On the 50th death anniversary of the last Nizam of Hyderabad, Nawab Mir Osman Ali Khan Bahadur, his family rued that the contributions of the architect of modern Hyderabad remained forgotten.
The members of the family on Thursday paid tributes to the VIIth Nizam at his grave at Judi mosque near King Koti Palace, which was his residence.
Nawab Najaf Ali Khan, grandson of the last Nizam, said it was unfortunate that there is neither a day to remember him nor a statue to garland. "There is not even a lesson in history books in educational institutions to remember the great contributions made by Nizam," he said.
He was a great ruler who made far-reaching contributions to the development of the region, served humanity and loved his subjects that make him stand out, said Najaf Ali Khan, who is also president of Nizam Family Welfare Association.
Born on April 6, 1886, Osman Ali Khan was the last ruler of princely State of Hyderabad, from 1911 to 1948. After Hyderabad State acceded to the Indian Union, he was appointed Rajpramukh of the state in 1948 and held the administrative title till 1956 when the post was abolished.
Osman Ali Khan breathed his last at the King Koti Palace on February 24, 1967. The death anniversary is observed as per the Islamic calendar.
He was buried at Judi mosque, which he had built in 1936 in memory of his son Jawad, who had died as an infant.
According to family members, his funeral procession was one the largest in Indian history, a testimony to his popularity. An estimated two lakh people formed the procession of the gun-carriage.
On the last Nizam's demise, the then Andhra Pradesh government remembered him by issuing an extraordinary gazette.
The government declared state mourning on February 25, 1967, the day when he was buried. State government offices remained closed as a mark of respect while the national flag was flown at half-mast on all government buildings throughout the state.
On his death, the gazette described the Nizam as "deeply solicitous of the welfare of the depressed classes and through the unremitting labour of his Government many new schemes for promoting their welfare were enunciated".
It said that he kept up the tradition "to observe absolute impartiality in matters pertaining to religions of different communities in the Dominions" and was well known for his philanthropic activities. He made "substantial contributions to a variety of institutions belonging to all creeds and communities such as the Banaras Hindu University, Bhandarkar Institute, Santiniketan, Aligarh Muslim University, etc.," the gazette said.
The gazette also noted that he established the Osmania University in 1918, the first of its kind in India to have an Indian language as the medium of instruction. He took personal interest in the construction of the buildings of the University, which possess elements of Hindu and Muslim architecture blended with beauty, and Buddhist, Jain, Chalukyan, Bahamani and Qutub Shahi styles of architecture harmonised into one.