WEB DESK: What was once royalty in the sub-continent– is now struggling to make ends meet. The internet is strife with pictures of renowned historical figures whose descendants are now living ordinary lives– but still basking the past glory of their ancestors.
The man in the picture below is a descendant of stalwart warrior Tipu Sultan, the tiger of 18th century Mysore.Seventh descendent of Tipu Sultan
The seventh descendant of Tipu Sultan, Prince Anwar Ali, drives a rickshaw in Calcutta. Tipu Sultan sired 12 sons who were deported to Calcutta by the British and given residence in Tollygunge, then a distant jungle suburb.
Tipu Sultan achieved fame through his military genius and statesmanship and died fighting the British at Seringapatnam in May 1799. His lineage now is in danger of extinction.
Seven sons have no surviving male heir. Of the other five, the descendants of only two, Mooniruddin and Ghulam Mohammed, are traceable. While Mooniruddin’s descendants earn their livelihood as small-time businessmen, the survivors of Ghulam Mohammed’s lineage live in squalid poverty in a stinking haveli, writes India Today.
Tipu Sultan’s descendants have received little or no help from the trust set up in 1872 by Ghulam Mohammed.
“After all, we have to survive”, says Maqbool Alam, adding that “we did not inherit much property and had nothing to do with the Ghulam Mohammed Trust.”
Mooniruddin’s descendants had acquired the mining rights for the Dhalbhum mining estate in Bihar, spread over 11,000 sq km. But in 1964, the mining rights were taken away from the family by the Government of Bihar.
According to an Indian newspaper, dressed in a dirty, torn lungi and a T-Shirt, Ali, has no illusions about the future: “Maybe Akbar Ali, my younger brother, will also have to ply a rickshaw,” he says in what is a tragic epitaph to one of India’s most illustrious royal families.
Sixth descendant of Bahadur Shah Zafar
Ziauddin Tucy is the sixth generation descendant of the last Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar and today struggles to make ends meet.
Tucys house is not easy to locate with even the shop owner opposite his house, Aiwan-A-Tamadun, unaware that a Mughal descendent is living next door, Times of India States.
Among his list of complaints,the 72-year-old says that the Taimoori scholarship of Rs 100 per month instituted by the Mughal Family Society for descendants studying at the degree level,has been stopped by the Osmania University authorities.
Ziauddin after retirement from government service is living on pension, but retains interest in poetry like Bahadur Shah Zafar himself.
Sultana Begum- Great Grand Daughter in Law of Bahadur Shah Zafar
The 60-year-old is the great grand daughter-in-law of the last emperor of India, Bahadur Shah Zafar, and struggles to make ends meet on a basic pension despite her Royal Heritage confined to life in a slum on the outskirts of Kolkatta, Daily Mail reported.
Ever since the death of her husband Prince Mirza Bedar Bukht in 1980, Sultana has descended into a life of poverty.
The Mughal heiress is forced to live in a tiny two-room hut in Howrah, a slum area of Kolkatta. She shares a kitchen with her neighbours and washes in the street using water from public taps.
Despite evidence that she is related to the 19th century royal family, Sultana goes about her daily life on a basic pension of just £60 a month.