7 years in Secunderabad
What started as an exclusive preserve of the army in the British Raj has now turned into a city in its own right. And a beautiful one at that. Let’s take you through a tour of Secunderabad, the twin.
Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister of England during World War II, was posted in Secunderabad during the 1880s as a subaltern. He lived in a bungalow, surrounded by a large compound. It is still pointed out to visitors. He was very conscious of the fact that he and his colleagues were in Secunderabad to keep guard on the Nizam and the Old City of Hyderabad. They were convinced that it contained “all the scoundrels of Asia.” Legend has it that Churchill’s unit was transferred at such short notice that he was unable to settle his outstanding bill with the Secunderabad Club. This document is supposed to have become a part of the Club’s archives.
The Army still has a substantial presence in Secunderabad, which was founded at the end of the 18th century as a British cantonment. The Nizam of Hyderabad and the East India Company signed a deed of Subsidiary Alliance for military and political cooperation, to make this possible.
In terms of geographical area and population, the Secunderabad cantonment is said to be the biggest in India and also one of the largest in Asia. The infrastructure management and administration of the civilian areas in the cantonment are looked after by the Board. As per the Cantonment Act of 2006, Secunderabad cantonment is classified as a Class-I cantonment.