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Liberation or distortion?

Liberation or distortion?
Highlights

Though the whole country got Independence on August 15, 1947, September 17, 1948 was an important day in the history of erstwhile Hyderabad State which was liberated by Union Government and merged into the Indian Union one year after Independence.

Celebrate ‘liberation’ officially

When “Bandenaka bandi gatti” is sung by balladeer Gaddar then the interpret ion will be different and if the same song is sung by a BJP person the interpretation by pseudo- seculars will be on communal lines

Though the whole country got Independence on August 15, 1947, September 17, 1948 was an important day in the history of erstwhile Hyderabad State which was liberated by Union Government and merged into the Indian Union one year after Independence.

Our party has been demanding celebration of ‘September 17’ officially as “Liberation Day”, but Andhra Pradesh government either Congress or TDP whichever in power, failed to understand the people’s mood. Now time has come to celebrate the day officially coinciding with the decision of CWC for bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. Although Karnataka and Maharashtra governments celebrate the day officially so as some parts of erstwhile Hyderabad state were merged with these two states.

The day was being celebrated as ‘Black Day’ by a section while other political parties celebrate it as Merger Day and Betrayal Day. But the real homage to those who sacrificed their lives fighting against atrocities of Razakars and dictatorial erstwhile Nizam rule would be ‘Hyderabad Liberation Day’.

Until September 17, 1948, Hyderabad was an independent country popularly named as princely state with Nizam VII, Mir Osman Ali Khan as its ruler. Hyderabad was never under the British rule. It had its own currency, railways, postal department, Judiciary and military. If we look into the history, the Hyderabad State was liberated from the clutches of Nizam's Rule in 1948 and it should be celebrated at a grand scale to keep the young generations updated.

The most famous song, “Bandenaka bandi gatti padahaaru bandlu gatti ye bandle pothavu koduko Nizam circaroda” (with a cart after cart and sixteen carts on the move in which cart would you flee, o Nizam’) is sung by balladeer Gaddar then the interpret ion will be different and if the same song is sung by a BJP person the interpretation by pseudo- seculars will be on communal lines. The song inspired the people to fight against king Nizam not against the religion. Hence terming September 17 as Liberation Day is highly appropriate and justified. For all these years the governments failed to celebrate the accordingly only with a view to appease certain sections, which is ahistorical to say the least.

According to history on the police action: The Government of India decided to curb growing violence by the Razakars and Nizam’s attempts to remain himself independent. `Police Action' on Hyderabad commenced on September 13, 1948. The Indian Army, led by Major-General J.N.Chaudhuri entered the State from five directions and the military action was a brilliant success which was over within a few days.

On September 18, 1948, Nizam's forces surrendered and Mir Laik Ali, the Prime Minister of the Nizam, and Qasim Razvi were arrested. On September, 23, the Nizam withdrew his complaint against India in the Security Council. With that the merger of Hyderabad State into the Indian Union was announced. Major-General J.N.Chaudhuri took over as Military Governor of Hyderabad and stayed in that position till the end of 1949.

In January 1950, M.K.Vellodi, a Senior Civil Servant, was made the Chief Minister of the State and the Nizam was designated `Raj Pramukh'. After the 1952 General Elections, the first popular ministry headed by Burgula Rama Krishna Rao took charge of the State.

It is time for unbiased probings

The question of how histories of Hyderabad were written becomes important at this stage. Who wrote these histories and why

The material on recent history of Hyderabad was written by all those actors who took part in the political developments of Hyderabad State in the decisive decade of 1940. These histories served a purpose for six decades and every body was satisfied with it until it was discovered that a satisfactory Muslim perspective doesn’t exists in these works.

Whatever is presented doesn’t match with the discoveries made about the Muslim lives, situations and experiences. The question that was asked as a result of this dissatisfaction was what are the Muslim perspectives about all these things as they were also one of the important actors? What were the perspectives of those Muslims who became a victim of the political developments and paid the highest price as a result of Police Action of September 1948?

The Muslims were also held responsible for this absence. ‘They should have come forward to object, disagree and debate’. But given the post- 1948 Muslim situation it was rather impossible. They knew very well that their perspectives will not gain credibility either by the Muslims themselves or by the larger society. This led them to self impose an intellectual silence, though a few of them played to the gallery. They equated silence with political correctness which turned out to become an important need. This was one kind of silence among many others that Muslims imposed on themselves.

The question of how histories of Hyderabad were written becomes important at this stage. Who wrote these histories and why. It was widely felt by many Hyderabadis that the leaders, who initiated and led the Communist movement, Congress, Arya Samaj and Hindu Maha Sabha were mostly non- mulkis. They came to fight the battles for the Hindus of Hyderabad even though they were not invited by them. Similarly a pre -48 Muslim politician observed that unless the Hindus of Hyderabad State are communalized by the slogan of ‘Hindus in danger’, they can’t be turned against Nizam, nor could spread the freedom movement nor the accession of Hyderabad will be made possible. Thus began the project of Hyderabad and history writing was part of it. This is one explanation out of few others.

The counter moves of the Muslims were on similar grounds. They mobilized the Muslims with the slogan of ‘Islam in danger’ since Hyderabad State was in danger and thus became trapped as expected. One group excluded the other and widened the divide. One group of Muslims saw the futility of this strategy and the other went ahead with zeal to punish the enemies of Hyderabad and defend its freedom by joining Razakars. For many Hindus accession of Hyderabad to India was natural and logical but Muslims asked ‘how a two hundred year old functional and viable state can join India which is just one year old and that too in much turmoil?’ When insistence on Hyderabad was increasing to accede followed by the unofficial economic blockade, it further provoked the Razakars who became suicidal at the end.

Razakars were seen as anti national, anti social and communal fanatics in the existing literature but can it be seen other wise? Can we say the Razakars followed a moral impulse of patriotism by dying for their country and can we say that the Hindus followed a political sense by demanding accession? Was it a conflict between moral and political sense? But one thing is clear that all the Hindus were not pro- accession and all the Razakars were not anti- India. There existed various shades of opinion. Now, can we afford to think on these lines publicly, or shall we repress it as illegitimate question thinking about the larger issues at stake?

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