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Reachout's  Newsmaker

Lubaina Tyebji 
Has to her credit a gripping documentary on the Nizam of Hyderabad

It is to Lubaina Tyebji's credit that her documentary on the Nizam of Hyderabad, 1948-A story of Hyderabad', did not end up like the Films Division's drab offerings. A few old Hyderabadis who were witness to the confusion when the Nizam decided to merge with India became emotional as they relived the experience through her film. Some of them even cried unashamedly, and through their tears they smiled at the journalist-turned director acknowledging her effort. 

Was the Nizam of Hyderabad cornered or did he strike a deal? To this day, Indians have no clue to why Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan, who remained the head of a separate state for 13 months after India's Independence, decided to merge with the Union in 1948. Now, for the first time, the monarch's attempt to hold on to power is portrayed in 1948 -- A Story of Hyderabad, an hour-long documentary by Lubaina Tyebji. 

Tyebji, a US-trained TV reporter, captures the sunset on the Asaf Jahi rule in a gripping historical narrative through the accounts of eyewitnesses, freedom fighters and the grandchildren of the Nizam, besides archival material including footage from 16 mm family movies. What makes the Rs 4 lakh film -- Tyebji's first -- unique is the original recordings of music and prayers, press reports of violence during and after the government's police action and rare photographs. 

However, the film ignores the plight of the people in villages and the circumstances leading to the revolt against the Nizam. It fails to address the crucial question: what made the Nizam change his mind? But that's not surprising. There are few witnesses alive, alert or willing to recall what happened before the Nizam finally bowed out of power.

-(As mailed  to us by a visitor of ReachoutHyderabad.com)

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