No, the Nizam was not a large hearted patriot who donated 5000 kg of gold to fight China

The Nizam had not donated but invested the gold in the national Defence Gold Scheme which promised a generous 6.5% interest rate.

While campaigning for the upcoming assembly elections in Telangana, UP CM Yogi Adityanath attacked AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi stating that when the BJP comes to power, Owaisi will have to flee from Hyderabad just as the Nizam had to flee.

Replying to Yogi Adityanath’s comments, AIMIM chief Owaisi hit out claiming that Yogi is uneducated in history. He added that had Yogi read history, he would have known that Nizam did not flee from Hyderabad, he was made a ‘Rajpramukh’ and when India went to war with China, the same Nizam had sold his gold to help the country.

Asaduddin Owaisi on Nizam

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Yogi Adityanath’s comments and Owaisi’s reply sparked a fresh controversy on social media. Several people contradicted Yogi’s claim and reasserted that the Nizam of Hyderabad had ‘donated’ several hundred tons of gold for the nation during the Indo-China war.

Via Twitter

via Twitter

It is evident from the above Tweet that there is an established belief that the Nizam Mir Osman Ali of Hyderabad was a great patriot who had emptied his coffers to aid India during the Indo-China war after meeting with the then PM Lal Bahadur Shastri. It has become some sort of an urban legend and is cited frequently by many.

However, the truth about the Nizam’s “donation” was soon found to be something else.

In fact, The Hindu had clarified in an article last month that a series of RTI inquiries have affirmed that there never was any donation. The Prime Minister’s Office, which manages the National Defence Fund, has reportedly denied the existence of any such donation.

The report further states that the Nizam had never “donated” the gold. In fact, he had invested it in the National Defence Gold Scheme, which was floated in October 1965.

courtesy: The Hindu, 11 November 2018

The article stated that an old news report from the archives of The Hindu, dated December 11, 1965, corroborated the story. The 1965 article stated that PM Shastri had confirmed the investment and had thanked the Nizam for it. In fact, the only donations mentioned in the article were from the Tirumala Tirupati Temple and the Telugu film stars. The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam had donated 125 kgs of gold while Telugu movie stars had donated Rs 8 lakhs to the government.

It is notable here that the Nizam’s investment of 425 kgs of gold was valued at Rs 50 lakhs at that time.

The article also mentions that the National Defence Gold Scheme not only gave liquidity to the physical gold but also came at a generous 6.5% interest rate. Furthermore, it was not liable to any income tax.

It is evident that in the course of time, not only has the Nizam’s profitable investment been claimed as a ‘donation’ but the amount of gold has also been multiplied several times. The urban legend cites the 425 kgs of gold as 5000 kgs, more than 10 times the actual amount invested.

Many on social media attempted to clarify.

It is notable here that the erstwhile princely state of Hyderabad did not merge with India at the time of independence. The same Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan had attempted to keep Hyderabad as an independent sovereign state. His aversion to giving up his territory was so much that he had even taken the ‘dispute’ to the UN security council. Pakistan had also supported the idea of a sovereign Muslim ruled state within India.

Having exhausted all possible ways to reason with the Nizam, Sardar Patel had in 1948 ordered the military operation termed as Operation Polo, which resulted in the defeat of the Nizam and subsequent annexation of Hyderabad to the Union of India on 18 September 1948.

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