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Beyond Charminar
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Beyond Charminar

Author: Suno India

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Picnic in Golconda fort, shopping in Charminar- just some of the many memories that every child growing up in Hyderabad makes. With grandiose forts & majestic monuments, these historical places are just some of the few symbols of Hyderabad. But even with 428 years of history, why is Hyderabad's rich history often ignored in textbooks? Why is there apathy and little interest in protecting these structures and the culture around it?

Beyond Charminar is our ode to this city. History aficionado and pucca Hyderabadi at heart Yunus Lasania, aka “That Hyderabadi Boy” will bring-to-you incredible stories of Hyderabad history and it’s rich multi-cultural heritage.
20 Episodes
Gone are the days when owning a radio even registered in our minds. Over the years, as we moved from tape recorders, LED TVs, to finally smartphones, the physical manifestation of radio has been long forgotten. But not at Mahboob Radio Service, a shop that has been repairing radio running from around Indian independence.   Set up by Shaik Mahboob, the store has been fixing old radios for decades, and it has still not stopped. The two siblings who run the place continue to do what their father taught them. Truly stuck in time, Yunus Y. Lasania, speaks to one of the siblings to understand the history of the place, and how its owners manage to fix radios from generations ago in this day and age.    See for privacy information.
One of the idiosyncrasies in Hyderabad is its language – Dakhni. Known as ‘Hyderabadi’, ‘Hyderabadi Hindi’ or even ‘Hyderabadi Urdu’, people in general, in Hyderabad and even the Deccan region, don’t actually know what it is called due to lack of awareness. Many in fact are even unaware that modern Urdu is in fact younger than Dakhni. Host Yunus Y. Lasania did a three-part mini-series on the history of Dakhni, and how the language has managed to remain as a spoken vernacular over the last few centuries, and even till today.  For the final part of the mini-series, Let’s talk Dakhni, host Yunus Lasania converses with Prof. Zaubiulla, a faculty member from Bangalore University’s Urdu department, who has in fact recently written a book on Dakhni sayings, called ‘Dakhni Muhavre’. Prof. Zaubiulla also reads out a few literary verses from well known historical poems to make the case for Dakhni as a separate language, and for it to not be seen as a dialect (as many wrongly assume it is) See for privacy information.
One of the idiosyncrasies in Hyderabad is its language – Dakhni. Known as ‘Hyderabadi’, ‘Hyderabadi Hindi’ or even ‘Hyderabadi Urdu’, people in general, in Hyderabad and even the Deccan region, don’t actually know what it is called due to lack of awareness. Many in fact are even unaware that modern Urdu is in fact younger than Dakhni. Host Yunus Y. Lasania did a three-part mini-series on the history of Dakhni, and how the language has managed to remain as a spoken vernacular over the last few centuries, and even till today. For part 2 of the mini-series, Let’s talk Dakhni, Yunus and Karthik Nalli continue their conversation about Dakhni, and talk about how the language evolved through the 16th and 17th centuries in the Deccan states like Golconda and Bijapur. See for privacy information.
One of the idiosyncrasies in Hyderabad is its language – Dakhni. Known as ‘Hyderabadi’, ‘Hyderabadi Hindi’ or even ‘Hyderabadi Urdu’, people in general, in Hyderabad and even the Deccan region, don’t actually know what it is called due to lack of awareness. Many in fact are even unaware that modern Urdu is in fact younger than Dakhni. Host Yunus Y. Lasania did a three-part mini-series on the history of Dakhni, and how the language has managed to remain as a spoken vernacular over the last few centuries, and even till today. In the first part of the mini-series, Yunus and Karthik Nalli speak about the evolution of Dakhni in the Deccan and how the language forms from the 14th century onwards under the Bahamani Empire which spans parts of Karnataka, Maharashtra and even the Telugu speaking regions of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. See for privacy information.
Most people identify Hyderabad as the "city of Nizams and Nawabs", but that's only one side of the story. While the city has a rich history on that front, there's another side to Hyderabad in terms of its colonial heritage as well. From having a church going back to 1813, to another having its service in Urdu, host Yunus Lasania talks to Suno India co-founder Rakesh Kamal and a very special guest in this episode, wherein they explore and talk about Hyderabad-Secunderabad's historic churches. See for privacy information.
The city of Hyderabad has witnessed many vicissitudes, but one of the most important ones was its transformation from a provincial capital into a modern metropolis during the reign of Osman Ali Khan, the last Nizam of the erstwhile Hyderabad state. Continuing from their conversation from the previous episode, host Yunus Y. Lasania and journalist Serish Nanisetti (who discussed how and why Hyderabad was flooded due to heavy rains in October this year) are in conversation with Anant Maringanti who runs the Hyderabad Urban Lab (HUL), a multi-disciplinary research centre. Anant, who has done some of the most detailed research projects on Hyderabad’s urbanization through HUL, speaks about the lesser known aspects of the city’s development, historically, and puts it in perspective with Hyderabad’s current state. See for privacy information.
In 1908, Hyderabad witnessed its worst ever rainfall which resulted in The Musi river and other smaller lakes flooding the entire city and killing thousands of people. The city was made flood proof after that during the time of Mir Osman Ali Khan, the last Nizam. However, in spite of those fail-safes, the city was once again flooded this year as heavy rains lashed the city on Oct 13. One of the main reasons for it is the construction of homes on lake beds and inside full tank levels of water bodies. Journalists Yunus Y. Lasania and Serish Nanisetti (from The Hindu) who both cover and write about Hyderabad’s heritage extensively, discuss why a calamity transpired once again which resulted in thousands of people getting displaced again. See for privacy information.
The state-run Osmania General Hospital has been serving people in Hyderabad for nearly a century, which today primarily includes providing health care to people from Telangana’s rural areas who cannot afford private hospitals. The Nizam-era structure, built during the reign of the last Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan, has however been shut since 22 July, and is yet another heritage structure that may not survive. Shut since July after rain water flooded the OGH’s ground floor wards (this happened due to a choked sewer line below), the issue of OGH’s survival is yet another case in point wherein the government seems to be more interested in demolishing heritage structures, rather than preserving it. Built in the Osmanian or Indo-sarcenic style of architecture in the first half the 20th century, it is one of Hyderabad’s most important buildings in terms of medical history. Ever since its closure, there have been calls to even demolish the hospital (it was never been closed in its history until now)We talk to Dr. Iqbal Javed, who has not only worked at OGH, but has also seen it since he childhood, to raise some crucial points about the issue. See for privacy information.
The stories of Dalits in India and their role in different movements in India remains largely untold. In Telangana, the Communist Party of India-led peasant rebellion from 1946-51 was one of the social and political revolutions which changed the lives of those who were being oppressed by Jagirdars, i.e. the landlords. The region, then under the Nizam-led princely state of Hyderabad (which comprised Telangana, parts of Maharashtra and Karnataka), witnessed peasants rising in rebellion against the feudal landlords. Within that, Dalits were bound by 'vetti chakiri' (bonded slavery or labour) and were largely left out of the benefits. The fight was mainly between poor peasants and landlords. However, much before that, one Dalit man from Vangapalli in Karimnagar district decided that he would have a better future and left his village. Velukati Ramaswamy aka Velukati Baliah's decision to do so changed his life and his family's, who managed to get out of caste oppression by working for the railways in Hyderabad. In this episode host Yunus Lasania talks to Dalit writer YB Satyanarayana, in his book My Father Baliah details the hardships and humiliation that his people had suffered and how his father, who decided that he would educate his sons, managed to break free from caste barriers. It is one of the few books from Telangana which explains the Dalit angle in our society. See for privacy information.
We all know of the Nizams and their wealth, especially of Osman Ali Khan, the last Nizam. He appeared on the cover of Time magazine in 1937 when he was the richest man in the world. But much before that, in the first half of the 19th century, the years that passed between the third Nizam Sikander Jah and fifth Nizam Afzal-ud-Dowla were not all rosy. The kings were forced to borrow money from a bank named Palmer and Company. The bank not only lent the Nizams money, but the entire episode turned Hyderabad into a debt-ridden state. In this episode of Beyond Charminar, Serish Nanisetti talks with the host, Yunus Lasania about a major banking scandal in 1800s which shook Hyderabad. In this scandal, the Nizams were forced to borrow a lot of money to maintain British troops and turned Hyderabad into a debt-ridden state. Listen to the full episode to know more. See for privacy information.
Reimagining Golconda

Reimagining Golconda


The Golconda or Qutb Shahi dynasty founded Hyderabad in 1591. Its history isn’t known to much of the Hyderabadis, let alone the smaller details of Qutb Shahi heritage scattered in and around Hyderabad. In an effort to document Golconda history, author and journalist Serish Nanisetti gives us an idea of how the fort and city grew, and also a basic understanding of the complex history of the Persian Qutb Shahi Empire, that lasted from 1518 to 1687. It has left an indelible imprint on Hyderabad's core culture. See for privacy information.
A house frozen in time

A house frozen in time


Imagine living in a house where the furniture hasn't changed for over 100 years. That's the kind of heritage Zubair Noor-ul-Haq lives with today. He’s one among the very few Hyderabadis who have managed to preserve the past in the form of their homes and priced possessions, when most of Hyderabad's heritage is slowly being pushed aside. Mostly, those grow up in Hyderbad today don't really know how the city looked decades ago, thanks to rapid urbanisation. In this episode, Yunus explores the rich heritage he comes with, not just in the form of possessions, also through his memories. See for privacy information.
Recently, Hyderabad was included in the UNESCO’s culinary heritage list, as the Creative City of Gastronomy.  Hyderabadi’s love their daily cup Irani chai and Osmania biscuit. Hyderabad's oldest Irani hotel, Grand hotel which started in 1935 is still running strong. However, most people are not aware of the Iranian roots, and how the early owners of these cafes or restaurants migrated from Iran. In this episode of Beyond Charminar, Mr. Mohammed Farookh Jaleel Rooz, the owner of Grand Hotel discusses with Yunus, how Irani chai, Hyderabadi biryani and other lesser known Hyderabadi delicacies have evolved. See for privacy information.
The twin City of Secunderabad, established in 1806/7, was built as the British cantonement, after the East India Company signed the treaty of Subsidiary Alliance with the Nizams in 1798. In this episode, our host Yunus is in conversation with Mr. Shapoor Toorkey, a Parsi old-timer who has seen Secunderabad grow from then. Mr Toorkey comes from a very illustrious family, his grandfather was the first mint master in Hyderabad state. See for privacy information.
Dakhni as we know it

Dakhni as we know it


"Even most Hyderabadis don’t realise that what we speak today is Hyderabadi, definitely not Dakhni, it is closer to the standard Urdu" says Mr Sajjad Shahid. As language is an important thread that speaks about the culture and the power equation of a place at any time, Yunus reached out to Mr Shahid to explore the linguistic roots of the Hyderabad region. Even as Telugu is the language of the region, people in Hyderabad converse fluently in what is known as Dakhni. See for privacy information.
While the Nizams stood against acceding to India or Pakistan, the peasants from rural Telangana revolted against the landlords with the support of the communists. Commonly called the Telangana armed struggle, it's an important communist revolt in Indian history. In this episode, our Yunus speaks with Mr Raghupal, who's from a communist family at that time, about what led to this anti-feudal struggle and how the society was back then. See for privacy information.
In Part two of our episode on Operation Polo, host Yunus interviews  Mr Mohammad Khaja Mohinudeen, now in his eighties. He was among those leaders who led and participated in the 1948 Telangana armed struggle.  He was also forced to go underground for a brief period and spent considerable amount of time with Makhdoom Mohiuddin, a poet and communist leader. Mr Mohinudeen escaped the clutches of Nizam's police thrice and in this episode  gives a completely different perspective of the Operation Polo. In this episode, he shares his lived experiences during the Armed Struggles and tells how Operation Polo had caused a lot of displacement in the erstwhile Hyderabad State. See for privacy information.
History, as we know, is told by the winning side, in the way they'd choose to. During Indian independence, the military action Operation Polo annexed the princely state of Hyderabad to India, against the communists and the Nizam rule. This part of history is often not spoken about as much as we speak of the freedom movement or the partition. Yunus Lasania, in his two-part episode on Operation Polo, tells the story of the Hyderabad rebellion through the people who lived through that time. In this episode, Burgula Narsing Rao, the nephew of the first chief minister of Hyderabad state before the creation of joint Andhra Pradesh Burgula Ramakrishna Rao shares his memories and view of the Hyderabad rebellion during the last phase of Nizam's rule. See for privacy information.
In this episode of Beyond Charminar podcast, we continue our conversation with Yunus Lasania, who will host the subsequent episodes of Beyond Charminar. We will also speak to the convener of INTACH Hyderabad Ms Anuradha Reddy about Errum Manzil. Erram Manzil is an Indo-European Baroque styled structure built by Nawab Safdar Jung Musheer-ud-daula Fakhrul Mulk in 1870, which the ruling Telangana government wants to demolish to build a new assembly in its place.  For more stories like this, you can listen on Also follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. See for privacy information.
Hyderabad's heritage & history when told by journalist Yunus Lasania sounds so intriguing in the weekly history walks that he organises in Hyderabad. So we at Suno India decided to bring this tête-à-tête with Yunus in our introductory episode of Beyond Charminar.  In this episode of our podcast, he discusses why the rich history of Hyderabad heritage is often ignored, some interesting things he dugout in his research and some fascinating facts and enduring myths with our editor, Padma Priya. See for privacy information.
Comments (1)

Nivedita Raju

Can you add the transcript or provide sub titles

Jan 8th
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