India has been witness to unfortunate happenings in the past, whether related to the country partition or way past than that. One thing’s for sure – the omens should be given importance.
Most would agree that a crop of wrong politicians have rendered an almost irreparable damage to the polity of such a great ancient and still thriving civilisation on Earth. You had a West Pakistan and an East Pakistan amputating the mainland map. And, we had the fiasco of Article 370. Even weirder as well as worse was the unholy way of the wayward last Nizam of Hyderabad who would ‘usurp’ the estate of any Nobleman who died leaving behind a minor. All the ‘private possessions’ of late Nizam are in fact State property and belong to the people of India. These entire collections of Nizam can be monetised by the Government of India to help wipe out external debt that has mounted over the last few years of crude oil wars
Bedazzled” is the word that springs to mind whenever any onlooker gazes at the exhibits of India’s many ex-royals and their prized possessions.
It is not as if such artefacts, antiques and magnificent items of splendour are seen only in Indian museums or palaces converted into hotels or in the still intact old houses of “zamindar-landlords” and legal heirs of hundreds of erstwhile dynasties who ruled the length and breadth of the sub-continent.
A world traveller would bear witness to such ornate mastery across Austria, Hungary, Germany, Turkey, Iran, France, Russia, Greece, Italy, China and many other parts of the world wherever monarchy was the order of society.
Yet, however, and most interestingly, India has a most unique history as well as collection of historical material evidence of the wealth of the kingdoms which reigned, over centuries of prosperity, plenty and advanced societal mores.
Of discipline, taste and harmonious co-existence, to the students of modern history fed on pseudo texts and unauthentic secondary prose books on the subject, it may seem unbelievable to visualise the “sasya shyamala” or abundance of resources, both material and spiritual in ancient Bharatvarsh!
But, the truth is unveiled when one delves into history via available proof —be it the marvellous bridge built across the sea by the formidable vanars for Lord Sri Rama to walk across to Sri Lanka and free his consort, Sita Devi, or the temples in Hampi of the most venerable ruler Sri Krishnadevaraya of Vijayanagara empire when precious stones like emeralds, rubies and diamonds were sold in heaps on waysides!
Such was the state of prosperity in those eras in this very land of the devout and the faithful people. Languages were different. Cultures were separate. Yet, they all were weaved by a common bond of “Hindutva” and Hinduism a.k.a spiritual lifestyle in a bare translation of the term into the English language.
The over-riding word of common bonding was however “Dharma” to which there is no known direct equivalent in the beautiful English language.
A small indicator to the might of Indian supremacy — essentially due to a most exalted state of “good governance” sine qua non to “good governance” has always been patronising the arts in myriad forms. Be it literature, sculpture, dance, poetry, dance-drama or even weaving cloth or engineering skills reflected in the dainty huge temple towers and rock carvings and even in pottery-items found in ruins at Harappa civilisation of the Indus Valley civilisation, the glory of thought and actions, both by the governed and their rulers, is evident.
As modern history evolved and raiders plundered the hospitable land and stole the loot to house these treasures in veritable institutions (including the “palace of a western queen) and as Bharatvarsh got partitioned into many countries and then eventually, a Republic of India was created with many States, these many together reflect the ethos of the great India civilisation.
Yes, we are a civilisation. A culture where the majority merged itself to offer an umbrella of protection as well as compassion to the minorities in society and where those who leave the majority to be clubbed with the minority are treated with equal respect as fellow citizens.
All of this is a necessary study to the theories of “unity in diversity” and “all for one & one for all”. The corollary though is the “blot on the face of a fair moon”.
Most would agree that a crop of wrong politicians have rendered an almost irreparable damage to the polity of such a great ancient and still thriving civilisation on Earth.
All of this is evident in the contrasting study of geo-political historical incidents and current state of affairs pertaining to the map of India.
You had a West Pakistan and an East Pakistan amputating the mainland map. And, we had the fiasco of Article 370, which continues to haunt all India even after seventy two years of Independence.
But then, we had “Operation Polo” which was brilliantly dealt with and most deftly by Sardar Vallabhai Patel to prevent a Central Pakistan which was the ominous design of the last Nizam of Hyderabad — a traitor by deeds who was tamed both by love and by military action!
However, recent developments which appear inane such as the summary division of a composite Andhra Pradesh State to carve the Telangana State are reasons for alarm.
There is more than meets the eye. Without much ado, let it be understood that emeralds, rubies or diamonds do not grow on trees nor can be procreated by any man or woman — be he of mogul descent or a legal heir of any foreigner or desi politician. Such is the case of the fabled “private collections” of the late Nizam of Hyderabad.
How in the first place did he acquire these diamonds, emeralds, rubies and the rest of priceless, rarest or rare antique jewellery items?
Truth can never buttress lies of history or the dunces who often write it (more so, in modern times).
When the Mughal empire decimated and the last emperor was incarcerated in Burma (Myanmar ) by his progeny, and their local commander in the Deccan region became a “sovereign” since the “big boss” was dead and gone, the “finder became the keeper”. Continuing generations continued to chant the hymn of “sarkar” being the owner and possessor.
Even weirder as well as worse was the unholy way of the wayward last Nizam of Hyderabad who would “usurp” the estate of any Nobleman who died leaving behind a minor: the widows would be included in his Harem and the prized possessions would be owned by the “Sarkar”, meant to be returned to the minor in attainment of age of majority but conveniently forgotten! Thus were these collections enlarged.
Not many know how he also got a certain Barrister-Nobleman killed because Ghalib Jung Bahadur was owning a greater collection of diamonds than all of his put together. And, often lent his government loans too…In fact, the gentleman was so aghast at having been told to halt when the convoy of the Nizam passed by that he built a separate bridge called the “Muslim Jung pul” which adjoins the High Court buildings..
Significantly, the sequel to this tragic saga is the historical fact that he dispatched his industry minister to deposit a few boxes of diamonds, emeralds and rubies at London in the Lloyd’s Bank but the trusted lieutenant did so but in his personal name and fled to newly carved West Pakistan to become the first Prime Minister.
Such is the hoary past of the so-called private possessions of the late Nizam of Hyderabad. And, it certainly is not amusing to read of a little learned politician of Telangana State grandly announcing his intention to glorify the Nizam era, via such relics of India!
It is not an unknown fact that a certain MP of the region has direct contact with a certain MP of modern day Pakistan, whose father was kingpin of a genocide committed against majority Hindus by minority Sunni ruler, last Nizam of Hyderabad. As well as avowed declaration repeatedly by that foreigner of “retaking Hyderabad” to avenge her departed father’s defeat by Sardar Patel, who had quietly airlifted the razaakar-boss and dropped him in Karachi sparing his life!
The signs are ominous. The nation must learn to foresee and prevent further chaos and uninformed governance styles. All the “private possessions” of late Nizam are in fact State property and belong to the people of India. Not to any ghost of history nor to any living litigants. Universal laws apply. The open declarations surrender broadcast by the last Nizam was a will surpassing any mischievous interpretations or devious claims of accidental leaders and ignorant masses.
The entire collection ought to be shifted to the National Museum at the National Capital of Delhi. These can be monetised by the Government of India to help wipe out external debt that has mounted over the last few years of crude oil wars.
If a tiny isle land in the Gulf region which does not drill a drop of oil can enjoy such glory of worldwide patronage by dint of its economic and fiscal policies, why not India? History is created not by geo-political factors but by moral fibre of the people who rule the times. History is no mute witness. When muted, History screams loud and clear. Is anyone listening?
The writer is eminent jurist, poet, author.
Writer: Pamarty Venkataramana
Source: The Pioneer