History as political weapon
September 17 has now be- come a bone of contention between the BJP and the TRS government. The BJP is politicising this historic day to set- tle scores with the TRS. The TRS is also equally wrong.
September 17 has now become a bone of contention between the BJP and the TRS government. The BJP is trying to saffronise its historical importance. Any attempt to give the entire credit for integration to the police action ordered by the then Home Minister Sardar Patel is nothing but undermining importance of the Telangana armed struggle. Nizam surrendered only when he realised that he would be overthrown by the armed struggle. On the other hand, the TRS is ambivalent and apprehensive of losing Muslim votes if it celebrates the day that liberated Telangana people from the yoke of Nizam rule
September 17 has now be- come a bone of contention between the BJP and the TRS government. The BJP is politicising this historic day to set- tle scores with the TRS. The TRS is also equally wrong. Its ambiva- lence on correct characterisation of this day and its vacillation on officially celebrating it only indi- cate its political pusillanimity.
Thus political parties are indulging in dirty tactics of interpreting his- tory to their current political ad- vantage. It is a fact of history that Telan- gana which was in the form of princely state of Hyderabad was integrated with the Indian Union on September 17, 1948. Thus, it certainly becomes a unique day in the annals of Telangana history.
The people of Telangana had no right to hoist national flag on Au- gust 15th 1947 when the nation could do so. Thus, the day of inte- gration is a day of celebration as people of Telangana became po- litically a part of India. However, this integration did not happen in a normal course of events.
A heroic struggle of peasantry and ordinary people created the objective con- ditions for integration. Any at- tempt to give the entire credit for integration to the police action or- dered by the then Home Minister Sardar Patel is nothing but under- mining the sacrifices of hundreds of martyrs.
The BJP by ignoring this fact is rendering gross injus- tice to the people of Telangana. In a brazen political bid to appropri- ate the legacy of Sardar Patel, the BJP-style characterisation of Sep- tember 17 is underplaying the un- parallel valour and supreme sacri- fices of Telangana masses.
The Telangana people’s armed struggle has a glorious place in the history of people’s movements. The BJP cannot digest this fact. It wants the people of Telangana to believe that they became part of India due to the police action by the Union Army.
The villages of Telangana that cherish the proud memories of the armed struggle cannot ac- cept this distorted view of their history. The Telangana Peasant arms struggle had twin objectives. It wanted to liberate people of Telangana from the oppressive feudal exploitation and auto- cratic Nizam rule, both of which were surviving on each other’s support. September 17 is significant as one of these two ob- jectives was accomplished on this day.
The tyranny of Nizam rule ended with Hyderabad becoming part of Indian union. Thus the day of integration also became the par- tial liberation day. This day should also be observed as a day of re- dedication to the struggle to herald a new social order in Telangana.
Any attempt to ignore this fact by undermining the significance of September 17 would only amount to disowning the then struggles that brought liberation to Telan- gana from the despotic monarchy.
The BJP is trying to saffronise this dimension of history. Its cyn- ical efforts to portray it as Hindu- Muslim divide is certainly doing injustice to the history of Telan- gana. Many Muslims became mar- tyrs in the struggle against Nizam rule.
The Hindu feudal lords firmly supported Nizam and perpetuated heinous crimes even on Hindu masses. On the other hand, the ambiva- lence of TRS also lacks any sense of history.
The TRS is apprehen- sive of losing Muslim votes if it celebrates the day that liberated Telangana people from the yoke of Nizam rule. Ordinary Muslim masses have nothing to do with Nizam. The MIM is also indulging in sinister politics by glorifying Nizam.
The TRS in its new-found love for MIM is hesitating to take a correct stand in this regard. Any fundamentalist view of history has to be deplored. The Nizam of Hyderabad re- fused to accede to the Indian union when the nation became independ- ent.
Why did the then Union gov- ernment allow Nizam to remain in power for 13 months later? The Nizam was accorded the status of Rajpramukh. Why was this honour bestowed on a king who refused to accede to the Indian Union? This status was continued for long time.
Democratic elections were not held for several years after the police action. All this reveal that the Indian Union had intervened only when the Nizam’s position turned precarious as the Commu- nist-led Telangana armed struggle got intensified.
Why did the Indian union not withdraw its army im- mediately after the police action? All this indicate a tacit compro- mise with the feudal lords who overnight turned into Congress leaders. Nizam surrendered only when he realised that he will be overthrown by the armed struggle. The TRS repeatedly and of course rightly glorified the sacri- fices of Telangana armed struggle martyrs like Chakali Ailamma, and Doddi Komaraiah.
But K Chan- drasekhar Rao quite often praised Nizam, against whom these mar- tyrs led the struggle. It is true that the Nizam developed educational institutions, irrigation facilities, but this cannot be the basis for praising monarchy. In fact, the British introduced railways.
Can we welcome the colonial rulers due to this? There is yet another argument that the day should be observed as the day of betrayal. This argument is based on the notion that Hyder- abad would have remained an in- dependent country if the Indian Union had not intervened. This ex- treme view is fraught with danger. The political parties shall come out of their political myopia. Septem- ber 17 is certainly a historic day.
It is a day of integration of Telan- gana with the Indian Union. It’s a day of liberation from oppressive monarchy. It’s a day of rededica- tion to the struggle for an egalitar- ian social order in Telangana. It is also a day on which we salute the martyrs for their supreme sacri- fices. It is a day on which we proudly recollect how Telangana masses have demonstrated their unparallel heroism