Liberation Ahoy!

Published: 24th August 2014 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th August 2014 03:51 AM   |  A+A-

Sardar-Vallabhbhai-Patel

Come September 17, there will be some action-packed drama. BJP national president Amit Shah wants his party workers to celebrate Telangana Liberation Day on September 17 on a grand scale amidst growing demands to celebrate it as an official function. But Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao is understood to have decided against the very idea. It was on September 17 that the Nizam had acceded the erstwhile Hyderabad State with Indian Union in 1948. Seizing the initiative, Amit Shah invoked the name of ‘Iron man of India’ Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel who made the Nizam surrender and merged Telangana with India.  The political import of BJP’s plan to revive the memories of September 17, 1948, appears to be an apparent attempt to target the “unofficial’ alliance between the ruling TRS and the MIM, which continues to hold sway over the old city of Hyderabad. There appears to be a purpose behind the timing too what with election to Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation due in a few months from now. Amit Shah at a meeting of party workers and leaders said the BJP should take the importance of the Liberation Day to a new level.  Not stopping at that, he said Hyderabad would have taken more time to surrender but for the dedication and sagacity by Sardar Patel who saw merger of 650 princely states in India.  In this context, we present here excerpts of Sardar ‘s speeches post-merger of Hyderabad with India on different occasions and a view of Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen

 

The merger of Andhra State with Telangana region to form the State of Andhra Pradesh on linguistic basis took place in November 1956 with the trifurcation of the erstwhile Hyderabad State, which had become part of the Indian Union following the Police Action against Nizam’s Dominions in September 1948. If one looks at the events that preceded and followed the Police Action, the minority Muslim community had witnessed the kind of tragedy which has few parallels.

The integration of Hyderabad State with the Indian Union could have been achieved without the Indian Military offensive if then Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and his deputy, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, had shown a little patience to make the Nizam agree to the accession of his State to Independent India. The tragedy that befell Hyderabad’s Muslim minority was truly heart-rending.

There is no need to recall all that happened in September 1948 and in the subsequent months and thereafter in Hyderabad State of the Indian Union. Suffice to say that Pandit Sundarlal Committee, constituted by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, had documented the massacres and atrocities that had occurred in the wake of Police Action. Soon after, thousands of Muslim employees were dismissed from service. Urdu was replaced as official language and principal medium of instruction. 

The Jagirs and Inams were abolished. The Nizam’s crown (Sarf-e-Khas) lands were taken over. The landed Muslim gentry was driven out from hundreds of villages across the territories of Hyderabad State. From being part of the ruling establishment, the Muslims became the ruled.

To quote from the SRC Report, it is obvious that so far as Hyderabad was concerned, the SRC had a set task ahead of it. Para 360 of SRC report (page 101) said clearly: “There has been a general demand, with popular support behind it, that the (Hyderabad) State should be disintegrated on the basis of linguistic and cultural affinity. This demand does not rest merely on linguistic grounds..…”

The SRC, in Para 363, further pointed out that “public sentiment, both within and without the State, is overwhelming and insistent on the need for the disintegration of the State. Dismissing the opposition to the disintegration of Hyderabad State, the SRC, in para 364, observed, “Not only is the opposition to the disintegration of the State confined to minor sections, but the arguments on which this opposition is based also do not bear scrutiny.”

From all this, it is absolutely clear that the formation of Andhra Pradesh with the merger of Telangana region with the Andhra State was influenced by factors other than linguistic or cultural. The idea was to dismantle the Hyderabad State, which retained the same boundaries as the erstwhile Nizam State of Hyderabad, notwithstanding the concerns and objections of the Muslim minority and other sections of society.

The Muslim community, which was yet to recover from its political and economic disempowerment in eight years (1948-1956) since Police Action, was subjected to emotional and physical disintegration with the trifurcation of Hyderabad State.

Hyderabad State lost five districts -- Latur, Nanded, Osmanabad, Aurangabad and Parbhani -- to Bombay State and three districts -- Gulbarga, Bidar and Raichur -- to Mysore State. The remaining eight districts in Telangana were merged with the Andhra State to form the State of Andhra Pradesh. Hyderabad, which was once described by Jawaharlal Nehru, as a miniature India due to its cultural synthesis and intermingling of people of different races, languages, religions and regions, was shorn of its identity that had evolved over centuries. 

(Excerpts from the speeches of AIMIM members in the AP legislature on the AP Reorganisation Bill in January 2014)

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