Abhinav Khare deep dives into the history behind Hyderabad Liberation Day, the bloodshed that took place due to the unwillingness of the Nizam of Hyderabad to join India and its unification with the nation
Today is September 17, Hyderabad Liberation Day. Everybody in Telangana celebrates this day with pomp and grandeur but they seemed to have forgotten the bloody history of this day.
India witnessed the death of about 5 lakh people, if not more, during the partition of India. However, it was mostly restricted to the border areas. But, just a year later, the heartland of this country experienced unprecedented bloodshed. In the months of September and October of 1948, India witnessed the brutal slaughtering of thousands of people.
When India became independent in 1947, almost all princely states agreed to join India but the Nizam of Hyderabad felt otherwise. He said that he would prefer a dominion status under the British crown or complete independence. Many historians feel that he wanted to have an independent Muslim led India than be a part of a Hindu majority India.
The thought of Hyderabad being aided by Pakistan was not well received by the Indian Government. In fact, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel described the concept of independent Hyderabad as “an ulcer in the heart of India which needed to be removed surgically.” This resulted in talks between India and Hyderabad and it was then decided that India should annex Hyderabad. This operation was called “Operation Polo” and it is also referred to as “Operation Caterpillar” at times. His troops or the Razakar militia were terrorizing many Hindu villages. Thus Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was forced to intervene and save them. What followed was inexplicable destruction on both sides. Despite it being just a five-day war that began in September 13 and lasted till September 18, it was significant as the Indian Army took over a powerful state and Hyderabad was attached to India. A state of Emergency was declared when 36,000 Indian troops entered Hyderabad because the government was hesitant about how the rest of India would react. It is estimated that 32 were killed and 97 injured on the Indian side and 490 killed and 122 wounded from Hyderabad.
After this a three-member committee was formed. Pandit Sunderlal, Kazi Abdul Ghaffar and Moulana Misri, who had submitted a report on this estimated that between 27000 to 40000 people lost their lives in the violence. The Nizam of Hyderabad even filed an appeal at the UN which he later withdrew himself. Finally, Hyderabad was integrated into India and became a part of the then Andhra Pradesh. The Sunderlal report was kept secret for many years, but now it can be read in the Nehru Memorial Museum.
What needs to be understood here is, if only the Nizam of Hyderabad had agreed to be a part of India, which it ultimately did, so many innocent lives wouldn’t have been sacrificed.
About Abhinav Khare:
Abhinav Khare is the CEO of Asianet News and hosts a daily show Deep Dive with Abhinav Khare.
He is the proud father of two beautiful daughters. He lives in Bengaluru with his loving family and a lifetime collection of books and gadgets. He is a hands-on Tech Startup professional with an entrepreneurial DNA. He is passionate about policy, technology, economy and the synergy of them all. An avid traveller himself, he has already ticked over a 42 countries and hundred cities around the globe!
Last Updated 8:38 PM IST