Meet the royal family of Talpur

Published: April 1, 2015
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The royal Talpur family of Khairpur, with its seat at Faiz Mahal, has ruled Sindh for almost three centuries, according to its last heir, Prince Mir Mehdi Raza Talpur. PHOTO: EXPRESS

The royal Talpur family of Khairpur, with its seat at Faiz Mahal, has ruled Sindh for almost three centuries, according to its last heir, Prince Mir Mehdi Raza Talpur. PHOTO: EXPRESS

SUKKUR: 

The Talpur’s have ruled Sindh for generations — almost three centuries (1783 to 1955) — according to Prince Mir Mehdi Raza Talpur, the last heir of the royal family of Khairpur.

In an exclusive interview, the young royal sat down with The Express Tribune at the family’s estate and palace, Faiz Mahal, in Khairpur to discuss history, family and what it means to be loyal.

“When my ancestors were in power they worked tirelessly and made sincere efforts with their people,” said the prince. “Under their rule, the people of Sindh led a prosperous life compared to those in the rest of the sub-continent.” He added that it was the ruler’s prime responsibility to provide their people with even the basic necessities.

Developing Khairpur

Prince Mir said that Khairpur was the first state with its own industrial zone, which had around 52 industrial units. “The industrial zone played a vital role in not just providing people with employment opportunities within the state but also provided resources for structural development,” he said. “They [Prince Mir’s ancestors] had planned to set up eight more industrial zones in the state but time didn’t allow them to do so.”

Educating the state

Education, according to the prince, was something the Talpur family was very strict about. They wanted to make sure that every boy and girl in the state had basic education. “They established a large network of schools from primary to higher secondary,” he said. “Parents who refused to send their children to school were kept behind bars till they agreed to send their children to school.”

Right after Partition, the prince claimed that the government was allocating only one per cent of the budget on education. The Talpurs were, however, spending more than 22 per cent of their budget on education and health unlike the Pakistani government.

He gave the example of how tuberculosis (TB) was dealt with in the state. “The disease was thought to be fatal at the time,” he said. “So the state of Khairpur not only provided free medical care to people suffering from TB but also granted them a stipend of Rs30 per month.”

He added that every resident of Khairpur was eligible for free medical care, even the animals were treated free of charge at veterinary hospitals.

Life in the state

The per capita income of the people of Khairpur, according to Mir, was Rs67 as compared to Rs20 in the rest of the country.

Khairpur was the first state in pre-Partition India that had established air-conditioned textile mills and had imported air-conditioned buses for its people from the United Kingdom. “The Talpurs were the first to get a resolution approved to establish a university for Muslims in India,” he said. “We [the Talpurs] also constructed the Sindh Madrassatul Islam and took care of the staff’s salary and other expenses.” He added that his forefathers had taken on a mission to provide basic rights and services to all their subjects.

The agreement with Jinnah

According to Prince Mir Mehdi, his ancestors and Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah had made an agreement on October 3, 1947.

He said that it was agreed that the state of Khairpur would cooperate with the Government of Pakistan in three sectors – defence, communication and foreign affairs. It was also agreed that changes in the country’s constitution would not affect the status or state of Khairpur. With both parties in agreement, the state of 16,000 square-km was annexed to Pakistan.

“At Jinnah’s death, however, things started to change,” said the prince. “The state’s status changed and it was snatched by the government in 1955.” He added that this was how the state lost its independence.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 1st, 2015.

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Reader Comments (10)

  • Karachiwala
    Apr 1, 2015 - 3:43AM

    yes a lot of things went awry after the death of jinnah.
    make khairpur an independant state, otherwise ppp will make it look like larkana.
    make karachi a separate state too, else who knows what happens.Recommend

  • Junaid
    Apr 1, 2015 - 5:01PM

    Nice! We must appreciate the efforts of the former princely states in the making of Pakistan. They were the ones who gave the real sacrifice, giving up all their privileges! At least, we should respect them! Unlike today’s politicians, they served their subjects with much sincerity and honesty!Recommend

  • Raja Porus
    Apr 1, 2015 - 5:36PM

    Khairpur was annexed from the Talpurs like they had annexed Khairpur from the original rulers of Khairpur, the Kalhoras (despite swearing an oath to protect the Kalhoras, the Talpurs being generals and foot soldiers of the Kalhora army). So it’s all part of the game.Recommend

  • Apr 1, 2015 - 6:14PM

    @Karachiwala: Dream on buddy! Commenting on ET is not how states are formed.Recommend

  • Hasnain
    Apr 2, 2015 - 3:03PM

    in pre-Partition India that had established air-conditioned textile mills and had imported air-conditioned buses for its people from the United Kingdom

    And what about iPhone 4+ which they have given to every watch keeper for uptodate security of state ? Sad to see Prince Mir Mehdi Raza Talpur is forgetting his historyRecommend

  • Muhammad Ali Baig
    Apr 2, 2015 - 3:20PM

    Not only Khairpur but Swat was a prosperous & peaceful state, with the Waali-e-Swat like a father figure. Bahawalpur footed the Federal Govt expenses for initial period and in return the State was aboloshed.Recommend

  • Asad
    Apr 4, 2015 - 6:48AM

    If Talpurs were ruling Sindh since 1843, what were Napiers, Fereres, Pottingers, Evans and Jacobs doing ? Friends, we were their lackeys !Recommend

  • Sarfaraz Abbasi
    Apr 4, 2015 - 10:03PM

    @Karachiwala: Your last line make you an ignorant!Recommend

  • Sarfaraz Abbasi
    Apr 4, 2015 - 10:06PM

    @Asad: For that you will have to read the history of Sindh properly. Recommend

  • Anonymous
    Apr 4, 2015 - 10:57PM

    Watch “Khairpur state documentary” on dailymotion.Recommend

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