Bhopal: Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan was today anointed the tenth Nawab of Pataudi at a ceremony at his ancestral palace here over a month after his father Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi passed away. The 41-year-old actor was made the Nawab at a 'pagdi' ceremony this morning at the Ibrahim Palace here, where heads of 52 villages tied a white turban around his head as mother Sharmila Tagore, sisters Saba and Soha looked on.
His sister Saba has been made the patron of the body that manages religious and charitable endowments of the erstwhile princely state.
Pataudi, whose mother was the daughter of the last nawab of Bhopal, Hamidullah Khan, was born in Bhopal and was the mutawalli (patron) of the Auqaf-e-Shahi.
Saif has been given the honorary title last held by his father, who died on September 22 following chronic lung infection.
Saif was initially reluctant to be anointed as the Nawab, a title no longer recognised by the government, but gave in to the tradition to honour the sentiments of villagers.
As the newly appointed Nawab, Saif will have to take care of his father's estate, their ancestral home, eye hospital and other charitable institutions.
Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, whose mother was the daughter of the last Nawab of Bhopal, Hamidullah Khan, was born in Bhopal and was the mutawalli (patron) of the Auqaf-e-Shahi, the body managing the religious and charitable endowments of
the erstwhile princely state.
Mansoor took over from his mother as heir in the Bhopal royal family, allowing him to become the mutawalli of dozens of shrines, orphanages and religious trusts that are part of the princely waqf properties of Bhopal.
As mutawalli, Pataudi governed religious properties worth over Rs 2,000 crore, including Bhopal's Jama Masjid. He also enjoyed special discretionary powers to sanction free lodging at the Rubat (building) at Mecca and Medina.
The Pataudi palace in Gurgaon, built in 1935, is sprawled across 25 acres and is divided into two parts, a main building and an annexe. One part of it has been turned into a heritage hotel where a number of Hollywood and Bollywood films have been shot.
Mansoor Ali Khan gave up his title in 1971 when India abolished royal entitlements through the 26th Amendment to the Constitution of India.
Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda was also present.
(With additional information from PTI)