The Nizam being sworn in as the Raj pramukh (Governor) of Hyderabd province in 1948.
Sep17 is being celebrated by BJP as Hyderabad Liberation Day, and Home Minister Amit Shah is to address a rally at Hyderabad on that day. It was Liberation of Nizam from people, not the other way round. BJP is using the occasion to drum up anti-Muslim frenzy; they say Patel liberated Hyderabad from Nizam’s tyranny, while Nehru was soft towards the muslim ruler. The fact is Nizam was restored, by Nehru-Patel regime, soon after his army’s surrender on Sep17, 1948, and the Nizam signed accession to the union. September 13, 1948 was the day 50,000 troops of the Union marched into Hyderabad, and the Nizam surrendered on Sep17, which is being called the ‘ liberation’ day, a gross misnomer. The army continued for three years, engaged in suppressing the anti-feudal, armed agrarian revolution of Telangana (1946-51), even after Patel’s death in December, 1950.
Prime Minister Modi and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh were in Kochi on September 2 to induct into Indian Navy INS Vikrant, said to be the largest war-ship built in India. Union Home Minister Amit Shah also arrived in Kerala the same day, received by CM Pinarayi Vijayan, CPM leader: Shah was there ostensibly to attend South Zonal Council meet the next day, where the Union was required to focus on sorting out issues in and between Southern states. But Shah used the occasion to launch a political war, declaring that Kerala would be in BJP’s kitty in the next election to the Assembly.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman was in Telangana the same day, verifying how central schemes,like Ayushman Bharat and PDS supply of subsidized rice are being implemented in the state; she was physically inspecting a ration shop, in far away kamareddy town: She chided the district collector, an IAS officer, whether he knew Centre’s share in rice supplies and subsidies; she asked him why PM Modi’s photo was not being displayed in PDS shops,though the Centre is subsidizing rice.
Union Minister Kishan Reddy, hailing from Hyderabad, announced the same day that Telangana Vimochan Vajrotsavam (75th year of princely state’s ‘liberation’ from the Nizam of Hyderabad) will be held grandly for one year on behalf of the Union Government.
Telangana Governor Tamil Sai, an active BJP leader from Tamilnadu drafted to do the Centre’s bidding, is busy everyday blaming the TS govt for omissions and commissions, and complaining that she is not provided with due privileges and protocols as Governor.
What is common between them all is the BJP is in a hurry, obviously busy with a Mission South agenda, where Karnataka is already in its account, and every week sees a new issue being raked up there to intensify anti-Muslim frenzy so as to polarize Hindu votes.
Earlier Amit Shah was in Munugode, Telangana, and declared nothing can stop BJP from forming its Govt in that state; he announced the target that his party BJP would come up as the ruling party in Telangana State (TS) in 2023, come what may.
Under the leadership of Amit Shah and Modi, ignoring their official responsibilities, BJP Ministers are regularly misusing official machinery and special flights for purely political purposes.
In Telangana, as elsewhere, they are indulging in dirty tricks, busy creating confusion and communal hatred among the people.
BJP recently in July 2022 had its all India Executive Committee meeting in Hyderabad, where it had focused on its Mission South agenda, with a stress on capturing power in Telangana by hook or crook. It was first of its kind held in Hyderabad after 18 years, and the first physical meeting outside Delhi in five years, reported Frontline magazine.
Entire union cabinet, 18 chief ministers of BJP-ruled states, led by Modi himself, were in the city among others. It was so planned that senior leaders would devote some additional ( 2 to 4) days to each Assembly constituency of the state: Accompanied by local leaders, ministers form the Union cabinet and states indeed traveled in the interiors,using their official clout and and social (caste, linguistic, regional etc links) connections: for instance BJP’s Tribal ministers and leaders visited constituencies reserved for STs.
It was decided that this political bombardment would continue till elections are held in TS, actually due in December 2023, but likely to be advanced. This was what they did in Tripura to replace the CPM govt there.
Accordingly, apart from other leaders, 8 cabinet ministers of BJP spent each 18 days in TS in July; 21 ministers, each 2 days, spent time in August. It is continuing in September now. Union Minister Kishan Reddy hailing from Hyderabad, spent 13 days in July, and 23 days in August, reported Namaste Telangana (Sep5),Telugu daily.
Simultaneously, a parliament pravas yojana was launched whereby Union Ministers would visit, and camp in, all the14 Loksabha constituencies, and monitor central schemes. Nirmala Sitaraman was at it. They are cultivating their own lobbies, and central schemes are handy.
September 17, Telangana Vimochan Vajrotsavam
Vimochan Vajrotsavam, 75th year of a historical event …but the decision was not taken earlier, neither at the time of the July EC meet of BJP, nor on August 15. The decision was taken and announced now in September in a hurry, obviously an after-thought. Home Minister Amit Shah, trumpeted by BJP as reincarnation of Sardar Patel, will take a gun salute in the parade grounds on that day, and address a massive rally.
Chief Ministers of BJP-ruled Karnataka and Maharashtra which had, before 1956 re-organization of states, some districts (Hyderabad Karnataka and Vidarbha respectively), under the Nizam, are invited to join; so also the CM of Telangana, if only formally: KCR embittered by BJP’s vigorous efforts to unseat him, may not attend it, as he has been avoiding any, even official, meetings with Modi or Shah. He avoided the recent South Zone meet, like CM of Andhra; they deputed others to attend. Both parties, as also erstwhile NDA-ally TDP, had been voting with BJP in Rajya Sabha, where BJP needed others’ support.
The ‘liberation’ day will be officially celebrated by the Union govt, on a grand scale at Hyderabad on September 17, it was announced, not in Delhi, but in Hyderabad, by BJP’s Telangana leaders. In fact, celebrating it every year has been the BJP’s promise for years: it would be the first file a new BJP govt would sign, one leader said, as if people are badly wanting it. But people of Telangana, of older generations who really knew it, long felt it indeed was…
Liberation of Nizam from people, not the other way round
September 17,1948 is interpreted differently, depending on the color of the party. Calling it as the ‘ liberation’ day, is a gross misnomer. Sep 17. 1948 : What was its character? History and politics are variously colored.
September 13, 1948 was the day 50,000 troops of the Union marched into Hyderabad, and the Nizam surrendered on Sep17, which is being called the ‘ liberation’ day, a gross misnomer.
The armies did not go back after Nizam’s surrender. They marched into interiors, hunting Telangana peasants and activists, led by communists, who were fighting for abolition of Nizam’s rule,and feudalism itself. 4000 cadres were killed,one lakh people were imprisoned to crush the armed agrarian revolution. Apart from that, even while the Union army indulged in this pacification campaign, 25 to 40,000 muslims were killed, ostensibly to suppress Razakars,the private armies of the Nizam and the feudals. Thus people of Telangana never took it as a day to celebrate,and no government did so for the last 74 years.
It was indeed liberation of the Nizam and the feudals from the revolt, and not of people from the Nizam, as it is sought to be shown by the BJP: In fact, soon after 1948 surrender, the Nizam was made the Raj Pramukh (Governor) of the Hyderabad province, and given all privileges.
(See History and politics of Sep. 17: Was it a Day of Liberation of People from Nizam or Liberation of Nizam from People’s Revolution?
People valiantly resisted the occupation army for over three years; the struggle was dubiously withdrawn by the Right-wing (largely pro-Nehru) central leadership of the undivided CPI, even as the Telangana unit was not for withdrawal: communist revolutionaries, led and represented by DV Rao, Secretariat Member of Andhra Committee, and co-author of Andhra Thesis (1948) submitted to the central leadership, which advocated a revolutionary path, with a different approach, and carried on the struggle. The communists in Telangana swept the polls, defeating Congress of Nehru and Patel, in 1952, the first time they were held on the basis of adult franchise, conclusively refuting the claim that they were liberated by the Union army.
BJP falsifies history, past and present
Despite all this, BJP falsifies history, doubly so by projecting it as anti-Nizam, anti-muslim ‘liberation’ struggle. They are bent on this false narrative, seeking to mislead the younger generations, by misusing their office and a subservient media. Capture Telangana at ANY COST is their mission. For that they misrepresent even recent developments:
In December 2018, for instance, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath said in the Vikarabad (TS) election assembly constituency: ‘If the BJP comes to power, the Owaisi brothers must flee like the Nizam fled from Hyderabad’. BJP leaders who know a bit about the local history need to correct the ignoramus. But the ranks of the ruling classes, who believe that the Jaitra yatra (campaign) can be carried on only with lies, have lost that desire.
In the meantime, local BJP MLA Rajasingh had also said that if the BJP comes to power again, they will drive the Owaisi brothers to Pakistan.
Don’t they know that the Owaisi family lived in Hyderabad for centuries? Not only the London-educated lawyer, and four-time Lok sabha member Asaduddin, Owaisi’s father Salahuddin was also Aligarh-educated, and was a five-time elected MLA and six-time MP before Rajasingh’s (1977) birth, and decades before TS BJP-chief Bandi Sanjay’s entry into politics. If one asks senior BJP leaders like Dattatreya., or even Kishan Reddy, they would say they had participated in, or even hosted Iftar parties with Owaisi. Rajasingh has been earlier removed from Facebook due to his rants. It should also be reminded that he was once earlier removed from the BJP party, and taken back.
The Owaisi family founded many educational institutions, medical and engineering included, and hospitals. People here know that they have been running for decades. Many Hindus are working in those institutions, and benefiting as patients too. Hindus ( SCs and BCs mainly ) also contested and won in Hyderabad on behalf of MIM, Majlis, party and also served as Mayors thrice. MIM before 1948 was a pro-Nizam party, but so were majority of Hindu feudals. MIM today is far different, but the BJP leadership has decided to fan the flames of anti-Muslim hatred, adding it is controlling the steering wheel of govt of TRS (with car as its election symbol). They can’t be shunted out of India by communal rants.
Buying leaders and voters
Right now a by-election to Assembly is ahead in Telangana, caused by the defection of Congress MLA, Rajagopala Reddy.K, a billionaire contractor, who resigned as MLA and joined BJP. It is alleged that when he met Amit Shah in Delhi, a deal was struck whereby central contracts worth Rs. 21000 cr were awarded to Reddy, who is now on a campaign spree, ready to spend a few hundred crore for an assembly seat! The corrupt ruling party TRS is more than ready to pump any amount from the Govt schemes, apart from private funds. The election to the Munugode assembly constituency is deemed as a trailer and a rehearsal for 2023 election, hence its significance. The BJP formally constituted a committee led by Eatala Rajender, exclusively to wean leaders from other parties; he was a senior minister of TS cabinet who was made to leave TRS, who hence joined BJP a few months ago and was elected MLA…elections are ahead in 2023.
Times of India (July 7, 2019) reported that Home Minister Shah had warned the local leaders that they should contact him if they are unable to increase the membership of the party and that he can work on his own in each district. Within six months, BJP’s vote had increased from 7.5 to 22 percent, vote among the upper castes increased from 13 to 41 percent, he said, adding that the BJP should not lose this positive gain in upper castes. The ‘great leaders’ who say that all Indians and all Hindus are the same, sab ka saath, are openly promoting, across the country, sectarianism, casteism, communalism and regionalism that is divisive in every way . It is a case of the fence grazing the crop, as a Telugu saying goes.
Double-speak of the double-engine
In complete contradiction to the duties of the Home Minister, he and another Union Minister, Kishan Reddy (Telangana), in his close circle, local leaders Bandi Sanjay, Raja Singh and others are making provocative,including anti-Muslim, speeches for the same purpose. It is according to a plan. Soon after the Nupur Sharma affair (disrespecting Prophet Mohammed), which antagonized the gulf countries and called for an apology to please the Sheikdoms, and invited the reprimand from a judge of the Supreme Court, MLA Raja Singh repeated the same, and BJP was compelled to suspend him from BJP. It is clear that the double-engine central leadership of Modi and Shah is encouraging, and playing a double game. They say that their party is different and they should be given one chance. But it is seen that their practice is dividing the people and disturbing peace. Whenever the election comes, this is their game of double-speak.
The people of Telangana recognize that the BJP started their campaign from a Hindu temple, which is the new normal for the ‘secular’ Congress and others too. For that the BJP did not select the conventional Ujjain temple, or even Peddamma gudi, which has recently become famous. Instead, they are trying to use the ‘peaceful’ and small temple of Bhagyalakshmi, at the foundations of Charminar, for their anti-Muslim hatred. A visit to the Bhagyalakshmi temple has now become inevitable for any BJP leader from outside the state. The old generation and the old style of BJP leadership were pushed aside and new leaders like Raja Singh, and rabid lumpens were brought forward. Their aim- Central leadership Modi and Amit Shah’s- is to cover up the bitterness of the country’s present, mouth sab ka sath, but it is their routine practice to paint their frenzy as patriotism. Their politics is Satyam vadha and dharmam chera ( killing truth and imprisoning righteousness) in the name of patriotism. Gomukha Vyaghram (Cow-faced tiger), and Meka vanne puli (goat-liketiger) are their favorite ‘Dussehra Veshas’, fancy dresses of the festive times.
BJP formally suspends Raja Singh. He announces, as in the past, that he will return to the party soon after giving a suitable answer. In the meantime, the whole family of the Sangha is shouting on social media that what the suspended leader has done is very much right.
BJP is indeed ‘different’
Demonetization was a blitzkrieg on people, but that is what they call Modi’s feat to tackle black money. In the name of cow protection, they indulge in lynchings and brutal attacks on minorities and Dalits. If May Day is observed all over the world, BJP alone shuns it and separately observes Vishwakarma day. Teachers Day all over the country, but they have separate Guru Puja. For the progressive intellectuals, the ‘urban naxals’, they shout that they deserve bail-less imprisonment, for alleged treason and sedition. The Supreme Court has said that the Sedition Act is outdated, which means that the law is still in place when they were arrested. They hail Godse, the murderer, but imprison or kill dissenting writers, media persons, and even RTI activists. Ambanis and latest Adanis are buying up vast sections of the media.
Nizams served the British and Hindu feudals
Patel and Nehru both served feudals. They had no difference on that count. RajPramukh Nizam receives Patel,the Home Minister.
Nizams were not independent; they were underlings of the British,like many hindu princes, tied by the Treaty of Subsidiary Alliance, 1800 AD. The Nizams were under a British Resident (like today’s Governor) and a British Cantonment in Hyderabad. The Revenue and police ministers were mostly British, and the Prime Minister and Finance Minister were always those approved by the British, who categorically declared the Nizam State was under British paramountcy.
The Nizams helped the British, not only with soldiers, but and donated planes; he helped General Cornwallis’ forces to defeat Tippu sultan, very much like the Scindhias and many Hindu princes did. The royals adopted policies to continue their feudal reign, but not just on religious grounds.
The Hindu feudals played an important role in the Nizam’s government, remaining loyal to royalty and maintaining their feudal power. Majority of them stayed away from the Congress even after its formation and did not join it, until after police action. They also worked as ministers even during the peak of anti-Nizam struggle. Eight Hindu aristocrats held the post of Prime Minister in the Nizam’s kingdom (eg. Maha Raja Kishan Prasad for 22 years). Chief among those who loaned money to the Nizam were Hindu merchants like Dhan Rajgir, and neither the Nizam rule nor the resistance was based on religion.
But it is not surprising that the religious people enter and try to expand their influence on both sides. But presenting all the history in a religious perspective is a deliberate distortion and a false propaganda meant for today’s sectarian political purposes.
Telangana ‘Liberation’ Festival is to be celebrated every September, with anti-Muslim slant, that’s BJP policy. BJP conceal the fact that majority of feudal jagirdars and deshmukhs were Hindu feudals. There were Muslims who opposed the Nizam.
We cannot forget the efforts of Muslim farmer Sheikh Bandagi, who was the first martyr, before armed struggle commenced, killed by Hindu feudals; leftist poet Makhdum Mohiuddin, labor leaders like Fatehullah khan, student leaders like Jawwad Razvi, Muslim lawyers like Bakharullah Khan, Urdu newspapers like Imroz and Meejaan, edited by Shoaibullah Khan, against the Nizam.
In 1931 Kashi University, BHU, was given by Nizam double the amount he gave to to AMU, Alighar. The Nizams patronized Hindu temples, including the famous pilgrim centre, Srirama temple of Bhadrachalam, with annual gifts, now continued officially by all CMs. In fact,Telugus cared little about Ayodhya, until it was politicised.
RSS and Hindutva forces played no role against the Nizam
The RSS too formally announced lately that they too would carry on year-long cultural activities, celebrating the ‘liberation’. It is meant to play second fiddle to BJP. But neither the RSS nor the Hindu Maha Sabha(HMS) had played any anti-Nizam role, though the RSS was founded in 1925,and worked during the anti-Nizam struggle. The role of Hindu religious and political organizations like the Hindu Maha Sabha, established in 1915, was nil.
The ploy to divide the unity of the people into religious groups did notsucceed; none of the organizations formed for Hindu revival found favor in old Telangana. The Arya Samaj had a minor anti-Nizam role in Telangana in the early stages; they used to ‘purify’ the Hindus who had converted as Muslims, and tried to bring them back to Hinduism;many rural poor converted to avoid vetti, begar,forced upon them by Hindu feudals. The Arya Samaj followers were sympathetic to the communist movement, and appreciated their struggle; even people like Pandit Narendradev made it clear; in fact,he sought and had a meeting with DVRao, the communist revolutionary, and conveyed the same.
In the 1952 elections, the Hindu outfits like HMS contested only five seats; a total of five and a half thousand votes were polled by them in entire Telangana. The majority by which communists won Nalgonda Lok sabha seat alone was 2.72 lakh votes. That speaks volumes.
Right now, the agencies of state power are being used to play up religion as a source of hatred. So the rush they are making to call Liberation Day is a desperate attempt to use the anti-Nizam struggle, foment and convert Hindu sentiments of the people into votes for themselves. It is an attempt to distort and paint the history and sentiments of Telangana in their favor
so as to grab power of the state in the upcoming elections. It remains to be seen whether more dramas will be played and how much more hatred will be ignited in the year-long Telangana Vajrotsavam.
Meanwhile, the TS cabinet led by TRS took, on Sep 3, a hurried decision to celebrate the event as an year-long National Integration Day, with massive programs, on Sep16-17-18. It is obviously to counter Amit Shah rally on Sep17. Both sides are planning year-long activities, with of billions of rupees ; after all it is an election year.
September 9, the day when lakhs of Hyderabad people are on the streets, and join processions for Ganesh Nimajjan (immersion in lakes, was made into a political slanging day. The BJP invited the CM of Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma, notorious anti-Muslim politician, to grace the occasion, which he used to make anti-TRS speeches from a religious stage; one of the local activists of ruling TRS party entered the stage and seized the mike. Now BJP made a vociferous plea that it was a security breach. The day passed off without violence, indicative of controlled use of communal politics as of now.
See also latest article on the subject:
MA Krishna is a media person, who frequently contributed to countercurrents.org.
Telugu daily Mana Telangana, 07-09-2022, published an article on the subject. This is a revised version of the article.