Celebrate Sep 17 as ‘National Integration Day’ instead of ‘Liberation Day’, demands Asaduddin  Owaisi

“ The struggles of the people of the erstwhile Hyderabad state against colonialism, feudalism and autocracy are a symbol of national integration rather than merely a case of “liberation” of a piece of land,” Asaduddin Owaisi wrote in a letter to Amit Shah.

AIMIM President and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi on Sep 3 wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao demanding that the celebrations of Hyderabad Liberation Day should instead be celebrated under the title of National Integration Day. He also said that the AIMIM party will participate in the Centre-led celebrations only when the event is thus renamed.

Owaisi, a lawyer trained in UK  who was elected to Lok Sabha four times, clarified the stand of his Majlis party MIM that has 7 MLAs in Telangana legislature, rejecting BJP’s insinuations and anti-Muslim frenzy meant for polarization of Hindu votes. The All India  MIM also has two elected representatives in Maharashtra, and one in Bihar.

In Hyderabad princely feudal state, the Nizam himself had directly owned 10% of the state’s lands, 30% were under the Jagirdars, while 60% of it were revenue lands (Diwani).

Stating the the struggle against colonialism, feudalism and autocracy waged by people included several  muslims fighters  of princely Hyderabad state, in a similar letter to KCR, he suggested a celebration be organised at University Women’s College, Koti:

 “The(college) building was once the British Residency and was subject to a daring attack by Maulvi Alauddin and Turrebaz Khan on 17th July 1857. Maulvi Alauddin was the first prisoner of Kaala Paani (Andaman Cellular Jail) and Turrebaz Khan was perhaps one of the first martyrs of India’s War of Independence.”  

On the question of Razakaars, puncturing BJP’s innuendo, Owaisi said Jo Razakaar the.. wo Pakistan chale gaye, Jo Wafadaar the.. wo aapke sawaal ka jawaab de rahe hai,” (The Razakaars left to Pakistan, the dutiful stayed back and is answering your questions).

army leaders

Army leaders: (Left to Right) General Jayanto Nath Chaudhuri of Union army, Syed Ahmed El Edroos, Nizam’s army, Qasim Razvi pivate army of Razakars.  

Differentiating the Razakars, armed hordes of feudals (most of who were Hindu jagirdars and Deshmukhs, represented by the Nizam) of the erstwhile Hyderabad princely State from Muslim common people, he said:

“The common Hindus and Muslims of erstwhile Hyderabad state were advocates of a united India under a democratic, secular and republican government. This is also reflected in the Sunderlal Committee report. The Committee was appointed by the Government of India to report on the situation after the merger of Hyderabad. The Committee also found that mass violence was committed against common Muslims living in these territories. I have attached the report for your perusal.”

In a press conference, he said that what happened was the integration of princely states which were under the rule of autocratic rulers like the Nizam of Hyderabad and the event happened because the people of the region were in support of the move.

Nizam Nehru

“We have never opposed the celebration. There is no proof of any AIMIM leader who spoke in opposition to the celebration. You have to understand the history of Hyderabad. In it, the report of Pandit Sunderlal and Qazi Abdul Gaffar is also present. No individual is unhappy that our region is part of the Indian Union. People who weren’t happy left the country and those who love the land stayed back.

Exposing the narrow political goals of BJP and their anti-Muslim frenzy, he said:

“The Government of India is celebrating the event for the first time.. isn’t it? Were they sleeping for the last eight years?” he asked.

With a scheme to politically capitalise on historical events, the BJP-run Union government led by PM Modi, planned to  organise a year-long ‘celebration’ marking ‘Hyderabad Liberation Day’ starting from September 17. Union Home Minister Amit Shah, as also Chief Ministers of BJP-led Karnataka and Maharashtra, apart from KCR, have been invited for the 17th program at Hyderabad.  On that date in 1948, the erstwhile state of Hyderabad run by the Nizams was annexed to India.

Owaisi also announced that the AIMIM party will also organise a motorcycle ‘Tiranga’ rally in Hyderabad on September 16, with all party members including MLAs, MLCs and corporators of the party. The National Flag will be hoisted and a public meeting will be held,” he informed.

Owaisi  also demanded that the names of Muslim freedom fighters Maulvi Allauddin, Turrebaaz Khan, who died fighting the British in the war of 1857, and Journalist Shoebullah Khan killed by the Razakars in 1948 in the erstwhile Hyderabad state be recognised.

In fact, the murder, during the intervening night of 22-23 August 1948 of Shoaibullah Khan, the editor of Imroze, anti-Nizam Urdu daily, shows the political division among muslims.

“They had cut his wrist off as an example for others and had warned that they would do that to anyone who writes against the Nizam,” Burgula Narsing Rao ( who died in jan 2021 aged 90), who witnessed the incident, said in an  interview. Khan’s Imroze used to function out of Rao’s home at Kachiguda. Rao is also the nephew of former Congress leader and first chief minister of the Hyderabad State, Burgula Ramakrishna Rao. 

Kishan Reddy, in his letter said that the year-long event is being held as part of the ‘Azadi ka Amrut Mahotsav’ celebrations that the Centre has undertaken to mark India’s 75 years of independence. The union minister in his letter said that the state of Hyderabad had been “freed” from the Nizam’s “tyranny”, as if it was the only feudal and tyrannical state. What distinguished Telangana from other feudatories was its historical peasant armed struggle, led by communists, against feudalism and imperialism. RSS or Jansangh ( BJP’s  parental organizations) had no role to play in it.

The Indian army (Operation Polo with 50,000 troops, camouflaged as Police Action) was sent by the Centre on September 13 after negotiations with the last Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan fell through after independence. The state was formally annexed to India on September 17, 1948.

More importantly, the annexation is also a painful memory for many Muslims in the Hyderabad state, given that there was a massacre of 25 to 40 thousands of Muslim civilians, apart from hundreds of rapes after the Indian army took over the state. The atrocities against Muslims are well documented in the Sunderlal Committee (set up by India’s first PM Jawaharlal Nehru) to look into the atrocities of Muslims) report.

In a letter addressed to the chief ministers of Telangana (K. Chandrashekhar Rao), Maharashtra and Karnataka, union culture minister G. Kishan Reddy invited them as guests of honour for the inaugural event of the ‘Hyderabad Liberation Day’ event in Telangana. The entire state, along with five districts of Maharastra and Karnataka, were part of the Nizam’s Hyderabad princely state.

Contrary to popular assertions by BJP leaders about other STATES celebrating the event, the BJP union minister in his letter was more careful and noted that parts of Maharashtra and Karnataka which were under Nizam’s territory already observe ‘Marathwada Liberation Day’ and ‘Hyderabad-Karnataka Liberation Day’ every year. Every year the BJP’s Telangana  state unit has also been demanding the current Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government observe ‘Liberation Day’ on September 17.

Given below is a copy of the letter by Owaisi to CM Of Telangana state



Author MA Krishna is a media person who frequently  contributed  to countercurrents.org 

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