Saturday, August 1, 1998

Nawab Kazim Yar Jung

Legends and Anecdotes of Hyderabad - 37

Nawab Kazim Yar Jung
By Narendra Luther

Last month, I wrote about the legendary superintendent of the Public Garden, Jamaluddin. I also stated therein that he was married to the sister of Nawab Kazim Yar Jung who was the Minister in the Private Secretariat of the Nizam. It is therefore appropriate to introduce the readers to him.

The original name of Nawab Kazim Yar Jung was Syed Kazim Hussain. He traced his ancestry to Mir Asadullah Khan Bahadur, the Nawab of Arcot. His son, Syed Mohammed Khan Bahadur was, first the chief of the Bangalore Fort, and later minister of Tippu Sultan. After the defeat of Tippu, and the fall of Srirangapatnam, he rendered valuable services to the East India Company. Thus he was helpful in securing the speedy settlement of the area. The British acknowledged his services and as a mark of their appreciation sanctioned an unconditional pension of 2,400 Star Pagodas to him which was equal to half the salary he received from Tippu Sultan. He was the paternal great-grand father of Kazim Hussain.

On the maternal side, Kazim Hussain’s ancestry went back to Prophet Muhammad and Imam Ali Moosa Raza, the eighth Imam and the founder of the Razvi dynasty. His great-grand father, Maulvi Syed Abdur Razzak Sahib Bahadur was a distinguished scholar in Arabic. He was appointed the chief qazi of Bara Mahaul in 1810 and was given a jagir in the Salem district of Tamil Nadu. His son, Syed Abdul Khasim Razvi Sahib Bahadur, the grandfather of Kazim Hussain was also an eminent scholar and an eminent law officer.

During the insurrection of Coorg in 1837 he risked his life while rendering assistance to the British. When there was no ammunition left in the English camp, he succeeded in landing a cannon from a ship which had been sailing far away from the shore. While doing that he received what the official report described as “two honourable wounds” -- one in the left thigh and one in the left shoulder. In return for this, he was appointed a Special Commissioner of Coorg. He was the only Indian so honoured by the British. He died in 1848.

Kazim Hussain was born in Tamil Nadu in 1876 to Syed Khader Ahmed and Hazrat Begum. Syed Khader Ahmed was trained as a lawyer but did not practise or do any other work. The burden of running the house therefore fell on his wife. She taught Arabic to children to make both ends meet. The family belonged to a community called ‘Ghatala’. This term is explained as composed of ‘ghat’ which means strong and ‘ala’ which means able. In other words they were considered to be both strong and able, or, outstanding.
To help them improve their prospects, Nawab Sir Amin Jung, and was Minister of the Nizam’s Private Secretariat brought Syed Khader Ahmed and his wife to Hyderabad. Hazrat Begum became the principal of the Nampally Girls School. Sir Amin himself hailed from Tamil Nadu and was the first Muslim in that province to have done his M.A. He was specially recruited as a deputy collector in Hyderabad.
The relocation of Syed Khader Ahmed to Hyderabad improved the circumstances of the family. His son, Kazim Hussain was taken on by Sir Amin Jung and trained by him to serve the Nizam. In course of time and on the retirement of Sir Amin Jung, Kazim Yar Jung became first Secretary and later Minister in Nizam’s Secretariat. He was then given the title of ‘Yar Jung’.

Kazim Yar Jung had three wives. The first died one month after giving birth to a daughter. The second wife had one son and two daughters. One daughter was married to Dr.Raziuddin, There is an interesting story about that marriage. The latter was a professor in mathematics in the Osmania University and was considered a genius in the subject. It was widely believed in Hyderabad that he would get a Nobel Prize in Mathematics.

At the time of Police Action, he was the Vice Chancellor of the Osmania University. Later, he became V.C. of the Aligarh Muslim University and then migrated to Pakistan. There he became first the Vice Chancellor of Karachi University and, later, the first Vice Chancellor of Pakistan’s Agriculture University.

Kazim Yar Jung’s third wife came from Sanga Reddy District. He had one brother named Syed Ahmed Mohiuddin who retired as I.G. of Registration and Stamps, and one sister Ghousia Begum. She was one of the first women graduates of Hyderabad and first became principal of the Nampally Girls School and later an inspectress of schools. She was responsible for introducing the Montessori system of education in Hyderabad.

Nawab Kazim Yar Jung had a great hold over the Nizam. The Nawab of Chattari, Prime Minister of Hyderabad (1941-46) in his reminiscences “Yaad-e-ayyam” writes that the picture of Hyderabad would be incomplete without him. The British didn’t like him. The Nawab was very intelligent and knew where he should intervene. The Nawab of Chattari felt that it was unfortunate that Kazim Yar Jung had such great influence over the Nizam that even the Prime Minister had to keep him on his right side. Quite often he would delay the issue of orders passed by the Nizam on some ground or the other. He mentions the instance of Ghulam Mohammad, then Finance Minister of Hyderabad who wanted to use the ‘Dilkusha’ building (now a State Guest House next to the Raj Bhavan) for his residence. When the Prime Minister sent the proposal to that effect, the Nizam turned it down. Later, he told Nawab Kazim Yar Jung that this would hurt Ghulam Mohammad. The proposal was then reconsidered and the Nizam approved it. Incidentally, Ghulam Mohammad later, migrated to Pakistan where he rose to be the Governor General. Nawab Kazim Yar Jung remained a great power till he was over shadowed by Nawab Hoshair Jung in the last phase of the Hyderabad State.

He died in 1954 at the age of 78.

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