Administration in Hyderabad Princely State

  • Nizam-ul-Mulk Asaf Jah who became the governor of Deccan thrice is said to have established an independent rule there but a study of
    the regional sources shows that even after taking the possession of the Suba Nizam followed the set pattern of administration
    as evolved by the Mughals, he only introduced some reforms needed due to the geographical and political conditions. The
    Early Nizams followed the same administrative machinery until the British domination became more and more in the region
    during the later phase.
  • The administration of the former Hyderabad State was presided over by the ruler or the Nizam. He was assisted by an Executive Council which was headed by a President and consisted of seven members, holding the portfolios or heading the Departments, such as Finance, Law, Military, Revenue, Public Works and Political Affairs. There was also a Legislative Council, but it was constituted on the basis of nomination. It concerned itself chiefly in framing laws and bye-laws which were first examined by the Executive Council and forwarded to the Nizam with its opinions. No Bill could be passed without the ruler’s sanction.
  • The principal officers in the Deccan were organized in three tier system viz.
    (i) Headquarters of the Deccan (Hyderabad after Aurangabad).
    (ii) Headquarters of Subhas (Bijapur, Aurangabad, Bidar, Berar, Khandesh and Hyderabad). The personal here were the exact replica of the Deccan headquarters and
    (iii) The lowest administrative level was the Pargana/Mahals under the Shiqdari.
  • The interior, or Telangana was left to be dominated by powerful local chiefs and Magnates often descendants of the class who had controlled the locality under the Qutb Shahi rulers of Golkunda.
    It was in the late 1720’s 1730’s that Nizam-ul-Mulk concentrated his efforts in those areas Ibrahimpattan, Devarkonda, and the Coastal districts of Srikakulam, Masulipattan and Nizampattan.
  • All power was vested in the Nizam. He ruled with the help of an Executive Council or Cabinet, established in 1893, whose members he was free to appoint and dismiss. The government of the Nizam recruited heavily from the North Indian Hindu Kayastha caste for administrative posts.
  • There was also an Assembly, whose role was mostly advisory. More than half its members were appointed by the Nizam and the rest elected from a carefully limited franchise. There were representatives of Hindus, Parsis, Christians and Depressed Classes in the Assembly. Their influence was however limited due to their small numbers.
  • The state government also had a large number of outsiders (called non-mulkis) – 46,800 of them in 1933, including all the members of the Nizam’s Executive Council. Hindus and Muslims united in protesting against the practice which robbed the locals of government employment. The movement, however, fizzled out after the Hindu members raised the issue of ‘responsible government’, which was of no interest to the Muslim members and led to their resignation.
  • But, as was observed earlier, the Nizams were so fully under the control and influence of the British that the key portfolios of Finance, Revenue and Police or Home were held by the English men,The British would never favor the introduction of a real democratic Government either in British India or in the Indian States.
  • At the middle and lower levels of the administrative set-up also, power and responsibility were centered and concentrated in the hands of different graded officials rather than in the hands of popular and representative elements. The impact of this kind of system has been that the administration of the State never moved closer to the common people who up to 88% , resided in far and distant villages . The latter had no participation nor representation in the governing bodies or the Legislature, all of which have been filled by the officials and nominated non-officials.
  • On the other hand, the regime patronised and propped up the middle layer of Jagirdars, Samasthandars, Inamdars, Deshmukhs, Deshpandyas, Patels, and Patwaris, who happened to be hereditary feudal elements, and acted as a reactionary force, and big stumbling blocks between the Government and the people.

Diwan: was second important official in the Subah. On the recommendation of imperial Diwan, the emperor appointed him. He was responsible for all revenue matters and controlled a hierarchy of officials down to the patwari

Bakshi or paymaster was saddled with various functions and duties. They included the recruitment of the army and maintenance of several registers such as the list of high officials i.e., mansabdar, the list of officers paid in cash. Whenever a battle was planned, it was his duty to place the complete muster, roll before the emperor for his personal and orders.

Kotwal: was essentially an Urban Officer, being the chief of the city police. At midnight he patrolled the city. He also had the duty of arresting thieves and criminals, to punish then or on the order of the Qazi, execute the sentence. He should necessarily keep knowledge of every house and inhabitant of the city. He deployed watchmen and sweepers to get information from every street.

Khansaman managed the imperial establishment. He was responsible for looking after the karkhanas and Royal store houses and the day to day need of the imperial household.

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