us with " pan," according to 
rank. Taking two " pans " in his hands he perhaps 
to lower him in the eyes of those present looked at the 
Minister, who came forward quickly, saluting and took 
the "pans." This ordinary incident was magnified into 
something very important. That is, about ten o'clock in 
the night Lord Dufferin's letter arrived, saying that he was 
very glad to hear that His Highness had pardoned Salar 
Jung, as, being so, he would now leave in the morning, 

On reading this letter, His Highness showed great 
anxiety, and I was struck dumb at the subtle machina- 
tions of the Diwani officials, which produced such a 
magic effect. 

I fell to thinking how to counteract this new develop- 
ment, and suddenly, by the aid of Providence, an idea 
struck me. I told His Highness that our opponents had 
made the most of this offering of a couple of " pans " to 
the Minister, and by giving free play to their imagination, 
had managed to construct a palace of magic ; but that it 
was one which could be dismantled without much diffi- 
culty. I then humbly suggested that a reply should at 
once be given, and His Highness commanded me to draw 
it up. 

I took up the pen and unhesitatingly wrote, " Since 
you and I were agreed, I handed the " pan " to the Minister 
as a sign of dismissal. Mr. Cordery is aware of this custom 
of my Durbar. It is surprising that he had not informed 
you of it, but, still, I remain firm in my promise to you, 
that is, that until you write to me from Calcutta, I shall 
perforce allow the Minister to work/' 

His Highness read this, and felt relieved, and having 
signed the letter, commanded me to take it myself. 

I grew very anxious, because it was now past one a.m. 
while on the one hand, to see Mr. Cordery at that hour 
appeared impossible, on the other, I could not picture to 
myself the treatment he would mete out to me. With 
such fears in my mind, I reached the Residency and found 
everybody fast asleep, but calling a servant, I asked him 

MY LIFE 247 

to deliver the letter to Mr. Cordery, with a request that 
it should be placed before the " Lat " Sahib (the Viceroy) ; 
and I left Malliah there to see that the letter was safely 

I then returned and told His Highness that not much 
harm had been done, but only that Mr. Cordery had got an 
opportunity to prolong the matter. 

I then began, assisted with the advice of Sirdar Abdul 
Huq, to draw up a long letter, which might be called a 
<f Memorial/' in which I gave a detailed account of facts 
from the beginning of this rupture, right up to the present 
time ; and in the meanwhile I patiently bore every mis- 
fortune that fell to my lot. 

The condition of the Sarfikhas (Crown lands) was very 
bad, and His Highness wished to appoint me Secretary of 
this Illaqa ; but, on the grounds of policy, I begged to be 
excused, and recommended Syed Abdul Ruzzack* for 
the post. 

When the Diwani officials came to know of Amir-i- 
Kabir's nomination, they were greatly alarmed. The Palace 
attendants were also greatly upset, and he became the 
centre of attack from all sides, and that to such an extent, 
that even His Highness was made to suspect the Amir's 
intentions, and he now had the name of Nawab Bashir-ud- 
dowlah Asman Jah Amir-i-Akbar, who was just then on a 
visit to England,! entered, instead of that of Amir-i-Kabir, 
in the memorial. 

When the memorial was completed, it had to be " fair- 
copied," and as Afsur Jung Bahadur wrote a clear hand, 
and could write quickly, I had this done by him, although I 
had had experience of him before. And, according to his 
habit, he utilized the opportunity to his own great benefit 
that is, he immediately cabled advice to Sir Asman Jah 
of his appointment,]: just as if the latter were due to his, 
Afsur Jung's recommendation ; and in this way he laid 
Sir Asman Jah under such obligation, that during his 
Prime Ministership he greatly prospered, while on the 
other hand, he kept the road open for his preferment by 
the Government, and continued to progress in his military 

* Died nth Rabia I., 1320 H. f 2Oth Rajab, 1304 H. 
$ 2oth Shaval, 1304 H, 

248 MY LIFE 

During the regime of the late Minister 5000 Regular 
Troops were permitted to be maintained, on con- 
dition that they would be under the command of an 
English officer, but the Government knowing that Mirza 
Mohamed Ali Beg was a Muslim, and also a trained man, 
they continued to promote him. They also believed that 
he being a servant of the Nizam, would be loyal, and would 
take greater interest in his work, and accordingly, as such 
men were difficult to obtain, he was, soon after Colonel 
Nevill's death, appointed Commander of the Regular 
Troops, and then, soon after that, he became Commander- 
in-Chief of the State Troops. 

After Mehdi Ali, Afsur ul-Mulk Bahadur never lost an 
opportunity, and he used his judgment to good account. 
He would worship the rising sun, and then would not 
hesitate to turn his face from it when it set. 

In that memorial a request was made that an English- 
man of position should be sent as Private Secretary for 
some time to His Highness. I had entered this request 
in the memorial for the reason that I was alone, face to 
face with men highly astute, highly experienced, and much 
abler than myself, and I was afraid that any slight mistake 
on my part might spell ruin to me. Also, as the affair was 
hanging fire, I thought an Englishman's influence might 
carry far more weight than mine in settling it quickly 
although Mr. Mehdi Ali's opinion was to the con- 

To be brief, Colonel Marshall, from the Punjab, 
was appointed * to take up this post of Private Secretary 
to His Highness the Nizam. 

The Colonel began to act queerly as soon as he arrived. 
Then, he was made to believe that I had attained such 
influence with His Highness, that for him to maintain his 
position would be impossible ; and, on the other hand, the 
Diwani officials flocked to him, Moulvi Mehdi Ali posted 
Faridunji with him, and Sirdar Diler Jung won him over 
to his views ; and, therefore, taking me for his opponent, 
he, the Colonel turned against me. 

Now, hear a strange story. Sirdar Diler Jung told the 
Colonel that, as he had been appointed for a short time only, 
he should try and establish himself permanently. Accord- 

* 27th Rabiusani, 1304 H. 

MY LIFE 249 

ingly, with this object in view, he,* in conjunction with 
the Sirdar and Afsur Jung they having made common 
cause wrote a letter on behalf of His Highness to the 
Government of India, to the effect that His Highness 
would give a certain amount of money for the defence of the 
Afghan frontier, and that he requested the Government to 
accept it. The reply was that the Government would not 
accept the cash, but that a small regular force should be 
formed for the purpose (that is, the Imperial Service 
Troops) and that they would draw up the rules and 
regulations of this force. 

Before writing the letter Abdul Huq happened to 
speak to me about it. I was at my wits' end, and wrote 
several petitions to His Highness for an audience, and 
daily attended for the interview, but I did not succeed 
in my efforts in that direction, In fact I found His Highness 
was somewhat cooler towards me. At length I came to 
know that Colonel Marshall had told His Highness that 
Server Jung and Nawab Amir-i-Kabir had set up an 
intrigue. Moulvi Mehdi Ali was made to corroborate this. 
When I asked the latter about the matter he admitted the 
incident, but said that he was forced to accede to their 
request, and asked to be forgiven. Be that as it may, 
the Imperial Service Troops were established, and 
that not only in Hyderabad, but also in all other Native 
States. But Colonel Marshall did not gain any advantage. 
Thus the triumvirate ended. 

And now a second triumvirate Moulvi Mehdi Ali, 
Faridunji and the Colonel came into existence, and the 
Minister was made to believe that there was only one way 
of saving himself, and that was, for him to send in his 
resignation while they, the triumvirate, took it upon 
themselves to get it rejected. Accordingly the Minister 
wrote his resignation, and gave it to the Moulvi. His 
Highness however was determined to get rid of the Minis- 
ter, and so he immediately accepted the resignation.! 
Moulvi Mehdi Ali and Faridunji were both perplexed at 
this, and thought the Colonel had played a trick on them. 
However, Nawab Asman Jah returned in hot haste from 

* For particulars of charges of his acceptance of fruit, of Ins 
dealings with Watson and Sons, and of his eventual removal from 
office, see " Hyderabad Affairs, " 1888. 

f 24th Re jab 1304 h. 

250 MY LIFE 

England, and was honoured with the Prime Ministership, 
and the ex-minister went to live at Poona, where, two 
years later (7th Zikhad, 1306 H.) he died. 

When Nawab Amir-i-Kabir heard the sad news, 
tears came into his eyes, and he said, "It is a matter of 
great sorrow that his life was cut short while still a youth." 
He added that the boy had had strange fortune that 
those who benefitted through him were the people who 
ruined him. His remark was partially correct, for, from 
among those who flocked to him, there were at least two 
who benefitted themselves permanently and to such an 
extent that they finally surpassed in wealth and influence 
even the great nobles ; for having constituted Sir Asman 
Jah a ladder, they climbed still higher till after his 
dismissal, they flew over to Nawab Vikar-ul-Umra's 
umbrella of State. The details of this will be mentioned 
later on. 

As for the author, he retired into private life again, 
with whatever honour and position he had, to pass his 
days in peace, with his Murshed Syed Padsha Sahib 
Bokhari. who belonged to the " Silsilla " of Hazrat 
Pir* Dastagir and Khaja Garib Nawaz, and cut himself 
adrift from State affairs. As the poet Momin has said : 

" I am one who, for shame, called enough and 
no further, while there was one who had yearnings 
to love and be loved/' 

* Pir Guide. 

Murid Disciple. 

Pir. The least capacity of the Pir (Shayk) is that he possesses 
Kashf-i-Qulb (i.e. reads the minds of his Murids) and Kashfi-Qubur 
(i.e. is conscious of the condition of the dead in the graves). If he has 
not this capacity, it is " haram " (forbidden) for him to make 
Murids. He is the Khalifa of God on earth. " Inni Jailun fil ardi 

Murid. A Murid performs a " By at " with the Pir a covenant 
with God. A beginner should not be apprised of his defects, so that 
he is estranged from you. Murids (disciples) are of two kinds, 
Ordinary and Special, whom the Pir instructs in diperent ways, 
according to their aptitudes and temperaments, the former receiving 
ordinary instructions, and the other instructions that are kept back 
from the ordinary Murid. 

" Shariat is my words, Tariqat is my actions and Haqiqat is my 
personal condition," said the Prophet (Peace be on Him !) "As 
Shariatu aqwali wal triqatu wal haqiqatu ahwati." 

(For full particulars see " The secret of Anal Haqq," and 
Studies in Tasawwuf," by Khan Saheb Khaja Khan, B.A.). 

MY LIFE 251 

One day as I came out after saying my morning prayers 
I saw Moulvi Mushtak Hussain seated in the outer veran- 
dah of my house and reading the Koran. The Moulvi on 
seeing me, closed the Koran and greeted me heartily. 
A sudder Talukdar in the Districts, he was a very honest 
and loyal servant of the Government, and hard-working 
and capable, he kept himself aloof from intrigue, and was 
known to be a good Arabic and Persian scholar. He was 
then Special Adviser of Sir Asman Jah. 

He told me that I had secluded myself for nothing, and 
asked me to accompany him to the Nawab Sahib, with 
whom, he said, he would bring about my reconciliation. 
I tried to get myself excused, but he took me along with 

Nawab Sir Asman Jah was of an easy-going nature, and 
had a sedate temperament. As Sadi says : 

" Till a man gives vent to speech, his blemishes 
or his virtues remain hidden." 

He spoke little, but he met me in an open and frank 

While we were talking, a reference to Nawab Amir-i- 
Kabir was made, and Sir Asman Jah enquired whether I 
visited him frequently. I said that he and I had known 
each other for a long time, and that his son was my pupil. 
After hearing this he was silent. 

Shortly afterwards the Moulvi brought me away and 
said that I had made a mistake in saying what I did, but 
that he would put it right. He continued that I knew the 
Nawab Sahib was a simpleton, as nobles generally 
are. He added that the Nawab had sent several 
petitions to His Highness, with the request that he 
should be transferred from the Districts and posted 
near him, but no reply had been vouchsafed. " If you 
are really a well-wisher of the State/ 1 he ended, " and 
wish to close the door of intrigue, then try your best 
for me/ 1 

I asked him for pen, ink, and paper, and said that I 
would write a petition in his presence ; and I requested 
him to send it to His Highness himself. 

Accordingly I wrote a brief petition, in which I sug- 
gested that, as His Highness had honoured Sir Asman Jah 
with office, it was necessary that he should be allowed men 

252 MY LIFE 

whom he preferred, as otherwise there was danger of 
confusion, as there had been in the time of Nawab Laik 
Ali Khan. I added that Sir Asman Jah had confidence in 
Moulvi Mushtak Hussain, and that I dared through 
sentiments of loyalty to write this. 

Subsequently I heard that my request had been 
granted, and that the Moulvi had become the right hand 
man of Sir Asman Jah and a staff for the Nawab to lean 
upon, he became indeed politically supreme, and appointed 
Faridunji as his Assistant, to carry on English corre- 
spondence, and Hormusji as his legal Adviser ; and 
then having made Mehdi Hussain Fatteh Nawaz Jung 
his coadjutor in office, he sent Moulvi Mehdi Ali to the 

I have referred to Mehdi Hussain above. He and his 
brother Hyder Hussain read with us in the school at 
Kaiser Bagh for a short time, but he did not do very well, 
though he became well-known in buffoonery. Later on he 
was posted as Munsiff in Oudh, and kept an Anglo-Indian 
woman whose character was well-known. However he 
made her observe " Purdah/' and was able to acquire some 
English from her, so as to be able to read and write it. But 
he was intelligent, and had read some Arabic in his 

He brought a recommendation from Sir Syed Ahmed 
Khan to the late Minister, but as the latter had died, 
Moulvi Mushtak Hussain brought him over to me during 
the Prime Ministership of the Maharaja, and I had 
recommended and got him employed in the Judicial 
Department. But in the short regime of Nawab Laik Ali 
Khan, he and his mistress secured such influence that, 
when the Nawab was relieved of his office, he, with the 
aid of Moulvi Mushtak Hussain, became a companion and 
adviser to Nawab Sir Asman Jah. 

His Highness now granted all powers in regard to 
policy and administration to Sir Asman Jah, as he had 
done previously in the case of the Maharaja and Nawab 
Laik Ali Khan. In important and urgent matters alone, 
representations were made by Moulvi Mushtak Hussain 
in the name of the Minister, who had only to sign his 
name, while Mushtak Hussain was " de facto " Minister, 
and had for his partner Fatteh Nawaz Jung Bahadur. 

The Moulvi was by nature obstinate, and his imagina- 

MY LIFE 253 

tion could not take him higher than a single-storey building. 
He was also ignorant of English ways and social customs, 
but this drawback he overcame by posting Faridunji, 
who was perfectly well aware of these things, as a tame 
elephant in the midst of untamed ones, in order to get 
on the good side of the English officials. On the other 
hand, he took, to co-operate with him, Nawab Fatteh 
Nawaz Jung, who made no distinction between right and 
wrong, but who, being astute, was clever enough to check 
those who were intriguing against the Moulvi. In addition 
to these, he had also to reckon with Afsur Jung Bahadur, 
who had already established himself. 

As regards myself, it was believed that Colonel 
Marshall had settled me. 

Now there were three Ministers in Hyderabad the 
Prime Minister nominally, to affix his signature, and the 
two smaller ones to administer the State. Colonel Marshall, 
as the elder brother, was the sixth finger, together with 
his younger brother, Nawab Afsur Jung Bahadur, who 
would say, " How could a poor helpless soldier have the 
courage to interfere in such important State matters." 
Shortly the elder brother was given a first-class ticket and 
sent away by the Mail, and the younger brother took his 
place with the smaller Ministers. 

How Abdul Huq came by his end will be related separ- 
ately ; and as for Moulvi Mehdi Ali he was treated leniently 
as being their countryman and perhaps by the thought 
that he had separated Faridunji from himself, and given 
him over to them. Therefore they relegated him, like an 
orphan, to the seclusion of his house, and having satis- 
fied themselves that they had done away with intrigue 
altogether, began to drive the coach of state with the speed 
of an express train. 

To tell the truth, Moulvi Mushtak HussahVs hard work, 
Mr. Faridunji's sound judgment, and the constancy of 
Mr. Syed Hussain (who came in after Colonel Marshall), 
gave the State a special look of brightness and pros- 
perity ; and to their good fortune, Sir Dennis Fitz- 
patrick,* a well-known and experienced official, was 
sent by the Government of India in place of Mr. 

* Appointed Resident from 6th August, 1889, to nth November, 

254 MY LIFE 

Cordery, and he, with all his power, began to support 
these gentlemen. 

This despotic rule held its sway for a short time, 
and with such force to back it up, that the city people 
and the subordinate officials were overawed, and began 
to tremble in their shoes. With the exception of those who 
supported this clique, no one dared approach the Minister ; 
and if one of the lesser Ministers said in respect of the 
influence he enjoyed over the Prime Minister, " See, 
I hold the mirror my beloved's beauty reflecting." another 
would echo back, "Come, pass the comb, the tresses of 
my Queen dressing/ 1 

And the behaviour of these men might be likened 
to camels without leads, who, stretching out their necks, 
snapped in all directions. 

Afsur Jung Bahadur, who came to be looked upon as 
the maker of the Ministry, began to cast longing eyes at 
the Nazm-i-Jamiath, and to lay his hands on the troops 
of the Peshkar. In fact the men who formed the Ministry, 
directed their close attention to the destruction of the 
house of the Peshkar, root and branch, because prior to 
their time, the Peshkar was appointed Deputy Minister. 
This ancient post was now considered a burden on the 
State Revenues, and superfluous, and Moulvi Mushtak 
Hussain had, in fact, begun to draw the attention of His 
Highness to this aspect of the case, while he had won 
over the Resident to his view. 

Raja Hari Kishen, the father of Maharaja Sir Kishen 
Pershad, used, with his companion, Vittal Pershad, to 
visit me and speak of their hardships and difficulties, in 
order to enlist my sympathy and help, and I used to read 
the following couplet to them : 

" We came expecting justice, to one, in our dire 


Who was more than us a victim of tyranny s 
sword/ 1 

In this connexion I may say that later, on my 
recommendation, Sir Kishen Pershad, was appointed 
Vizier-a-Fouj (Military Minister), and, further, when Sir 
Asman Jah visited Simla, he officiated for him, 

The clique had even cast their eyes on the late Minister's 
house, but, as they knew full well, that from the Government 

MY LIFE 255 

of India to the English nation, all were in support of it, 
they decided to bring in a European, to render it innocuous 
to their schemes, while they kept aloof. Accordingly, in 
September, 1888, Captain Beauclerck was appointed 
Superintendent of Salar Jung's estate and how he con- 
ducted himself might well be asked of Sidi Ambur and the 
ladies of the Mahallat. An annual report was indeed pre- 
pared, and presented to His Highness and the Resident, 
but these men, including the Diwani officials, never set 
foot in the palace to enquire how the helpless inmates were 
faring. In fact, it appeared as if they never had any con- 
cern whatever with the family of Sir Salar Jung, who was 
their benefactor ; they, on the contrary, acted as if they 
were the hereditary servants of the Paigah nobleman. 
Only an Anglo-Indian nurse, Mrs. Bourillion was appointed 
to look after the orphan Sahibzada (the present Salar 
Jung). This good woman, Sidi Ambur, and Syed Abu 
Turab, alias Abdur Rahman uncle of Zainab Begum, the 
wife of Nawab Laik Ali Khan used to visit me, and 
complain of their hard lot. Lady Zainab Begum's marriage 
with the late Minister, came about with my advice, and 
she used to call me uncle. 

Nawab Vikar-ul-Umra had sought the protection of 
Sir Asman Jah. and took part in consultations, on 
the government of the country, and thus saved himself 
from attacks. 

As for Nawab Amir-i-Kabir, his influence and dignity 
were such as to strike terror in the hearts of these gentle- 
men, and beyond the fact that they created suspicion in 
the mind of His Highness and the Resident, they could not 
proceed further against him. 

Now the City people and the opponents of the 
Ministry could not continue to subject themselves to this 
form of despotic government. Poet Momin has well said : 

" The silent cinders at last flared up the self- 
respecting soul stirred up and burst into flame." 

Moulvi Mehdi Ali Munir Jung Mohsin-ul-Mulk, was 
not the sort of man to take things lying down he was 
not the proverbial cat to allow his ears to be bitten by 
mice quietly, and now lengthy articles began to appear 
in the press, which caused great indignation in the ranks 
of these lesser Ministers. Mr. Gribble, who was the author 

256 MY LIFE 

of these literary efforts, was a partisan of Nawab Mohsin-ul- 
Mulk, but he met the men of the other factions as well. 
The suspicion therefore fell on Nawab Amir-i-Kabir, and 
serious complaints were not only lodged with His Highness 
and the Resident, but indignant eyes were cast on me, 
retired as I was. One day I was present at the Purana 
Haveli Palace when Moulvi Mushtak Hussain also hap- 
pened to be there with some important papers. Turning 
to me, he hinted that practice in writing newspaper arti- 
cles was evidently indulged in, aud that the next inter- 
view with His Highness would envisage the reality. 
I replied that if the remark was for another, I had 
nothing to say, but that if it was aimed at me, I would 
say that he had lost his reason, and, in the words of 
Firdausi (the great Persian epic poet) : 

" Come and show what signs of manliness you 

With heavy mace and bow of the brave." 

And I added that I was such a morsel as would stick fast 
in the throat. 

The Moulvi kept silent, but Nawab Vikar-ul-Umra 
flared up and said, " We shall see it through." 

Now the Imperial Diamond case came off, and, being 
inordinately delayed, it caused a sensation throughout 
India. Yakoob Beg Subanji (Jacob), the defendant, 
cited His Highness as a witness, thinking that his evidence 
would not be called for, and the case therefore, would fall 
through ; but Moulvi Mushtak Hussain Vikar-ul-Mulk, 
remained obstinate, and, getting Sir Dennis on his side, 
made His Highness appear before the Commission. 

His Highness's statement * was taken, and Woodroffe, 
a well-known barrister, cross-examined so severely that 
His Highness was very much annoyed and worried. And 
as for Sir Dennis, he also came in for severe criticism. 
But the case went on with increasing complications, and, 
while on the one hand, His Highness was anxious over 
this case, on the other, the opponents of the Ministry 
made a new move. The details are these : 

Nawab Mohsin-ul-Mulk went on a visit to England, 
and there, through his ability and adroitness, gained 

* ist Rabia I., 1309 H. 

MY LIFE 357 

such influence that Mr. Gladstone began to look upon 
him as a statesman, and met him with cordiality, and 
the two became fast friends, 

Soon afterwards Nawab Mehdi Husan Khan Fatteh 
Nawaz Jung, with his wife, reached England. He was 
quite as pushing a man as the Moulvi and in the 
capacity of a minister of Hyderabad, he presented his 
wife at the levee of the Queen Empress, and himself 
became a barrister in name, The pride of these Ministers 
knew no bounds ! There is a well-known story of a sparrow. 
Once upon a time a sparrow which was one-eyed, picked 
up a pearl, and placing it in the cavity where its other eye 
should have been, cried aloud, "Jhe Thing that I have, 
is not possessed even by a Rajah. 11 m 

The powers which were granted the Prime Minister, 
he delegated to these men. 

The city people who were simple folk, had not the 
capacity to intrigue. They said their prayers five times a 
day, and prayed for deliverance ; but the Pardasis, 
girding up their loins prepared for the fray. The faction 
of which Mohsin-ul-Mulk was the leader, was the first to 
advance, and he, and Mohd. Siddik, the engineer, and 
Syed Ali Bilgrami, worked so well together, that the life 
of this Ministry was cut short. A Bengali named Mitra, 
who was in very straitened circumstances, became a tool 
in their hands, and wrote a pamphlet and got it published 
(i3th March, 1892) about Fatteh Nawaz Jung and his 
wife, in which the facts of their early life were depicted. 
The reason for this was the fact that a Mr. Plowden, a 
crafty gentleman, had come in place of Sir Dennis as 
Resident for a short period. 

The author and Mr. Syed Hussain were the two men 
who knew facts connected with this lady, and as the Syed 
was completely in favour of the Ministry, suspicion there- 
fore fell on me. As the trite saying goes, " The monkey is 
made responsible for the misfortunes that fall on the 

stable. 1 ' ^ . ... 

It was on going to the station on some business, that 
I heard of the publication of this pamphlet, and that 
the Resident had called for an explanation in regard 
to this woman's presentation at the " Drawing-room 
of the Queen-Empress, this being considered an act 
derogatory to the Queen-Empress. 

258 MY LIFE 

Fatteh Nawaz Jung was called upon to produce 
evidence and to contradict the pamphlet. 

On the third or fourth day Moulvi Ekbal All, an 
important member of the faction supporting the ministry, 
called on me, and said that Nawab Vikar-ul-Mulk and 
Nawab Fatteh Nawaz Jung had ordered that I should be 
cited as witness to contradict the pamphlet ; and he asked 
me to obey, and give the evidence as requested, saying 
that otherwise the responsibility would be mine. I replied 
in the words of Anwari (a famous Persian poet) : 

" Every misfortune that descends from the 
sky, although it may be aimed at another, before 
it reaches the earth, asketh where the house of 
Anwari is situated." 

And I added that he might tell those Ministers of royal 
dignity, that even my angels were not aware when, how, 
and where that pamphlet was published, or who was 
responsible for the disgraceful matter ; and that I did 
not care either to certify to its truth or to contradict it, but 
that if they worried me, then, God willing, they should 
rue the day. 

After Moulvi Ekbal Ali had left me, the Prime Minister 
summoned me, and, not wishing to displease him, I 
attended his Durbar. 

At first Mushtak Hussain took me aside to speak to me, 
and tried to threaten and frighten me. I replied, in the 
words of Firdausi, " Where have you seen brave men fight ? 
You have remained self-satisfied with your strength ! " 

And I asked him not to worry me in my retirement, 
or else the result would not be good for him. 

After this, he took me into the room to meet the 
Minister, and made some sign to him which I happened 
to see. 

The Prime Minister asked me whether I knew Fatteh 
Nawaz Jung's wife. I replied that he should not put 
that question to me that many gentlemen of Lucknow 
and of the Oudh service were living, whose knowledge of 
me and whose statements regarding me would be a 
sufficient answer to the accusation. 

He flushed, and said that I should have to give my 

I then said that if I were forced to do so, I should have 

MY LIFE 259 

to say that her name was Miss . . . and that she led 
a fast life. 

At my reply the Moulvi began to turn his sleeves, and 
the Nawab's face reddened. 

The Prime Minister and he (Moulvi Mushtak Hussain) 
then declared that I was the author of this pamphlet. 
I replied that neither was I the author nor had I any 
knowledge of its publication or who the author was ; 
but that I knew one thing, and, if my impertinence would 
not cause me to be hanged, I would speak out, in consider- 
ation of my loyal sentiments towards him, the Prime 

The Prime Minister asked me what it was. 

I said that if this case were filed, and I were forced to 
give evidence, then this ministry at least would not remain 
in power. And having said this, I rose, made my salaam, 
and went outside. 

The Moulvi followed me, and said that I had cut my 
throat with my own hands. I quoted this couplet to 
him : 

" The Day of Judgment, Friend, is close upon us. 
How will the blood of the innocent be hidden ? 
If the ruffian's tongue remains silent, the blood 
staining the sleeve will cry out ! " 

And wishing him good-bye, I returned home, anxious 
and worried. 

That night I dreamt that I was driving in a gilt car- 
riage, drawn by a pair of beautiful horses, with one of my 
acquaintances, and that I visited Moulvi Mushtak Hus- 
sain's house ; and that the Moulvi dressed in soiled 
clothes and with a dirty turban on his head, approached 
my carriage, and entrusted to me a lot of papers that he 
had brought out under his arm. 

I then dreamt that the carriage flew to a great height, 
and that it then turned into an elephant, and that that 
elephant, flying, took me to Ceylon. There I alighted 
in one of the big hotels. Then I awoke. 

I spoke about this dream the next morning to my 
Murshid (May peace be on him I ) and he replied that 
God might make this dream welcome to me and the result 
might be good. 

At that time I could not understand the meaning of 

260 MY LIFE 

what he said, but during my stay at Ajmere a saintly 
gentleman explained its meaning to me. 

To be brief, the next day a written order of the 
Minister reached me, that I should without delay produce 
my written statement before him. Now, I thought to 
myself I was in for trouble, 

In these compelling circumstances, I was obliged to 
dress and go to the Royal Palace ; and strange to say, 
immediately on my being announced, His Highness 
summoned me to his room. 

When my eyes fell on His Highness's countenance, 
I received a shock, because not only were there tears in 
his eyes, but his face was as white as if there were not a 
drop of blood left in it, and great weakness was apparent 
in his voice. 

My eyes became full of tears at the sight, but on my 
enquiring after his health, His Highness replied that he 
would tell me about it, but that, first I must let him know 
why I came ; and he added that he himself had wanted 
to summon me. 

I said how could I speak about myself since I found 
His Highness in that state, and he replied that that did 
not matter, as he was going to speak about himself to me. 

I then informed His Highness of all the facts, and also 
placed before him the order of the Minister asking for 
my written statement with regard to Mrs. Mehdi Hussain. 

His Highness said that Asman Jah had no right to 
meddle with me without his permission, since I belonged 
to the Palace, and he was glad that I had brought the 
order back to him. He then picked up the Arzdasht 
(official docket) of the Minister from the table (it was in 
the handwriting of Moulvi Mushtak Hussain), and gave 
it to me. It was to the effect that a case should be insti- 
tuted against me, Server Jung. 

His Highness told me not to be afraid, and to write 
down without hesitation what I knew of the matter. 

He then asked me to hear what he had to say. 

Moulvi Mushtak Hussain and Mehdi Hussain and the 
Resident had unnecessarily lowered him in the eyes of 
the public, and, for the sake of a trifle of a diamond, had 
forced him to give his deposition without any advantage, 
as the case was still going on. His Highness added that the 
shock of it had reduced him to that condition. 

MY LIFE 261 

I humbly suggested that if he commanded, I, his 
devoted servant, would get the case concluded. Yakub 
Beg Subanji was then in Hyderabad, and I would bring 
him over and make him fall at the feet of His Highness in 
order that he might be pardoned, and then send the diamond 
to the safe custody of his Treasury. This would spring a 
surprise on those who wished to prolong the case. 

His Highness said, " Do what you can quickly/' 

Accordingly I acted as above, and the matter ended. 

Now the other case began, which not only destroyed 
the present ministry, but changed the policy of the British 
Government as well. 

In the past during the reign of Nawab Asaf Jah 
Bahadur, I suspect that Prime Minister was merely a 
clerk of the Sovereign, who kept himself fully engaged with 
the administration of the State ; but gradually the Min- 
ister was granted executive powers. Mir Alum* a recent 
arrival from Persia, was a far-sighted statesman. He cut 
himself adrift from the French, and began to cultivate 
the friendship of the British, with whom he entered into 
treaties with perfect equality. Raja Chandoo Lai, who 
was then working as the Minister's Assistant, was also a 
shrewd and clever man, and having made the Minister 
the queen of the chess-board, he then replaced him in the 
favours of the Sovereign for, although he continued to 
bear the title of the Peshkar, he had in fact taken into his 
hands the whole administrative machinery. 

Apart from the subsidiary force which, under the 
treaty, was stationed in Bolarum, the " Contingent " 
came into existence at Secunderabad. For the payment 
and upkeep of this force, Berarsf was handed over to the 

*i4th Rabusani, 1082 H. Died 4th Kabuiani, nCi II. Reigned 
1133 H. Prime Minister 4th Rabiibam, 1219 H. 

\Berars. The final act in a long official controversy, which had 
for its object the permanent retention of the Berars by the Govern- 
ment of India, can be described as follows: Twenty years arur 
Lord Ripon's visit, another Vicregal visit was paid to Hyderabad, 
and the Nizam was pressed by Lord Curzon, at the close of an 
entertainment at the palace, to accord him a peipetual lease of the 
provinces for the Indian Government, and the Kizam, in deference 
to his guest, verbally consented. In the morning, however, he would 
have recalled his promise, and it was only on compulsion that he 
signed the treaty laid before him as a omding document by the 
Resident. The form of a lease was chosen to evade Lord Ripon's 

262 MY LIFE 

British, who then made the Raja a medium of correspon- 
dence between the two Governments, which meant that 
the Resident, in important matters, personally presented 
the Viceroy's " Kharetta," written in Persian and addres- 
sed to the Ruler, in open Durbar, and in all other matters 
corresponded with the Dewan ; and the Dewan, in his 
turn, if he considered any matter of great importance, 
would, either through his Vakil or occasionally by himself 
report the same to His Highness or else he acted in- 
dependently according to the exigencies of the moment. 

Raja Chandoo Lai, attained such power and influence 
that even the city came to be called "Chandoo Lai's 
Hyderabad/ 1 

These conditions prevailed up to the time of His 
Highness Secunder Jah* ; and the British Government 
also acted on the policy of making the Dewan responsible 
for the maintenance of peace and order of the State. 
H.H. Nasir-ud-dowlah,| however, took interest in admin- 
istrative matters, but the powers of the Dewan continued 
to be maintained as before, and the policy of the British 
Government gained increasing strength ; and when, 
during the regime of H.H. Afzul-ud-dowlahJ, Mir Turab Ali 
Khan Salar Jung Shuja-ud-dowlah Mukhtar-ul-Mulk, a 
truly loyal and far-sighted man, became in 1264 H., the 
Dewan, the British Government still strongly maintained 
their policy. After H.H. Afzul-ud-dowlah's death, the 
Council of Regency was established, and the Minister 
and Nawab Amir-i-Kabir Omdut-ul-Mulk were respective- 
ly Regent and Co-regent. During this period British policy 
assumed, as it were permanency, this being partly due 
to the course followed by Nawab Omdut-ul-Mulk, who 
treated the Minister as his own son, and left him to manage 

honest assurances at the time of the Installation, and there are many 
precedents for the subterfuge. The Nizam, it is rumoured, refused 
for four days to take food after this occurrence. The establishment 
of the Subsidiary force and the handing over and the retention of 
the Berars, is too well-known a matter to be given " in extenso," 
and later developments are of so recent a date that they need not be 
dilated upon. 

*Born ist Rajab, 1182 H. Reigned 1218 H. Died iyth Zikhad, 
1224 H. 

f24th Zikhad, 1144. Died 22nd Ramzan, 1212 H. 

JBorn 3oth Rabusani, 1243 H. Reigned 24th Ranuan, 1273 H. 
Died I3th Zikhad, 1285. 

MY LIFE 263 

the whole administration without interference on his part 
though the Minister, in consideration of the Nawab's 
elderly position, kept him informed of all matters and 
partly to the personality of the Minister himself, who was 
well-versed in political science, and in the art of diplomacy 
equal to European Statesmen. At any rate, the principle 
that came to be followed was this, that the Prime Minister 
was responsible for the maintenance of peace and order 
in the State, while the Ruler's signature was in important 
matters taken as a formality. The latter's signature was 
in other matters dispensed with, an entry made in the 
" Siahah " (Register) of the Palace being considered 

Nawab Laik AH Khan, who was in high favour with the 
Sovereign enjoyed greater powers than his father, and the 
Ministers who followed him also coveted to govern des- 
potically. This form of Government according even to Sir 
Richard Meade, was against all principles of Sovereignty, 
but at the time of Sir Salar Jung, it was not only necessary 
on grounds of political exigency but also essential for the 
maintenance of peace within the dominions. 

A conversation that I had with Sir Richard Meade will 
prove interesting to the readers. For some reason or 
another, Dame Rumour had it that Sir Salar Jung wanted 
his daughter, who was noted for her beauty, to marry His 
Highness, and that " conversations " had proceeded 
through Tahniyat Yavar-ud-dowlah with the grand-mother 
of His Highness. Sir Salar Jung was, indeed, expecting 
to be asked for the hand of his daughter, when, quite by 
chance, the times of Sir Richard Meade and Amir-i-Kabir 
Rashnid-ud-din Khan intervened, and these proved a 
period of so much anxiety for the Minister that he 
almost wished himself dead. 

I called on Sir Richard, as was customary with me, 
and he asked me what I knew of this talk of marriage. I 
said on the spur of the moment that it would do no harm. 
Sir Richard was put out, and asked me whether any 
Nizam was married at His Highness's present age. I 
replied, that if the event came off during his tenure of 
office he would gain in reputation. 

He then declared that Sir Salar Jung, who was already 
" de facto" ruler would become "de jure 1 ' Sovereign 

364 MY LIFE 

as Well, and said, " Do you want him to be the Nizam ? " 
To that I replied that being a subordinate official, I and 
my wishes did not count. 

Then he began to deliver a lecture, and said that 
Salar Jung had brought the State to the verge of des- 
truction, and filled it with Purdasis, Hindustanis, and 
Madrassis and Parsis, and that the city people, on whom 
the prosperity of the State rested, were all getting worried 
and ruined ; and he declared that the statements of 
Shapurji and Amir-i-Kabir with regard to this were cor- 
rect. He also said that the real fact was, that the Mussul- 
mans had never possessed capacity either to rule or to 
reign nor was there any hope for them in the future. 
They ruled for two or three centuries and then their 
dominion was destroyed. 

His general and sweeping remarks made my vein of 
self-respect flutter, and asking whether any State in 
Europe could be said to have existed a thousand or 
two thousand years, I drew his attention to the Koran's 
injunction. I then said that, if he did not take 
it ill, and would pardon my impertinence, I would explain 
the question in a few short sentences. 

The early European historians, I stated, never under- 
stood Islamic principles of Government. Those who 
followed, however, had to some extent acquired knowledge 
of them, and profited by that knowledge. But then, on 
the other hand, the Islamic nations becoming involved 
in internecine wars, began to lose touch not only with the 
art of Government, but also with other arts and sciences. 
But why, I asked, should Islamic principles be blamed ? 

Sir Richard laughed, and sarcastically asked me what 
that principle was. 

I replied that the argument was lengthy, but that I 
would illustrate my meaning by referring to an historical 
incident mentioned by the French jeweller Tavernier, as 
having occurred while he was travelling through India. 
He wrote that when he reached Surat he was surrounded 
by the customs* officials, who, making an inventory of his 
belongings and giving the list to him, then took possession 
of his things. He raised objections to this, but they assured 
him that his things were not confiscated, but that he would 
be saved from the further trouble of guarding them ; and 
that he had only to show the inventory, and the customs' 

MY LIFE 265 

officials of any town at which he did so, would hand his 
things to him. But he was not satisfied with this, and said 
that he did not know what the Government might charge 
for freight, and that being a poor man, he would like 
to have his things with him, so that he might sell them at 
whatever price he believed profitable. They replied 
that all his things would be taken to Delhi at the Govern- 
ment expense, and would be given to him anywhere he 
wished he had only to show the inventory to the officials 
concerned, while he was free to go about unencumbered 
and enjoy himself on the way. 

I said to Sir Richard that, although his Government 
had started a system of insurance, the people whether rich 
or poor had yet to pay a certain percentage on the value, 
to enjoy the same privilege. And they also had to pay 
numerous taxes and other cesses. The Islamic and the 
British principles differed I ended, and Europe's knowledge 
of the principle on which the Islamic Commonwealth was 
based was still imperfect. 

"The rose prides itself on its beauty in the 
garden, Zowk, because it has not seen the beauty 
of others/' 

But Sir Richard still continued to criticize Salar Jung. 
As the maxim goes, " The tail of a dog can never get rid 
of its curve. 1 ' Among other things, he said that Sir Salar 
Jung was so fond of power, that he did not desire 
His Highness to take the administration into his own 
hands. To that I replied the policy of the Govern- 
ment was to blame; but Sir Richard controverted 
my statement, and said that it was so because the Nizam 
had no natural aptitude to govern. And he asked why 
our youthful Nizam was not given the necessary training 
and education. 

I, however, suggested that his criticism would not 
a PPty to His Highness Secunder Jah and His Highness 
Nasir-ud-dowlah, and I pointed out how during the 
regime of H.H. Afzul-ud-dowlah, the " budmashes " 
created a scene between the Ruler and the Minister ; but, 
I said, under an Islamic Government the Desi and the 
Pardesi, the Mulki and the Ghair Mulki, were meaningless 
terms. If a man were a Muslim he was a brother in Islam ; 
if a non-Muslim he enjoyed the rights of a "Zimmi" 

266 MY LIFE 

(protected subject). It did not matter to what country or 
nation he belonged. 

I left Sir Richard and came out. I saw Lady Meade in 
the drawing-room and had to stop and sit with her for a 
while. Her maiden name was Miss Malcolm, and she was 
the lady whom the late Minister's uncle (who was also his 
stepfather) had wished him, the late Minister, to 

Lady Meade also began to complain of the Minister's 
conduct and said that when Amir-i-Kabir visited them, he 
left his retainers outside the gate, while Salar Jung 
did not do so, and she suffered headaches from the tom- 
tom and the other noises made by his men. 

Now I return to my story. When Sir Asman Jah was 
honoured with the portfolio of the Prime Minister, he like 
his predecessors coveted to rule in a despotic manner. 
But he was not a well-read man, and was by nature, very 
reticent. He was, however, exceedingly dignified, and, with 
the exception of his favourites, no one, whether officials 
or non-officials could take the liberty to speak in his pre- 
sence in an off-hand manner. He strictly observed the 
rules and ceremonies in vogue at the durbars during the 
time of Omdut-ul-Mulk and Sir Salar Jung, of which he 
had personal knowledge. His ancestors always wore their 
distinctive turban, whether in private or in public, but 
he, after his return from England, began to wear a single 
round cap, either of silk or other cloth, with the Sherwani. 

After the death of Nawab Laik Ali Khan as luck would 
have it the State had a succession of Ministers who, owing 
to lack of experience and training, became chess queens 
in the hands of their Secretaries, to be moved about on the 
board at pleasure, the administration being entirely left to 
the Secretaries. In this connexion, Sir Asman Jah 
possessed one good quality, namely, that with the exception 
of those men whom I call lesser Ministers, he would not 
permit other Secretaries and officials to interfere. Besides, 
he was thoroughly loyal and truly self-sacrificing to His 
Highness, as compared with other noblemen. Hyderabad 
had acquired a bad reputation for intrigue, but these 
noblemen took no part in it. They were dull-witted and 
simple men, who, even in their household matters and 
daily life, were in need of the advice of others. 

These lesser ministers, drunk with power, worried His 

MY LIFE 267 

Highness in the diamond case to such an extent, that he 
became suspicious and displeased with his guiltless 
Minister. But they raised up a comparatively strong 
opposition composed of men as astute, clever and un- 
scrupulous as themselves men who made no distinction 
between right and wrong. These gentlemen were in- 
strumental in getting up a very disgraceful and immoral 
case, and then, holding themselves aloof, began to watch 
the fun. The trite saying, " Striking a match and throwing 
it on a thatched roof, and then viewing the scene from a 
distance/' well describes their action. They dragged 
me too into it, even though I led a retired life. 

In those days I possessed a big family, and had only 
my salary to fall back upon, for whatever my patron, 
the Minister (Sir Salar Jung the First), had given me in 
consideration of my services, I had spent on my house ; 
and these gentlemen did not even express their sympathy. 

In fact with the fan of intrigue they raised up a con- 
flagration. I was placed in the greater difficulty, 
because, having given my written statement and men- 
tioned my knowledge of facts, I had to prove every 
word of it, to clear myself. But, to my good luck, my apt 
pupil an Amir born of an Amir Nawab Sarfaraz Hussan 
Khan Fakhr-ul-Mulk Bahadur, in consideration of my 
services and loyalty to the State, came to my aid, and that 
without any idea of personal gain. 

The case (zist July, 1892) began in this way. Since 
His Highness had objected to any steps being taken 
against me, they brought one against the author, the 
Bengali Mitra, then, with Mr. Bosanquet, the first Assis- 
tant Resident,appointed the presiding judge, Colonel Dobbs, 
Mr, Templeton, and others, who were against the present 
ministry, engaged Mr. Norton, of Madras, and Mr. Edge- 
low a solicitor of Bombay, on behalf of Mitra. It is not 
known who sent for these gentlemen. The suspicion was 
that those in the intrigue took the responsibility of bearing 
the expenses, and then, when my name was mixed up in 
the case, they slipped away, as if they had no concern 
whatever with it. Mr. Edgelow and Mr. Norton then came 
to me. I told them I had not the means to pay their fees 
and to shoulder the whole burden of the case, and that it 
was only possible for me to pay them a little from time to 
time, while promising that, after the conclusion of the 

268 MY LIFE 

case, I would recommend them if possible, to the generosity 
of the State ; and that if they consented to these conditions, 
they should attend the Court on behalf of Mitra. And these 
two brillliant and clever men, accepted the conditions. 

Fatteh Nawaz Jung immediately left for Lucknow, 
in order to use his Hyderabad influence and prestige 
to win over the well-to-do and influential people 
of Lucknow to give evidence according to his wishes. 
It would not have been surprising if the Lucknow 
people had done so, and fallen victims to his inducements 
of future benefits. 

Messrs. Norton and Edgclow also advised me that the 
real issue ought to be fought out in Lucknow, and for 
that reason they wished to be allowed to go there ; and 
it was while I was thrown into anxiety over how to meet 
this great expenditure, that Nawab Fakar-ul-Mulk Bahadur 
recognising my helplessness, came to my rescue. 

I may say that His Highness had also intended to 
help me, but on the advice of Mr. Palmer, I did not 
consider it expedient or advisable to involve His Highness's 
name in the filthy case. 

I let my brother, Mirza Sajjid Beg, accompany Mr. 
Norton to Lucknow, where the case was heard and it was 
conducted by Mr. Norton in such a sensational manner, 
that I have heard that a book like a novel was written by 
some person who possessed a humorous turn of mind. 

To be brief, Fatteh Nawaz Jung was decisively beaten 
in Lucknow, and our men returned triumphantly bringing 
with them excellent evidence. When the time for tending 
the " defence evidence " arrived, I summoned two or 
three witnesses from Lucknow and produced them before 
the Court. 

While this was going on, I called on Mr. Plowden. 
This was my first meeting with this clairvoyant Resident, 
whose policy was the cause of these proceedings. 
He received me courteously and after hearing my 
view of the case, sympathised with me and held out 
hopes of support. He appeared as if displeased with the 
Prime Minister, and especially with those whom we had 
been calling the lesser Ministers. 

Now on the one hand the case proceeded merrily, and 
on the other, His Highness commanded me to remain at 
the palace both day and night ; and he entrusted to me 

MY LIFE 269 

all " Arzdasht " (correspondence) which from time to time 
reached him from the Minister, commanding me to 
criticize and check these communications properly. 
Henceforth the Royal commands began to be issued with 
critical circumspection ; and then, and then alone, I 
became aware that His Highness was resolved to take the 
administration into his own Royal hands. At the same 
time, Sir Khurshed Jah made ready to offer his advice, 
and Nawab Fakhr-ul-Mulk also came forward to help to 
put matters right. 

It was now found necessary to frame the " Qanooncha 
Mubarak " (" The Auspicious Code ")* and the humble 
author was commanded to draw it up, so that, from the 
Prime Minister downwards, each official might discharge 
his duties intelligently, and conscious of the fact that his 
power had a limit which could not be overstepped. By 
this means it was thought to put an end to the intrigue, 
which had established itself since the death of Sir Salar 
Jung the First. 

I am here reminded of a conversation I had with the 
latter. The fact was, that Raja Girdari Lall, alias Bansi 
Raja, who called himself the elder daughter-in-law of the 
State, and who concerned himself with all the affairs, 
opened a factory for the manufacture of small arms, and 
other implements, and after a great deal of search and 
painstaking engaged experts. 

Now since the establishment of the British Raj, the 
Indians, whether Hindu or Muslim, had learnt the art of 
blackmailing and spying, which arts they practised in order 
to ingratiate themselves with the British officials, with the 
result that those who did not indulge in these practices 
could not rise from the post of a Tahsildar to that of a 
Deputy Collector. Such a condition of things was not 
so very harmful in British India, but it was very dangerous 
in the Native States, where not even the Ruling Chiefs were 
immune from its baneful effects. And so it happened that 
" informers " carried reports of this factory to Sir 
Richard Meade, and as a consequence the institution was 
closed down, while to the charge sheet against the Minister 
one more count was added. 

When I visited His Excellency, he said, when our own 

* 1310 H. (1892 A.D.* 

270 MY LIFE 

men were so short-sighted and disloyal, what right had 
we to complain of the conduct of strangers ? He added 
that it was laughable to think that the factory was worked 
to collect war materials to be used against the British 
Government. Could he, with such a small factory manage 
to manufacture sufficient material to fight a great Empire. 

I suggested that the city people did not even know 
the road that led to the Residency, and possessed no 
aptitude for such dirty work i.e., " informing " and 
that some stranger from outside must have done it. 

He replied that even outsiders were either servants 
of the State or were connected with the Residency. 
But were they, these outsiders separate from us in nation- 
ality or religion ? Did we not share our advantages with 
them ? But the misfortune was not ours only. If His 
Majesty of Persia got annoyed with anyone, he fled for 
protection to the Russian, German, French, or English 
Embassy ; or if H.M. the Sultan of Turkey showed his dis- 
pleasure, the men whether rich or poor, took shelter with 
the Foreign Ambassador. Such men possessed neither 
patriotism for their country nor love for their religion. 
and these were the two qualities on which the pro- 
gress of a nation was based. 

He proceeded to say that although we and our conduct, 
dress and speech were good, that although the earth we 
walked upon, the sky under which we lived, and even the 
climate we enjoyed, were good, yet it was patriotism for 
one's nation and country that united one individual to 
another, and one group to another, and created unity 
of action and a sense of solidarity ; while love for one's 
religion was a thing for which man was willing to sacrifice 
himself, his wealth, and his progeny. 

He admitted that in our country men of various 
religions and communities, such as Christians, Jews, 
Hindus and Parsis, lived and worked, but it was possible 
he said to remain firm in one's religion, and yet be patriotic 
enough to settle differences between ourselves, so as 
to be safe from the interference of the foreigner. 

I suggested that the education, character-building 
and enlightenment of the community lay in the 
hands of the officials, the nobles, and the well-to-do 

His Excellency was agreeably surprised, and began to 


talk more confidingly to me. He said that that was the 
very ideal he was striving for, but that the road which he 
was perforce traversing led to far and distant results, and life 
was temporary and unreliable. He could not say what course 
his successor would pursue, but if he were to give vent to 
his desire, hidden as it was in his heart, and brought it 
into light, he would have, on the one hand, to face the 
powerful British lion and on the other, to contend against 
the nobles, who were pillars of the State, and equal to him 
in prestige and rank. He agreed that these were the men in 
whose hands lay the destiny of the nation, but, sunk in 
crass ignorance, and utterly oblivious of the duties and 
responsibilities of life, they led such selfish and pleasure- 
seeking lives, that they were not a good example to the 
people. They were the men who formed an opposition and 
stumbling-block in his path. 

His Excellency added that he could conceive no remedy 
that would make these gentlemen sec the folly of their 
ways, and so the one alternative left to him, was for him to 
carry out his desires when his Highness whom God 
grant a long life ! took the administration into his own 
hands. But how could he say whether he would live to 
see that day ? 

I quoted this couplet : 

" If you attain what you are in search of, 
be it to thy credit ; but if you fail to achieve it, 
may thy efforts win approbation " 

He replied that although he was exerting himself 
he felt that the education and enlightenment of the 
nation was beyond his powers and he therefore turned 
his attention to objects more attainable and obvious 
such as the reform of the police, the Revenue and Judicial 
Departments, and the organization and promotion of the 
revenues of the State for the maintenance of law and 

I said that this was the work of a Karkoon (a secretary, 
a clerk), and was easy of attainment in these days, because 
the rules, regulations, law and procedure, enforced in 
the departments of British India could be copied ; while 
men of capacity and experience, from far and near, 
would flock to him, in the hope of receiving encouragement 
at his hands men who could apply those rules with 

2 7 2 MY LIFE 

variations to suit local conditions. But I suggested that, 
His Excellency being a statesman, he would not, even if 
he gave all his time from morning till midnight, find leisure 
for such matters of policy as the education of the masses, 
the material prosperity of the ryots, the raising of the 
standard of living, and other civilizing influences. There 
was a vast difference between a " Karkoon " and a 
" Karferma " (statesman). 

His Excellency agreed, and said that I had stolen the 
very ideas from the storehouse of his mind. 

Then, continuing, he said that the reason for his creat- 
ing assistant-ministerships, and appointing thereto noble- 
men like Bashir-ud-dowlah, Mukram-ud-dowlah, Sham- 
sheer Jung, and Shahab Jung, was this, that these young 
noblemen should acquire experience in routine work, so 
that he might have leisure to attend to other duties. 

His ambition was to frame a Constitution for the State 
which, based on our ancestral principles, but modified 
to suit present day conditions would be binding on our 

But His Excellency thought there were several ob- 
stacles in the way. First, the Ruler was of tender age, 
and he the Minister, was merely his representative. If 
he were to frame a Constitution, and enforce it under his 
signature, how far and to what extent would it be binding 
on the subjects and the succeeding generations ? Secondly 
while he admitted that honest and well-intentioned 
men could be found to help him, they would be men either 
with experience only in the particular line they had worked 
on, or mere Moulvis, fit only to discuss theological ques- 
tions. He added, that to search for and secure an all- 
round efficient man would require the lifetime of Noah 
and the patience of Job. 

However, two important matters were befpre them ; 
first the framing of the Constitution for the progress and 
permanency of the State ; and secondly, the education 
of the masses, so as to make them patriotic and self- 
respecting. But these were like the fire-ordeals (Haft 
Khan) of Rustom His Highness was the Rustom who 
could safely overcome them. 

His Excellency said that it was not statesmanship 
to imitate what prevailed elsewhere, or to establish new 
and strange departments, or to make regulations for the 

MY LIFE 273 

transfer of officials and changes in the staff, and to 
reduce daily expenditure. He wanted men like Sir T. 
Mahdeva Rao or Sir Jung Bahadur,* who, far-sighted 
statesmen as they were, would never hurry things through, 
but would appreciate the principles on which their ances- 
tors worked, while at the same time being perfectly 
aware of the demands of modern times. 

He added that he did not require men who obtained 
high degrees from colleges and universities, or those who 
went to Europe and came back showering praise on 
foreign customs and institutions, and wishing to introduce 
the same without applicability or suitability to local 
conditions. Was it possible to dress a younger brother in 
the suit of the elder, without first putting the suit into 
shipshape order ? You wanted an expert of Mahdeva 
Rao's calibre to cut and trim the suit of a man, men of 
Abul Fasl's and Todar Mull's capacity to make a new 

His Excellency then said that he would like to do many 
things, but what about the " purring " lion who sat 
across the river ? 

After his death I often made reference to the above 
conversation to Maharaja Narinder Pershad, but the Raja 
was not given time, and was soon disposed of by those who 
intrigued against him. 

The same was the case with the late Minister's son, 
Nawab Laik Ali Kahn. He was like a fresh and blooming 
rose, with scent and colour, which the merciless men 
plucked and threw away. 

In short the command was issued that I, according 
to the views of Sir Salar'Jung I. and Raja Narinder Pershad, 
should prepare a draft of a constitution for His Highness's 
consideration ; and accordingly the first portion of the 

* Mahdeva Rao. After the death of Khande Rao, the Gaekwar 
of Baroda, whose loyalty to the British Government was conspicuous, 
the affairs of the State fell under mismanagement, which led to 
the deportation of the late Gaekwar, Mallier Rao, and to his deten- 
tion as a State prisoner. An adopted son was placed on the throne, 
with the Princess Jamna Bai as regent ; and a very able Minister, 
one of the best in India, was appointed to conduct the administra- 
tion which is accordingly prospering. (Vide p. 71 of " India in 
1880," by Sir Richard Temple, Bart.). 

Raja Jung Bahadur of Nepal. The State was for many years 
ruled by a soldier-statesman, Jung Bahadur, with a rod of iron. 


274 MY LIFE 

" Quanoonacha Mubarak " received Royal sanction and 
was sent to the Press. 

At that time a gentleman, who wished to be my assis- 
tant, introduced quite accidentally an ordinary sentence 
of legal phraseology without my knowledge. This sentence 
was like a patch of coarse cloth stitched on to a Cashmere 
shawl. As all the copies had been printed I humbly re- 
quested His Highness to pardon me for the mistake that 
had crept in. This is how the " Quanooncha Mubarak " 
came into existence. 

Now there was only one difficulty that presented 
itself. After the death of Sir Salar Jung the First, the 
barn-yard of the Residency was taken possession by the 
fighting cocks (intriguers), and whoever first gained the 
Resident's ear won the game. Up till now the opposition 
had directed their efforts against the influence which the 
lesser ministers had acquired, but, after the " Quanooncha- 
Mubarak " came into force, their attention was directed 
towards me, and they began to conspire in secret, for 
they saw that if His Highness took the reins of Govern- 
ment into his own hand, and put an end to the despotic 
rule of the Minister, then their position on the chess-board 
would dwindle to that of pawns, and the influence and 
prestige which they had enjoyed from here right away to 
England, would be ruthlessly destroyed ; and this would 
be done, they believed, by me, Server Jung. They 
said to themselves, as the poet has it : 

" We had no suspicion of this from a weak piece 
of straw." 

Accordingly a few European officers who had got into 
service through the recommendation of these gentlemen, 
introduced themselves into the Council of their patrons, 
and some Englishmen who, not in the service, were in 
straitened circumstances and living on the generosity of 
these men, began to write lengthy articles to the " Pioneer/' 
"Times of India/' and other papers, while the Resident 

With him, discipline and order were the first objects, rather than 
equity and moderation. The former, however, having been per- 
manently secured, gradually led to the introduction of the latter, 
until his regime became famed for its justice. In this instance the 
old native ways were followed, and no attempt was made to imitate 
the British model in civil affairs. (Vide p. 74 of " India in 1880," 
by Sir Richard Temple, Dart.) . 

MY LIFE 275 

was pressed to maintain the past policy of interference. 

And again I was forced to think of my safety. As good 
luck would have it, Mr. Plowden had for some special 
reason in connexion with Mehdi Hussain's case, become 
favourable to me ; and so I first advised His Highness to 
obtain Mr. Plowden's opinion with regard to the framing 
of the " Quanooncha Mubarak/' and then, although this 
gentleman had a vindictive nature, and had played his 
game in Baghdad and Kashmir, I suggested that, as he 
was here only for a few months in an officiating capacity, 
His Highness might bring him under his obligation by 
writing a letter to the Viceroy, asking the latter to let 
Mr. Plowden remain here till the completion of the 
" Quanooncha Mubarak/' 

His Highness approved of my humble suggestion, and 
for a few days the door of intrigue was kept tightly closed. 
Nevertheless, Mr. Plowden was influenced against me by 
what was carried to him by my opponents, which had 
its effect on me later on. For the present, when these 
gentlemen saw that their intrigue had no effect on me, 
they included Moulvi Mehdi Ali Khan, Mohsin-ul-Mulk, 
in their consultations, and he began to visit me more 
than it was usual for him ; seeing my house poorly 
furnished no chandeliers, no tables, and no cosy couches 
and chairs he expressed his regret and sympathy at 
my poverty in not being able to afford these things. At 
every interview he would refer to my impecunious con- 
dition, and to the fact of my possessing a large family, 
while at the same time, he would hold up Afsur Jung as 
a model, and set forth what a luxurious, comfortable 
life he was able to live. 

However, one day, as I lay suffering from gout, and 
had not even the strength to turn myself on my bed, 
Mirza Gazanfar Ali Beg, who was Moulana's (Mohsin-ul- 
Mulk) confidant, came to me. At that time Mr. Palmer, 
the Barrister, was sitting close to me, but on the Mirza's 
saying that he wished to see me alone, Mr. Palmer with- 
drew. The Mirza then closed all the doors, and taking 
out a bundle wrapped in red cloth from his pocket, placed 
it before me. 

I enquired what the matter was, why he had closed the 
doors and what that bundle meant. In reply, he asked me 
to open the bundle and see for myself. 

276 MY LIFE 

Although I could not properly use my hand because of 
the pain, I opened the bundle and found that it contained a 
lot of currency notes tied together in small packets. 

I was shocked, and looked at the Mirza, and then he 
stated that the Moulana sent his salaams (compliments) to 
me, and said that my foolishness exceeded all bounds. And 
having added that Sir Asman Jah was very sorry to hear 
of my straitened circumstances, the Mirza asked me not 
to consider this as a bribe, but only a friendly gift of money 
which he wished me to spend on my children's education. 
He then said that the Nawab Sahib did not wish me to 
do any work for him and that this was a disinterested 
gift. They and the Nawab Sahib, myself included, he 
went on, were all loyal and devoted servants of His 
Highness, and that if the course which I was pursuing was 
for the good of the State, then they were ready to assist 
and help me ; indeed, he suggested that the interest of all 
should be identical, that is, to serve the Ruler and the State 
loyally and well 

While he was delivering this lecture full of advice to me, 
I felt so shocked that my mind and brain refused to work, 
and in this helpless and worried state I laid myself flat 
on my back on the bed. Just then, by God's mercy, it sud- 
denly occurred to me it was as if I were inspired that 
since a stranger had brought and handed these notes to 
me, their numbers must have been noted by several per- 
sons, and if I were now to return them, I should have no 
evidence of my having done so, whereas my friends would 
be in possession of proof to the contrary. I therefore asked 
the Mirza to count the notes. 

He said there were 80 notes of Rs.iooo each, and he pro- 
ceeded to count and show them to me. This done, he again 
put them back in the wrapper, and then placed them under 
my pillow. He then congratulated me, and $aid that, 
with me, with His Highness and the Moulana, with the 
Prime Minister, the work of administration would, with 
mutual co-operation, go on excellently. 

I replied that he should convey my salaams to the 
Moulana, and tell him that though I had kept the money, 
I was not in the slightest degree obliged to him, and that 
he had put a stain on my lifelong service which it would 
be impossible for me to wash away. I then asked the 

MY LIFE 277 

Mirza to go, and he left me, saying that the Moulana was 
right in placing my name first in the list of stupid 

I now called in Mr. Palmer. He had brought some appli- 
cation, which I, however, sent to my office at once, and 
then told him of all that had passed. He turned pale 
and declared that I was done for, and that I could not 
possibly save myself. He said that I ought not to have 
touched the notes, but should have turned the messenger 
out of the house. 

In reply to that I told him what I had planned to do, 
namely that as soon as I recovered from my painful 
condition, I would present these notes as " Nuzzer " to His 
Highness. Mr. Palmer agreed that my idea was excellent, 
but he warned me not to delay a single moment, and to 
go at once. Accordingly I ordered a " [ alld " (a palanquin), 
which was brought close to the steps. Mr. Palmer and 
my servants then lifted me from the bed and carried me to 
the head of the stairs, but there I fainted, and they were 
forced to lay me on the bed again. 

Just then the telephone bell rang. Mr. Palmer answered 
the call, and Abid the Nizam's valet spoke from the other 
side, saying that His Highness commanded my presence for 
some urgent work at the palace. Mr. Palmer replied that 
Server Jung was just then lying unconscious, but that 
the moment he came to, he would be informed of the 
message. When I became conscious they informed me of 
His Highness's command, and I immediately telephoned 
that, if possible, I would attend on His Highness in the 
afternoon. I could not, however, go that day. 

The next morning I thought to myself that death was 
preferable to living with the sword of Damocles hanging 
over my head, and that the disaster must at all costs be 
averted. To be brief, Misri Khan and others, lifting me 
bodily, placed me in the " palki " and then, when I reached 
the palace, I was placed on a chair and carried to His High- 
ness's office-room in the Afzul Mahal Palace, my chair 
being placed close to his Highness's. 

Just then His Highness entered the room, and seeing 
me in that pitiable condition, expressed his regret. 

I said that I had something urgent to tell him, but that 
first I humbly solicited to know why His Highness had 
summoned me. His Highness said that a letter from 

278 MY LIFE 

Mr. Plowden had come, intimating that he wished to 
attend the meetings of the Cabinet Council, so that he 
could fully explain to the Councillors how to carry on the 
work. His Highness continued that he had also spoken to 
him on the subject at the audience he had with him the 
other day. 

I humbly suggested that that would be a dangerous 

His Highness replied that he had already given him an 
oral promise. 

I again respectfully pointed out that His Highness 
should consider the consequences that would follow this 
action. I submitted that Mr. Plowden would act as the 
chairman, and that not one of the Councillors possessed 
Laik AH Khan's courage to differ from him, and he would 
attend at any time he chose. Who could then stop him ? 
Besides, his inclusion would become a precedent for the 
other Residents to follow, and a general outcry against this 
introduction of British rule would result. After thinking 
for awhile His Highness said, " What you say is correct." 
Accordingly my advice among other things displeased 
Mr. Plowden. 

Then I sent for my box and respectfully presented the 
bundle to His Highness. He asked what it was. I begged 
of its acceptance as my " Nuzzer," and requested him to 
open and see. 

His Highness opened the parcel, and after cointing 
the notes fixed his gaze on me. I then said that Sir Asman 
Jah the Prime Minister had given me Rs.8o,ooo in cur- 
rency notes as a reward, and as I was not entitled to it, I 
took the liberty of presenting the same to His Highness. 

His Highness's face reddened, and he commanded 
Abid to summon Asman Jah at once. I implored him ear- 
nestly not to do so, but for the present to Accept my 
statement. I submitted that, as Sir Asman Jah was not 
only the Prime Minister of the day, but was also a noble 
of high rank and related to the Royal family, he would, to 
save his " izzat " (honour) think nothing of spending ten or 
twenty lakhs. Besides I was alone, and on the other side, 
there was a group of shrewd, clever and enterprising 
men, Sir Asman Jah would come to no harm, but I should 
be ruined. 

His Highness then asked what should be done. 

MY LIFE 279 

I submitted that this money was given to me for a 
specific purpose, that is, that I should try to find a 
" modus operand! " between His Highness and Sir Asman 
Jah, so that the latter, like his predecessors, could rule 
independently, and the enforcement of the " Quanooncha 
Mubarak " might remain in abeyance. 

His Highness said that Sir Asman Jah's independence 
would mean the independence of the officials. 

I replied there could be no doubt that since the death 
of Sir Salar Jung I. they had enjoyed unlimited power and 
great prestige, and I suggested that if His Highness wrote 
a letter in the usual manner to Sir Asman Jah, it would 
lead them to believe that I had begun to work in their 
favour, and the net which they had spread to catch me 
would enmesh them instead. I then pointed out that the 
move on the part of these gentlemen was to get what they 
desired, accomplished through me, and then bringing a 
charge of bribery, to ruin me completely. But if His High- 
ness wrote the letter, and also sanctioned a few of their 
proposals, they would be taken unawares, and would be 
soon drowned in the well they had dug for me. 

His Highness said that he could not now retain Sir 
Asman Jah in office. 

I submitted that he was guiltless, and, that even if he 
were not it would do no harm if His Highness stayed his 
hand for a short while, as I proposed to take Mr. Plowden 
also into confidence. 

His Highness said, " Yes, see what advice he gives." 

I took my departure, and went direct to the Residency 
in my painful condition. 

Mr. Plowden at the sight of me, also expressed his 
sorrow, and asked what had brought me to see him in 
that condition ; and I then reiterated the whole story to 

He jumped out of his chair, and asked me whether I 
had kept the money. I replied that there was no alterna- 
tive, but that I had given the money to His Highness. 
He then sat down satisfied, and said that it was necessary 
for him to report the matter to the foreign office, and that 
His Highness should likewise call on Sir Asman Jah for 
an explanation. 

I suggested that if he did so a storm would be caused, 
and the work of the administration, which was in the hands 

2 8o MY LIFE 

of these men, might be brought to a standstill. I added 
that I conjectured that at an opportune moment they 
would, through some means or other, accuse me of bribery 
and then report to him, when he could call for my explana- 
tion, and these gentlemen would be caught in their own 
net. I then told him that His Highness would like to 
consult him, and that if he could attend at the palace on 
the next day, the matter would be discussed. 

As I was conversing, Colonel Neville, the Commander 
of the Regular Troops, entered, and said that Moulvi 
Mehdi AH had tried not only to win him over, but also 
through him, Mr. Edgelow and Mr. Norton. A big sum 
was named, but he, the Colonel had flatly refused. 

On hearing this, Mr. Plowden could not contain 
himself, and exclaimed " By Jove, these men deserve to be 
hanged ! " 

He then asked me to go and inform His Highness that 
the matter should be settled at the next day's interview. 

I returned to the palace, in the same condition, and 
having informed His Highness of what had passed, wrote 
to Mr. Plowden for the suggested interview, and then re- 
turned home satisfied. 

The next day His Highness and Mr. Plowden having 
consulted together agreed to observe silence for the present. 
His Highness wrote a letter in the manner suggested, 
and I sent it to the Prime Minister by a " chobdar." 

Moulvi Mehdi Ali, who lived in semi-retirement, 
now became an adviser to the Prime Minister ; and the 
clique began to overwhelm me with all sorts of requests, 
with some of which I complied, in order to make these 
cunning men fully believe that I had accepted the proffered 
gift of money. 

Then Fatteh Nawaz Jung, glad at the turn matters 
had taken, and believing himself quite safe, became im- 
patient, and sprang a surprise (from his point of view) 
on Mr. Plowden, by writing a letter stating that Server 
Jung, had under duress, obtained a lakh of rupees from 
Sir Asman Jah. Thereupon Mr. Plowden wrote to His 
Highness and the Minister to call for Server Jung's explan- 
ation ; and he also asked for written statements from 
those who had a share in this disgraceful affair, and he 
wanted these to be sent to him. 

Moulvi Mehdi Ali came to me in great anxiety, and 

MY LIFE 281 

advised me flatly to deny it. I replied that I was not 
so ungrateful as not to express my thanks openly to the 
Nawab Sahib, who gave me the money for the education 
of my boys. I remarked, moreover, that I wished to obtain 
the remaining 20,000 to make up the lakh. 

He then said the blood of a Syed (meaning himself), 
would be on my head without any just cause, for he would 
take poison and go to sleep. 

I replied that the Syeds from the time of Hazrat Ali 
(on whom be peace !) had suffered martyrdom and had 
been oppressed, and that this was, as it were, in his in- 

He then brought tears into his eyes, and said, " You 
are teasing me while my doom is threatening me " ; to 
which I returned, " Moulana, I will never deny it, but will 
write down the whole facts/' 

After him came Moulvi Mohamed Siddik, the leader of 
the party opposing Moulvi Mehdi Ali, and said that Nawab 
Vikar-ul-Umra had summoned me, and he wanted me to 
accompany him to the Nawab Sahib, where the Prime 
Minister would also be present. 

I obtained permission from His Highness by telephone 
and went along with him. There a scene of dance and 
music was in progress. Groups of fairy-like figures flitted 
about, and coquettishly aimed " Cupid's arrows " at the 
hearts of the men who gathered round that gay and en- 
ticing entertainment ; and these beautiful forms were 
saying, as it were, in the words of the poet : 

" Come, that we may follow the example of the 
revolving sky, 
Taking the wine cups round, as is the wont of the 

heavens ; 

Leaving shame aside that we may embrace, 
Attached each to each, like the closely studded 

stars in the firmament." 

Nawab Vikar-ul-Umra took me aside in a room and 
enquired how much money Moulvi Mehdi Ali had given me. 
I replied that he had not given me a penny, but that Mirza 
Gazanfar Ali Beg, who was the Mukhtar, agent of Shah 
Abdur Rahim, gave me on behalf of Nawab Sir Asman 
Jah, Rs.8o,ooo in currency notes of 1000 each. 

At this Moulvi Mohamed Siddik laughed aloud, and 

282 MY LIFE 

said that the Moulana had taken the remaining Rs.2O,ooo 
for himself. To that I said, that Nawab Sir Asman Jah 
Bahadur's generosity was such that young and old alike 
were taking advantage of it, and if Moulvi Mehdi AH 
profited to some extent, it should not occasion surprise ; 
but that I ought to get what I was entitled to, and if in 
the office of the Nawab Sahib a lakh of rupees was entered 
in my name, then I ought to get the remaining 20,000. 

Nawab Vikar-ul-Umra then said, " We want to 
serve you in many ways a lakh or 20,000 does not 

Then Nawab Vikar-ul-Umra and Moulvi Mohamed 
Siddik came to the opinion that Rs. 20,000 should be taken 
back from Moulvi Mehdi AH and paid to me, on condition 
that, in reply to Mr. Plowden's questions, I made a 
flat denial, and did not allow the incident to proceed 

I said that their advisers were responsible for protracting 
the matter, but that, while I had remained silent until 
then, as the secret was out now, I could not deny it. 
I asked them, however, to clear themselves as best they 

I related this conversation to His Highness at a late 
audience, and he, saying that I should not worry myself, 
commanded me to write down all the facts. Stating that 
I already had them in writing, I submitted that the state- 
ments of all concerned should be placed before His High- 
ness in the first instance, and that His Highness should 
then decide the matter himself. I added that the inter- 
ference of Mr. Plowden in internal affairs was not only 
improper, but would be a bad precedent for the future. 

Accordingly a command was issued to the Prime Minis- 
ter, that he should place his statement, as well as the state- 
ments of other officials concerned, within a certain date, 
before His Highness, and that His Highness would take 
Mr. Plowden's friendly advice in the matter. 

Now such a hue and cry was raised in the official 
circles, that all of them, with the exception of the astute 
Moulana Mehdi AH Nawab Mohsin-ul-Mulk Bahadur, were 
at their wits' end with fright. But the Moulana was, as it 
were, a Hon amongst them, and using his natural gift and 
intellectual subtlety, he wrote such a reply that, if the 
real facts had not come to the knowledge of His Highness 

MY LIFE 283 

and Mr. Plowdcn a few months before, I should have 
been compelled to hide my face for shame. His reply was, 
in short, this : that it had been customary from time 
immemorial for the noblemen to honour those who atten- 
ded on the person of the Ruler, with rewards and presents 
so that they might remain immune from abuse and black- 
mail. Further, that apart from this, the attendants 
themselves expected to be thus rewarded, and the Ruler 
had no objection to such a procedure. Such rewards, 
therefore, could not be called bribery. Then, after a few 
more things stated in his defence, he said that Server Jung 
Bahadur was given the money in question according to this 
ancient usage. 

Having written this reply, he brought it to me, to- 
gether with Mr. Palmer, and said ; " Now, my friend, 
withhold your hand, and do not shed the blood of a Syed." 
And adding that he had saved the Nawab Sahib and myself 
the giver and the taker of the bribe he alleged that 
this storm was raised by intriguers, who desired that by 
one stroke all of us might be destroyed, so that they might 
be free to enjoy the fruits of victory. 

I read the reply over, and having praised the 
Moulana's gifts and wisdom, said, in the words of the poet : 

" Confession is apparent from your denial." 

I then told him that I was ready to inform him of the 
real facts, and that those were, that, when he sent the 
money, I, without delay, presented it to His Highness 
and also informed Mr. Plowden. I could not, therefore, 
rectify what had already been done, but I could promise 
him that, as far as lay in my power, I would try to save 
him, on condition that he, too, would write down what he 
knew, and would give up foolish platitudes. 

He was at his wits' end when he heard this, and said 
" Oh, how we were taken in ! and you lulled us to sleep/' 
He went on to declare that there was now no alternative 
for him but to go over to the side of the Nawab Sahib and 
oppose me. 

Mr. Palmer tried to persuade him that since Server 
Jung had given him his promise, he should follow his 
advice ; but, without making a reply, he rose anxiously 
and went away, and finally sent in the same written state- 
ment he had shown to me. 

284 MY LIFE 

When all the statements were entered, His Highness 
summoned Mr. Plowden, and then, while I was acquitted, 
the Moulana* was ordered to leave the State as quickly 
as possible. At this Mehdi Hussain Fatteh Nawaz Jung 
left for Lucknow with his wife. Moulvi Mushtak Hussain 
was deported, and Sir Asman Jah, guiltless as he was, 
was relieved of his office. f 

Thus, this affair brought about the end of Sir 
Asman's ministry, but a more pregnant result was that 
the British policy underwent a change, 

I have referred earlier to the fact that during the time 
of Colonel Marshall a triumvirate was formed, who sent a 
letter, on behalf of His Highness, to the Viceroy, offering 
pecuniary assistance in connexion with the defence of 
the Afghan frontier, and that the British Government, 
instead of accepting cash, asked for the formation of 
an Imperial Service Force. Now, with the exception of 
the members of the triumvirate, only two persons, namely, 
Nawab Mohsin-ul-Mulk Bahadur and Mr. Faridunji, 
were aware of this matter ; but as in the revolving firma- 
ment, so in human affairs, changes occur. So when Vikar- 
ul-Mulk Mushtak Hussan Khan Bahadur came into power, 
his first act was to send the Colonel whirling away in the 
train, while Sirdar Abdul Huq, who for years successfully 
opposed Nawab Mohsin-ul-Mulk, was made to manage his 
hotel properties in Bombay. 

Be that as it may, the formation of the Imperial 
Service force laid a great burden on the resources of the 
State, and the lesser Ministers turned their attention 
towards this matter, so as to save the State from heavy 
expenditure ; but instead of adopting a courageous 
attitude and achieving their purpose, they, in spite of the 
Government's importunity, procrastinated, so that the 
matter remained pending till Mr. Plowden took charge of 
the Residency and they fell from power. 

The Government of India were indignant at this 
policy of procrastination, and in their last letter they 
wrote that " although you were the first mover in the 
formation of this force, and actually its founder, you have 
lagged behind while the other States have stepped forward 

* ist Mohurrum, 1311 H (1893)- 
t 7th Jamadi I., 1311 H. (1893 A -E>-) 

MY LIFE 285 

and recruited their portion of the force. Therefore the 
Governor-General will himself visit Hyderabad and put 
an end to this delay." 

His Highness had not the slightest knowledge of this 
correspondence ; but Mr. Plowden happened to speak to 
me on the subject, and he said that his friendly advice was 
that His Highness should decide the question quickly. 
" How long/' he asked, " can you go on saying, we would 
like to maintain a force commensurate with the size and 
importance of the State, but at present our financial 
position is not such as to enable us to undertake the forma- 
tion of this force ? " He continued that the Government 
of India, apart from the Home Government could no 
longer remain patient, and that Lord Lansdowne, whose 
visit was approaching, was coining here under a sense of 
displeasure ; and it would therefore be desirable for His 
Highness to settle this matter before the Viceroy's arrival, 
and to designate the number of troops, large or small, 
as was thought fit for the purpose. 

I said that His Highness had no knowledge of this 
matter at all, and that I would send for the file and put 
full information before him, and would then let Mr. 
Plowden know. Accordingly I did so. 

His Highness then commanded me to summon Mr. 
Plowden for the next day, saying that he would settle the 
matter personally. 

Mr. Plowden, when he came, advised His Highness to 
give them for the present 1600 horse, and requested him to 
write a letter to that effect to him. And he remarked that 
Server Jung had done a great service by informing His 
Highness of this matter, and that if he had not done so, he 
Mr. Plowden could not say what course Lord Lansdowne 
might have adopted. 

The Resident having left, His Highness commanded me 
to draft the'letter and despatch it to Mr. Plowden at once. 

I was very much perplexed, and humbly submitted that 
the State was not in a position to bear the burden of 
providing 1600 horse ; and, further, the force was to be 
trained and equipped by the British Government, and it 
would be raised on an imperial scale. Also we had the 
example of the Contingent* before us. 

* Hyderabad Contingent. The territory of Berars otherwise 

286 MY LIFE 

His Highness replied that he had made the promise, 
and asked me to write the letter and place it before him. 

I returned to my office sorrowful, and thought to 
myself that I stood to lose my reputation in the eyes of 
the public who would hold me responsible. I could not 
get to sleep that night, but then, as I lay bereft of hope, 
by God's help, through the intercession of my Pir, the 
context of the letter which I had to write, unfolded itself 
on the horizon of my mind. I at once got up and wrote 
it down, and I then enjoyed the sound sleep of the just. 

The next morning I drafted the letter and placed it 
before His Highness, humbly suggesting that he should 
read every word of it. This he did, and said it was all right. 

He was going to affix his signature, when I reminded 
him that it was merely a draft, and that I must get it 
" fair-copied," and I again humbly requested that His 
Highness should once more read it. He read it over, and 
said that everything was as he wished, and asked me to 
have it " fair-copied " and then take it myself to Mr. 

The copy made, I took it to Mr. Plowden. He read it 
and, asking me to convey his thanks to His Highness, 
said that he would despatch it that very day. 

I replied that I wished him to read the letter once 
more, as the matter was of prime importance. Having 
read it again, Mr. Plowden stated that he was sure the 
Government of India would express their great thanks, 
and that Lord Lansdowne's displeasure would be changed 
into approbation. I returned home satisfied. 

Soon after this Lord Lansdowne arrived. The usual 
arrangements were made for his entertainment, the details 
of which it is not necessary for me to repeat. The State 
dinner was held in the hall of " Kul Piran." 

It was my habit that, though I would be present at 
the functions, I always kept aloof, and did n'ot even sit 
at the dinner-table. I followed this course on this occasion 

known as the Assigned Districts was made over to the British 
Administration in Lord Dalhousie's time, in order to defray the cost 
of the armed force called the Hyderabad Contingent, bince 1903 
Berars has ceased to be a separate province, and has been leased 
in perpetuity to the British Government at an annual rental of 
25 lakhs a most important event in the history ot the State 1 
And from the same date, the Hyderabad Contingent lost its separate 
existence, it being redistributed and meiged in the Indian Army. 

MY LIFE 287 

also, and having spread my prayer-carpet on the platform 
of the Afzul Mahal Palace, I was busy saying my " Issha " 
prayers,* while there, in the hall the Viceroy delivered 
a long speech, and made a declaration of a departure in 

In the time of Sir Salar Jung I., he said, the 
Prime Minister, and the officials were considered re- 
sponsible for the peace and order of the State and the 
Royal person of His Highness was worshipped from a 
distance ; but now he had to express his pleasure that 
His Highness was directing his personal attention to 
matters administrative, and was carrying out reforms, 
with the advice of the Resident. 

The Viceroy's speech, in effect, shattered the indepen- 
dent action and the responsiblity of the officials in regard 
to administration. 

After the function was over, His Highness, with a few 
of his attendants, quite happy and glad, came along to 
the Afzul Mahal. He saw me busy with my prayers, and 
without my knowledge, stood behind waiting for me to 
finish them. 

When I raised my head from the " Sijdah/' and moved 

* Prayer. The Muslim must say lu's prayers five times within 
the twenty-four hours, namely, at morning, noon, afternoon, 
magrib, and Issha (Subho, Zohur, Assur, Magnb and Issha). And 
on Fridays, which is his Sunday, he must, if he can, say his prayers 
in the Musjid, when the Kutba is read out by the Imam. On other 
days he may say them where he pleases. 

Every prayer must begin with the first chapter of the Koran, 
this is the grace to every prayer which is thus : " Thee do we wor- 
ship and oi Thee do we beg assistance. Direct us in the right path 
in the path of those to -\\hom Thou hat.t been gracious, and not 
of those against whom Thou art incensed, nor of those who go 
astray." Ihis said, the person may put in any other chapters ol 
the Koran usually short ones and begin the probcnbed pros- 
trations. TIJb prayer ends with the Salaam, by turning the head 
first to the right and then to the left. 

The saying of the Holy Prophet is " Die beiore you die, the 
sacrifice oi man's will to the Will of God, as revealed in the Koran 
and manifested in creation, which is Islam itself." In daily prayers, 
the prayer-mat on which the man stands, signifies the grave ; the 
ruku (bowing) means submission to the Will of God as Sovereign 
of this world ; and Sijdah (prostration) is a figurative death, with 
surrender to our Lord as Monarch of the Day of Judgment. (Vide 
" Islamic Culture.") Also vide Translation of the Al Koran, by Mr. 
Mohamed Ali, Ptclace page 186-21. 

288 MY LIFE 

it for the " salaam," I became aware of his presence. I at 
once stood up, and then His Highness and his companions 
congratulated me, and informed me gladly of the words, 
" freehand " used by the Viceroy in his speech. 

Now the question of a change in the Ministry^only 
remained to be decided. All those difficulties and w rries 
that were felt at the time of the dismissal of the Nawab 
Laik Ali Khan, were removed by this " freehand " 
policy, and with the road thus clear Mr. Plowden became 
pressing that His Highness should either give his confidence 
again to Sir Asman Jah or dismiss him, and he was of the 
opinion that any delay in the matter might be dangerous 
to the cause of good administration. 

Accordingly His Highness commanded me that I 
should faithfully report on the character, capacity and 
ability of each nobleman of his durbar, according to my 
experience of them and without being swayed by any 
consideration of loyalty, love, or leniency whatever. 

I therefore wrote down conscientiously what personal 
knowledge I had of each of them, and submitted what I 
had written to His Highness. I also humbly suggested 
that, although I had written what I knew, I could not 
express my opinion about the appointment of the Minister. 
The selection and appointment of the Dewan rested with 
his Royal wish and pleasure. I added that, with the ex- 
ception of the Amir-i-Kabir, the rest of the nobles were of 
average ability, but that since the " Quanooncha Mubarak" 
was in force, this defect in education would do no harm, 
especially as all His Highness's subjects, both Hindu and 
Muslim, were thoroughly loyal and devoted to His High- 
ness's person and throne. The agitation and intrigue that 
had so far beset the country was due more to the greed of 
power and ambition of the officials whose power the 
" Qu^nooncha Mubarak " had already effectually restricted 
and if necessary, His Highness could in the'future still 
further curb their ambitious proclivities. 

On my representing this to His Highness, he kept the 
question of the appointment of the Minister pending for so 
long, that the Prime Minister and other State officials were 
perplexed, and prepared to attack me again. A newspaper 
was started in Delhi, in the columns of which I was attack- 
ed, while long articles against me also appeared in the 
" Pioneer." At the same time the intriguers rushed to 

MY LIFE 289 

the Resident for protection, and one, Mr. Dunlop, an 
Anglo-Indian, and a servant of the State to boot, informed 
Mr. Plowden that I was an unknown man, neither pos- 
sessing literary merit nor coming of a good family, and 
that I had enforced the " Quanooncha Mubarak" with the 
intention of curtailing the powers of the Minister, so that 
I could enjoy unhampered power myself. And he told 
Mr. Plowden that he would get a bad name, and that 
the State also would be brought into disrepute. 
Mr. Plowden was already displeased with me, because I had 
not only prevented his taking part in the Cabinet Council 
but had also, whenever he tried to step beyond the pres- 
cribed limits, prevented him from doing so. In short, all 
the officials unitedly and with one purpose directed their 
attack on me. Mr. Plowden, however, kept up appear- 

A big attack had already been made on me regarding 
bribery, to which reference has already been made, and 
now Mr. Seymour Keay, a member of the House of 
Commons, was instigated to attack me. He began to ask 
questions about me in the House of Commons, and then the 
Government of India were asked to send the papers con- 
cerned ; but he was so decisively defeated that he left me 
altogether. The question was also agitated in respectable 
English papers, and also without avail. The fact was that, 
apart from loading me with abuse, they could not fix any 
crime on me. 

Having failed in other directions, they now had re- 
course to direct methods, and began to poison the mind 
of the Resident against me, making him believe that I was 
a selfish, ordinary bazaar man, who was fond of power, 
and stating that the nobles of the State did not like an 
unknown man like myself to carry influence with His 
Highness. They said, further, that I was so defective in 
education tnat, I should very soon cause harm to the 
State. However, since Mr. Plowden insisted on a change 
of Ministry, and as he wanted to take that work from me, 
he as I have said, kept up appearances with me. He wanted 
to get rid of Sir Asman Jah, as he had got rid of Moulvi 
Mushtak Hussan, Mehdi Hussan and Moulvi Mehdi 

I informed His Highness of all these matters and sub- 
mitted to him, since he had enforced the " Quanooncha " 

29 o MY LIFE 

he should graciously permit me to retire, or else my state 
would be worse than that of Maharaja Narinder and 
Nawab Laik AH Khan. His Highness guessed that I was 
feeling the delay which had occurred in the appointment 
of a new minister and he therefore declared that he would 
that very day issue orders. He was, however, doubtful 
whom to appoint after Sir Asman Jah. t 

I humbly submitted that the change in the Ministry 
would not benefit us, and that apart from this I considered 
Nawab Sir Asman Jah as guiltless. He was a simple- 
hearted noble, who, ignorant of the treachery of the 
world acted on the opinion of his advisers. It was quite 
true that His Highness could in the twinkling of an eye, 
reduce him from a nobleman to a pauper, but the great 
nobles add brightness to the Royal Durbar, and enhance 
the dignity, prestige and power of the Sovereign. Further 
they form the strength and the protection of Kings, and 
princes and in the hour of need, are ready to sacrifice 
themselves ; and in their destruction the power of ^the 
State not only is reduced, but entirely disappears. The 
King, as it were remains a Rustom, and the noblemen, in 
the name of the Rustom, solve great problems of the State. 

I humbly said that at this juncture I would relate an in- 
cident that occurred during the tenure of office of Sir 
Richard Meade as Resident. Sir Salar Jung I requested 
me to speak to Sir Richard and courageously controvert 
his ideas, and His Excellency told me that I need not fear 
anyone that while he was alive nobody could injure me. 
I replied that though I was not afraid of anybody, the posi- 
tion of a man adds dignity to his utterance, and 
that as I was only tutor to His Highness, what influence 
could I have with the Resident seeing that the matter in 
question was not one that was connected with His High- 
ness's education. I said to His Excellency that it 
would be better if he spoke personally to th Resident. 
On this he said that the name of Rustom was better than 
Rustom himself. - 

The story concerning Rustom that His Excellency had 
in mind was this : One day Rustom was sleeping in the forest 
with his jewelled shield and sword lying near his head, when 
a peasant happening to pass that way, tried to take away 
the shield and sword, Rustom awoke, ran after the peasant 
and caught him, and then they struggled together for a long 

MY LIFE 291 

time, till at last the peasant threw Rustom on the ground. 
Rustom then thought to himself that, apart from his 
weapons, he had lost his honour as well. But after thinking 
for a while, he ran after the peasant and called aloud, 
" Stop ! . . . Rustom has come ! " And the unenlightened 
peasant hearing this, threw away the weapons and 

I now humbly suggested that if His Highness considered 
a change in the Ministry advisable, then his wish would be 
carried out. 

He replied that Mr. Plowden was importunate about 
it, but that he invariably recommended Vikar-ul-Umra, 
while he, His Highness, preferred Asman Jah to him a 
thousand times. 

I submitted that the matter depended on his will 
and pleasure ; and he then requested that I should speak 
to Mr. Plowden once more, before he did what he thought 

I suggested that His Highness should give me a letter 
to Mr. Plowden, so that I could talk to him, or else no 
good result would accrue. Accordingly His Highness 
jotted down his thoughts, and asked me to draft a letter 
on those lines. The gist of the letter was this, that he had 
no hope that Vikar-ul-Umra would be of any good. 

I took the letter and went to the Resident, and had a 
long conversation with him on the pros and cons of the 
question. Mr. Plowden said that Sir Asman Jah had 
committed a crime, and a criminal could not remain in 
office ; while on the contrary Vikar-ul-Umra was a young 
man of prepossessing appearance, and had already 
acquired experience in Sir Asman Jah's administration. 
Nawab Amir-i-Kabir he added, had become too old to 
carry the burden of office, and Fakhr-ul-Mulk was not 
equal in status to the Paigah noblemen. 

To be brief, Mr. Plowden had an audience the next 
day, and Vikar-ul-Umra's good fortune carried the day. 

His Highness commanded me to get a few conditions 
written by Nawab Vikar-ul-Umra, saying that only then 
would he be honoured with the " Khillat " of office* ; but 

* " Khillat " of Office. A short note of Hyderabad Prime 
Ministers, from Sir Salar Jung I downwards, will be loimd interest- 

292 MY LIFE 

that till then he would only work as though his position 
were a temporary one. 

Accordingly I got these conditions written by Nawab 
Sir Vikar-ul-Umra, and he began to officiate as Prime 

Even after this, His Highness continued for a long 
time to consider the question of the Nawab's permanency, 
but at last, on Mr. Plowden's insistence, and on my humble 
request, that he should either be made permanent or 
another selection made, so that the work of administration 
might not be interfered with. His Highness, much against 
his wish, conferred the Khillat of office on Sir Vikar-ul- 

Now I again found an opportunity humbly to suggest 
that, since His Highness had taken the reins of government 
in his own hands, enforced the constitution so as to cir- 
cumscribe the powers of the Diwan and the officials 
changed the Ministry as well, and, by the grace of God, 
succeeded in his aims, I might be allowed to retire for a 
few days to the comforts of my home, in order to save 
myself from further attacks. 

His Highness vouchsafed no reply, but the next day 
he informed me that he had commanded Vikar-ul-Umra 
to issue a Mansab of Rs.yoo (Naslan badi naslan) in per- 
petuity on me ; he also commanded me to send him a list 
of the members of my family, so that they might also be 
be honoured with grants of Mansabs. But as to my request 
for retirement, he stated that he could not understand 

:\ixam Mir M.iliboob An Khan Bahadur succeeded on his fathci'b 
death in iSt>9 itemg only 3 years* old, a regency was constituted 
for the ad:.imiL>ln.uou oi tnc countiy, v.uli Su Laiar Jung 1 as regent 
and Nawab Shams-ul-Umara as Co-regent, the Resident being 
consulted on all important matters concerning the welfare of the 
State. On the death of the Co-regent in 1877, his Jialf -brother, 
Nawab Vikar-ul-Umara was appointed Co-administrator ; in 1 88 1, 
Sir Salar Jung remained sole administrator and regent till his death 
in 1883. In 1884 His Highness, having attained his majority, was 
installed by Lord Ripon. Then Sir Salar Jung II was appointed 
Minister, and was followed in 1888 by Sir Asman Jah. In 1892, 
a code, known as the " Khammchai Mobarack " (" the auspicious 
code ") was issued for the guidance of the Minister, and this was 
followed by the establishment of a Council composed of all Ministers 
of the State. In the following year Sir Vikar-ul-Umra became 
Minister ; and Maharaja Sir Kishen Pershad Bahadur was appointed 
Minister in 1901. 

MY LIFE 293 

its object, and he expressed a wish that I should wait a 
while till he had had an opportunity to see how Vikar-ul- 
Umra conducted himself. 

Nawab Vikar-ul-Umra was a man of regal tastes, 
very generous, and like his father, the Amir-i-Kabir 
Rashid-ud-din Khan, ambitious, but he had no natural 
aptitude for administration. He was, therefore, easily led, 
and was very soon enmeshed in the net of machination 
cunningly spread by the gifted officials, and the situation 
became worse than it was in the time of Sir Asman 

The officials whose powers were curtailed by the " Qua- 
nooncha Mubarak/' became impatient to burst through 
the bonds prescribed by it so that they might again 
enjoy the fruits of their power and ambition, and, therefore, 
as my existence was an obstacle in their way, they assured 
Nawab Vikar-ul-Umra that so long as I remained in 
office, he would be a Minister only in name. My claws must 
be clipped they said, and I got out of the way. 

On the other hand, I foolishly made up my mind to see 
that the provisions of the " Quanooncha Mubarak " were 
carried out, and to this end, I compelled those responsible 
for the administration to the strict observance of the same ; 
and if anyone of those persons overstepped the limit, 
I would inform His Highness and restrain him. 1, of 
course, understood that by this strict supervision I was 
injuring myself, and that was why I was waiting for 
an opportunity to save myself from disaster, and retire to 
the shelter of my house, for with the exception of the public 
the whole group which formed the Ministry had be- 
come my deadly enemies. Suffice it to say that 
they turned their combined attention and united efforts 
towards me, and I fearlessly awaited political death. 
Accordingly the day of my martyrdom drew near and 
I beg leave to read this couplet : 

" O Hazik, do not be sorrowful because the day of 

your martyrdom is nigh ! 
What need for camphor for one who made his 

sacrifice for love and loyalty ? " 

The first to open the attack against me was Mr. Plowden. 
The truth was, that, from his point of view, he was entitled 
to make such attacks, because he wished to interfere 

294 MY LIFE 

in every matter, and I prevented him from doing so. 
I would here give a few instances. 

CJ For one thing, I had as already mentioned, prevented 
his interfering in the Cabinet Council, and he had 
felt that keenly, and harboured a grudge against me. 
-*v Another case was this. The Kotwal, as a proof 
of his loyalty and zeal in his work, had started a strange 
case, with a view to curry favour with Mr. Plowdcn. 
At this time a very learned man, but verging on madness 
and in straitened circumstances, came to live in Hydera- 
bad. His name was Jawad Hussain, and he belonged to 
Bhopal. He was looked upon with respect for his great 
erudition, by all influential officials of the State, like 
Moulvi Mehdi Ali and others and they used to help him 
with cash and other presents. This half-cracked Moulvi 
also used to visit me, when he would express his devotion to 
Islam with great recklessness, as if the angel Gabriel ran 
alongside his stirrups, and other angels from God served 
him ; and apart from his other qualities, he laid claim to 
soldierly accomplishments, such as archery and horse- 

Moulvi Mehdi Ali got him from somewhere a large 
amount of money much more than he deserved and 
with this he bought a horse, a bow and arrows,* and a 
sword. One day when he was returning from Secunderabad 
on his horse, and Colonel Neville was coming from the 
opposite direction, they both met on the Tank Bund. 
Colonel Neville asked him in the ordinary manner to get 
aside, but he would not do so, and said " Kaffir, are you a 
donkey, that you call upon a Muslim to get aside ? " 
And he raised his whip at the Colonel. The latter who was 
an enlightened man, then turned his carriage aside and 
passed on, and the man galloping along reached his house 
and there began quite openly to speak of hjs bravery 
and to exult in his proficiency in arms. 

Shortly afterwards the Kotwal got him invited to a 
friend's house, and had a few of his detectives in the 
room. After the meal was over the Kotwal's friend 
began to converse with Jawad Hussain, and the latter 

* Bows and arrows. These are now rarely seen, except possibly 
in remote parts of ftajputana. A body of archers helped to hold the 
Shah Kajal bailcling at Lncknow, against Sir Colin Campbell, in 

MY LIFE 295 

unhesitatingly gave expression to his views, and began 
to kill " kaffirs " with his imaginary bow and arrows, with 
the result that the next day the Kotal reported to His 
Highness that a fanatic, favoured by Moulvi Mehdi Ali, 
intended attacks on his person and on the Resident and 
Server Jung, and that he had therefore had him arrested. 

Following on this, the Resident, without loss of time, 
wrote to the Minister to institute a case against this fanatic, 
and also pressed the matter on His Highness at the aud- 
ience he had with him. 

When I saw Mr. Plowden taking such interest in the case, 
I became alert, and began to think that the Kotwal's action 
could only be attributed to the following three reasons : 
first, his attention might be to attack Moulvi Mehdi Ali ; 
secondly, he might want to please the Resident by giving 
proof of his smartness and activity that he had saved his 
life ; and thirdly, that he was working under some special 
hint from the Resident. So I humbly submitted to His 
Highness that the case, with whatever purpose it was 
started was not one that could go on, because I suspected 
that Mr. Plowden's intentions were far from good, and 
because a situation similar to that of Oudh in the time of 
Mr. Hailey and others, might be created. Besides this 
was a Muslim State, and since the Christian nations, 
gave the appellation of fanatics to the Muslims there was 
danger lest the State might became known as the hot-bed 
of fanaticism. 

His Highness said that Mr. Plowden was pressing the 
matter, in reply to which I humbly submitted that if 
His Highness were seriously to warn him once, he would 
cease to do so. 

His Highness graciously reminded me that the pro- 
verb of the name of Rustom being more potent than 
Rustom himself, and asked why Vikar-ul-Umra did not, 
on his belialf, explain matters to the Resident. 

I submitted that Nawab Vikar-ul-Umra, although 
loyal to the State, did not understand how to represent 

His Highness laughed, and then said, that since I 
knew the case, I should talk it over with Mr. Plowden. 

I humbly suggested that this was not necessary, 
because Mr. Plowden had adopted a definite course of 
action ; and I begged that His Highness might give me a 

296 MY LIFE 

written order to send for the file of the case and place 

it before him. 

His Highness agreed to this, and accordingly I called 

for the file. . _. , 

But Nawab Vikar-ul-Umra took it as an insult, and 
Mr, Plowden, on the representation of the Kotwal, drew 
his sword of displeasure and made ready to strike at 
me. I, however, remained firm on the advice of my 
Pir Murshid, that if the intention was good the result 
would also be good, and so I wrote to Mr. Plowden 
that, according to his request, Jawad Hussain would be 
prosecuted, but since it was not such a matter as to go 
to the ordinary courts, a special commission would be 
appointed to enquire into the case, and after that was 
done, His Highness and he would pass final orders. 

Now controversy raged round the question as to who 
should be selected to preside on the commission. Finally, 
Moulvi Nizam-ud-din Hassan and Moulvi Yasin Khan 
were appointed, the former on behalf of His Highness, and 
the latter on a hint from the Resident to represent 
the Minister. They were both honest and good men, 
with the difference that Moulvi Nizam-ud-din Hassan was 
a qualified man in law and a graduate in arts. He 
was taken from the British Service and appointed a 
judge of the High Court either by Nawab Laik Ali Khan 
or his father, on payment of contribution. On the other 
hand, Moulvi Yasin Khan, who belonged to Jaora, pos- 
sessed no such qualifications. He had held high appoint- 
ment in Berar, through family influence, and, on the 
recommendation of the Resident, was translated from there 
to the High Court. . 

To be brief, the case was started with a great flourish, 
but, as there was nothing in it, it ended dismally. The 
Resident, however, pressingly wrote that the main should 
be sent out of the State.* 

Moulvi Mehdi Ali visited me quite happy and glad in 
the thought that the poor fellow, cracked as he was, 
escaped with his life, and he expressed his thanks to me. 
Mr. Plowden, however, became my enemy. 

Likewise I came into trouble again about the question 
of the appointment of a commander to the Imperial 

* i^th Shaban, 1311 H. (1894 A.D ) 

MY LIFE 297 

Service Force. His Highness, for some reason, was taking 
time to form his Royal opinion in this matter, and at last 
Mr. Plowden spoke to me on the subject, and said that 
the formation of the Regiment was being delayed, and, 
therefore, a British officer was coming here to see to it. 
He added that he understood that His Highness would 
nominate Afsur Jung to the post, and he requested me 
to inform him quickly about His Highness's wishes in the 

I accordingly informed His Highness, and the result 
was that Mr. Plowden's recommendation was accepted, 
and Afsur Jung Bahadur was made commander of the 

Captain Miller now arrived, on behalf of the British 
Government, and the Minister was made to pass orders 
that, since 800 horse were not enough to form a regiment, 
another 200 should be added to bring up the strength of 
the regiment for the present to a thousand, and further, 
that accoutrements of the best English manufacture, 
together with the full complement of other requirements, 
such as tents, mules, etc., should with the greatest 
possible expedition be made over to the Commander. 

A letter from Mr. Plowden concerning these matters, 
was sent for the information of His Highness. He was sur- 
prised at the letter, and also at the above mentioned 
orders, which were issued without his permission and he 
commanded that they should at once be cancelled. 

This offence was also attributed to me, although I 
was not aware of the step till His Highness handed to 
me the petition of the Minister and the Resident's letter 
which arrived after His Highness had passed the can- 
celling Firman. 

To be hostile to Imperial Policy verges on rebellion 
who woulfl be so foolhardy or unfortunate as to oppose the 
wishes of the Government ? On the contrary, by support- 
ing them, one stands to receive titles and other honours ; 
and if his Sovereign gets displeased with him, from the 
Resident to the Foreign Office, they come forward to 
save him I Take the case of Nawab Fiaz Mohamed Khan, 
the Minister of Jaipur. He was not only honoured with 
titles and jagirs, but he was actually appointed to govern 
the Rajput States, and to this day the nominal Minis- 
try of Jaipur remains in his family. 

298 MY LIFE 

Accordingly Mr. Plowden addressed me thus : 
" Server Jung, remember that your future prosperity 
rests with me. If you listen to me, then rewards 
and titles are yours, otherwise, with one stroke of my pen, 
your name and reputation will be obliterated." 

I replied " Mr. Plowden, I have kept my destiny in 
my hands. I am not proud of my present post, but I take 
pride in being the one tutor of His Highness in whose 
hands his education started and came to a finish. Am I not 
entitled to boast that my Royal Master, while appreciating 
my honesty and my loyalty, confides in me." I reminded 
him that for services rendered by my family in the Sikh 
War and the Indian Mutiny the Government, in appre- 
ciation of our loyalty, bestowed the State of Badaygaon, 
in Sitapur, on my uncle Mirza Abbas Baig. 

On the other hand Mr. Hormusji, Mr. Faridunji, ^and 
other influential men came to me on behalf of the Minister 
to explain matters, the explanation being that the Minister 
thought that my policy was wrong and harmful 
to everyone concerned. They said that when we have pro- 
mised 1600 horse, then any breach of promise would be 

They enticed me to Faluknuma, and brought me face 
to face with the British officer, the Minister himself, with 
Major Gough, Mr. Hormusji, and others being also present. 
What passed at the meeting it is unnecessary to relate, 
but after I had come away, Mr. Plowden wrote to His 
Highness, saying that as he had promised 1600 horse, and 
they were now only asking for 1,000, why should these 
be refused. 

I produced the signed draft of the original letter, and 
humbly submitted that His Highness had only given 800 
horse, while requesting him to note that the offer was 
plainly written in these words : t 

" I give now 800 horse, and, if necessity arises, 
the remainder will also be given." 

And I humbly reminded him that at the time I had re- 
quested that the letter be read several times, that His 
Highness had approved of it, and also that I had made 
Mr. Plowden read it repeatedly. Was I to be blamed if the 
word " if " had escaped the attention of men from here to 
the Foreign Office. 

MY LIFE 299 

After this I made Mr. Plowden read the draft himself- 
He was taken by surprise, and said, " Server Jung, your 
contention is right, but we have been taken in ! " 

What could I do now, and what reply could I make to 
this officer ? I suggested that at this time it was imposs- 
ible to give more than 800 horse. 

I came away and then the question arose as to where 
these troops should be stationed. Afsur Jung Bahadur 
suggested Golconda and the maidan facing it. But I sub- 
mitted to His Highness that the " Fort of Golconda " 
possessed a special importance in our Dominions, and was 
an historic place,* and as nobody could say what would 
be the result of this Force eventually, or who, after Afsur 
Jung Bahadur, would be the Commander ; the Fort at any 
time, and in unforeseen circumstances, might be lost 
to us. Therefore the force should be stationed far away 
from the city. 

His Highness approved of this opinion and another 
count was added to the list of my crimes. 

On another occasion the Governor of Madras, or some 
distinguished guest had arrived at the Residency, and 
when His Highness went there to return his call, as was 
customary, Mr. Plowden did not come out to receive him 

* Golconda. Fortress and ruined city in the Atrafe Balda 
District, situated i723' N. and jWz^' E., five miles west of Hydera- 
bad City. The fort was originally constructed by the Raja of War- 
angal, who ceded it in 1364, together with its dependencies, to 
Mahomed Shah Bahmani of Gulburgah. For a time it was known as 

In 1512 the place passed from the Bahmanis to the Kutb- 
Shahis, who had their Capital here till the foundation of Hyderabad. 
In 1677 the City was taken by Aurungzeb, after a siege of eight 
months, and Abul Hassan, the last of the Kutb-Shahi Kings, was 
deported to Daulatabad. 

It is surrounded by a strong crenellated stone wall, over three 
miles in circumference, with 87 Bastions at the angles, some of 
which still contain large pieces of ordinance bearing Persian inscrip- 

Inside the walls are ruins of numerous palaces, mosques, and 
dwellings, while the citadel or Bala Hissar is in good preservation. 
There are eight gates to the fort, of which four are now in use. The 
moat which surrounds the fort is choked with rubbish in most 

About half a mile to the north of the fort, are the beautiful 
tombs of the Kutb-Shahi Kings. (Imperial Gazetteer of India, 
Provincial Series, Hyderabad Statepage 114). 

300 MY LIFE 

His Highness felt it very much, and I, like a fool, imme- 
diately called for an explanation. 

On the occasion when His Highness and Mr. Plowden 
went to Raja Been Dayal's to be photographed, the 
photographer placed a higher chair for His Highness 
and a lower one for Mr. Plowden. At the time the latter 
kept quiet, but later, sending for the photographer, he 
gave it to him hot, and ordered that those photographs 
should not be delivered. After some time, His Highness 
said that Raja Deen Dayal had not sent the photo- 
graphs, and asked me to get them ; and then the Raja 
besought my help, saying that Mr. Plowden would rum 
him. I gave him a written order and got the photographs. 
A strange discussion took place, and I got over it with 

There was also some trouble about the Berars, as the 
result of which we obtained 25 lakhs that year. Otherwise 
we were not getting more than 10 or 12 lakhs yearly. 

Once the Chadarghat Post Office served notice on 
His Highness, to the effect that he should either in person 
or by his Muhktar (agent), take away a parcel that came 
to his address. I carried on a lengthy correspondence on 
this matter, and reminded the Residency that such im- 
pertinences on the part of its subordinates must not be 
continued, or they must be removed to Bolarum al- 
together. . 

As the final instance, I may mention that the Minister 
issued " Mansabs " and allowances independently, without 
reference to His Highness, and that I put a stop to 
such independent action. 

And so, as the outcome of it all, the officials of the 
State, becoming impatient of my strict supervision, made 
common cause and prepared to oppose me. 

I was on the look out for an opportunity to retire 
from office, because the Minister became openly hostile 
to me and Mr. Plowden began to support him with his 
full strength ; when the Minister sent Mr. Hormusji and 
Mr. Faridunji to me, with a message that I should now 
retire, and that he took the responsibility of maintaining 
rny rights and emoluments. 

I replied that I was a servant, and could not of my own 
accord relinquish office, and that after God and His Holy 
Prophet, my duty lay with His Highness : but 1 suggested 

MY LIFE 301 

that the Minister or Mr. Plowden might move in the matter 
and ask for my removal. And I reminded Mr. Hormusji 
that he owed his appointment as Secretary to me, 
as also the Mansab of RS.SOO which he enjoyed. 
For, apart from my recommendation, His Highness dis- 
liked the very mention of his name. 

Mr. Faridunji* then spoke a few wordi of advice to me, 
after which the two gentlemen departed. 

I, of course, had for some time past a premonition 
of my political death, for the Minister had begun to look 
upon me as his opponent, and I was no match for a noble- 
man of his high position but I was afraid to apply to be 
relieved, lest His Highness should think that I did so for 
the purpose of my own selfish ends. 

The tug-of-war proceeded with increasing strength. 
Mr. Laudcr, who was a private servant of the Minister, 
began to cast greedy eyes on Mr. Faridunji's appointment, 
and he was strongly supported in this both by the Minis- 
ter and Mr. Plowden ; but to appoint one whose actions 
could not be controlled to a position of such delicacy, 
was extremely inadvisable and not without danger. 
His Highness therefore approved my opinion, and Mr. 
Faridunji was retained. 

During this period the question of His Exalted High- 
ness Sir Mir Osman Ali Khan Bahadur, the bright star 
of the firmament of royalty, and the illustrious scion of 
the glorious house of Asaf Jah, arose. I humbly suggested 
that Captain John Clerk, who had already had the honour 
of being His Highness's tutor, should be sent for. A man 
of great firmness and high ideals, he was an equerry to Her 
Majesty Queen Victoria, and a special associate of His 
Royal Highness the Prince of Wales ; further, he was 
honoured with the title of Mustakil Jung, Istikam-ud- 
dowlah, Khan Bahadur, and enjoyed a Mansab of 
Rs.yooo. therefore his personality would carry weight 
with the Government of India. I accordingly, by 
command, wrote to Captain John Clerk that His High- 
ness fully appreciated his services, and that if he was in- 
clined to come again to India, he should immediately do so. 

* Vide " Reminiscences of Mr. Eardley Norton/' showing how 
Mr. Faridunji was saved from being removed from the Service by 
the kindly intervention of the author. 

302 MY LIFE 

Mr. Plowden, however, was dipleased with my action 
and, although he had not the power to stop it, he resorted 
to meanness, and spoilt the effect of this excellent plan, 
and in doing so, gave Dr. Lander an opportunity to avenge 
himself on me. The clouds were now gathering thick 
around me. 

One day the agent of the Bank of Bengal whose name 
I forget came to see me, with Mr. Palmer, and he told me 
a strange story. I was thrown into great anxiety at the 
thought of how these people could take the liberty of 
doing such a thing, as if they believed themselves to be the 
rightful masters of the Asafia Dominions. It was incon- 
ceivable that a transaction of such important a nature 
could be entered into without the express permission 
and sanction of His Highness ; and it seemed as if Mr. 
Plowden had in his love for the Minister, very soon 
become unmindful of the words " free-hand/' used by the 
Viceroy in his speech at the banquet. 

I at once applied to His Highness for an audience, 
respectfully submitting to him that an urgent matter 
required it. His Highness immediately summoned me to 
his presence, and I informed him of the facts of the case, 
the details of which are these. 

Mr. Hormusji who had become Nawab Vikar-ul- 
Umra's special adviser, had in spite of the fact that he 
knew nothing of finance, prepared, on the advice of Mr. 
Plowden a certain financial scheme. As the circulation 
of the Halli Sicca currency was reduced in the Bazaar, 
this scheme provided that our Railway shares, lying use- 
lessly in England, should be sold, and with the money 
thus realized, silver should be bought in England, sent 
to the Bombay Mint, to be coined, and then thrown into 
the market. 

The agent of the Bank of Bengal was of opinion that 
there was a sufficiency of Halli Currency, but that, because 
of maladministration and loss of credit due to the incapa- 
city of the Revenue Minister, the Sowcars (local bankers) 
were holding it back. 

I humbly suggested to His Highness that the Railway 
Shares were purposely kept intact to be used in cases of 
exceptional necessity (which God f orbid ! ) ; that these 
were now in danger of being swept away, and that the 
scheme in its conception was but a foolish venture. Who 

MY LIFE 303 

would be responsible for the great loss occasioned, first 
in buying silver in England, and then in paying for its 
freight to Bombay, and for minting it there. And I 
pointed out, that though the scheme, whether good 
or bad might be a debatable point, what a terrible thing 
it was that, in a matter of such vast importance, action 
should be taken independently and without any reference 
to and permission of His Highness ! The art of finance 
was of so complicated a nature that even far-sighted and 
experienced European and American statesmen had 
sometimes made mistakes, and brought the country to 
the verge of bankruptcy. It was therefore surprising 
that the Minister, whose vision and experience was limited, 
should have taken this momentous step. 

Among the Muslims Hassan Mohmundi Abul Fazl* 
had left a name behind as a financier, which would remain 
a shining example for posterity, though the Hindus, as a 
rule, excel the Muslims in this art. In our own times 
the Marwaris had distinguished themselves. 

As I was submitting my suggestion, a letter from Mr. 
Palmer was handed to me, which was to the effect that 
Mr. Crawley, the Comptroller-General, was leaving the 
next morning with the scheme for Calcutta, to consult 
and solicit the help of the Finance Member of the 
Governor-General's Council. This was another unexpected 

I, by command of His Highness, immediately tele- 
phoned to Mr. Crawley that if he went to the station the 
next day he must consider himself dismissed. 

The storm this message raised was beyond description. 
First, Mr. Crawley came to me in a fright, and ha\ing 
apologised, returned to the precincts of his house ; and 
then Mr. Plowden came in a great rage, and without 
taking off his hat, and before taking his seat, enquired 
of His Highness in a harsh tone whether Server Jung 
was Minister here or Vikar-ul-Umra. It is not neces- 

* Abul Fazl. The celebrated Minister and historian of Akbar. 
He was murdered by Bihr Singh Deo, the younger brother ot Rani- 
chand and head ot the Nundela clan, to oblige Prince Saiim, aitei- 
wards the Emperor Jehangir, on August i-!th, 1002. Ihe murder 
is fully described in "The Emperor Akbar," by Count \ on Noer 
(translated by A. S. Beveridge), Calcutta, 1890, Vol. II., pages 

304 MY LIFE 

sary for me to write further details of the incident. 

I sought an audience, and humbly submitted that 
Mr. Plowden, on account of myself, was committing 
indiscretions, and was harsh and impolite towards 
His Highness, which I, his devoted servant could 
not bear to see. Besides, the Minister and his advisers 
were trying to assume to themselves independent powers, 
and that, as they would leave no stone unturned to gain 
their object, my retirement at the time was therefore 

His Highness said, " Hazrat if you retire, I might as 
well relinquish the Gadi." 

I humbly submitted that I was not going to separate 
myself from his Royal feet, for as Sadi says, 

" One who betook himself from the gate of thy 

Found no honour wherever he went." 

Expediency however, demanded that these hard times 
should be tided over, and then, as the poet said : 

" Send for me in sympathy and love whenever you 

I am not the hour which once being past cannot 


His Highness summoned Nawab Amir-i-Kabir, who 
was waiting in the outer room, and consulted him. The 
Nawab was an experienced old nobleman of high courage, 
and he submitted that this was all due to Mr. Plowden's 
malice and contumacy, and that if the Government of 
India came to know of his tactics they would not hesitate 
to call him to account ; and he solicited permission to 
explain matters to Mr. Plowden. 

Finally, as I still insisted, it was decided thac I should 
retire for a short time. 

But a week had not elapsed before Mr. Plowden again 
wrote a threatening letter. His Highness summoned 
Nawab Amir-i~Kabir, who submitted that there was no 
reason why His Highness should worry, and that he was 
prepared to bring Mr. Plowden to his proper senses 
either here or through the Government of India. But as 
His Highness continued to be thoughtful and sorry, the 

MY LIFE 305 

Nawab becoming anxious, said that His Highness might, 
atfbest, permit Server Jung to go, by accepting his sug- 
gestion for a short retirement. 

His Highness replied that he could spare me only for 
six months that I must positively return at the end of 
that period to my work. In other words, I was granted 
only^six months' leave. 

I has just finished my " maghrib " prayers when Nawab 
Amir-i-Kabir (may God rest his soul in peace) ! sent word 
to me of what had happened. 

I at once called in Moulvi Ahmed Hussain, my assis- 
tant. A loyal and conscientious man, he had received his 
training under me, and I looked upon him as my son.* 
I entrusted all matters to him, and then, after " Issha" 
prayers, I made the " Istikahara " (divination), and that 
suggested that I should leave at once. Accordingly I sent 
for my son-in-law, Surbuland Jung, and told him that I 
was leaving by the morning train, and he should explain 
the matter to his mother-in-law and the children, so that 
they might not be worried. He and Ahmed Hussain 
began to weep. 

I then wrote a petition to His Highness, and gave it to 
my servant Malliah to deliver, but he returned and said 
that His Highness was asleep, and that it was 2 a.m. So 
I asked him to deliver the petition so that when His High- 
ness awoke he could read it at his leisure, 

The gist of my petition was, that His Highness's 
devoted servant was starting by the morning train, and 
was leaving his family behind him, under the Royal 
protection. I also mentioned that the " Istikahara," too 
suggested that I should leave immediately. Further, I 
referred to some matters in detail, but any reference to 
them here is unnecessary. 

After the morning prayers, belted and turbanned, I 
entered the Government carriage and pair, with the 

* Sir Ahmed Hussain (Amin Jung Bahadur), K.C.I.E., C.S.I. 
LL.D., is too well known to the Hyderabad public to require any 

In gratitude for the many marks of kindness he had constantly 
received irom the author, he pressed the latter to look upon him 
as his son, and begged permission to address him, as a mark oi nis 
love towards him, as his father. No wonder, then, that he wept 
when he heard that his chief and benefactor was going away ! 


306 MY LIFE 

" chobdar ' ' seated on the coach-box, and left direct for the 
station.* There I met Colonel Dobbs, and through him 
I sent a message to Mr. Plowden in the words of the 
poet : 

" Lo, I leave the presence of my beloved, 
But thou too, O rival, shalt not long remain ! " 

Here ends the story of my life in Hyderabad.! 

It is a fact well known all over the City, that 
when, after I had left that morning, His Highness woke 
up and read my letter, he took my departure so 
much to heart that he shed tears, and refused his meals 
for three days. Also the whole City was thrown into a 
state of excitement. 

* 30th Sheba, 1314 H. (1897 A.D.) 

f The author, after his departure from Hyderabad, continued to 
take an active interest in the welfare of the State, as is evident from 
his Memorandum, which was published at Simla on the i3th Sep- 
tember, 1897, over his signature. 

Soon after the publication of this Memorandum, Mr. Chichele 
Plowden, vacated the Residency in favour of Colonel Sir David 
Barr, and some of the officials who were antagonistic to the best 
interests of the State, followed suit. (Vide Appendix No. i.) 


During the past few months, not only has one of the 
leading dailies in India " The Pioneer/* * devoted its 
columns to the discussion of Hyderabad affairs, but even 
some English papers (notably " The Fortnightly Review ") 
have been induced to advocate and ventilate certain 
views on the politics of the Hyderabad State, in sympathy 
with the present order of things. In justice to the 
"Pioneer/' it may be said that, if that paper had been 
persistently misled into grave errors of reasoning, founded 
on data suborned to convey the distorted assertions of 
interested persons, the fault is attributable not to any 
interested motives, on the part of its responsible Editors, 
but simply to the lack of authentic and disinterested sources 
of information. " The Pioneer " is justly considered a 
reliable exponent of Anglo-Indian opinion, and its utter- 
ances on Indian topics naturally carry more weight even 
in high official circles than do those of most English papers. 
But as the recent assertions of the " The Pioneer " in 
regard to current political events in Hyderabad, are 
calculated to create a wrong impression on the authorities 
most affected by the points at issue, it is an urgent neces- 
sity that \he facts concerning the hypotheses suggested 
should be ventilated in their true light, for the purpose 
of counteracting the possible, and not the improbable, 
misapprehensions that may have arisen from the state- 
ments to which " The Pioneer " has unwarily committed 

* The Pioneer t it will be noticed, has since assumed a volte-face 
in its policy, and, while formerly it steadily set its face against' any 
innovations, has now become a champion of the just aspirations of 
the Indian people, 



itself. At the same time, it is not pretended that all the 
matters which form the grounds of controversy can be 
covered in the limited space afforded by this Memorandum. 

Mr. Rock's article on " The New Era at Hyderabad/' 
in the " Fortnightly Review " for June, 1897, is the first 
matter that has, however, to be dealt with, and it is scarcely 
necessary to remark that, for any legitimate contro- 
versial purpose, that article is really not worth the paper 
on which it is printed. The most casual superficial reader 
would perceive at a glance, that it was not prompted by 
any lofty conception of the writer's duty to the Hyder- 
abad State, nor was it the result of a fair and impartial 
consideration of the questions dealt with ; but that it was 
actuated by motives of a very different kind, overspread 
as the article is by the rabid animus and vindictive 
misrepresentations which characterise its inception and 
publication, and which call for a few words of explanation. 

Mr. Rock was appointed Agent to His Highness the 
Nizam's Government by Sir Salar Jung I, and he will be 
the last no doubt, to deny that he made the best of this 
lucrative position. With the death of Salar Jung II, 
Mr. Rock's business began to vanish, and during the re- 
gime of Sir Asman Jah nay, even in Colonel Marshall's 
ti me he practically lost the Agency, and the firm of 
Messrs. Henry S. King and Co. established itself in 
Hyderabad under the auspices of Moulvie Mehdi Ali, 
a " North- Western " official, who filled the post of 
financial Secretary. It will thus be easily understood how 
Mr. Rock's inveterate hatred for what he is pleased to call 
" the brood of North Western officials at Hyderabad " 
originated. . 

That he should now single me out as a mark of his 
special animosity, and pour the vials of his wrath upon 
my head in an English periodical, is only one, perhaps, of 
many thrusts that might have been expected ot so sadly 
disappointed a man, for I was, unfortunately, placed in 
the position of a medium of communication regarding 
certain claims which Mr. Rock had put forward against 
the Salar Jung Estate, of which His Highness was the 
administrator, and the coirespondence regarding the 
adjustment of those claims devolved on myself as His 
Highness's Peshi Secretary. But Mr. Rock has a personal 
grievance against me, and that had its origin in the 


circumstances that his claim was not admitted until the 
accounts submitted by him had, as was only natural, been 
audited ; and furthermore, Mr. Rock resented the appoint- 
ment of Messrs. Henry S. King and Co., as Auditors on 
behalf of the Estate, for the reason that he regarded them 
as his business rivals, The appointment of Messrs. Henry S. 
King and Co., however, was not intended in the least way 
to reflect on Mr. Rock's probity as a commercial man, but 
was resorted to for the reason that, as that firm was doing 
business with the Nizam and the State on practically 
the same lines as Mr. Rock had done, they would the better 
be able to examine and check the latter's accounts, and, 
further, that as both firms were located in London, any 
points of difference that might arise would the more 
easily be adjusted by a conference between the two firms 
than by means of a possibly prolonged correspondence 
between London and Hyderabad. The position, however, 
appears to have become gall and wormwood to Mr. Rock 
and in this fact will be found the reason for the vitu- 
peration, which having lain dormant, has now found an 
opportunity for expression in the article in the " Fort- 
nightly Review/' 

The " fons et origo " of Mr. Rock's brochure, may, there- 
fore, be dismissed with a few words as to his personality. 
In his brochure he first gives, from his own point of view, 
a description of the " old era " at Hyderabad, and then 
commits himself to statements in regard to the " new era/ 1 
in which he points to a radical improvement in the State ; 
while he very naively concludes by expressing the hope 
that the Supreme Government will now be good enough 
(this being the Jubilee year) to accord the Hyderabad 
State more generous treatment, especially in the matter of 
the Berars. Unfortunately for Mr. Rock, the assertions 
constituting the " new era " exist only in his perfervid 
imagination, and his alleged facts are but a poetic effusion ; 
and, further, the significance of his whole article is nulli- 
fied by the fact that two days after its arrival in Hyder- 
abad, His Highness showed his " confidence in the Minis- 
ter " and the " cordial relations " that existed between 
them, by dismissing and deporting Mr. Hormusji N. 
Vakeel, who was the Minister's right-hand man, and who 
stood to him practically as " Friday " did to " Robinson 
Crusoe." Lastly, Mr. Rock should know that, in this 


thankless world, only too often ( alas ! ) " virtue is her 
own reward " ; and he will probably realise that his 
literary labours on behalf of the present Minister will 
remain unrequited, notwithstanding the fact that he has 
influential friends in close touch with Sir Vikar, and also 
despite the fact that all his North-Western enemies have, 
more or less, made their exit from the scene of what he is 
pleased to term their " machinations/' As for the 
" new era " which he so sanguinely belauds, the truth of 
his predictions was sufficiently foreshadowed by the fact 
that the Hyderabad State was then in a fair way of 
being burdened with a loan of a crore of rupees, and this 
because of " the most powerful Minister Hyderabad has 
known since the first Sir Salar Jung. 

Having thus leniently disposed of Mr. Rock and his 
maiden political essay in defence of his patron, we next pro- 
ceed to scrutinize the statements of " The Pioneer/' with 
a view to substituting facts for the " fictions " which 
it has been led to state, and thus to dissipate any evil im- 
pressions which those statements may have made, for it will 
be found that what has been asserted through the columns 
of the most well-informed paper in India, has been evolved 
out of the minds of people who are prepared to sacrifice 
Truth at the Shrine of Lucre and Hyderabad contains 
many such ! 

Before, however, proceeding any further, it is necessary 
first to observe that in considering the rights, prerogatives, 
and precedence of the Native States forming the Empire 
of India, a factor of primary importance is, that there are 
two classes of Native States whose relations to the Para- 
mount Power are altogether distinct, by reason of the cir- 
cumstances that some like the States of Mysore and 
Bhopal, owe their creation and existence to the British 
power, while others, like the States of the Nizam, Scindia 
and Holkar, existed when the Paramount Power \fcas estab- 
lishing itself in India during a period that was long anterior 
to Dupleix and Clive. 

Foremost amongst the Rulers of the latter class, 
stands His Highness the Nizam, who may justly be 
regarded as the " First Prince in India/' not only by 
reason of the extent and importance of his territory and re- 
sources, but more especially, as has been admitted that the 
Ruler of the Deccan had consistently been the one faithful 


and unswerving ally from whom England, during the 
three successive stages of her power first as a Trading 
Company then as the Paramount Power, and now as an 
Asiatic Empire has always received assistance in other 
words, from the very dawn of British Indian History 
in 1600 A.D. to the inception and origin but a decade ago, 
of the Imperial Service Troops, which now form one of the 
bulwarks of the Indian Empire. 

It is foreign to the purpose of this paper to dwell on the 
aid that has from time to time been rendered by the Nizam 
to the British Raj, for these are matters of history, 
and will be found faithfully reflected in the Despatches of 
the Hero of Assaye and the records of the Sepoy War. 
It will, nevertheless, be conceded that the debt of grati- 
tude as between the Nizam and the British Government 
is altogether one-sided, as a proof of which may be instan- 
ced the restitution of a small extent of territory, when the 
British Government in that manner acknowledged the 
adherence during the turmoils of 1857 of the Hyderabad 
State, through the illustrious Sir Saiar Jung. 

As to the policy, or rather the policies, pursued by the 
Government of India in their relations with the Nizam, 
the following brief retrospect may prove instructive to 
such as do not pin their faith to the chartered utterances of 
the advocates of, and sticklers for, the present regime in 

It may be stated generally that it has been the custom 
of the Supreme Government, in all their dealings with the 
Nizam, to treat His Highness as the fountain and source 
of all authority within his dominions. Instances, however, 
have doubtless occurred (such as that of the Minister 
Chandu Lall) where they have supported the Minister 
against the Sovereign ; but as a general rule, the wisdom 
of such a policy as the latter has been deemed most ques- 
tionable, and later Viceroys have carefully avoided this 
mistake, as in the cases of Narinder Pershad, Salar Jung II, 
and Sir Asman Jah, in which the prerogative of His High- 
ness was consistently maintained. 

As a recent departure from this conventional policy, 
however, may be mentioned the case of the present 
Minister, Sir Vikar-ul-Umra, in which, with amazing 
persistency, Mr. Plowden has actually interposed, and 
has, indeed, overruled the legitimate wishes of the Nizam, 


The fact is on record that His Highness was, from the 
outset, opposed to the appointment of Sir Vikar-ul-Umra, 
and that he made known his sentiments to the Resident 
and the story is worth recording. The more earnestly His 
Highness objected to the proposed appointments however, 
the more persistent Mr. Plowden became ; and had I not 
prevailed upon His Highness to yield to the wishes of Mr. 
Plowden, all India would have been startled by a much 
more serious upheaval than the diplomatic expediency 
which caused me to leave Hyderabad. Mr. Plowden 
carried his characteristic obstinacy in regard to his nomi- 
nee's appointment to the office of Minister so far as to 
stoop, among other wonted devices, to that of making up a 
case against Sir Asman Jah, by insisting on the trial of 
Jawad Hussain, the incidents of which are still fresh in the 
memory of the Hyderabad public. That poor maniac was 
seriously charged with attempting to blow up the Resi- 
dency and the Resident with the empty cartridges which 
the Police had dexterously managed to smuggle into his 
pockets ; and the case dragged on for weeks, with the 
disappointing result that at the most the Resident was 
alleged to have been in great danger of being shot at by a 
" maniac " archer. The Jawad-Hussain case, which has 
become proverbial in Hyderabad circles, was got up with 
the but too thinly-disguised intention of ultimately in- 
criminating Sir Asman Jah, through Mehdi Ali, one of his 
Secretaries, who was supposed to have patronised the 
accused ; but before the case could finish, Mr. Plowden 
gained his object another way by so magnifying the 
circumstances of the Lakh Bribery, as to force His High- 
ness's hand into removing Sir Asman Jah and Mehdi 

AU. t 

His Highness did, indeed, assent to the removal of 
Sir Asman Jah, but on no account would he assgnt still 
less " give/' as " The Pioneer " states, " his full approval " 
to the appointment of Sir Vikar-ul-Umra. He commanded 
me to interview Mr. Plowden with written instructions 
(which I still hold in the original), in which he detailed 
his reasons in definite language for not accepting the 
Resident's recommendation in favour of his prot6g6. 
But Mr. Plowden's resources were not exhausted ; he had 
a quiverful of artifices, and if that of hectoring failed 
him, that of cajolery served him in good stead, 


His Highness objections were got over by Sir Vikar 
being made to write an Ikrarnamah or Agreement, in 
which he promised amongst other things, to respect the 
Rules and Regulations laid down by His Highness in the 
" Kanuncha Mubarak " or New Constitution, and not to 
introduce any of his private servants into the Service of 
the State. He was also specially enjoined by His Highness 
to devote his full time to the management of the Finances, 
the details of the Administration being left to the free and 
unhampered control of the Assistant Ministers ; and Mr 
Plowden himself stood guarantee for the due fulfilment of 
the agreement. The result was that a formal indictment 
was framed against Sir Asman Jah, and Lord Lansdowne 
was informed of the nomination of Sir Vikar. Correspon- 
dence then ensued, in which His Highness took the pre- 
caution of preparing the Government of India for any 
change that he might consider advisable, in the event of 
his being dissatisfied with the incumbent of the office of 
Minister ; and such an eventuality was, in the case of 
Sir Vikar, by no means improbable. As a matter of fact, 
ever since Sir Salar Jung's death, His Highness has found 
himself under the necessity of changing his Ministers in 
the fond hope of getting somebody who would adequately 
replace that deceased Statesman ; and however much 
British Statesmen may deprecate such chopping and 
changing, necessity in the particular case of the Nizam's 
Ministers surely forms a sufficient justification. Events 
have actually proved that all these successive Ministers, 
have in turn fallen considerably short of the Nizam's 
expectations and of the standard requisite for the good 
government of the country ; and as " The Pioneer " 
admits, " The Nizam is very slow to make up his mind 
towards any decisive step, but his decisions, to do them 
justice, are in most instances " it could be truly 
stated, in all instances " ultimately influenced by 
what he believes to be the general wish of his 
people. 1 ' 

As regards the present Minister, His Highness, after 
much hesitancy for which he had the best reasons, readily 
accepted the suggestion of the Government of India that 
the appointment should be only probationary for a limited 
period. The sequel to this probationary appointment, 
though not proclaimed from journalistic housetops, is 


sufficiently well-known and well-remembered by the 
Hyderabad public how Mr. Plowden pressed His Highness 
to make his nominee permanent, how His Highness con- 
trived to evade the Resident's officious importunity, and 
how my services were called into requisition, even by 
Mr. Plowden and that so much so, that it was actually 
impossible for me to attend the weddings of two of my 
children, which took place at the time that Mr. Plowden 
saw iit to press the permanency of Sir Vikar on the 

Suffice it to say that Mr. Plowden succeeded eventually, 
by the adoption of more stratagem than diplomacy, 
in prevailing upon and inducing His Highness to make 
Sir Vikar's appointment permanent, on the plea that as 
he (Mr. Plowden) was going home on leave, he " would 
enjoy more peace of mind if his request were acceded to " ; 
and when he had one foot on the step of his railway 
carriage and the other on the platform, the document of 
which Mr. Plowden had been so importunate and solicitous 
and which was to ensure his " peace of mind,' 1 was 
handed to him ! 

One fails to understand why " The Pioneer," in a 
leading article in its issue of the yth July, 1897, goes out of 
its way to contradict the statement of the " Madras Mail," 
that, from the commencement, the present Minister has 
not enjoyed his master's confidence, because he was, " to 
a certain extent, thrust upon His Highness by the Resi- 
dent." Those who are aware of the facts differ from the 
" Madras Mail " only so far as this, namely that the words 
" to a certain extent " should have been substituted by the 
word "wholly." The "Pioneer" has incorrectly stated, 
too, that the present Minister has fulfilled the conditions of 
the " Kanuncha." Indeed, the probable reason why 
The Pioneer " considers the " Kanuncha " unworkable 
is that the new Minister is unable to work upon those lines, 
which were designedly framed so as to leave no room for 
personal ambition. One great difference between Sir 
Salar Jung and his successors is, that, whereas the former 
during the minority of the Nizam, was (as Regent) 
necessarily allowed to concentrate all authority in himself, 
his successors and their supporters continue notwithstand- 
ing the fact that the reason for that authority has now 
ceased, to aspire to the same independence, and thus, in a 


manner, try to relegate the Nizam to the second position 
in his own Sovereignty ! 

But the question will naturally suggest itself, how 
could the Nizam, having such strong objections to Sir 
Vikar's appointment, have consented to yield the point 
under discussion ? The answer is indicated by the words 
of " The Pioneer " itself, which are as follows : " Nor do 
we believe that the Resident ever interfered, or thought 
of interfering, on behalf of the disgraced Secretary (Hor- 
musji). It would have been carrying matters a little too 
far, if, after advising the Nizam to dispense with the ser- 
vices of one servant to whom he was attached, he should 
have advised him and advice from such a source is 
nearly equal to an order to retain another for whom he 
had a cordial dislike." The fact was, that His Highness 
was at the time heart and soul engaged in formulating 
" Kanuncha Mubarak." and, like a fond parent, was an- 
xious to see the offspring of his thought and deliberation 
embarked on its career with every chance secured for its 
success. It was incumbent on His Highness, therefore to 
keep the Supreme Government in sympathy with his 
designs and efforts to effect salutary reforms, and he could 
not and no Native Chief or Ruler ever can succeed in 
enlisting such sympathy without humouring an imperious 
" Political " like Mr. Plowden. In a word, His Highness's 
concession was but " a tub to a whale/' to save the Ship 
of State ! 

From Sir Vikar's appointment to the " projected " 
Financial Crisis, is but a natural transition in the relation 
of " cause " and " effect." This crisis, even if its existence 
be admitted, has been the subject of shameless exaggera- 
tion in order to subserve the personal and political ends 
of the party opposed to the Nizam ; and it is high time that 
more sober and common sense views should prevail, even 
if it cannot be demonstrated that in this, as in many other 
respects, the Sovereign of the State finds himself in the 
unique position of being tilted at by his officials and 
others, whose endeavour is to show that they are more 
sinned against than sinning. 

It has been shewn how Mr. Plowden's artifice enabled 
him to thrust Sir Vikar upon the Nizam, despite His High- 
ness's wishes, and the reasons assigned by him for his 
not appointing Sir Vikar to the office of Minister of a 


State, where there were involved the well-being of eleven 
million people and the conservation of a revenue of nearly 
Four Crores of Rupees annually. Even "The Pioneer" 
does not attempt to deny the fact of Sir Vikar having been 
thrust upon the Nizam, though it seeks to explain it away 
in its anxiety to throw oil upon troubled waters and this 
only too conspicuously (on the part of its correspondent) 
in the interests of the present Minister, and possibly to 
prop up a bad case, in so far as Mr. Plowden's identity 
with the deplorable condition of things is concerned. 

Now every one conversant with Hyderabad affairs will 
remember that when Sir Asman Jah held the office of Minis- 
ter, the State Finances were somehow brought to a con- 
dition of utter chaos ; and then too, as now, a cry was 
raised against His Highness, who was charged with being 
the direct cause of the depletion in the Treasury through 
his personal extravagance. Fortunately for the cause of 
both Truth and Justice, it happened that His Highness 
then had a conscientious Resident in the person of Sir 
Dennis Fitzpatrick, whose methods, as well as his re- 
putation, differed absolutely from those of his successor 
of Kashmir fame. The then " custodians of His Highness's 
prestige " for it was under that appellation that they 
pursued their designs were called upon to substantiate 
the charge of extravagance, and, as an incontrovertible 
proof of their loyal allegations, they drew up and submit- 
ted what purported to be a Thirteen Years' Statement of 
the State's Income and Expenditure. But in Sir Dennis 
they evidently reckoned without their host. Influenced as 
he was, by integrity and honesty of purpose, and, while 
biased by no sordid motives of his own, intent in unravel- 
ling the facts, he, thorough man of business and astute 
lawyer as he was, was not long in detecting that things 
were not as they were represented to be ; and as he was then 
on the eve of the departure to England, prior ttf his taking 
up the reins of the Punjab Government, he took the Ac- 
counts home with him, and there subjected them, item 
by item, to an actuarial analysis and scrutiny. That done, 
he drew up an elaborate report, in which, while mildly 
animadverting on the Nizam's accusers, he did not hesi- 
tate to paint as vividly as the occasion required, the ruin 
and misery that awaited the State, if immediate steps 
were not taken to remedy the evils that were pointed out 


as imminent. This report was not diverted from its legi- 
timate course, for Sir Dennis sent it to His Highness direct 
accompanied by a friendly letter, which contained valu- 
able suggestions from himself. 

His Highness was thus, for the first time, in the position 
of having the truth revealed to him, and he was not a 
little astonished at the degree which the audacity of his 
officials had reached, when, as was discovered, they were 
guilty of imputing the results of their own mismanagement 
and neglect to the extravagance of their Sovereign 
an imputation which, in different circumstances, might 
never have reached His Highness's ears, but which 
would doubtless have remained unquestioned, and would 
possibly have gained credence and acceptance in high 

Then, as now, the motive of these people in trumping 
up such a charge against His Highness, was to discredit 
him with the Government of India, and, if possible, to 
reduce him to the condition of a nonentity and to exalt 
themselves. Nor are the horde of His Highness's calumni- 
ators more faithful to the salt they eat, now that Sir Dennis 
is not in Hyderabad. On the contrary, they are, plying 
their trade with even more assiduity, and with greater 
hope of success ; for while Sir Dennis fulfilled the duties 
of his office as Resident at the Court of the Nizam as a 
friend and adviser of " Our Faithful Ally," Mr. Plowden has 
not only adopted a policy out of all sympathy with the 
Sovereign and the State's interests, but has, by deed and 
word, assumed an attitude that cannot be interpreted to 
bear any other construction than that of encouragement 
of the aims and aspirations of His Highness* disloyal 

The result of Sir Dennis Fitzpatrick's letters and 
Report addressed to His Highness, was the celebrated 
" Kanuncbfo Mubarak " or New Constitution, which the 
" Oracle of Allahabad " inspired no doubt, by a very 
well-known newsagent, whose pay and expectations form 
the measure of what he writes and ventilates has con- 
demned as " unworkable." The term " inspired 1 ' is advised- 
ly used, for it cannot be assumed that the actual editorial 
staff of " The Pioneer " (and one cannot suppose that every 
penny-a-liner who contributes to its columns is regarded 
as a part of the editorial "sanctum sanctorum " ?) 


can have any opportunity to judge of the provisions of the 
" Kanuncha " and of the requirements of the Hyderabad 
State for which they are intended. Let any fair-minded 
and unbiassed statesman examine the " Kanuncha " in 
all its bearings, and the convictions will be forced upon 
him that it is not only theoretically flawless, but is 
eminently adapted to the peculiar requirements a.nd 
unique exigencies of the Hyderabad State. Whilst 
safeguarding and securing His Highnesses prerogative as 
absolute Ruler of the State (vide " Pioneer' 1 of the 7th, 
July, 1897), it yet decentralises the authority which had 
hitherto found its sole pivot in the person of the Prime 
Minister. In other words, it has removed the evil of two con- 
temporary rulers the proverbial " imperium in imperio " 
which, like the two powers of Zoroaster, wage eternal 
warfare. This evil has existed in all its enormity at Hyder- 
abad ever since the death of Sir Salar Jung I, whose long 
term of absolute authority as Regent, during the minority 
of the Nizam, excited the envy and ambition of his 
successors for the same or similar powers an ambition, 
of course, that is, since the attainment by the Nizam of 
his majority, puerile and out of place. 

So long, then, as these latter-day Ministers have the 
support of the British Resident in their opposition to the 
Nizam's wishes and policy, and so long as unprincipled 
mercenaries, disappointed parasites, and sycophants 
(assisted by newspaper scribes, whose living lies in adapt- 
ing themselves to the requirements of their paymasters) 
continue to excite such cupidity in the breasts of these 
latter-day Ministers, not only will the unassailable 
" Kanuncha " be stigmatised as unworkable, but any- 
thing and everything will be devoid of fitness or adapt- 
ability, that in the least way conflicts with these persons 
own schemes and devices or with the interests of their 
entourage. The herd of servile scribblers already alluded 
to, are always ready to denounce the religious as fanatic 
and the orthodox as heterodox ; and though their opin- 
ions and effusions are irresponsible, the fact has to be 
borne in mind, that facilities are afforded them of mislead- 
ing public opinion through the columns of papers of un- 
impeachable respectability and status, the proprietors of 
which are probably not aware of the fact, that such 
scribblers are well able to estimate the value of the par- 


ticular canard they may be asked to ventilate, and that 
while they assess and receive the value to the party 
concerned of their services, they also receive payment 
from the paper. 

But to revert to the subject of the Hyderabad Finances 
It has already been pointed out that one of the chief 
objects of the Kanuncha was to retrieve the defects which 
came to light after Sir Asman Jah's mismanagement of 
the Finances ; and, indeed, the Third Part of the Royal 
Charter is wholly devoted to the control of the Finances. 
In order to see that the orders and instructions contained 
in it were properly carried into effect, His Highness, 
acting under the advice of Lord Lansdowne, applied to the 
Government of India for the services of the promised ex- 
pert Financier, a step which not only made it manifest that 
His Highness was anxious to give effect to the Viceroy's 
advice, but also gave a practical demonstration of his 
anxiety to bring the Finances of the State into a healthy 
and prosperous condition. His endeavours were, however, 
frustrated by what may be regarded as two sad fatalities. 
First the Government of India found themselves unable, 
at the eleventh hour, to comply with the special request 
His Highness had made to them, and so instead of the 
promised expert, the services of quite a different man were 
placed at His Highnesses disposal. (Reference to the 
gentleman in question is unavoidable, as one " cannot 
make an omelette without breaking eggs.") In the second 
place, an unacceptable Minister was foisted upon the 
unwilling Nizam by Mr. Plowden. 

Still, bearing in mind the advice of successive Viceroys, 
His Highness did not despair of overcoming the lions in his 
path. He therefore set about business anew, and accepted 
the suggestion of causing the Minister (since he was Mr. 
Plowden's nominee alone) to write out the agreement 
already referred to, and thereby bind himself, amongst 
other things, to endeavour to bring about a thorough 
financial reform by carrying out His Highness's orders as 
contained in Part II. of the " Kanuncha. 1 ' Not content 
with this agreement, His Highness continued to issue 
instructions from time to time, with a view not only to 
curtail unnecessary expenditure, but also to point out 
the proper methods of developing the resources of the 
State. Among numberless instances of curtailment, 


two deserve special mention. It was customary for res- 
ponsible officials, in order to find employment for their 
friends and partizans to split up the work of one office 
into several branches. This was now strictly forbidden, 
and the Minister was charged to re-amalgamate these 
several branches, and thus to effect economy. It was 
also a. recognised custom for the Minister to find emolu- 
ments" for the people of his party, and so on the plea that 
he required their services as trustworthy agents, advisers, 
or supporters, these people superseded the partizan's 
or proteges of the previous Minister, with the result that 
for each appointment so appropriated two salaries were 
paid, for the Ex-Minister's people were " shelved " with 
pay. His Highness therefore rightly insisted that these 
latter should either be replaced on the active list, or be 
discharged with a pension or gratuity, to whichever they 
were eligible. 

Again in connexion with the development of resources 
special attention was drawn by His Highness to the en- 
couragement of Commerce by the construction of district 
roads, and especially of " Railway feeders " ; to the pro- 
motion of Agriculture, and the increase of out-turn by 
the construction and repair of tanks and other irrigational 
works ; and to the encouragement of Mining Companies 
and the opening up of Railways. In short, minute and 
detailed orders were issued by His Highness, and are on 
record, dealing with every Department of the State. 

And here, with due deference to His Highness, may 
be introduced the delicate subject of the Nizam's personal 
expenditure the "scandal of scandals' 1 of a suborned 
Press regarding which so much misrepresentation and 
calumny have so persistently been reiterated. In the first 
year of the " Kanuncha " (1893), this item of account was, 
for the first time, the subject of a statement prepared by 
Mr. Harold, in which that gentleman demonstrated the 
utter falsity of the charge of extravagance imputed to 
His Highness, by submitting to a careful analysis the sums 
debited in the State Budget under the head, " Payments 
to His Highness." That account proved conclusively that 
the purely personal expenses of His Highness amounted, 
after all, to an average only of gj Lakhs against a State 
Revenue of 3^ Crores of Rupees, which is equal to some- 
thing over 2\ per cent ! Mr. Harold, it may be added, 


paid dearly for his conscientiousness in allowing fact to 
take the place of fiction, for he soon found hinself in dis- 
favour and precluded from all chances of future promo- 

Another attempt was, however, made by the Minister 
and his party to revive the now exploded charge, and this 
time His Highness met it by issuing instructions to Mr. 
Dunlop, when that gentleman was preparing the Annual 
Administration Report, to unravel the tangled skein 
arising out of the conventional system of accounts, and to 
eliminate, segregate, arid classify under their proper head- 
ings, certain items of expenditure which had been im- 
properly debited to the personal expenditure of His 
Highness. This order Mr. Dunlop complied with, but 
His Highness had taken the precaution to insist (know- 
ing that this officer was a partizan of the Minister) that 
the work would be done in the presence of his Peshi 
Secretary. And it may be here noted that His High- 
ness, at the same time, issued strict orders that no trader 
or merchant should be admitted within the Palace pre- 

To summarise ; as often as His Highness requested the 
Minister and his party to set the question of his personal 
expenditure on a satisfactory basis, so often were his 
commands ignored and set at naught ; and the conven- 
tional methods were persisted in, in order to furnish 
Mr. Plowden with plausible grounds for keeping alive the 
charge in all its pristine falsity. The result of all this fric- 
tion, was that His Highness, disgusted with being charged 
with items not properly debitable to him, and annoyed at 
the persistence and disloyalty of his Minister, at great 
personal sacrifice, discontinued drawing any money at all 
from the Treasury, with the natural consequence that the 
bills against His Highness accumulated until they reached 
a considerable figure. And oddly enough, the personal 
sacrifice His Highness thus made, to remove all basis of 
imputations against himself, has contributed to form the 
basis of the false charge that has now been brought to the 
notice of the Government as an instance of His Highness's 

It now remains to shew how it is that His Highness, 
after all his laudable efforts to follow the advice of suc- 
cessive Viceroys not only in regard to public administra- 


tion, but also in regard to his personal expenditure, 
has not succeeded in introducing his well-considered 

So long as Sir Asman Jah was Minister after the intro- 
duction of the " Kanuncha," Mr. Plowden not only con- 
curred in His Highness's views but went to great lengths 
in encouraging the Nizam to circumscribe the hitherto 
unlimited powers of that Minister. He suggested that the 
general administration should be divided amongst the 
Assistant or Departmental Ministers, and that the Prime 
Minister should only be permitted to control the Finances 
and confine his sole attention thereto ; and that in initia- 
ting schemes of retrenchment of expenditure or develop- 
ment of resources, the Minister was to confer with Members 
of the Cabinet Council. As soon, however, as Mr. Plowden's 
nominee, in the person of Sir Vikar-ul-Umra (who had been 
thrust " nolens volens " on the Nizam) became Minister, 
the principles Mr. Plowden had so assiduously endeavoured 
to establish, in order to reduce the power of the Minister, 
were completely abandoned by him, and he now advocated 
diametrically opposite views ; and in pursuance of this 
volte-face, he wrote a long letter to His Highness, advising 
him to give the new Minister his full confidence, and to leave 
everything to his sole management. Indeed, he even caused 
His Highness to render the Minister independent of the 
control of the Cabinet Council, by giving him the power of 
vetoing any decision arrived at by that body, whether 
unanimously or by a majority ; and, as an argument in 
support of his advice on this point, he stated that the 
Viceroy in Council was granted such power of veto as a 
preservative of his dignity an analogy fallacious enough 
even to outshine Mr. Plowden's ordinary tergiversation ! 

What followed was ludicrous enough. Whenever 
His Highness happened to disagree with the* Minister, 
or checked or corrected his views, the latter betook him- 
self to his " creator/' Mr. Plowden, beseeching his help, 
and maligning the unfortunate Peshi Secretary, whom he 
charged with prompting His Highness's opposition. 
Such imputation His Highness, be it said to his honour, was 
not slow to repudiate ; but the constancy with which the 
Resident backed up the Minister whether the latter were 
right or wrong, disgusted the Nizam so thoroughly, that he 
finally decided to accept the lesser of two evils, by giving 


the Minister "carte blanche/' rather than have his author- 
ity thus set at defiance through the agency of Mr. Plowden. 
And it can be easily understood how Mr. Plowden's un- 
called for interference resulted in widening the breach 
between the Nizam and his Minister, especially when 
considered in the light of the fact that His Highness 
objected to Sir Vikar's appointment. The Kanuncha was 
thus practically set aside, and the existence of the Cabinet 
Council was ignored ! Can, therefore, the present con- 
dition of things be matter for surprise, and may it not be 
taken as the antithesis of the thesis ? 

The Nizam's authority being thus set at nought, the 
result was only what might have been expected. Large 
amounts were drawn from the Treasury and disbursed 
without even the knowledge of His Highness : and the 
State Treasury to-day stands depleted in respect of the 
five years of Sir Vikar's administration, of over Sixty 
Lakhs of Rupees, for which " no account have been ren- 
dered." This large sum includes the price of Sir Vikar's 
Palace, known as " Faluknumah," which was forced upon 
the Nizam, as a purchase, by Mr. Plowden, in order to 
enable him to report to Lord Elgin, when the latter visited 
Hyderabad, that the charge of pauperism and indebted- 
ness which had been laid against the Minister was removed. 
It also includes other expenses which belong neither to the 
Nizam nor to the State ! 

Besides this lavish outlay of ready cash, the Treasury 
has been burdened with thousands nay, rather lakhs 
of rupees, in order that strange and ridiculous as it may 
be to relate incantations might be read for the purpose 
of stupefying His Highness's intellect. These sums took 
the shape of salaries and allowances to Mullahs, Fakirs, 
Astrologers, and other parasites, and were paid out from 
the Miscellaneous Department in which the Minister's 
powers were inadvertently left undefined, and were, 
in addition to the Toshakhana, Bawarchikhana, and many 
other " Khanas " pertaining to the office of Minister- 
extravagances forbidden by the letter of the " Kanuncha." 
And yet His Highness is blamed for the present deplorable 
state of affairs ! But, for the present, enough has been 
said to shew what havoc imperious " Politicals " can play 
with their charges when they are far removed from the 
paternal watch and ward of the Foreign Office, and how 


easy it is for them, after assisting in the depletion of a 
Treasury in the manner indicated (for example, the en- 
forced purchase of " Falaknumah," which the Nizam has 
never used and for which he does not appear to have the 
least fancy), to play upon the unconscious susceptibilities 
of their official superiors ! . 

But after all, notwithstanding the Minister^ lavish 
extravagances, it is no mere optimism to maintain that 
even Sir Vikar and his party have failed in their attempts 
to create the Financial Crisis which they audaciously 
impute to His Highness. The Balance Sheet prepared by 
the Comptroller-General last June shows that the State 
is indebted to the extent of only a little over 25^ lakhs 
and even this amount I am prepared to show upon analy- 
sis to be ephemeral. But accepting it, this amount may 
be taken as all that the State need borrow (if borrowing 
is at all necessary), taking for granted that it succeeds 
in recovering all the outstandings due to it by the nobles 
and high officials, in the recovery of which the Minister 
deliberately puts all the obstacles he can. Among the 
nobles indebted to the State, may be mentioned Sir 
Vikar-ul-Umra a son of the late Amir-i-Kabir, and there- 
fore an hereditary nobleman now holding the responsible 
and onerous office of Prime Minister. While there was a 
popular outcry against the depletion of the Treasury, Sir 
Vikar raised a sum of Rs.i4,ooo to Rs.i7,ooo in the name 
of the Government, and then with the most intense 
sang-froid and apparently with the knowledge of the 
Resident, but without His Highness's leave, or licence, 
appropriated the whole sum to his own use ostensibly 
as a part payment on account of " Falaknumah." In this 
connexion it is requisite to mention, as showing how 
keenly alive His Highness was to the fact of his inability 
to purchase "Falaknumah," that, the purchase being 
forced upon him, he saw the necessity for stipulating that 
the balance, after the adjustments of some ^ portion of 
purchase-money " per contra," was to be liquidated from 
time to time according as the opportunity was afforded 
by the condition of the State's finances. 

We have now to deal separately with " the Kanuncha 
Mubarak " or New Constitution of Hyderabad, which 
has been so ungenerously maligned by the " Oracle of 
Allahabad " without any show of reason, unless the flippant 


condemnation of it as " unworkable " may be regarded 
as the " reductio ad absurdum " of the idea that that 
well-informed organ of public opinion so authoritatively 
desires to convey, 

It has already been stated how this scheme of Govern- 
ment originated, and it now may be contended that it is 
not only eminently adapted to the requirements of the 
Hyderabad State but, regarded merely as a comprehensive 
literary and administrative fabric, it may justly be pro- 
nounced a masterpiece of statecraft such as would do 
credit to a transcendent order of intellect. 

The popular delusion is that every Oriental Ruler 
(Nawab or Rajah) is more or less an imbecile, a noodle, 
or a milksop, bred in, and only fit for, the zenana. But, 
in the case of Hyderabad, the Minister for the time being, 
is, strangely enough, considered an exception to this rule 
which rule, if applicable at all, is even more applicable 
to those big nobles who, with few exceptions, have had 
no regular training and no experience of statecraft what- 
ever. Some of them may have visited Europe, but what 
of that ? The proverbial ass of the Prophet, when taken 
to Jerusalem, still remained an ass nay, he proved more 
stubborn and conceited than ever ! It should at least 
strike " The Pioneer " as ridiculously incredible that, 
while the Nizam is being represented as endued with all 
the weaknesses of the Sybarite, the noble, who for the 
time being holds the office of Minister and pulls the purse- 
strings, should be flauntingly credited with all the wisdom 
of Solon, and this in face of the fact this his education 
and environments in no way differ from those of his 
Sovereign. On the contrary, I have no hesitation in de- 
claring my belief that His Highness Mir Mahbub Ali 
Khan, the present Nizam of Hyderabad (may he long be 
spared to grace the Throne he so fitly occupies !) not only 
stands he&d and shoulders above all his nobles in point of 
Western culture, but likewise in natural tact and genius ; 
while in the finer sensibilities, he has, perhaps, no equal 
certainly, no superior among the Princes and Potentates 
of India. 

What insight, it may be asked, can a mere newspaper 
correspondent especially the class of writers already des- 
cribed, writing for their bread at the highest price they 
can procure possibly have into the real character and 


mental calibre or idiosyncracies of a personage from 
whose exalted position he is, in the nature of things, en- 
tirely cut off by an impassable gulf that makes that 
association which tends to knowledge impossible ? As 
well might a denizen of the malarious Terai pretend to 
speak of the pure atmosphere that surrounds an in- 
accessible peak of the Himalayas ! Yet, it is this very in* 
approachability of the Nizam and the comparative ac- 
cessibility of the Minister that furnish the raison d'etre 
why the former is untruthfully decried and the latter 
foolishly belauded. The greed of money and the facilities 
the Minister has for disbursing douceurs from the State 
vaults to hungry scribes, account only too thoroughly for 
the utterances of these wily correspondents ! If the power 
over the State Exchequer rested solely with the Nizam, 
not only the Press vultures, but also the swarm of as- 
piring officials and Departmental Secretaries, would have 
little chance of gratifying their unwholesome appetites. 
Given, however, a Minister with unlimited power over 
both " place " and " pay " in an Eastern State, then the 
condition of things prevailing in Hyderabad is a natural 
corrollary. In this likewise is found the premium for mal- 
administration and misrule. Hence, too, the strange spec- 
tacle is witnessed of the Minister of the State clinging to 
the apron-strings of the Secretaries of his choice, who 
undertake to guide the helm of affairs in his name, and 
who are, in fact, each for his own purposes and for his 
own branch, the " de facto " Minister of Hyderabad. And 
in this circumstance will be found in fine, the keynote 
for the denunciation of the " Kanuncha Mubarak/' 
which, having limited the powers of the Minister is only too 
naturally branded with the mark, " unworkable." 

The Kanuncha was published on the 2oth of January, 
1893, and the principles it enunciated were directed to the 
attainment of three main objects, namely, (i) <the con- 
servation of the Finances of the State ; (2) the apportion- 
ment of the responsibility of administration between the 
Prime Minister and the Departmental Ministers ; (3) the 
codification of the Laws of the State. The laying down of 
bare principles, was however, considered insufficient, 
and they were therefore illustrated, amplified and regu- 
lated by sets of Rules for the Guidance, respectively 


I The Cabinet Council. 
II The Departmental Ministers. 
Ill The Prime Minister. 
IV The Legislative Council. 

The first two sets of Rules were framed and passed a 
few months before the retirement of Sir Asman Jah, and 
the last two twice considered and amended have been 
passed subsequently to the present Minister's being thrust 
upon His Highness. The contention is thus borne out, 
that the " Kanuncha " was in force during the latter 
portion of Sir Asman Jah's Ministry, and so long as he 
remained Minister, both His Highness and the Resident 
jealously guarded its provisions and the latter so much so, 
that when Sir Asman Jah submitted his draft rules de- 
fining the powers of the Prime Minister, Mr. Plowden 
strenuously opposed them, pointing out to His Highness 
that they conferred too much power on the Prime Minister, 
and therefore were contrary to the spirit and principles 
of the " Kanuncha/' And accordingly His Highness 
framed the rules himself. 

Taken as a whole, the " Kanuncha " involved a con- 
spicuous change in the old order of things, curtailing and 
distributing, as it did, power and responsibility, and 
therefore it was not surprising to find that Sir Asman Jah 
and his officials were opposed to its provisions. His High- 
ness encountered a very great deal of difficulty in col- 
lecting the old Rules and comparing them with the new, 
and in ascertaining the practice in existence with regard 
to the intricate questions affecting a population of eleven 
millions of his subjects, and the delay that ensued, caused 
an interval of 2 J years to elapse between the sanction and 
publication of the first and last set of Rules referred to, 
during v^hich period His Highness's energy and patience 
were sorely tried as he attempted to effect the requisite 
reforms to bring the State Finances into a healthy con- 
dition, while at the same time he was occupied in weeding 
out and correcting the innumerable and serious abuses 
that had crept into all the Departments of the State 
since the death of Salar Jung I. When it was realised that 
the rules of the " Kanuncha " comprise 265 sections, 
relating to matters ranging from the executive functions 


of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet Council to the cus- 
tomary ceremonies connected with " Nuzzars " and " Khi- 
lats," some idea may be formed of the labour His Highness 
underwent in the interests of his people, embracing in 
detail, as it did the powers and duties of the Cabinet 
Council, the Prime Minister, and the Departmental 
Ministers, while ample provision was made for the settle- 
ment of possible differences of opinion amongst a body 
of men who might be affected by variable influences. 
The minor and less important duties which formerly 
appertained to the office of Prime Minister were ap- 
portioned amongst the Departmental Ministers, in order 
to enable the Prime Minister the more fully to devote his 
time and attention to the Finances of the State, which 
were placed under his direct control, and for the efficient 
management of which he was made directly and primarily 
responsible ; and to accomplish this end in the most 
efficient manner possible, His Highness, profiting by the 
reiterated advice of successive Viceroys, adopted the 
kindly suggestion of Lord Lansdowne, and applied to 
the Government of India for the services of an officer who 
would not only help the Prime Minister in matters of 
account, but would also reform and formulate the system 
of Public Accounts. So it is strange to find that His 
Highness is blamed for the maladministration of that 
very Department which he took so much care to place 
on the most efficient bases ! 

But His Highness's indefatigable exertions with re- 
gard to the State's Finances did not end with the pro- 
mulgation of the Rules laid down in the " Kanuncha " 
for their conservation or with the appointment of a Comp- 
troller-General of Accounts ; but while it would be tedious 
to enumerate all the matters in connection with which, 
after promulgation of the " Kanuncha/' detailed and 
stringent orders have from time to time been issued by 
His Highness to the Prime Minister, the following may 
be mentioned ; the abolition of the Secret Service Fund ; 
the restriction of hereditary succession in the Army of the 
Nazami-Jamiat ; the practical veto to the grant of new 
"Mansabs" and of the " Youmaihs " or Endowments 
(which were much abused by the Ministers) ; the reductions 
in the establishments of the various offices ; the discon- 
tinuance of personal exemptions for Custom's Duties ; 


and, last but not least, the retrenchment of His Highness's 
own personal expenditure. 

The exertions of His Highness for the introduction 
of reforms in these directions were supported by Mr. 
Plowden only so long as the object of his aversion, Sir 
Asman Jah, was affected by them ; but as soon as Mr. 
Plowden succeeded in putting Sir Asman Jah out of 
office as a result of the charges which he fostered against 
him in connexion with the Jawad Hossein case and the 
Lakh Bribery, he turned completely around and, changing 
his policy, regarded as vices, what had heretofore been the 
virtues of the " Kanuncha." This is no idle metaphor, 
intended to suit a particular issue, for every phrase of the 
" Kanuncha " has received Mr. Plowden's approval and 
praise, and he was consulted in regard to every provision 
it contained, and his inconsistency became all too con- 
spicuous in view of the incontrovertible fact, that, while 
during Sir Asman Jah's incumbency he encouraged His 
Highness (as the " Kanuncha" will prove) to decentralise 
and distribute the authority of the Prime Minister amongst 
the Departmental Ministers, after the appointment of his 
own nominee, Sir Vikar-ul-Umra, he exhorted His High- 
ness " to trust the Prime Minister completely " and to 
" look to him only for the initiation of all reforms/' 
and " to give him his entire support/' 

In the foregoing narrative have been recited the ob- 
jects and reasons which prompted the formulation of the 
" Kanuncha/' and the necessity that entailed its promul- 
gation, and it now remains to be shewn whether its incep- 
tion has been justified by its existence, notwithstanding 
the manner in which its provisions have been violated and 

Initially the " Kanuncha " produced " order " where 
" chaos " prevailed, the duties of each officer of the State 
being defined to a degree which left no room for doubt as to 
what was required of him. To this end, the Departmental 
Ministers were all apportioned their portfolios, and the 
Secretaries, who had therefore been the all-powerful 
levers in fact, the controllers of the Departments they 
represented were reduced to their proper position of 
amanuenses and advisers on points of routine. 


The Cabinet Council held its sittings regularly to 
consider and discuss matters of administration, in which 
lay the maturity and efficiency of the ultimate decisions 
they came to on matters of State. When however, the 
Ministers were not unanimous, His Highness received the 
benefit of their deliberations on matters that were sub- 
mitted to him for his sanction and approval, and he was 
thus enabled to form a correct opinion on the point at 
issue. This was effected by the debates of the Council 
being recorded by the Secretary, for the time being, for 
His Highness's perusal : and in order to bring all the 
Secretaries in touch with the policy of the Government, 
the Secretary of each Department acted in turn as 
Secretary to the Cabinet Council for a month. This 
latter plan also effected the purpose of averting vested 
interests being monopolised and manipulated by one 

The State's expenditure was brought within control, 
while the revenue was increased. Budgets were prepared 
and discussed and submitted for His Highness's sanction 
and approval within the time specified ; and the all- 
absorbing Secret Service Fund being abolished, advent- 
turers and others who had been the recipients of large 
sums of money which were debited to that Fund, were thus 
divested of the rich harvests they used to reap, according 
to the patronage extended to them while the Secret 
Service Fund was in existence. Also by the abolition of 
this Fund, another very desirable and salutary effect was 
attained namely, that the ambitious intrigues of indivi- 
duals were defeated by depriving them of the means of 
paying for the ventilation of self-interested views and the 
theories, and this contributed in no small degree to cir- 
cumventing intrigue, which is not only the bane of, but 
likewise the most deterrent factor to the advancement 
of the State. 

In addition to the foregoing advantages, the method 
and order created by the " Kanuncha " resulted in the 
Sovereign's wishes being known and obeyed, while, by 
creating within well-defined limits, power and authority 
for his officials, his own authority was made paramount 
and was respected ; and the cordial relations that then 
existed between His Highness and Mr. Plowden, made it 
possible for him to enforce the salutary principle that the 


Nobles and Officials of the State were not to interview the 
Resident without permission previously obtained from 
His Highness a measure that had a most beneficial effect, 
while it lasted, in keeping down the evils that had for- 
merly resulted from such interviews. 

The most sanguine expectations founded on the intro- 
duction of the " Kanuncha " were realised from all points 
of view during the first two years (1302 and 1303) of its 
existence. The officials appeared to work together with 
commendable will and energy, no evidence of friction of 
any kind being apparent amongst them, and the com- 
bination thus secured, raised a column of mutual strength 
and support that made itself felt ; while the financial 
result at the end of the second year shewed nett surplus 
of no less a sum than 25 lakhs of rupees. The Resident 
(Mr. Plowden) was himself the first to acknowledge the 
efficient results that had become manifest ; and it is be- 
lieved that he wrote a very laudatory Report to the 
Government of India, based on the Balance Sheet that 
was prepared by the late Financial Secretary, Moulvi 
Chiragh Ali, which, it is stated, met with the satisfaction 
of the Government of India, as it made it clear that the 
apprehensions that had been entertained in regard to 
to the State's Finances were illusory. 

This very desirable and satisfactory state of things did 
not, however, continue. The knowledge that the Nizam 
and the Resident were working together on the most 
cordial terms, did not suit the programme of certain 
interested parties, who, finding that the " order " that had 
taken the place of " chaos " militated against their schemes 
and emoluments, set about finding ways and means for a 
return to the original condition of things. They seem to 
have effectually succeeded in playing upon Mr. Plowden's 
susceptibilities for this gentleman appears to have for- 
gotten ttye memorable letter from His Highness, in which 
the latter endeavoured to make it clear that he was jealous 
of anything in the nature of advisorial relations between 
his Minister and the Resident, otherwise than through 
himself. A departure from His Highness's wishes and 
dictum in this particular emboldened Sir Vikar to aspire 
to independence of action (only too transparently, with 
the assistance of Mr. Plowden) , and a sequence of incidents 
occurred, which it would be too tedious to narrate here ; 


but notable among them was the revival of the Secret 
Service Fund, of which no accounts have yet been rendered 
to His Highness, though they have been repeatedly called 
for. It is sufficient to state that things began steadily to 
drift from bad to worse, until the " rift within the lute " 
became so pronounced that the opportunity was afforded 
to mischief-makers to encompass their illicit ends, and to 
introduce complications which ran their intended course 
in effecting the utter disruption and turmoil that 
now characterise the Government of His Highness the 

The Nizam's wishes were entirely disregarded by 
Mr. Plowden, and instead of the latter preserving that 
inaccessibility (to others than the Prince himself) that, 
it may be rightly assumed, is desirable in the bearing 
of the British Representative at the Court of an Indepen- 
dent Prince, he was found in the equivocal position of 
espousing the cause of the Minister and his party against 
the Nizam ! Apart from the loss of dignity Mr. Plowden 
thus imposed on himself, it could hardly be expected that 
the Nizam would regard complacently the slight thus offered 
to his dignity as the Sovereign and Ruler of the State ; 
and the natural resentment that arose in his mind brought 
matters to a climax in causing disagreement bordering on 
dislike and aversion in the mind of the Sovereign towards 
his Minister. Indeed, so thoroughly did Mr. Plowden efface 
the " raison d'etre " of his presence at Hyderabad, that 
instead of being the Queen's representative in his relations 
to "Our Faithful Ally /'he was a powerful element of dis- 
cord, particularly as the " fons et origo " of the ill-feeling he 
had created between the Ruler and his Chief official, which 
ill-feeling he continued to accentuate even though he had 
the fullest knowledge of the Nizam's resentment. It 
may, in this connexion, be stated that, with such just and 
tangible ground for complaint, His Highness was the master 
of the situation and could have represented the facts to the 
Government of India and asked for Mr. Plowden's removal 
and substitution. To persons unacquainted with His 
Highness's spirit of forbearance and patience, the advisa- 
bility of his silence under such circumstances may appear 
questionable ; but one has only to know him in order fully 
to appreciate how anxious he is, and always has been, to 
preserve unimpaired the excellent relations that have 


continued to exist between himself and the Paramount 

If Mr. Plowden's autocratic acts towards the Nizam 
had only been covert, his defender would probably endea- 
vour to bring them within the category of explainable 
misunderstandings ; but they all have been only too overt 
to lie within any explanation other than that which 
appears on the surface. Amongst several instances which 
might be cited are the incidents connected with the visit 
to Hyderabad of a Governor of Madras, the " Khareeta," 
and Post Office incidents which are well-known to 
the Government of India and the curious circumstances 
that His Highness had to apply for tickets to take his 
staff on the Railway platform on the occasion of Lord 
Elgin's reception at the Hyderabad Station ! 

In the instances cited, it must be admitted that poten- 
tialities existed for the arising of complications that had no 
precedent, and which would have been due solely and 
only to Mr. Plowden's wilful display of a power that was 
certainly not authorised or relegated to him by the 
Government of India ; and if he elects to deny the truth 
of what is here stated, letters exist which will prove 
conclusively that his recorded utterances are even worse 
than his actions " litera scripta manet ! " 

It is, however, clear that Mr. Plowden's policy and 
methods have been unsympathetic with the policy and 
methods of the Supreme Government, and have borne 
fruit disastrous to the interests of the Hyderabad State, 
for they have had the effect of reducing the Nizam to the 
position of a figure-head and have depreciated his power 
and prestige to an extent that has emboldened certain 
nobles and officials to set His Highness's "orders" at 
defiance. Instances of this could be cited indeed, an 
inquiry now going on in Hyderabad more than proves 

The Nizam has exercised the most consummate for- 
bearance towards his Minister, but while His Highness's 
intentions in forbearing may be excellent, his discretion 
may be regarded as at fault ; but it must be remembered 
that His Highness is placed in the monstrous position 
of being the target for a disaffected and disloyal 
Minister, on the one hand, and of an unsympathetic and 
autocratic Resident, on the other and His Highness's 


position in the middle of two such factors can be better 
imagined than described. 


I3th September, 1897. 


" The address having been read, His Highness said 
that it gave him much pleasure to receive the address 
of welcome which the Mohammedan gentlemen had been 
good enough to present to him, and that his reply to the 
address would be read by Agha Mirza Beg (Nawab Server 
Jung Bahadur) , His Highnesses tutor. 

" Agha Mirza Beg then read the following reply on 
behalf of His Highness : 

" ' Gentlemen, I have listened with great pleasure to 
your cordial, affectionate and congratulatory address. I 
know full well that the people of this country, Hindoos and 
Mohammedans alike, have with perseverance and energy 
devoted themselves wholly to the acquisition of the know- 
ledge of the arts and sciences. Even in early times this 
country was not at all inferior to other countries in culture 
and civilization. Consequently, it is a source of extreme 
gratification to me when such people whose present attain- 
ments are worthy of imitation, and whose former condition 
was commendable, express their cordiality towards me in 
such a sincere way, and I shall always continue duly to 
appreciate this expression of sincere feeling, 

" * In the course of my present journey, I am, indeed, 
highly delighted to find my co-religionists in a prosperous 
and hapDy condition under the fostering care of the 
Imperial Government of India, with which my State has 
been long in terms of firm alliance and hearty friendship. 

" ' I am exceedingly desirous to travel, and the more I 
heard of the glowing accounts of this country and the 
praises of its people, the more anxious I became to visit 
it. The Deccan is very far from Bengal ; and as long 
journeys in former days were very troublesome, difficult 
and perilous, the people of my State seldom came to this 
part of the country, and it is for this reason that the 

335 , 


Mohammedans of this country and the people of the Dec- 
can have hitherto remained, comparatively speaking, 
strangers to one another. But nowadays, under the good 
and highly beneficent administration of the Government 
of India this reason no longer exists. 

" ' It is true that I am the first member of my family 
who has come to this country, but I now entertain a 
strong hope that a regular intercourse will be established 
between the learned and talented inhabitants of this 
country and the people of my State ; and I feel sure that 
the results of my present journey will prove a source of 
immense benefit to my subjects, for, whatever experience 
and knowledge I gain during this journey shall be fully 
utilized in the administration of my State and in securing 
happiness to my subjects. This was indeed, one of the 
great objects of my present journey, though the one 
mentioned by you is also quite correct. 

" ' The Exhibition certainly shows the great advance 
made in the cultivation of arts and the extension of com- 
merce, and will, no doubt, prove a course of considerable 
benefit to the country and its inhabitants. 

11 ' Gentlemen, you are also quite right in your belief 
that, after my assumption of the management of the 
affairs of my State, which is shortly to take place under 
the sanction of the Imperial Government, I shall devote 
my head and heart to the good of my State and the wel- 
fare of my subjects, and continue to do my best to advance 
the cause of learning and the cultivation of the arts : 
and I shall take particular care to see that neither the 
civilization of the East is lost, nor the acquirement of all 
that is good in Western civilization neglected. 

" ' In conclusion, I have to express my very great 
pleasure to find that you, gentlemen, are the members of 
a famous and well-known society that has, for many years 
under the fostering care of the Imperial Government, 
exerted its utmost in the advancement of education, and 
it is a source of great gratification to me to see that 
your efforts in this direction have been crowned with 

" ' I assure you that I shall be ready at all times to 
give my cordial support and patronage to your noble 
pursuits and wise efforts, and it will always be a source of 
much gratification to me to hear of the good results of your 


endeavours in the cause of Mohammedan education in 
Bengal, as they may be attained from time to time. 

" ' I now accept your address with great pleasure and 
thank you for the kind wishes contained therein regarding 
myself and my State." 

After this the deputation withdrew, 

(From " Englishman/' January 5th, 1884) 


(Translation of Appendix IV. in Urdu). 

My beloved son, Mirza Yahya Mahbub Quli Beg, has 
almost compelled me by his repeated entreaties to write 
these lines, which I have done in plain and unaffected 
Urdu, as spoken in the Fort of Delhi. I am afraid it will 
not meet with the approval of the present-day readers, 
as the language has undergone a good deal of change 
since the time of my respected uncle, Sir Syed Ahmed, 
and modern writers have almost metamorphosed it by 
borrowing forms of literary expression from European 

Languages have come into existence to enable Man to 
express in words what he perceives by his senses, and there- 
fore, on sociological grounds, a nation's native idioms and 
words are better suited for the expression of its ideas and 
sentiments than the words of a foreign language spoken by 
another race with different social ideals. Besides, it does 
not necessarily follow that a conquered race should adopt 
the language spoken by the conquerors. There are many 
examples to the contrary in the history of past ages. 
For instance, " Greece when conquered, conquered its 
conquerors," and imposed its culture on the Romans ; 
and even in India, Urdu, which is derived from tjje Sans- 
crit and Hindi, prevailed over Persian and Turkish. 
Says Ghalib : 

" If they ask you how is it possible for Urdu 

to rival Persian, you have only to recite a few 

verses of Ghalib to convince them." 

Urdu, a language of Brahmanic parentage, is now well- 
known all over the world, from America in the West to 
Japan in the East, and from the frozen North to the 



Southern Seas ; and we fervently pray that it may 
acquire yet still more brilliance and maintain its supremacy. 
Bengali is spoken in Bengal, Marathi in Maharashtra, 
Gujrati in Gujrat, and Sindhi in Sindh ; but Urdu, the 
beloved of the Emperors of Delhi and of Mir Saudha and 
Insha, is understood all over India. In our own times His 
Exalted Highness Nawab Mir Osman Ali Khan Bahadur, 
the cultured and illustrious Ruler of Hyderabad has 
established an Urdu University which leads us to hope 
that this all-conquering language, which has already sup- 
planted a number of vernaculars, will acquire still more 

These lines are written in the classical language of 
the Fort of Delhi, and it will therefore not be out of place, 
if I quote here some verses written by inmates of the 
Fort, by natives of Delhi, and by others, so that the 
variations in the language of the writers of these three 
classes can be easily detected. 

A princess of the Royal House of Delhi says : 

" See how playful she is ! With hushed footsteps, 
and with her curled locks in her hands, she comes 
to me and tries to frighten me by crying ' Snake V 

An understanding critic can see how sweet the language 
is, and how artistically has the princess expressed an old 
idea. The word for " see " in the original is really an 
infinitive, but, in the peculiar language of the Fort, it 
is used here as an imperative. The lady's husband was 
Mirza Sabir, who died at Benares. His " Diwan " (Poetical 
Works) , is full of such idiomatic expressions. 

While Saadat Yar Khan Rangin was the inventor of 
Rekhti -verses written in the peculiar language of women 
Zauq, Momin, and Dagh, all wrote in the language of the 
Fort and of the City. I, myself, was responsible for the 
following : 

11 My heart, of which I was so inordinately proud, 
Thou hast made it absolutely worthless, O 

Tyrant ! " 

and Mir Taqi says : 

" You may abuse others to your heart's content, 
but if you dare to say anything to me, well, the 
same to you ! " 


Poets not belonging to Delhi have enriched Urdu 
poetry by their beautiful themes, but their forms of 
expression are not the same as those used by the people 
of Delhi. Their works are pretty well-known, and it is 
therefore unnecessary for me to cite any example of their 

In our own times, writers who know English are 
turning Urdu into a European language ; but some 
writers of novels and stories are great offenders for they 
show absolutely no regard for purity of language. It is 
only Urdu which can be the common language of India 
and even now it is the " lingua franca " of India. 

When I started from Lucknow for Hyderabad, I had 
to travel from Jubbulpore by bullock-cart. This journey 
took rne nearly eight months, but although I was entirely 
unfamiliar with the route, and had to camp at nights in 
jungles or in villages consisting of a few huts, I had never 
any difficulty in making myself understood. I did not 
know the language of those whom I met, but they knew 
mine (Urdu). The same thing happened to me in Ceylon. 

Our far-seeing Government, with some subtle ends in 
view, tried to bring about a Civil War between the two 
sisters (Hindi and Urdu) or, more correctly speaking, 
between mother and daughter but blood is thicker than 
water, and Urdu has found a new life by appearing in a 
Hindu garb in Hindi letters, while retaining all its peculiar 
forms of expression, vocabulary and idioms. Urdu can 
now proudly say to its great opponent, Sir A. Macdonnel : 

" I was not destined to die, so even your kick 
served to revive me, although you had kicked me 
with the intention of making my life extinct. 11 

The word * Hindi ' gives rise to strange thoughts 
What is the derivation of ' Hindu ' ' Hindi ' an ' Hin- 
dustan ' ? and why is this Continent, which is surrounded 
by the Himalayas, the Ocean and the countries of Indo- 
China, called Hindustan, although it consists of different 
countries, and is peopled by races widely differing from 
one another as regards their religion, social character- 
istics, etc. ? Yes, why is this Continent called by one single 
name, and when and why did its people accept this name ? 
My impression is that there must be some other name for 
this Continent in the ancient literature of China, Tibet and 


Ind*China. In ancient times, when the Kianians Sassani 
dynasties ruled in Persia, the name " Hindustan " was 
given only to the Northern part of the country ; and then, 
later on, as the number of travellers and merchants 
increased, the name began to be applied to the whole 
country from the Punjab to the Eastern limits of Bengal. 
Northern India is called ' Hind and Sind ' by Arab 
historians but there was no particular name for the 
Southern part of the Continent, where each Province was 
called by its own name e.g. Malabar, etc. Indeed, 
Southern India was not regarded as a part of India, but 
was supposed to be a separate country. 

Muslim historians retained this nomenclature till the 
extinction of their Empire, and the words Sind, Hind, 
and Deccan occur frequently in their works. 

But there is no word in the language of the people of 
this Continent which can be applicable to the whole of it ; 
and my personal opinion is that the people of Europe were 
responsible for this erroneous view. They thought that 
they had reached India when they landed on the Southern 
shores of the Continent, and they dubbed the whole country 
" India/' calling its people " Indians," irrespective of the 
community to which they belonged. These names "India " 
and " Indians/' were thereafter adopted in all countries 
of the world, with slight variations due to linguistic 

In this Continent which is inhabited by people of 
different races, with a variety of religions and languages, 
the most civilized are the followers of the Vedas, 
Puranas and Shastras. Their warriors founded kingdoms 
in various parts of the Continent and their men of learning 
made such marked progress in the various branches of 
knowledge that they spread civilization and refine- 
ment, net only in their own country, but also in the sur- 
rounding countries of China, Burma, Siam and the Islands 
of the Eastern Archipelago ; their influence is perceptible 
in these countries even after the lapse of ages. Similarly 
their craftsmen taught the people of these countries the 
arts of cilivized life. I think the people of the West, too, 
have borrowed freely from the civilization and culture of 
the people of the Vedas. 

The other peoples of India adopted the religion and 
social ideals of the people of the Vedas, although they 


differed from them in race and language ; and so the people 
of India have one religion, although, like the vdirious 
nations of Europe, they are of different races an/ speak 
different languages. 

The Persians called the people of the Vedas, " Hindus/' 
and the country lying between Punjab and Bengal, 
Hindustan. Later on, the whole country began to be 
called " Hindustan/' and the people Hindus ; and the 
Europeans, by their mistaken zeal, gave currency to 
this throughout the world. 

The Christians now call it " East India/' and the 
Muslims call it " Hind " ; but the real natives of the coun- 
try have no particular name for it. In modern thnes, 
under the influence of Western education, the natives 
have begun to divide themselves into two classes namely, 
Hindu and Un-Hindu i.e. those who regard the Vedas 
as revealed books, and those who are incapable of doing 



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