Mulki issue under the Nizam State

The non-mulkis and British government strongly supported the candidature of Mir Laiq Ali Khan, son of Salarjung-I for the post of the Prime Minister. Mir Laiq Ali Khan was conferred the title Salarjung-II on October 31, 1883 and was appointed as the PM on February 5, 1884.

By Author  |  Published: 6th May 2019  12:42 amUpdated: 5th May 2019  1:55 pm

With the death of Salarjung-I in 1883, the situation in the Hyderabad state became volatile as the Nizam was still a minor. For 1883-1884, the council of regency ruled Hyderabad after which a new PM was to be appointed. The non-mulkis and British government strongly supported the candidature of Mir Laiq Ali Khan, son of Salarjung-I for the post of the Prime Minister. Mir Laiq Ali Khan was conferred the title Salarjung-II on October 31, 1883 and was appointed as the PM on February 5, 1884.

During 1883 and 1884, the non-mulki could get into direct contact with the Nizam and slowly started gaining political influence.

Salarjung-II took the following measures which caused widespread discontentment amongst the mulkis.

  1. He replaced Persian with Lucknowi Urdu as the official language of the state on February 21, 1884. He also ensured that Urdu completely replaced Persian language in the administrative and judicial departments within two years.
  2. Unlike his father Salarjung-II encouraged appointment of non-mulki into government services. Most of his personal staff was also non-mulki. He had one north Indian Muslim and one European as his personal secretaries. This clearly indicated that Salarjung-II preferred non-mulki over mulkis.
  3. Salarjung-I accommodated the non-mulki without dismissing the mulkis. The mulkis were working under the Munsib department and were managing the affairs of the Nizam estate. However, Salarjung-II merged the Munsib department with the Accountant General’s office and constituted a separate board to manage the affairs of the Nizam estate.

In addition to all the above changes, the non-mulkis projected their children as mulkis and got them appointed government jobs. The actions of Salarjung-II, most importantly the change in the official language resulted in wide spread discontentment amongst the mulkis.

The VI Nizam on being informed about the growing discontentment amongst mulkis against the then PM Salarjung-II, ordered for a record of recruitment into the Hyderabad State Civil Services. The first civil service recruitment in the Hyderabad state took place in 1884 and the Nizam asked for the details of this recruitment. Out of the 476 appointments – 230 were non-mulkis with 58 per cent salaries and 246 were mulkis with 42 per cent salaries. This is the first recorded information of recruitment based on educational qualifications. North-Indian Hindustani Muslims, Madrasis and Britishers occupied the highest number of posts amongst the non-mulki.

On the basis of this information, the Nizam issued clear instructions for appointment and training of mulkis in various administrative departments in Hyderabad. However, this was not properly implemented.

The VI Nizam in order to verify whether his instructions were being implemented or not, asked for a list of employees appointed under various departments from October 1884. Out of 421 appointment made

The Nizam also realized that from 1886 to 1894 the number of top level posts in Civil Services increased by 1½ times and presence of mulkis increased from 48 per cent to 66 per ecnt. However, the main reason for this increase was the appointment of children of the non-mulki into government services.

In order to pacify the mulkis, Salarjung-II was asked to resign as the PM in April 1884. For almost a year the Nizam himself managed the state without a PM. In order to favour the mulkis, on the basis of the facts obtained, the Nizam released an order on appointments in public employment in 1889.

In the same year, the Nizam’s brother-in-law Asman Jah was appointed as the Diwan and continuously till 1894. However, Asman Jah could not resolve the mulki, non-mulki issue. This was clearly specified in an editorial written in the Hyderabad record Newspaper. Hyderabad record wrote in support of mulkis.

Phase III (1911-1948):

  1. The mulki category was widened to include persons from the district as a consequence of which there were differences between the district mulkis and the Hyderabad mulkis. Also because of marriages between the children of mulkis and non-mulkis there was a split within the mulkis.
  2. The government worked towards the modernization of administration by establishing educational institutions and improving infrastructural facilities. Many politics reforms were also introduced. However, the mulki were not given any political representation.
  3. Establishment of the OU was a good measure but the medium of instruction was not the local Deccani Urdu but it was the Lucknowi Urdu.

In 1911 after the death of the VI Nizam, his son Mir Osman Ali Khan was coroneted as the Nizam. The VII Nizam worked towards the rapid spread of education by establishing a number of educational institutions in order to modernize administration. Contribution of the VII Nizam to the field of education is evident from the following:

  1. From 1920-21 to 1934-35 the allocation of budget for education increased from 14 Lakh to 1 crore
  2. During the same period educational institutions increased from 1036 to 4800 and literates increased from 66,484 to 3,64, 252
  3. Between 1918 and 1938, 1100 students from OU graduated in Arts and Science courses.
  4. Between 1911 and 1938, nearly 500 people graduated from the Nizam’s college which was affiliated to the Madras University.
  5. According to the 1931 census 4.03 per cent of Hindus and 10.35% of Muslims were educated.


Reasons for evolution of Deccani Synthesis:-

  1. Adoption of Lucknowi Urdu as Medium of instruction in the OU was the immediate cause for conceptualization of this ideology
  2. Continuous deprivation in matters of employment and dominance of non-mulki over mulkis are other cases that strengthened this ideology.
  3. This principle was conceptualized under the Leadership of Dr. Zorde who worked as translator in Urdu department of OU.
  4. This ideology was based on the Hindu, Muslim culture of the Hyderabad State and was supported by the mulkis – both Hindus and Muslims
  5. The mulki scholars supporting this ideology established a library called Idara – i- Adabiyat – i- Urdu in 1930. It was also called as Avon-i-urdu. The library gathered and published information related to Deccani nationalism and played a crucial role in promoting the department of mulkis without any bias to any religion or community
  6. The leaders of this ideology raised a slogan, “Long live the Nizam – The royal embodiment of Deccani Nationalism”.


A number of schools and educational institutions were established from 1900-1915 in the Hyderabad state as a consequence of which the number of qualified people amongst mulkis increased. However, most of them were not able to secure job under the government because of the domination of non-mulkis. This left them highly dissatisfied; at the same time the non- mulki believed that they were well qualified and deserve all the government jobs and a display of this belief hurt the sentiments of mulkis.

The establishment of OU in 1918 with Lucknowi Urdu as the medium of instruction increased the differences between mulkis and non-mulkis in the sphere of language. The growing differences in the sphere of language started gradually reflecting in the sphere of heritage and culture.

All the above incidents resulted in the evolution of Deccani Nationalism in the Urdu department of the OU which gradually turned into a mulki movement between 1930 and 1940 led to the formation of Nizams Subjects League or Mulki’s Subjects League in 1935.

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