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Awadh Nawab’s descendants demand hike in pensions

Lucknow: The descendents of Awadh Nawab fought long legal battle to get their pensionary benefits increased. The amount as such does not matter much but the very fact of their recognition as descendents fill them with a sense of honour. They had to move even the Supreme Court which ultimately gave decision in their favour. They also drew the attention of the President, Smt. Pratibha Patil, to intervene in the matter.

It may be recalled that the third nawab, Muhammad Ali Shah, had deposited with the British a sum of Rs 30 lakhs to create a pension fund called “Waseeqa” [wathiqah]. The practice continues since that time. President of the organisation of the descendents, who are the beneficiaries of the pension scheme, known as Royal Family of Awadh, Ibrahim Ali Khan has pointed out that the pension has been gradually revised during the last 171 years yet it is extremely low. For example, the lowest pension, received by Dara Shikoh Azad was 35 paise in a quarter which has now been enhanced to Rs 10.50 paise. Ibrahim Ali Khan, used to get Rs 107 and paise 32 quarterly which shall become now Rs 3210 every quarterly. Similarly, another recipient Syed Naqi Nawab receives Rs 15.30 paise which he wants to be enhanced. There are 258 such beneficiaries. These people say that for them the amount as such is immaterial but the pride it brings to them is immense. Quite often, descendents from foreign lands come here after spending thousands of rupees on their travel to claim a sum of Rs 100 only.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 January 2011 on page no. 19

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