Former President’s house is a crumbling edifice
Former President’s house is a crumbling edifice

Begum Bazaar: This generation of residents of Begum Bazaar do not know about the dilapidated building close to the fish market, for the ramshackle state it is in does not garner interest. When they are told that it is the very house in which India’s third President, Dr Zakir Hussain was born they stand astounded.

It is said that Dr Zakir Hussain was born here on February 8, 1897 and had his early primary education in the city. When he was eight, his father Fida Hussain moved to UP. The house for a long period was under the control of one Zubeda Khatoon and then it moved hands and now local traders say one Mr Bhatia owns the property.

Syed Sikander Mashuqi, president of Dr Zakir Hussain Memorial Committee says, “The house should come under the protection of the Archaeology department and be made into a memorial just as the house of former President APJ Abdul Kalam.

Shop owners on the ground floor have been paying the rent in court as the property is in dispute. Heritage activists say that the building has to be restored as it has an old world charm and it deserves to be safeguarded for posterity. 

S Prabhavati, 70 who has a keen interest in history says, “Dr Zakir Hussain was one of the poorest Presidents of India who lived a simple life. The house in which he was born needs to be restored.”

There are glimpses of old world grandeur that is still visible in the jali work, small arches; wooden posts and fine lattice work on the first floor.

Mohammed Safiullah, historian and expert on Hyderabad says, “Britain which is smaller than Telangana in size has close to 2 lakh museums. Houses of poets, writers, artists and politicians are protected. We do not care for our heroes. The building should be restored to its past glory.”

By Md Minhajuddin Khan & T P Venu