Whatever the name, honour the martyrs

Whatever the name, honour the martyrs
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The world is changing. The outlook of people, particularly after the Covid-19 pandemic, has changed to a large extent but our politicians refuse to follow suit.

The world is changing. The outlook of people, particularly after the Covid-19 pandemic, has changed to a large extent but our politicians refuse to follow suit. The history of the struggle for the liberation of Telangana from the clutches of the Nizam is one such case in point.

Politics should not shroud history. Its narration and presentation should be dispassionate. Facts should not be subverted to suit political expediencies. But unfortunately, this is what is happening regarding the celebration of Telangana Liberation Day. The event has been given different names. Political considerations seem to be the dominating factor behind all parties to indulge in competitive celebrations.

The BJP has always been demanding for this day to be celebrated officially, even in undivided Andhra Pradesh. But neither the Congress government nor the TDP government did anything in that direction. The BJP has been in power at Centre for the past eight years. It also did not think of celebrating it officially. The TRS between 2001 and 2014 ridiculed various Chief Ministers of the united Andhra Pradesh for not celebrating Telangana Liberation Day. But it developed cold feet after coming to power. The BJP has since been accusing TRS of buckling under pressure from AIMIM.

In September 2016, the then Union Minister, M Venkaiah Naidu, had suggested that Hyderabad Liberation Day be officially celebrated. TRS then accused BJP of indulging in "divisive politics." It said that moderate people do not believe in BJP version. It was the day when Telangana state was merged with the Indian union, it argued.

But now with general elections a year from now, the BJP which is eyeing to come to power in Telangana suddenly announced that it would officially celebrate the Telangana Liberation Day. Incidentally, this happens to be the 75th year of Liberation Day and hence it came up with a year-long programme.

To deflect the BJP attack, and take its fight against the saffron party a notch up, the TRS government announced to organise a year-long Telangana Raitanga Sayudha Porata Vajrotsavalu and then changed the name as Telangana Integration Day. The political somersault of TRS and MIM criticising Nizam now is perplexing. Ancient India is replete with examples where every contribution is well-documented. For instance, the Ramayana describes the contribution of a squirrel that carried pebbles to fill the gaps between the boulders that were laid by Lord Rama's Vaanara Sena. But there are any number of instances where history has been subverted and bravery and sacrifice undermined.

The period between 1946 and 1948 witnessed horrendous brutalities perpetrated on the innocent and unarmed citizens of Hyderabad State by the Razakars, a private militia led by Qasim Rizvi, along with the Nizam's army. Undeterred by the quantum of violence, the people revolted. After the massacres of Parkal and Bairanpally in early September 1948, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel ordered Police Action, through 'Operation Polo.' This compelled the Nizam to surrender and on September 17, 1948, the people of Hyderabad State became a part of the Indian Union. Let us hope that the decision of all political parties to officially celebrate September 17 as Liberation Day will prove to be a step towards dispassionate documentation of history and will focus on the sacrifices of many unsung heroes who made the supreme sacrifice.

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