As a surprise, suddenly the politics heaten up for September 17, the day has become a focal point of politics in Telangana. But what historical relevance does it have? How significance makes history, #Khabarlive tries to sketch some facts.

In a “police action” on September 17, 1948, Indian military forces seized control of the princely state of Hyderabad, putting an end to the 200-year-old Nizam rule and uniting India with the vast Hyderabad Deccan region, which included Telangana in modern-day Telangana as well as portions of Maharashtra and Karnataka.

The events leading up to September 17 and the years immediately afterwards were among the darkest in Hyderabad’s communal history. Massive powers were granted by the Nizam to feudal landlords, who then took advantage of the common people.

Additionally, he promoted Urdu as the preferred language of instruction and administration over Telugu, denying natives access to jobs and education. The Congress and the Communists became politically engaged as a result. Beginning in 1946, the Communists spearheaded the Telangana peasants’ armed struggle, a popular uprising against feudal landlords and the Nizam’s reign.

By the time India gained Independence, Nizam had become weak due to the peasant revolt and was under pressure to accede to Hyderabad.

Qasim Razvi, an Aligarh-educated Muslim fanatic, who became increasingly influential during the last years of Nizam’s rule organized private militia called Razzakars. The Razzakars, who feared end of Muslim rule in Hyderabad, terrified people by looting, killing and rape for speaking-up against the Nizam’s rule.

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The Razzakars further alienated people from Nizam’s rule making it fittest case for India to intervene and liberate Hyderabad on 17 September.. The “police action” was followed by an unprecedented communal violence in Hyderabad. Large sections of Muslim elite and middle class migrated to Pakistan and other countries.

In 1956, the Telugu-speaking districts of Hyderabad state were merged with Andhra Pradesh, while Marathi and Kannada-speaking districts were clubbed with Maharashtra and Karnataka, respectively. Though Maharashtra and Karnataka have been officially celebrating September 17 as liberation day the undivided Andhra Pradesh and later the Telangana government after 2014 has been silent on this issue.

With Union Government deciding to organise year long celebrations officially from September 17, the politics in the state started revolving around this day.

The world is changing. The outlook of people, particularly after the Covid-19 pandemic, has changed to a large extent but our politicians refuse to follow suit. The history of the struggle for the liberation of Telangana from the clutches of the Nizam is one such case in point.

Politics should not shroud history. Its narration and presentation should be dispassionate. Facts should not be subverted to suit political expediencies. But unfortunately, this is what is happening regarding the celebration of Telangana Liberation Day. The event has been given different names. Political considerations seem to be the dominating factor behind all parties to indulge in competitive celebrations.

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The BJP has always been demanding for this day to be celebrated officially, even in undivided Andhra Pradesh. But neither the Congress government nor the TDP government did anything in that direction. The BJP has been in power at Centre for the past eight years. It also did not think of celebrating it officially. The TRS between 2001 and 2014 ridiculed various Chief Ministers of the united Andhra Pradesh for not celebrating Telangana Liberation Day. But it developed cold feet after coming to power. The BJP has since been accusing TRS of buckling under pressure from AIMIM.

In September 2016, the then Union Minister, M Venkaiah Naidu, had suggested that Hyderabad Liberation Day be officially celebrated. TRS then accused BJP of indulging in “divisive politics.” It said that moderate people do not believe in BJP version. It was the day when Telangana state was merged with the Indian union, it argued.

But now with general elections a year from now, the BJP which is eyeing to come to power in Telangana suddenly announced that it would officially celebrate the Telangana Liberation Day. Incidentally, this happens to be the 75th year of Liberation Day and hence it came up with a year-long programme.

To deflect the BJP attack, and take its fight against the saffron party a notch up, the TRS government announced to organise a year-long Telangana Raitanga Sayudha Porata Vajrotsavalu and then changed the name as Telangana Integration Day. The political somersault of TRS and MIM criticising Nizam now is perplexing. Ancient India is replete with examples where every contribution is well-documented. For instance, the Ramayana describes the contribution of a squirrel that carried pebbles to fill the gaps between the boulders that were laid by Lord Rama’s Vaanara Sena. But there are any number of instances where history has been subverted and bravery and sacrifice undermined.

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The period between 1946 and 1948 witnessed horrendous brutalities perpetrated on the innocent and unarmed citizens of Hyderabad State by the Razakars, a private militia led by Qasim Rizvi, along with the Nizam’s army. Undeterred by the quantum of violence, the people revolted. After the massacres of Parkal and Bairanpally in early September 1948, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel ordered Police Action, through ‘Operation Polo.’ This compelled the Nizam to surrender and on September 17, 1948, the people of Hyderabad State became a part of the Indian Union. Let us hope that the decision of all political parties to officially celebrate September 17 as Liberation Day will prove to be a step towards dispassionate documentation of history and will focus on the sacrifices of many unsung heroes who made the supreme sacrifice. #Khabarlive #hyderabadi #hyderabadlive #hydnews