Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Raja Mehmoodabad gets back Butler Palace

English daily The Hindu has published a photograph of Raja Mehmoodabad (aka Amir Mohammad Khan) receiving the keys of Butler Palace in Lucknow.

It took a harsh Supreme court verdict for the administration to hand over the property back to the rightful owner. The ancestor of Amir Mohammad Khan, Nawab Ali Khan (who had been adopted from Bilehra) had fought alongside Begum Hazrat Mahal against British and the riyasat had been annexed.

Interestingly, the British governor's wife saw Raja's son playing and enchanted by his manners picked him up. And the elderly employee of Raja instantly reacted saying that the child was now in her custody.

This saved the princely state from getting annexed. In 1937 the then Raja Amir Ahmad Khan had formed All India Muslim Students Federation. He had placed all his wealth at the disposal of Muslim League.

But the Raja got disillusioned with Pakistan and soon left the newly created nation to head for Iraq. He was a devout Shia. He then shifted to England. Ultimately he was buried at Mashhad in Iran.

But his wife and son, Amir Mohd Khan, stayed back in India. The present Raja Mahmoodabad is a connoissuer of art and culture. He is quite popular among the masses also. After a long struggle the family has got its due.