Monday, April 20, 2015

The Joys of Studying History

Some 300 years ago, a dude born in western U.P. and working at the time in Dilli*, moved to Hyderabad to make a career for himself -- not unlike yours truly. So we paid a visit to his family house, the Chowmahallah palace, this weekend. The Nizams, as his dynasty came to be called, seem to have had done rather well for themselves, though we felt that they could have learned a thing or two from the Rajputs in the art of building grand royal palaces.
[* The first Nizam, Asaf Jah I got fed up with the court intrigues in Dilli that followed the death of Aurangzeb in 1707. He moved to Deccan in 1724 to carve out an independent principality for himself -- though the dynasty he founded, the Asaf Jahiya dynasty or the Nizams, would never be absolute sovereign of the Deccan -- at least in theory. First, the Nizams continued to accept the sovereignty of the Mughals, and then later accepted the paramountcy of the British.]
And today, quite unexpectedly, I came to learn that in historical terms the connection with the family of Nizam, Asaf Jah I goes further than the mere similarity of moving to Hyderabad for the reasons of rozgar or career. Apparently, my home town, Ghaziabad, was founded in 1740 by Ghazi ud-Din Khan Feroze Jung II, the eldest son of the first Nizam whom he got installed as the Wezier (prime minister) in the court of Mughal emperor Muhammad Shah before moving to the Deccan.
Ah, the joys of studying history.
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