Building vociferously on the BJP’s narrative that the people of the erstwhile Hyderabad state were “liberated” from the tyranny of the Nizams and the Razakars — the paramilitary volunteer force of the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen party in the Hyderabad State under the Nizams — on this day in 1948, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday, 17 September, lashed out that the political parties in power in the state were not celebrating the day as Liberation Day till now.
“Even now they are ashamed of calling the historic event liberation of the people from the Razakars who resorted to atrocities and the Nizams who usurped the culture of the native Hindus with their highly skewed policies,” he said.
He added that there was no shortage of betrayers of the people who laid down their lives while repulsing and revolting against the Nizam’s rule.
The year-long celebrations of Hyderabad Liberation Day are being organised officially by the BJP-led Central government for the first time, apparently to polarise the Hindus ahead of the 2023 Assembly elections.
These “liberation” celebrations have not been held since Independence on a scale that was witnessed on Saturday.
Interestingly, the celebrations were being conducted even as the Telangana state government was involved in organising rival festivities, calling them Diamond Jubilee Celebrations of the Telangana National Integration Day, as it perceives the day as one signifying the erstwhile Hyderabad state joining the Indian Union.
Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao chose to go with “integration”, apparently not to ruffle the sentiments of the Muslims.
As the TRS government went ahead with its brand of celebrations, the BJP was well on its course, organising a major show at the Parade Grounds in Secunderabad where Amit Shah inspected the guard of honour, driving home the point that the Centre was celebrating the occasion officially as the event richly deserved official status.
Shah, on his arrival at the Parade Grounds in the morning, unfurled the national flag after paying tributes to those who laid down their lives in their struggle for emancipation from the clutches of the Nizams.
On the ‘Hyderabad Liberation Day’, remembering the Iron Man of India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Ji, who ensured Hyderabad’s inclusion in India and freed people from the cruelties of Nizam rule.
Paid floral tributes to the great son of mother India. pic.twitter.com/pA8rHudWuZ
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) September 17, 2022
Though Shah spoke for only a little more than half an hour, he was forceful in establishing the point that the occasion was fit to be celebrated as Liberation Day since the event was a watershed in the history of the country where the people who were oppressed for decades could “breathe the first fresh breeze of freedom”, free from the rule of the Nizams.
Shah eulogised India’s first Home Minister Sardar Valabhbhai Patel for the police action that he had ordered to liberate the Hyderabad state, which not only encompassed present-day Telangana, but also part of Marathwada and Karnataka.
Recalling Operation Polo, through which Telangana was liberated, Shah said that it took about 109 long hours to complete the mission.
Several soliders died in the process, even as Razakars killed everyone who questioned the Nizam’s rule and raped women, he said.
In Gundrampally, a massacre more similar to the Jalianwala Bagh pogrom in 1919 took place during the turbulent days of the struggle against the Nizams, he added.
For the benefit of posterity, the atrocities of the NIzams and the heroic battle of the people against tyranny were worth thorough research, he said.
The bloody history of the movement and the liberation of the people should be well documented so that the youth understand the sacrifices made, and then would become real patriots of the nation, said the Union minister.
The meeting was attended by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Karnataka Minister V Ramulu, Union minister G Kishan Reddy and Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan, among others.