1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Hyderabad, Sir Mir Osman Ali Khan, 7th Nizam of

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1922 Encyclopædia Britannica
Hyderabad, Sir Mir Osman Ali Khan, 7th Nizam of
See also Osman Ali Khan, Asaf Jah VII on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.

HYDERABAD, SIR MIR OSMAN ALI KHAN, 7th Nizam of (1886- ), was born April 6 1886 and succeeded his father, Sir Mir Mahbub Ali Khan, on his death on Aug. 29 1911. His education had been under an English tutor, Sir Brian Egerton, and a nobleman of the state, of scholarly attainments, Imad ul Mulk (Saiyid Husain Bilgrami). Soon after accession he abandoned the traditional system of governing through a Diwan, and for five years was his own prime minister. In 1919 he constituted an executive council, with Sir Ali Ima, a former law member of the Government of India, as president, and with eight other members, each in charge of one or more departments. This was the beginning of various constitutional reforms, including the transformation of the nominated legislature into a mainly elective body. The great services of India's premier prince in the World War maintained the fine traditions of his predecessors as the faithful allies of Britain. When Turkey joined the Central Powers the Nizam issued a proclamation enjoining on his subjects, and impressing on his Moslem co-religionists throughout India, the duty of firm and steadfast devotion to the British cause. When the Khalifat agitation respecting the peace terms with Turkey arose among the Mahommedans he prohibited anti-British propaganda in his dominions. The large body of imperial service troops maintained by the Nizam was employed at full strength throughout the war in the Eastern theatres, and he actively coöperated in recruiting work. In addition to many gifts of money, the Nizam spontaneously bore the cost of the maintenance in the field of a cavalry regiment, 20th Deccan Horse, of which he was hon. colonel, at a cost of Rs.153 lakhs. The war expenses of the State amounted to over three-fifths of the annual income. His Highness, already a G.C.S.I., was awarded the G.B.E., was promoted to hon. lieutenant-general in the British army, and in 1918 King George V. conferred upon, him the new and special title of Exalted Highness. Two features of his progressive rule must be selected for mention. To obviate possibility of repetition of the devastating floods which in 1908 caused great loss of life and property in the city of Hyderabad, and to provide adequate water supply, a great dam enclosing a lake was built across the river Musi; many fine new public buildings were erected, and the amenities of the city greatly improved. The establishment there of the Osmania University represented the first serious attempt in India to impart higher instruction through the principal vernacular, Urdu, displacing English, which was taught only as a language. (F. H. Br.)