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Syed Muhammad Mehdi, entitled Mehdi Nawaz Jung, was born in Hyderabad on May 24, 1894. He came from a respectable family of Hyderabad and his ancestors served Nizam-ul-Mulk Asaf Jah I. Mehdi Nawaz Jung received his early education at Madrasa-i-Aliya and then at Nizam College. After completing his education he joined Nizam’ Government and in 1915 he was deputed to Bellary district for Revenue administration training. On his return from Bellary he was appointed as Assistant Collector at Gulbarga and later as Revenue Divisional Officer at Aurangabad. Then he served as a special officer responsible for famine relief where he made his mark. He took a special interest in co-operative societies and the Nizam’s Government sent him to Europe in 1923 to study the co-operative movement. Nawab Saheb was also a pioneer promoter of Cottage Industries and its sales depots in Hyderabad.

The present flourishing business of Bidriware and Nirmal industry is due to his interest and efforts. In 1926 Mehdi Nawaz Jung was appointed as Cabinet Secretary and he remained in that post for 11 years. In 1937 as Municipal Commissioner of Hyderabad he took a special interest in the electrification of the old city and undertook construction ol dust—proof roads on an extensive scale.

As a result of these measures Hyderabad became famous for the network of wide roads. A good drainage system was also initiated by him as a model in the region. After a brief spell as Secretary, Commerce and Industry he was elevated to diplomatic post in 1947 as Nizam’s Agent General in Berar. He also served as Peshi Secretary to Maharaja Kishen Pershad when he was the Prime Minister of Hyderabad. Later Mehdi Nawaz Jung wrote the Maharaja’s biography in Urdu which was published in 1955.

In the first general election he entered politics and was elected on the Congress ticket and joined the cabinet headed by Dr. B. Ramakrishna Rao. Four years later when Andhra Pradesh was formed he joined the cabinet of Dr. N. Sanjiva Reddy, and on 1st May, 1960 he was made the Governor of Gujarat and served there for five years.

Mehdi Nawaz Jung was well known in Hyderabad for his hospitality. When Rabindranath Tagore visited Hyderabad in 1933, he stayed with Nawab Saheb as his personal guest.

It was his initiative that made the wild Banjara Hills to the west of Hyderabad city, a posh residential colony. In recognition of his long and distinguished public services Padma Vibhushan was conferred on him in January, 1965. Nawab Saheb was a symbol of Hyderabadi etiquette and culture. Apart from social work he was a great patron of art and literature. He died in Hyderabad on 27 June, 1967. The Nilofer Hospital, the Radium Institute and Cancer Hospital in Hyderabad are standing monuments to the ostentatious social work of Mehdi Nawaz Jung.

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