Characterising Sept 17

Characterising Sept 17

September 17 is the day on which new history dawned on Telangana. Unfortunately, characterising this day has now become a matter of intense political rabble rousing.

September 17 is the day on which new history dawned on Telangana. Unfortunately, characterising this day has now become a matter of intense political rabble rousing.

Even as the Indians across the country celebrated independence on August 15, 1947, tri-colour could not unfurl in the then Hyderabad State. The princely State was integrated with the Indian Union on September 17, 1948. It is, therefore, a historic day in Telangana for its integration with Indian Union.

But there is a political backdrop to the integration. The integration of Hyderabad was not a smooth transition. The Nizam of Hyderabad refused to accede and cherished independent ambitions. The Telangana people's armed struggle led by Communists valiantly fought the autocratic king and the atrocious feudal regime perpetuated by the rulers.

The State Congress and the activists of Arya Samaj were also part of the movement to oust the Nizam and the feudal autocracy surrounding him. Thousands of Telanganites laid down their lives at the altar of the struggle for the region's liberation. Sardar Patel sent Indian Army to render a final blow to the Hyderabad ruler, thus integrating the princely State into the Indian Union.

It’s wrong to characterise Nizam rule and the people's struggle against it as Hindu-Muslim fight. But, the reality was Hindu landlords supported Nizam. Even Muslims were part of anti-Nizam struggle. It was essentially a struggle against feudal oppression and fundamentalist hooligans in the form of Razakars who were let loose on Telangana society by the then rulers to perpetuate their monarchy and feudal regime.

Therefore, the religious fundamentalism should not be viewed in isolation. It was an instrumentality of monarchy and oppressive feudalism. But, both the politics of minority appeasement and bashing want to give it a religious colour. The average Muslim has nothing to do with their rulers. The sacrifices of people like Shoaibullah Khan cannot be forgotten.

There is an attempt to glorify anything and everything that Nizam rule represents. Nizam was the richest king. The people were pauperised. How can this happen if the king was magnanimous? It cannot be an accident of history. The humongous gap between the rulers and the ruled speaks volumes about royal and feudal appropriation.

Though, the people of Telangana got liberated from the oppressive king and the landlords patronised by him, on September 17, the egalitarian social, political and economic order as aspired by the Telangana masses was not ushered in. Therefore it is partly a liberation day.

Some even call it a betrayal day too. But, this is an extreme interpretation. The people of Telangana never fought against India though they resisted to defend their right to till their hard-fought land. Calling it a betrayal day would only undermine the glorious sacrifices of Telangana martyrs. Forget whether it is an integration or liberation day.

It is certainly a day of rededication for the people of Telangana. Every proud and patriotic Indian in Telangana should celebrate it at least as a day of Telangana's tryst with India’s destiny.

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