The controversy over characterising September 17 is unwanted and superfluous. September 17 is the historic day on which the then Hyderabad
The controversy over characterising September 17 is unwanted and superfluous. September 17 is the historic day on which the then Hyderabad State was integrated into the Indian Union. The fact of history cannot be ignored for politics. There should not be any reason for the Government of Telangana not to celebrate this day. History was a witness to the pathetic plight of the people of Telangana not in a position to share the joy of freedom with their fellow Indians on August 15, 1947.
The reason was that the Nizam of Hyderabad refused to accede to the Indian Union. Hyderabad State was integrated with the Indian Union on September 17, 1948 after police action. The belligerence of Nizam should be viewed as an example of feudal autocracy and oppressive monarchy. Muslims of this region cannot be identified with Nizam. In fact, many Muslim writers, journalists etc., valiantly fought the reign of terror unleashed by the feudal regime while ardent supporters of the repressive ruler included even many Hindu feudal lords. Thus, the Nizam despotism and the heroic fight of Telangana people cannot be construed as Hindu-Muslim divide.
The peasants and the rural poor of this region waged an unparallel battle against the king and his feudal patrons. The people suffered unprecedented humiliation and tyranny in the hands of Razakars, the communal mercenaries let loose by Nizam. The ouster of such a torment regime is certainly a day of celebration, whatever may be its characterisation.
The people’s struggle against the rule was also for heralding an egalitarian social order. The land to the tiller strongly reverberated across the Telangana villages. All forms of social oppression were vehemently rejected. The Telangana society is far away from realising this glorious dream. Therefore, mere ouster of a ruler cannot be liberation in its true sense. In fact, the Nizam of Hyderabad enjoyed the ‘Rajpramukh’ title bestowed on him by the Government of India even after the integration with the Union. Thus, the full political liberation from Nizam’s legacy was not effected on September 17, 1948. But, in its limited interpretation, it’s certainly a day of liberation from the monarchy. Any communal interpretation is unwarranted. Perhaps, fearing communal backlash, the government is shying away from observing this day.
Description of September 17 as Betrayal Day is in fact a betrayal of history. The people of Hyderabad State never aspired to be independent of India. The sovereignty of India was never in question. The armed resistance to the Indian Union army was only to protect the lands won after great sacrifices. Characterising this day as Betrayal Day is preposterous as it questions the patriotism of the martyrs of Telangana. Therefore, such extreme interpretations stemming out of an ideological perversion is unwarranted.
There are even attempts to glorify the Nizam regime. It’s true that some initiatives of the king may be appreciable. But, the British cannot be praised for introducing the railways.
The Nizam of Hyderabad was one of the richest rulers in the world. But, the people he ruled lived in penury and deprivation. This cannot happen if Nizam was a magnanimous ruler. Nizam did not earn his prosperity due to any personal professional accomplishment. History should be read with a sense of proportion and without any prejudice.