The Charminar gallis or lanes and gotraachar

Govind Lal and Mohana Devi at their home in Boggulakunta, July 2019

Mohana Devi says: “Chudi Galli, Talim Galli, Kutta Galli, Dekchi Galli, Gurbanna Galli- we stayed close to each other”. If we imagine a time when some folks are jagirdars (property/land owners) and some without the jagirs (property), this community established rules to control expenses related to weddings and such events. Here is one such example where Govind Chacha and Mohana Chachi talk about the custom where elders would come to bless the couple at the time of gotraachhar or “the auspicious time when the stars have aligned” for the couple to be married and this time is set by the pundits based on the couple’s kundlis or astrological charts.

Govind Lal said that some elders would only come to bless the couple and leave because they may not be related directly to the couple and hence were invited for ‘giving’ the blessing. They would not stay for the meal and festivities later on. This became a custom for a while and changed with the times when community members could afford the expense. Incomes increased later and people have incorporated newer customs.

As with most material aspects and objects, our capabilities and desires change. We find more ways for enjoyment but also work to find a balance. Maya and surplus, the measure of our success is always around the corner beckoning us to scale up.

This is a bird’s eye view of Charminar area from the north and I came across this map commissioned by Hyderabad Municipal Survey in the Massachusetts Institute for Technology, MIT library as part of my research. This is the general area in which the #BKC lived for a number of years.
Professor Karen Leonard, of University of California, Berkley acquired all the maps while she was pursuing her anthropological research on another caste group- the Kayasths of Hyderabad. As part of our email conversations, I found out that she bought all the maps for a pittance at the Hyderabad Municipal Survey and has all the originals in her possession.
This research in progress found maps located at MIT Libraries >>Dome>>Visual Collections>> Architecture of Hyderabad
Draftsman: M. Ahmed Ali (Indian (South Asian), 1925-)
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1721.3/20038
Description: full view, including Gulzar Haus in the central square and the Mecca Masjid on the far left.
Type of Work: Drawing (visual work), Topographical view
Subject: Bird’s-eye views, India, Cities and towns, Drawing, Architecture –India, Land use, Urban, Hyderabad (India), Topographical views
Rights: (c) M. Ahmed Ali (1925- )

The Mufeed Ul Annam School on the map of Hyderabad 1913

Mufeed-Ul-Annam (on the map it is Mufid-Ul-Annam) is the school run by the community and is located on the map of Hyderabad from 1913. This map was created by the Hyderabad Municipal Survey during 1912-1915. The mapping of Hyderabad was part of a plan for urban Hyderabad after the floods of 1901 by the Nizam’s administration and was led by an engineer Leonard Munn (1878-1935). The need for modern education to get employed in the bureaucracy of the Nizam prompted this founding of the school in 1882 which offered modern education to the children of the community members. This is a major aspect that enabled agency by creating the circumstance for progress in the community members by providing access to education in a time when there were not many schools. Since its founding, all the members of the school until the middle of the twentieth century were educated in there and went on to make significant contributions to the civic life and well-being of the city of Hyderabad.
The school is one of the major institutions of the Brahma Kshatriya community and across from that on the map was the house of Raja Roop Lal whose half-brother Raja Bansi Lal was the founder of the school- they were zamindars or landowners.
Map courtesy: @krishnakriti_foundation Kalakriti Archives, Hyderabad

Brahma Kshatriyas of eminence in Hyderabad

  • Chairman, Political Reforms Committee:  Rai C. Bal Mukund Waghray
  • Chief Justices of High Court : Bisheshwarnath Waghray, Bal Mukund Waghray, Manohar Pershad Sahgal
  • Chairman, Backward Classes Commission: Manohar Pershad Sahgal
  • Minister in Laik Ali Cabinet: Raj Mohan Lal, Bar-at-Law
  • Secretaries to Government:  H. Ram Lal Shah, Tribhuvan Lal Mahendra, DilsukhRam Sekhar, Bhupender Nath Waghray, Narsing Raj Sahgal, Guru Das Sahgal, Gul Bahadur Sahgal
  • Chief Engineers: Bala Pershad Sekhar, Veernath Rai Shah, Laxminarayen Kishen Waghray, Shivender Bahadur Sahgal (Railways)                        
  • First Woman Session Judge: Smt. Daya Devi Burman Mahendra
  • Asst. Accountant General: Manohar Lal Waghray
  • Secretary, Exhibition Society: Bhavani Rai Shah
  • Legislators: Man Mohan Lal Shah, Khushbadan Lal Mahendra 
  • Social Workers: Suraj Bhan Waghray, Daya Devi Burman Mahendra, Dr. Padmavati Shastri Waghray, Gayatri Devi Waghray, Laxmi Raj Shah, Hemchander Pershad Ghai 
  • Army Service: Col. Kailash Nath Waghray, Major Dr. B. Shiv Raj Shah, Major. Shanker Lal Desai, Lt. Col. Bishendar Bahadur Sahgal 
  • Freedom Fighters: Mahipatram Sahgal, Barrister Kishan Waghray, Karan Rai Sohni, Khushbadan Lal Mahendra, Pramila Mahendra, Amarnath Burman Mahendra , Dr. Parmavathi Shastri Waghray, Amolak Ram Waghray

Judges

Judge, High Court and Chairman, A.P Administrative Tribunal:  Upender Lal Waghray Sessions Judges : Shanker Pershad Mahendra, Barrister Ram Lal Kishen Waghray, Jitendernath Waghray, Nauratan Lal Waghray, Mohan Lal Waghray, Mahesh Narayan Mahendra, Rupender Pershad Sahgal

Eminent Doctors:

Personal Physician to the Nizam  Major Dr. B. Shiv Raj Shah

  Professor, Osmania Medical College     Dr.Satyanarayan Sahgal

    Suptd, Sarojini Devi Hospital                  Dr. P. Ramchander Desai

    RMO, Osmania Hospital                         Dr. Tulsi Das Sekhar

    Head, Orthopaedic Dept. Osm, Hospital     Dr. Dharam Rai Thakore

    Suptd, Fever Hospital                                Dr. KaranPershad  Sekhar

    Suptd, Osmania Hospital                       Dr. Vijender Nath Waghray

    Suptd, Osmania Hospital                     Dr. Binode Kumar Sahay

   Cardiologist, Gandhi Hospital              Dr. Bansi Lal Vigg

   Suptd, Maternity Home, Sultan Bazaar        Dr. Chandrakala Sahay

   Suptd, Sadhuram Eye Hospital       Dr. Shyam Sunder Pershad Kapoor

Heads of Institutions

Director, Medical Services                             Col. Kailash Nath Waghray

Director, Customs                                           Dilsukh Ram Sekhar

Director, Endowments                                    Raja Trimbak Lal Thakore

Chief Conservator of Forests                         Daulat Rai Sahgal

 Addl. Director Medical Services                    Dr. Mrs. Annapurna Vigg

 Director, Education                                        Dr. N. Ram Lal Waghray 

 General Manager, I.D.P.L.                            Roop Lal Shah

Secretary, Railway Recruitment Board          Govind Lal Waghray 

 Chief Commercial Superintendent & GM Central Railways      Arjun Pershad Sekhar

Chairman, APSRTC and Hyderabad Allwyn Metal Works           Guru Pershad Sekhar

Excerpted from the Green Book published by Amolak Ram Waghray. In the picture shaking hands with Prime Minister Nehru is Bala Pershad, Chief Engineer at the inauguration of the Nizam Sagar Dam. Also in the picture is H. Ram Lal (black shervani, extreme right in black eye glasses) who was also the secretary to the government. Picture courtesy Raj Kumar Waghray.