When British accused Nizam of apartheid

HYDERABAD: As black history month is observed in the USA and other countries, archival data reveals that the British had in the late 19th century accused the Nizam of Hyderabad of allowing apartheid or slavery in the princely state.
The black history month is observed from February 1 to March 1 every year in the USA and Canada to recognise the contribution of black people and give them importance in all spheres of life.

Documents available with the National Archives of India (NAI) on the correspondence between Charles B Saunders, then resident of the British in Hyderabad, and the secretary (foreign affairs) to the Government of India in 1870 and between the resident and the Salarjung, prime minister of Hyderabad reveal some interesting exchanges on the alleged slave system in the princely state.
The correspondence was done by Salarjung as the Nizam VI, Mir Mahbub Ali Khan, was only four years old then. On November 13, 1870 the Salarjung wrote to the resident stating that “There is no doubt that some Africans do come with Arabs when the latter come from Arabia; but I do not know whether they come in the condition of slaves or freemen, because soon after coming into Hyderabad they are seen in the service of other masters. And therefore, I conclude that the rights of slavery are not exercised over them. Since I have assumed the administration, except one or two cases, I have not heard of any complaint from any African of oppression having been exercised on him, or any complaint touching slavery”.
The correspondence between Charles Saunders and the secretary (foreign affairs) on November 30, 1870 reveals that it was EG Balfour, deputy inspector-general of hospitals, who had complained to the British government about the alleged slavery in Hyderabad. “Deputy Inspector-General of Hospitals EG Balfour, is perhaps not wholly misinformed when he state, that “every Arab, who comes to Hyderabad to “seek his fortune, or who returns from a visit to Arabia, brings with him one or ” two Habshi (Abyssinian) slaves.”

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