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Nawab Hamidullah Khan remembered on his birth anniversary in Bhopal, his contribution recalled

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Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

BHOPAL: The last Nawab of the erstwhile princely state of Bhopal, Nawab Hamidullah Khan, was remembered on his birth anniversary in the State capital on Monday. 

Citizens, historians, social workers, local politicians and prominent residents, recalled his contribution, especially, his role in maintaining communal harmony in Bhopal state even when several other states witnessed large-scale violence in the era. 

An international figure, a sportsman and a person who had excellent relations with Mahatma Gandhi as well as other leading luminaries and foreign head of states, he brought more prominence to Bhopal.

Addressing an event organised by Insani Biradiri today, veteran litterateur and author Shyam Munshi said that Bhopal had never witnessed communal violence or even a single riot when it was a princely state. He spoke at length about the role played by Hamidullah Khan in ensuring harmony in Bhopal. 

"As Nawab Hamidullah Khan was one of the most highly educated rulers among all the princely states in India, he served as chancellor of the Chambers of Princes", said Khalid Mohammad Khan, who is one of the descendents of the founder of the Bhopal dynasty, Nawab Dost Mohammad Khan.

"Nawab Hamidullah Khan played a key role in the Gandhi-Irwin pact that led to release so many freedom fighters from jail. His famous speech at the Round Table Conference in which he affirmed that the differences were not religious in India, is historic", he said.

"In fact, later Mahatma Gandhi said that Congress was not present in the Conference but its absence was not felt as Nawab Hamidullah Khan made such a terrific speech". Khan also gave numerous other examples--ranging from the scholarship given to students like Dr Shankar Dayal Sharma who was sent outside for higher education (and he went on to become President of India).

"In Bhopal, Hamidullah Khan made efforts for social and educational transformation--from industries to agricultre, he did his best to take the state forward. Who can forget his support for steps to get BHEL in Bhopal apart from making the city, capital of the state", said Khalid Mohammad Khan. 

He also spoke about the last Nawab's efforts towards development of Bhopal, as well his role in Indian politics prior to independence, and even later. Historian Rizwan Ansari too spoke at length on the occasion. Advocate Shahnawaz Khan, Mod Javed Khan, Munawar Ali Khan also expressed their views. 

Unlike other princely states, Bhopal Hamidullah Khan was the Nawab of Bhopal till June 1 1949, when the state finally merged into Indian Union. Prominent city activists including Abid Mohammad Khan, Faiz Mohammad Khan and Irshad Ali were among those who were also present at the event. Besides, Muslim Mahasabha and MPMVP, other organisations too paid tributes to the last Nawab of Bhopal.

Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

Journalist for more than 20 years. Had started his career with National Mail in the nineties. Worked as Special Correspondent with Hindustan Times, as an Assistant Editor with DB Post, later Contributing Editor with The Huffington Post, writes for First Post, The Wire, Newsd & several other major publications.