Hyderabad Nizam's myth about 1965 donation of 5 ton gold donation to the National Defence Fund!!

The Nizam of Hyderabad, India. themorningchronicle.in

Above image: The Nizam possessed so much vast wealth that he was portrayed on the cover of TIMES magazine on 22 February 1937, described as the world’s richest man. He used the Jacob Diamond, a 185-carat diamond that is part of the Nizam’s jewellery, a precious collection running into several thousand crores of rupees today, as a paperweight. He had a fleet of RR cars, but preferred an ordinary car for tour. Though  wallowing in money and wealth, he led a simple life and never spent lavishly for his personal possession. Being secular, he spent money for the welfare of the people. He gave importance to education and founded Osmania university in Hyderabad,telangana. .............

VII Nizam of Hyderabad, India Osman Ali Khan. gcmouli.wordpress.com

The Nizam of Hyderabad was one of the few wealthiest men in the world in the 1940s and he had a good rapport with the then colonial power.   Mir Osman Ali Khan, Nizam VII, then might have made up his mind to remain independent when the British granted freedom to India as the princely states were given discretionary power to join the Indian Union or not.  Obviously, the Nizam  delayed his decision on merging Hyderabad State with the Indian Union  in 1947. Valla Bhai Patel was instrumental in the annexation of  Hyderabad princely state  after Britain had  left the country in August 1947.

Mir Osman Ali Khan's donation of 5,000 kg gold to National Defense Fund (NDF) during the Chinese aggression in the early 1960s  had become a subject of controversy following a RTI reply.  On a visit to the   RBI museum in Kolkata in January 2023, one of his grandsons Najaf Ali Khan, told TOI that a board with with photographs of then Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri  and Nizam VII displayed at the museum makes a mention of the "donation" to the defense fund, claiming that   that ''the Nizam indeed donated 33,000 gold coins to bolster the coffers during the exigency of war''.

The board reads   ''National Defence Fund (NDF) was set up in 1962 during the Chinese aggression to mobilise resources for national defence.  Contributions came in cash and kind, including gold in all in all its forms. In 1965, moved by the appeal of then PM Shastri, common people donated gold jewelry to the government. Mir Osman Ali Khan, then Nizam of Hyderabad, at this instance, donated over 33,000 gold coins to the Indian government''.

 Najaf Ali further added. ''The coins displayed here (Kolkata museum) are a part of this He said 25 gold coins that were part of the Nizam's donation are priceless and command heritage value. In the world numismatic market, these coins are worth several tens of croes They were from Nizam VII's personal collections and pertain to the Colonial era, French and Awadh period," 

The Nizam with PM Shastry of India. 1965 vsktelangana.org/rti

A report in The Hindu of December 11, 1965  from Hyderabad mentioned:  The ex-ruler of Hyderabad came to the airport to greet the PM Lal Bahadur shastri...... ''Addressing a public meeting in the evening , Mr. Shastry congratulated the Nizam  on his investing 4.25 lakh grams of gold  in Gold Bond which was valued at  about Rs. 50 lakhs  The investment contained old gold mohurs (coins) whose value was more depending on their antiquity.  We do not want to melt the gold mohurs , but send  them to foreign countries to obtain  a higher value.   We may get a crore of  rupees''. (The Hindu dated Nov. 11, 2018).

 It is obvious the Nizam invested 4.25 lakh grams (425 kgs of gold)  of gold in  the National Defence Gold scheme  floated in October 1965  with a generous 6.5% interest to tide over the economic crisis.    It is to be admitted that while the Nizam’s investment  in National Gold Bond was a smart move,  mystery shrouds the beneficiary of the investment. As for the  RBI  it had rejected an RTI query on the investment as well as the final beneficiary, citing Section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act: “unwarranted invasion of the privacy.mmm

Najaf Ali Khan, one of the grandsons of Nizam Osman Ali Khan, said he was unaware of the payout. “This is news to me. I don’t know who has claimed it. The Nizam had created 52 trusts but I am not aware of any trust receiving this money,”