September 17 celebration birth right of Telanganites
THE HANS INDIA |
Sep 13,2017 , 02:25 AM IST
If there is any region in the world which is not allowed to celebrate its independence, it's our new state Telangana. The great patriot Bal Gangadhar Tilak said: "Freedom is my birth right.” If freedom is our birth right, then celebrating such freedom is also our birth right – It is a matter of self-respect.
It’s a historical fact that Telangana got independence from an oppressive Nizam rule on September 17. Except BJP, all other parties steer clear of this issue as they fear antagonising Muslims. But, the Telangana freedom struggle was not a fight between religions.
Many Muslims such as noted journalist and Imroze editor Shoaibullah Khan and Sheikh Bandagi lost their lives in the struggle for liberation from the Nizam’s rule. It was a fight against Nizam's atrocities and his inhuman acts. TRS which had demanded celebration of September 17 now keeps mum and even eulogises the Nizam, whose forces had killed hundreds of people and stripped women and made them play ‘Bathukamma’
But it is so unfortunate that such a matter of pride is being denied for mere political gains.Telangana region which flourished under the popular and people-friendly rule of the Kakatiyas had been subjected to extreme suppression under the Nizam rule. Kakatiyas lived, fought and died for the people, whereas the Nizam killed, looted and raped the people.
Under Nizam rule, Urdu was imposed as a medium of instruction and in administration, making education and jobs inaccessible. The Razakars were also involved in alluring Hindus to convert to Islam. Hundreds of people were shot down by the Razakars in Parkal,
Veera Bhaironpally villages in Erstwhile Warangal, Yerrupalem in Khammam, Devunisankisa in Mahaboobabad, Appampally of Mahbubnagar and in many other villages. In Nirmal, a thousand tribal people who marched against the Nizam were hanged to death to a banyan tree. They stripped off women and made them play Bathukamma.
But the way the people of Telangana fought the Razakars was a clear display of courage and bravery. Both Bhallaladeva in the recent magnum opus ‘Bahubali’ and the Nizam in Hyderabad did not love or care for their subjects. They took people for granted. The legendary movie ‘Bahubali’ says, “for every Bhallala there is a Bahubali.” We, the people of Telangana, must be lucky for we didn’t have one but many such Bahubalis in our movement against Nizam and Razakars.
In 1947, when the whole country was celebrating its Independence, the people of Hyderabad, comprising the present state of Telangana, three districts of Karnataka and five districts of Maharashtra under the rule of the then Nizam ruler Osman Ali, were struggling to merge with India. Even though Nizam had banned political parties, organisations like the Arya Samaj,
Andhra Mahasabha and the Hyderabad State Congress carried covert activities to push for the state’s merger with the Indian Union. The Communists led a popular resistance called ‘Telangana peasants armed struggle’ against the feudal landlords and the Nizam’s rule.
Finally, Hyderabad got independence on the 17th of September, 1948, that too, with the intervention of the Indian Armed forces, which is famously called Police Action or Operation Polo. The Nizam, who either wanted Hyderabad to be an independent Islamic country or to be merged with Pakistan finally surrendered to the Indian Union.
It’s a historical fact that Telangana got independence from an oppressive Nizam rule on September 17. But different political parties term the day in different ways to suit their political convenience. Communists argue that Indian military killed several locals during the Police Action to get Hyderabad into its fold. And hence they term it as a ‘Betrayal Day.
’ In fact, the Communist plan to establish their regime by defeating the Nizam was shattered by the Indian military. That is probably the reason why the Left parties term the day as ‘Telangana Betrayal Day.’ But by doing this, they forgot the essence of what they fought for.
The Congress Party always sidelined the importance of this day so as to retain the support of MIM party. It is a pity on the part of grand old Congress party to call September 17th as ‘Telangana Merger Day.’ How can Congress be oblivious of the fact that merger cannot happen unless liberation is done.
The TRS which was built on the pillars of Telangana sentiment often used to attack the Congress on why September 17 was not celebrated as the Independence Day. KCR, who very commonly used the words of Dasharadhi - “Naa Telangana, Koti Ratanala Veena” – during the movement of separate statehood, has failed to recognise and celebrate the efforts of Dasharadhi and other ‘Bahubalis’ such as Komuram Bheem, Bathini Mogulaiah etc., after coming into power. The same party, which promised to develop the locations of historic events into tourist
destinations, quips that the issue of liberation day has lost relevance today. As if this was not sufficient to hurt the self-respect of people of Telangana, the Chief Minister showered praise on the Nizam and described him as a great ruler. He even went on to pay floral tributes at the grave of Mir Osman Ali Khan, the seventh and last Nizam of Hyderabad.
It is very disgusting to witness such tricks being played by the CM. How can an emperor who stripped off women and made them play Bathukamma be praised as a great emperor? How can someone who is responsible for brutal killings, loots and rapes of innocent locals be termed as a great emperor?
MIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi's claim that though the car belonged to the ruling TRS, it is the MIM which is at the steering wheel explains why TRS took a U-turn on the issue. How does TRS surrender to such a party that opposed separate statehood and which can't think beyond Muslim vote bank?.
Except the BJP which has been fighting for the last 10 years for an official celebration of Telangana Liberation Day, all other political parties have alienated this issue as they fear antagonising the Muslim Minority population. But what they fail to understand is that even a large number of Muslims such as the noted journalist and Imroze editor Shoaibullah Khan, Sheikh Bandagi lost their lives in the struggle for liberation from the Nizam’s rule.
The huge response received for Telangana Vimochana Yatra led by Dr K Laxman, the Telangana state BJP president, from all sections should be an eye-opener to TRS. Telangana freedom struggle was not a fight between religions. But it was a fight between autocratic ruler and the ruled. It was a fight against Nizam's atrocities and his inhuman acts.
The present TRS regime which got elected with Telangana sentiment should fulfil its commitment to convert battle grounds such as Bhaironpally, Parkal etc. into inspirational centers. The government should take steps to include Telangana freedom struggle in text books and pass on our forefathers’ history of heroism and sacrifice to coming generations. All the freedom fighters should be identified, felicitated and be given pensions by the state.
(Writer is BJP State Official Spokesperson, Telangana)
By A Rakesh Reddy