Jaffar Mir Abdullah stands outside the crumbling royal palace known as Sheesh Mahal, in Lucknow, Utter Pradesh. Abdullah, the more recent aspirant to the long-gone throne of Awadh, is a former medical equipment salesman whose younger sister is married to Ibrahim Ali Khan.
Ibrahim Ali Khan stands outside the crumbling royal palace known as Sheesh Mahal, in Lucknow, Utter Pradesh. Khan, a former oil company executive, is the leading claimant to the title in question, Nawab of Awadh.
The tale of Ibrahim Ali Khan and his brother-in-law Jaffar Mir Abdullah begins in the 18th century, with an ancestor who served a Mogul emperor and an aristocratic family's rise to immense wealth and power.
This photo taken on October 21, 2010 shows Jaffar Mir Abdullah at a gallery in Lucknow, Utter Pradesh. The 15-year feud between Ibrahim Ali Khan and Abdullah has become a matter of interest for newspaper reporters and the public, and a reflection of India's deeply ambivalent relationship with its array of royalty, semi-royalty and lesser aristocrats.
India's aristocratic families were stripped of their political power at independence, in 1947, and their feudal landholdings five years later. The final blows came in the '70s, when they lost their government allowances and legal right to their titles. Text: AP