(See front cover)
India has no native state so rich, potent and extensive as Hyderabad which is about the size of the United Kingdom and there last week the Royal Family of the Asatia Dynasty celebrated the Silver Jubilee of "The Richest Man in the World," Lieut. General His Exalted Highness Sir Mir Osman Ali Khan, the Nizam of Hyderabad & Berar.
Because the scheduled Coronation Durbar next winter of British King & Emperor George VI has had to be canceled by His Majesty (TIME, Feb. 15), there is no immediate prospect for the world to see such another Indian spectacle of pomp and power as that of the Jubilee Durbar which began in Hyderabad with warlike display of 10,000 Hyderabad troops last week and will close Feb. 26 when the Nizam prays in the public gardens of the Great Mosque, entertains the eminent Indian theologians of his Dominions, and throws open the characteristic and important Hyderabad Departmental Progress Exposition.
Some Indian sovereigns are lecherous, champagne-quaffing wastrels with a taste for French women and English horses which they spectacularly gratify from Monte Carlo to Epsom Downs and Hollywood, but decidedly the Nizam is different, and by an honored Hyderabad tradition no Nizam has ever left India no matter how good a reason might exist for doing so. Ever since Hyderabad stood aloof from the great Indian Mutiny of 1857, its Royal Family have been accorded by British Royalty special honors and the Nizam now has the official status of "Faithful Ally." This gracefully implies that his exalted highness is not so much the inferior as the colleague of His Majesty the Emperor of India and, during the World War, the dry, grave "Richest Man in the World" contributed to Britain some $100,000,000 cash plus untold supplies and Hyderabad army units.
Safety First is the policy of the Richest Man, and in Hyderabad this continued to mean last week the flourishing reign of probably the ablest native government in India, with its key statesman Finance Minister the Nawab Sir Akbar Nazarally Hydari. During the cycle of Depression his famed "Three-Year Budgets'' have always balanced with a surplus and Hyderabad taxes have not been raised. Sir Akbar's system is to have an annual accounting of each Government Department provisionally, but to carry forward to a so-called "Grand Accounting" only every three years. He will close the books of Hyderabad's present financial triennium Oct. 5, 1937, including such comparatively recent items as $65,000 to the Memorial Fund for King George V, $25.000 for Hyderabad broadcasting equipment, $12,000 to victims of the Quetta earthquake and an additional $9,000 to the academy named after Indian Poet Sir Rabindranath Tagore. Because his exalted Highness the Nizam is a Mohammedan (a descendant of the last Mogul Viceroy), while about 90% of his 15,000,000 subjects are Hindus, it was discreet in 1902 to appoint a Hindu Prime Minister, the Maharaja Sir Kishen Pershad Bahadur who was still nourishing last week. Living nowadays in semiretirement, Hindu Sir Kishen leaves the business of running Hyderabad largely to Mohammedan Sir Akbar Hydari, several of whose adroit coups have jolted Islam as well as the British Raj.