Thursday, September 17, 2009


The Passing of Patrimonialism: Politics and Political Culture in Hyderabad, 1911-1948; by Margrit Pernau; New Delhi: Manohar, 2000 (earlier version published in German as Verfassung und politische Kultur im Wandel : der indische Fürstenstaat Hyderabad 1911-48; Stuttgart: F. Steiner, 1992)

Original Photo HERE

The incredible wealth and personal oddities of Hyderabad's last Nizam, Osman Ali Khan; combined with the striking anomaly that the Deccan outpost of, and successor-state to, the Mughal empire -- it is no coincidence that the graves of Aurangzeb and the first Nizam lie very near each other, in the Burhanuddin dargah in Maharashtra’s Khuldabad -- survived until the middle of the twentieth century; not to mention the state's bizarre decision to try and cling on as a monarchy even after the departure of the British, rather than strike a reasonable accommodation with the post-1947 Indian state; have contributed to the dominant popular image of the Nizamate, and of its court culture, as one of eccentricity and anachronism. If ever a polity was in the wrong time, popular historiography seems to agree, the Mughal relic in the Deccan was it. Margrit Pernau's first achievement in The Passing of Patrimonialism, then, is in taking and representing that polity seriously for a relatively non-specialist audience. Her book (the English version is a 2000 reworking of her 1992 German-language study) attempts to take the reader through the last four decades of British rule in India from the perspective of (for the most part) the Nizam's court and Hyderabad's political elites. While the Pernau of 2000 acknowledges that her 1992 thesis' implicit conflation of "politics" with the statecraft and maneuvers of the Hyderabad political elites is a bit too narrow given the book's subtitle, she unapologetically insists upon the subject's importance. One would be hard-pressed to deny it, although Pernau's concession does mean that one cannot take the book's stated ambit, "Politics and Political Culture in Hyderabad, 1911-1948", literally. The "patrimonialism" of the title refers to Max Weber's classification of the forms of "traditional " political authority in his seminal Economy and Society. Following Weber, Pernau notes:

. . . three forms within traditional authority, that is authority which derives its legitimacy 'by virtue of the sanctity of age-old rules ('existing since time immemorial') and powers. The first form is gerontocracy or primary patriarchalism, which functions without an administrative staff of its own and therefore can exercise control only over a limited area. . . . If an administrative staff develops, it can be responsible to the ruler personally -- the second form. In this case Weber speaks of patrimonialism. Alternatively -- and this is the third form -- it can appropriate particular powers and economic assets, in which case it would be called estate-type domination. . . . (Passing of Patrimonialism, pg. 51)

The "passing" the book's title refers to is thus that of Hyderabad from the pre-modern "patrimonialism" of the Asaf Jahi state to the modern, impersonal bureaucratic state. But the bureaucratic state Pernau apparently has in mind is not simply the Indian Union. While Hyderabad is commonly thought of in popular discourse as stuck in a time warp until its old order was replaced by virtue of the state's absorption into the Indian Union in 1948, Pernau sees the transition as having begun much earlier, such that the ancien regime was already all but dead by the time the Indian Army walked into the state. In Pernau's view, the passage from the second to the third of Weber's forms of "traditional authority" was initiated by the last Nizam, Osman Ali Khan (r. 1911-1948), who sought to create a modern administrative state structure that would nevertheless leave undisturbed the legitimacy and symbolic order of the Asaf Jahi dynasty, a monarchy that bore the trace of its distant Mughal origins in the sovereign's own title (the "nizam" of the title referred originally to Mir Qamaruddin Khan, the eighteenth century Mughal "nizam-ul-mulk" ("administrator of the land", a title given to Mughal governors) who founded the dynasty by achieving the de facto independence of the declining Mughal state's Deccan province). But The Passing of Patrimonialism isn't very clear as to whether this bureaucratization was the result of the last Nizam's own drive for centralized power (at the expense of that of other traditional elements in the state, such as the nobility); or of the Raj's determination by the 1920s to clip Osman Ali Khan's wings, by attempting to institutionalize administrative authority in the state in order to reduce its dependence on a man the British alternately regarded as bulwark and troublemaker.

Original Photo HERE

The book's failure to explore this distinction points to a wider issue. An account of Hyderabad's broader passage from the world of the "beloved" Nizam Mahboob Ali Khan (d. 1911) (held, along with his Minister Maharajah Kishen Prashad, to typify the traditional Hyderabadi courtly ethos) to that of the modern nation-state, would unquestionably be highly significant (whether or not even pre-1911 Hyderabad conformed to Weber's notions of the "patrimonial," given the size and extent of the state, and the fact of British paramountcy and range of "impersonal" means at the colonial power's disposal to influence events within the state, is a separate question). But The Passing of Patrimonialism only intermittently concerns itself with such an account, and even less so with a study of the state's increasing bureaucratization, with the result that the book's statement of thesis, laid out in Pernau's introduction, is somewhat misleading. Pernau does engage with her book's purported subject when it comes to discrete areas -- such as her superb account of the manner in which the patrimonial (and perennial) struggle between the aristocratic Paigah family and the sovereign, with the contours of Paigah power varying over time and dependent on the nature of the family's relations with the Nizam -- became institutionalized by the end of the 1920s, the rights and privileges of Paigah seigneurial authority over the family lands becoming appropriate subjects for legal/rule-based adjudication, rather than informal politics. But for the most part, the book does not provide an overarching account of a system passing into bureaucratic modernity. Indeed, at its most persuasive, such as in the long fifth chapter on the new forms of political mobilization in the twentieth century, the resulting sharpening of linguistic and communal boundaries as well as the simultaneous fluidity of the boundaries between the Indian nationalist, Hindu revivalist, and linguistic movements; and on the extent to which even orthodox Muslim "loyalism" ultimately undermined the polity; the book's account of the passing of Hyderabad's patrimonial structure does not seem to have anything to do with the increased bureaucratization of the state. The nazar controversy of 1920 serves as a good illustration. Osman Ali Khan's re-interpretation of the Mughal concept of nazar, from a personal presentation to the sovereign as homage, or at the time of a request; to an institutionalized (and highly unpopular) revenue stream collected throughout the realm; would appear to be a perfect illustration of the book's thesis. But Pernau discusses the issue only within the context of rising tensions between the Nizam and the British, and other critics who saw the new policy as evidence of Osman Ali Khan's avarice. A study of the new nazar policy as symptomatic of the passing of patrimonialism is strangely absent.

Original Photo HERE

Fortunately, the tale Pernau does tell is no less significant. The Passing of Patrimonialism is essentially a history of Hyderabad's politics during Osman Ali Khan's reign, and, given the paucity of overarching scholarly narratives on this subject in English, it is welcome as such a history. Ultimately, the broader historical passage Pernau's title alludes to is not the subject of her history so much as it is the backdrop to her account of the efforts of the Hyderabad ruling elites to negotiate both British paramountcy and the rising tide of nationalism, all the while attempting to preserve the old order. Pernau's book, that is to say, is not a study of the last Nizam's modernization drive as symptomatic of a long structural change, but is primarily a history of his strategy to negotiate that change. That strategy was doomed to fail -- Osman Ali Khan's regime ultimately found itself on the wrong side of virtually every major political trend, with the exception of the increased bureaucratization that was one of modernity's hallmarks, or of an overtly Muslim politics, although even both of these could not help but undermine the foundations of the ancien regime that had encouraged them. However, an adequate understanding of that attempt, that is, of Osman Ali Khan's position as a crucial transitional figure -- a "modernizer," but one who sought to use modernization to try and shore up his position and to hold outsiders at bay -- is essential, not only where the political history of the Deccan is concerned, but also because it encapsulates several major themes in Indian history that resonate down to our times: the dichotomies of "tradition" and "progress"; cultural autonomy and "outside" influence; the functioning of colonialism in the context of "indirect" rule; the grand narratives of nationalism and communalism (Muslim and Hindu); the more localized narrative of a sub-national (Telugu, but also Marathi) identity; not to mention (by the end of the period) an armed peasant uprising.

Original Photo HERE

The Passing of Patrimonialism is very good in illustrating the unintended consequences of political actors pursuing their own ends within the context of the hybrid colonial system that combined directly ruled British India with a patchwork of "native ruled" states, and over which (certainly by the late nineteenth century) British authority and influence was such that their characterization in the academic literature as instances of "indirect" rule is entirely justified. Pernau lucidly shows how, step-by-step, and cognizant of his early weakness within Hyderabad vis-a-vis the nobility and the throne's Minister (given that the appointment of the latter had long been one of the principal ways in which the colonial power exercised influence at the Hyderabad court, the position was an especial interest of the British, and, over time, no Minister could be appointed without British approval) the last Nizam sought to shore up his authority by courting the British Resident and importing (or accelerating the adoption of) British bureaucratic models within the state's administration; while, simultaneously, attempting to instal his own men in significant administrative positions. (The latter move adversely impacted the traditional aristocracy, and, indirectly, British influence, given the nobility's tendency to appeal to the British Resident for support in conflicts with the court.) This double (and somewhat contradictory) move would have been fairly typical of the dance the larger princely states had to manage vis-a-vis the Raj (the double move would become a trapeze act once nationalistic politics gained ground in the twentieth century, as India's new "mass leaders" challenged the legitimacy of the "traditional" rulers in profoundly destabilizing ways), were it not for the outbreak of World War I.

Pernau underscores that the British need to "keep Muslims loyal" in the face of an enemy that included Ottoman Turkey (still ruled by a Sultan who was nominally Khalifah (Caliph) of all (Sunni) Muslims worldwide) led them to solicit the overt support of the Nizam, as the ruler of the largest Muslim(-ruled) principality in India. This need became ever more urgent once it became clear that the war's end would spell radical changes to the nature of the Ottoman state. Not to mention that complications arose from Britain's position as global -- and not just an Indian -- power: while the British had extended assurances to Indian Muslim leaders that the position of the Khalifah as custodian of the holy places of Makkah and Madinah would not be affected, these promises were simply inconsistent with the expectations of Arab nationalists (also encouraged by the British) that henceforth they would rule in the Arab lands. While the Nizam's combination of loyalty and subservience to the Raj, and championing of a specifically Muslim agenda, would pose problems once the Khilafat movement made the two courses diverge, until that break, on Pernau's account, the Nizam was able to see his position as "Muslim leader" as an opportunity to leverage his relations with the Raj in his favor. However, what neither the Nizam, nor the British (nor anyone else) foresaw was the destructive impact the Nizam's new pan-Indian Islamic identity ("new" in the sense that it was understood to transcend the borders of the state of Hyderabad; the Asaf Jahi dynasty had always seen itself as orthodox Muslim, but had not laid any claim to wider Muslim significance beyond the Deccan, and had over time celebrated the notion of a court culture where Hindu and Muslim could not be distinguished on the basis of language or dress) would have on the legitimacy of his state in the eyes of its own population, the vast majority of which was Hindu.

Original Photo HERE

What explains this blindness? One might just chalk it up to the inevitable law of unintended consequences, but Pernau links it to the ambiguous duality inherent in the position of the princely states vis-a-vis the Raj. That is, the princes were expected to maintain "traditional" rule within their borders, but at the same time had to follow the British "civilizing" lead (a ruler who stubbornly refused to implement any of the modern bureaucratic, administrative, educational, and technological methods being applied in British India, would soon find himself -- as an unfriendly reactionary -- on the wrong side of the state's British Resident). Conversely, the princely states could not go the whole hog in conforming to the British model: not only would this be suicidal for the native rulers' own position (which to a large extent depended on traditional symbols and models of patronage, few of which could survive the impersonal bureaucratization of the modern state), but it would also undermine the Raj's own rationale for why the princely states continued to be tolerated. That is, if the British were justified in letting the princely states survive despite their "backwardness", this was because "traditional authority" was better suited to Indian realities, and indeed, the Indian public was imagined to be greatly attached to the traditional forms of authority. (The cynicism of such justifications may be readily gleaned from the obvious point that this essentially relativistic argument could just as easily be used to undermine the ideological foundations of colonial rule in British India. Pernau, more charitably, refers to this unacknowledged contradiction within British imperial ideology, but that presupposes an integrity that I am not persuaded imperial policymakers possessed.) Wholesale importation of the British model would de-stabilize the traditional bond between prince and subject. The "traditional" rulers also began to serve a second ideological function once Western-educated Indians began to lead the nascent nationalistic movements: in contrast to the likes of the urban, Anglicized Indians who showed signs of making greater political demands than the Raj was prepared to grant; the nawabs and maharajahs could be held up as representatives of the "real" India. The (pre-Gandhi) Indian nationalists might have been "civilized" by means of their Western-style education and orientation, but that also made them un-Indian in the eyes of the colonial power, and hence un-representative. Progress, the Raj's message appeared to be, came at the price of political irrelevance.

In sum, the princely order was already accustomed to grappling with two systems, and even two symbolic orders; one applying to the native state's dealings with the "external" power, and the second applying to its dealings with its own people. On Pernau's telling, the Nizam (presumably in common with the other princes) did not appreciate that the second system could be profoundly affected by the vagaries of the first. Thus, the "external" approach of presenting the Asaf Jahi ruler as natural leader of India's Muslims, and custodian in some vague sense of Indian Islam, was not perceived to have any bearing on the Nizam's relationship with his own subjects. To the extent Pernau is right, the Nizam was no more wrong than the other princes about the relationship between "outside" and "inside". However, as the ruler of the largest native state, and the only one who had become implicated in pan-Indian symbolism, only the Nizam was playing such a high-stakes game. And Hyderabad was one of the handful of large states where the ruling family and the majority of the population belonged to different religions. Pernau is surely right to pinpoint the dovetailing of British and Nizam interests in Osman Ali Khan's adoption of pan-Indian Muslim garb, as setting the stage for a communal disaster within Hyderabad. The nationalistic mobilizations and communal conflicts that engulfed India in the decades after World War I would likely have made things challenging for the polity in any event, but the Nizam posing as Muslim champion made the destruction of his regime's neutrality, and, ultimately, its legitimacy, inevitable. Not to mention that the shift would also come to restrict the Nizam's room for maneuver where proponents of a specifically Muslim politics were concerned; by the 1940s the state was regularly bullied and co-opted by the fanatics of the Majlis-e-Ittihad-ul-Muslimeen (although the significance of the Nizam's own cynicism in encouraging the Majlis in order to undermine other power centers within Hyderabad; and Jinnah's opportunism in forging an alliance with the likes of Majlis leader Bahadur Yar Jung as part of the Muslim League's drive to present itself as India-wide representative of all Muslims, whether in British India or the princely states, cannot be underestimated either). By the time of Hyderabad's collision course with the post-1947 Indian state, Pernau notes that the old order had in any event become irretrievable: the Nizam still reigned, but his rule was becoming an empty shell in the face of a de facto coup d'etat by the Majlis's military wing, the Razzakars. In the wake of nationalism, while democratic politics ended up undermining the legitimacy of princely rule all over the sub-continent, the same politics also served to renovate many a prince as Member of Parliament or Minister after 1947. But Hyderabad's particular constellation of events meant there would be no re-invention for the Nizam and his descendants as modern politicians. Like that other state that lay directly across the fault-lines of the transfer of power from Britain to its successor states, namely Kashmir, the former ruling family in Hyderabad is today utterly absent from the public life of its former realm (except as the subject of news stories about ongoing litigation concerning the family fortune), in a way that would be unimaginable where the erstwhile rulers of the Rajasthan states, or Gwalior, are concerned.

Original Photo HERE

But The Passing of Patrimonialism overstates the case when it asserts that Osman Ali Khan's re-orientation of his throne as leader and symbol of India's Muslims was not intended to have any bearing on the throne's relationship with its non-Muslim subjects. That is, Pernau ascribes tactical, but not ideological, significance to this move where the Nizam was concerned. But it is difficult to square this with Pernau's own account of the last Nizam's "attitude towards the Hindu-Muslim question" within Hyderabad (pgs. 150-151): what policy could be less likely to maintain Hyderabad's internal Hindu-Muslim equilibrium than the virtually complete sidelining of Hindus from the highest echelons of the cabinet after 1924 -- especially given that the same period saw the first Hindu-Muslim riots, and the arrival of the Muslim tabligh and Hindu nationalist "re-conversion" drives to the Nizam's domains. Doubtless Osman Ali Khan was no closet Majlis ideologue, but it is hard to shake the impression that he was (or grew) susceptible to the puritanical political Islam espoused by the likes of Osmania University's Habib-ur-Rahman and (later) the Majlis. The last Nizam probably did not have any radical moves in mind, but Pernau devotes insufficient attention to his encouragement of a shift in emphasis where the bases of his rule were concerned, in favor of a more overtly Muslim garb for the state.

The final act of this communal drama was grisly indeed: Pernau estimates that "one tenth to one fifth of the male Muslim population" was massacred in the conflagration that followed the Indian army's entry into Hyderabad in September 1948, as the Razzakar oppression of Hindus during the Nizamate's last years was apparently followed by indiscriminate massacres and violence against Muslims, "primarily in the countryside and provincial towns." (Pg. 336). The claim (which Pernau mentions in passing, citing the work of Omar Khalidi, Wilfred Smith, and a few others) is startling, not just because carnage on this scale is more commonly associated with the 1947 violence (especially in Punjab and Bengal), but because attention on human rights violations during this period has tended to focus on Razzakar atrocities against the peasantry prior to the Indian army action, and on the army's own human rights violations in the wake of the "police action." The latter pale in comparison to the sort of violence Pernau mentions, and I do not know if this lacuna in so many writings on the period points to the factual unreliability of the claim that so many were killed, or to the scandal of a most under-studied example of the sort of "popular" mass killings (perpetrated not, or not simply, by the arms of the state, but by large populations) that Mahmood Mamdani discusses in his permanently useful study of Rwanda When Victims Become Killers. In such circumstances, the horror of violence -- by victims whose sense of historical grievance unmoors retributive violence from any sense of "measure" -- is shocking not just because of its brutality, but because it is experienced by perpetrators as liberation. Intriguingly, my (admittedly anecdotal) experience discussing this issue with a couple of people from Aurangabad and Hyderabad points to disbelief, even among Urdu-speaking Muslims, that the killings could have occurred on such a scale. This too is in stark contrast to the situation vis-a-vis the 1947 Partition massacres: while in both situations, notions of community honor and shame contribute to reluctance to discuss the violence (especially sexual violence), except in general terms, everyone seems ready to acknowledge its scale (even if primary responsibility is often sought to be foisted on the "other" religious group). Where Hyderabad is concerned, there is an almost complete absence of discussion of the sort of popular violence Pernau references, except in the general sense of an instance, even if extreme, of recurrent Hindu-Muslim communal violence. Nor can it be simply a question of blotting out a trauma, since my sense is that it is not difficult to solicit reports of atrocities by the Indian military. Perhaps the fact that the brunt of the violence would have been borne in villages and smaller towns, as opposed to in larger urban areas where the Indian military was able to exercise control relatively quickly and effectively, offers an explanation. The urban masses, whether elite or subaltern, Hindu or Muslim, and especially in the nerve center of Hyderabad city, would not have experienced the singularity of violence on the unprecedented scale Pernau notes; what they would have experienced might well be accountable by means of narratives of "normal" Hindu-Muslim violence, or of the end of an old order (the fall of the Nizam's regime). But the fact that Pernau seems to be one of the few authors who has even tackled the issue -- and it is hardly the main focus, even of her work -- leaves the lay reader in the uncomfortable position of trying to decide whether the silence is itself a singular historical phenomenon worthy of study (apart from, of course, the fact of such a carnage, which ought to inform a whole host of historical and political narratives; The Hindu carried one of the few popular articles on the issue in 2001); or if it raises questions about the scholarship underlying the claim of this many killed. Stated crudely, one finds oneself asking whether Pernau, Khalidi, and Smith, et al., are right as far as the number of those killed is concerned (the fact of widespread massacres is not in dispute, given the anger and concern expressed by none other than Jawaharlal Nehru upon hearing of the reports, not to mention the sources cited in the Noorani article in The Hindu), in a way one never needs to where the other, academically well-plowed massacres of India's atrocious 1940s, are concerned.

Original Photo HERE

Although The Passing of Patrimonialism doesn't quite justify its title and introduction, it is invaluable as a study of the government-level politics of Hyderabad during the reign of the last Nizam. This is so despite the fact that Pernau's book leaves the reader none the wiser on the question as to why Hyderabad's political elite pursued (at least once it became clear that the departure of the British was imminent) a policy that does not need the wisdom of hindsight to be described as suicidal. How is one to account for this blindness, right to the bloody and bitter end? Perhaps it couldn't be otherwise, given the book's focus on strategy and maneuver, and its relative indifference to the ideology of the narrative's principal figures (apart from the ethos of the traditional nobility, sketched as backdrop at the book's outset). Equally, however, the mystery might be a function not just of this study's limitations, but of the sparsity of the historical record in key respects -- unlike their rather prolific counterparts in British India, many of the prime movers in Hyderabad during this period (including the Nizam and the Razzakars) left few private papers that have been made public. Moreover, the Nizam had many policies implemented orally, and, as Pernau notes, on occasion in direct contradiction of the written policies (principally in order to satisfy the British with respect to a particular demand, while actually creating facts on the ground to opposite effect). The foregoing, and the intersection of the ritualized forms of Mughal court practice in the context of a thoroughly modern colonialism, combine to lend an air of kabuki to the proceedings that the historian is charged with deciphering. However, The Passing of Patrimonialism is superb in evoking the practice of colonial statecraft in the context of indirect rule. That practice -- conducted in an elaborate dance of letters, personal interviews, "advice" from the British Resident, appeals and counter-appeals to (and reprimands from) the Viceroy in Delhi (and even, by the 1930s, to politicians in London), and ministerial intrigues -- is masterfully recreated by Pernau's judicious marshaling of a wide range of sources, and drives home, both the reality of indirect rule and the ceaseless attempts of the princes to try and game the system, however rigged.

Original Photo HERE

Pernau memorably offers a glimpse into the true nature of that system by means of her discussion of the Nizam's attempts to call into question the nature and basis of British paramountcy, in order to regain control over the province of Berar (leased to the British under dubious circumstances since the mid-nineteenth century, the arrangement confirmed in perpetuity since the early twentieth; apparently leading Mahbub Ali Khan to joke that his G.C.B. award actually stood for "Gave Curzon Berar"). Confronted with a claim that was legally sound, the Raj was forced to articulate the naked force (as opposed to liberal conceptions of the rule of law and treaty rights) that ultimately underlay British supremacy vis-a-vis the princely states, a supremacy "not based only upon treaties and engagements, but exist[ing] independently of them”; it was, after all “the right and the privilege of the Paramount Power to decide all disputes that m[ight] arise between States, or between one of the States and itself." (March 27, 1926 letter from the Viceroy to the Nizam, quoted on pgs. 143-44). In our post-9/11 world, when nostalgia for the British empire and arguments for new imperial arrangements have become commonplace in the writings of both academics (such as Niall Ferguson) and popular writers (such as Robert Kaplan), we would do well to keep the crude honesty of Lord Reading's words in mind, both for what they teach us about the nature of imperialism, and for, as Pernau shows, the distorting effect the cloaking of the latter has on the politics of the governed. None of this predetermined the Nizam's utter lack of political realism or wisdom in the final analysis. But, as Pernau recognizes, the manufacture and maintenance of shadow sovereignties increasingly divorced from reality, and essential to effacing the nature of colonial rule in the eyes of "indirect" subjects, surely incentivized a system where reflexive conflation of form and substance, and a disastrous over-estimation of the latter based on the former (especially when the increasingly hollow form remained decked out in the iron clad regalia of solemn treaties with, and political guarantees by, a colonial power that, in the final analysis simply decided to wash its hands of the mess and leave), was a real possibility:

While in former times symbols had been an impressive language understood by both the British and the princes, a language in which the struggle for power was conducted, by 1930 the British had forgotten all they ever knew about the relationship between the signifier and the signified. Consequently they no longer regarded symbols as signs but as substitutes for real power and used them accordingly. Hyderabad remained tragically unaware of this change; part of the overestimation of its own power, which ultimately led to its downfall, can be traced back to this. (Pg. 220)


gaddeswarup said...

There is some information towards the end of the following article about the killings of muslims in some areas:

Fazal Majid said...

An interesting review indeed, specially considering the relative paucity of historical research into the South. You may want to refer also to Lucien Bénichou's 2000 book From Autocracy to Integration - Political Developments in Hyderabad State (1938-1948).

The Nizams regime was quite inwards-looking. Any claims to representing all Indian muslims would be countered by his ancestors' complicity with the suppression of Tippu Sultan, a fact still bitterly resented by Mysore muslims. The British policy of maintaining the fiction of princely states whenever convenient was of course an outgrowth of the trauma from the 1857 uprising. The British were no less subject to administrative policy inertia than the princes, something the princes could exploit to maintain minor prerogatives.

That said, Hyderabad state was less impervious to Indian nationalism than is commonly thought. My great-grandfather Mulla Abdul Qayyum co-founded the Hyderabad branch of the Indian National Congress with Dr Aghornath Chattopadhyaya (father of Sarojini Naidu and principal of Nizam College) as early as 1882 (both were dismissed from their civil service positions in retaliation).

The death rates you cite are indeed shocking, and I was not aware of them. Perhpas they explain the high rate of diaspora among Hyderabadi muslims, mostly towards Pakistan, the US and UK.

Qalandar said...

Thanks Fazal, will try and check the Benichou book out as well.

On the diaspora, I will confess my impression is the opposite: i.e. it seems to me that a much larger proportion of Muslims in Hyderabad (city) and other princely states like Bhopal, "stayed on", in comparison to places like Lucknow, etc. This is purely anecdotal, I do not have any facts and figures; wonder if someone has looked into this..

Fazal Majid said...

There is a 2007 book on the subject, Locating Home: India's Hyderabadis Abroad. I have not read it yet so I can't comment first-hand. The Hyderabadi diaspora preserves a version of the culture frozen in time, unlike those who remained in India, not an uncommon effect (see the Indian diasporas in East Africa).

On my previous comment, the date was 1885 (since the INC was not established before then). 1882 was the date Dr. Chattopadhyaya was dismissed from his post for his opposition to the Chanda railroad project.

Winston said...

Thank you for the information on these Indian princes and princely states which Pakistani people lay claim to. I am a proud Indian living in the US. The history of my mother country fascinates me. I have mixed emotions and just live to want to see old pictures of our Indian cities even those now in Pakistan and Bdesh and wonder how people lived together as Muslims and Hindus and Buddhists till the Brits imposed division in the hearts and minds of people.

Personally, I believe that God gave this land to our forefathers and the Brits as well as the Muslims do not have any right to partition our ancestral lands. Muslims came to India only around 712 AD. Most of the Muslims today in Pakistan and Bdesh are all Hindu converts to Islam after being subjugated for 1500 years of Muslim invasions on Hindu lands and kingdoms.

I love my INDIAN Muslim friends for loving their country and for staying on despite religious persecution against them by the Saffron brigade. I still feel Partition was/is wrong.

Is there anything on Hindu-Muslim relations in Bijapur and Ahmednagar and during the rule of Shivaji and the Peshwas? I also woul like to know something about life of the Hindus after the 3rd war of Panipat. PLZ also write something on the life of Indians after Bahadur Shah Jaffer was exiled to Burma. I have a great fascination to know the history of Indian Hindus, Sikhs and others who had to migrate to Indian dominions after 1947 from the West States that became Pakistan.

I read something on Babri masjid demolition in 1993 but have not read exclusively as to what happened to Hindu, Buddhist, Jain temples from 712 AD till date 2009 in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bdesh. What has happened to all the native Hindu, Jain, Sikh, Buddhist populations in these countries when India can boast about the rise of Muslims in every field in India.

Thanks a ton to the other commentators for their help in suggesting books and authors on the issue.

Clare said...

I, like Winston loves my Kharagpur, India. I am one of those hated Domiicile British, born, (1930), educated and married in India now living in the States. The British did not partition India - she was to get her Independence like Hong Kong, Singapore, Burma, Canada, Australia, N. Zealand & Ceylon that got theirs without an ounce of blood. It was Jininar who wanted a Pakistan - mind you these two countries are still fighting with each other, and the British are not there. Remember if it were not for the British, India would not be a Nation today. Indians, because they were taught English - is their biggest asset in today's market - thanks to the British - and thanks to the British they have their Railways. I am British and am not welcome in India - but all Indians are welcome in other countries. I was in India several times on vacation and many a time the welcome from Indians was hatred. Hatred in the ends destroys the hater. Lucky for India, as Gandhi said: they were not ruled by Germany or USA.
Blog: The Raj & Beyond

light2india said...

@ Clare
I am a Christian and my faith in Christ allows me to love the Brits like He did. It is wrong to say Indians hate the Brits. Its usual in any country to dislike their oppressors. I love GB and would do anything to save lost souls for Christ there.

The Brits had no right to divide and rule over lands that did not belong to them. Its the same problem in Israel. God in the Bible gave that land to the Jews. The Brits suggested giving access to Palestinian Muslims.

I disagree with you when you say England did not partition India. (I FOR ONE DO NOT HATE THE BRITS). I DONT HAVE A PROBLEM WITH PAKISTAN OR B'DESHIS EVEN BUT THE PROBLEM I HAVE WITH MUSLIMS IN THESE COUNTRIES IS THAT THEY CLAIM TO BE CULTURALLY DIFFERENT WHEN THEY LIVE ON LANDS THAT BELONG TO THE HINDU. Jinnah, Gandhi, Nehru were responsible but the superimposing authority to make those crucial political / governmental executive decisions lay with the British Govt. and they took us to hell where millions perished. GB is still part of a 5 country coalition in the Security Council in the UN oppressing other nations in a world where democracy is a norm. England went to war against Iraq when Iraqis were not against GB. They did possess chemical weapons.

Brits came to a country (India)that loved them and gave them permission to trade but those who came bowing down before our rulers took our kindness for granted and pitched the Hindu against the Muslim and vice versa. Take a look at the history of the Gov. Generals. (For e.g, The Brits term the 1857 struggle as a "mutiny" when in fact it was a "War of Independence." Jallianwala Bagh 1919, Doctrine of Lapse, Cow/pig fat on bullets that had to be chewed by Hindu/Muslim soldiers who were fighting for the British to name a few instances).

Britain is not responsible for the Indo-Pak wars but it does not speak up either for what is right on the Kashmir issue. Just because Muslims have butchered Hindus for thousands of years and clam that land to be theirs does not mean it belongs to them. Israel and Kashmir is crucial in that line of thinking. Cyril Radcliffe and others were responsible for dividing the mother country. Today Pakistan and Bdesh would not exist if the Brits would have left us alone. As far as India not being ruled by US or Germany--US is a world power and East and West Germany have united. We could have been a world-power and very developed--who knows if Undivided India would have been a worldplayer as a peacemaker and spread Gandhiji's message of truth and non-violence? If only Britain left us alone.

For that matter the third largest force in ww2 were Indians that consisted of Hindus, Muslims and sikhs from undivided India. What did we get from Britain for our service against the nazis and the fascists? HELL!!!

light2india said...

CORRECTION: * Iraq did not possess chemical weapons.