Shahernama.com interviwed Nawab Ibrahim Ali Khan of Shish Mahal, Lucknow to observe Lucknow of the olden days and the Lucknow of today through his eyes.Mr.Khan shared with us the tales of his childhood and those of the scenario of Lucknow.Let’s take a look at ‘Lucknow Now and Then’.
· Nawab Ibrahim Ali Khan of Shishmahal represents the eldest or the main branch of the “Shishmahal Family”. His ancestors were Prime Ministers to various Kings of Awadh, from his ancestral maternal side he descends from Nawab Sa’adat Khan, Burhan ul Mulk, the first Nawab of Awadh. One of his ancestresses descended from Shah Abbas Safawi, Shah of Persia [Family reference in Indian Year Book 1936 – 37 p-1094].
· The family, as leading administrators, has contributed immensely in the development of Lucknow, especially during its early years after Nawab Asaf ud Doulah shifted the Awadh capital from Faizabad to Lucknow.
· His ancestor was brought to India by Emperor Humayun in 1554 and given a Jagir of 996 villages in Khairabad, Sitapur, Maholi, Laherpur, Maholi, Talgaon, Raurapur, Mohamdi and others along-with a Khilat and the hereditary title of Nawab.
· One of his ancestor, Nawab Mehdi Ali Khan, Muntazim ud Doulah alias Hakim Mehdi, whom many a British historian has referred to as, “the stormy petrel of Awadh politics”, was instrumental, as Prime Minister, in saving the Awadh dynasty from being taken over by the East India Company as early as 1834, [Wajid Ali Shah, The Tragic King by Ranbir Singh p29]. Apart from various hospitals, Sarais [shelter houses], Orphanages, welfare trusts etc., he founded Mehdigunj [named after him] in Lucknow. He also built mundis, shops, gardens, lakes and palaces in Mohamdi, Maholi, Kannauj, Shahjehanpur, Fatehpur etc.
· His paternal grand-mother was the grand-daughter of Nawab Saeed Ali Khan of Rampur. His maternal side comes from the famous Salar Jung family of Hyderabad; his family has matrimonial links with the Nizam of Hyderabad, the Nawabs of Murshidabad, Arcot and the Maharaja of Mehmudabad.
· He is a registered member of the British India Association, a Trustee of various welfare family Trusts, member of many social, cultural and sports organisations and also a businessman.