Political parties are hesitant to celebrate “Hyderabad Liberation Day” due to their concerns over vote-bank politics, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said in Secunderabad on Sunday, 17 September.
“I want to tell such people that those who turn their backs on the country’s history will find people turning away from them,” he said, without naming any political outfit or formation.
Shah was speaking at the Central government-organised Hyderabad Liberation Day function, after hoisting the national flag at the Parade Grounds in Secunderabad.
The senior BJP leader used the event as an opportunity to launch an offensive against the ruling BRS and opposition Congress in Telangana. He underscored that over the past 75 years, no government had officially observed “Hyderabad Liberation Day”.
He attributed the hesitation to observe the liberation day to what he referred to as “appeasement policies”.
Shah further noted that it was under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the decision was made to commemorate Hyderabad Liberation Day.
Incidentally, the Telangana government has been celebrating 17 September as Hyderabad Integration Day every year.
Hyderabad, 17 Sept: What it called in 1948, and when did ‘liberation’ come?
Sardar Patel’s contribution
Shah attributed the “liberation” of Hyderabad to the efforts of India’s first home minister, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. He acknowledged that it was Patel’s endeavours that led to the surrender of the Nizam’s razakars, the armed supporters.
“I want to assert that without Sardar Patel, Telangana would not have achieved freedom so swiftly. Sardar Patel firmly rejected all settlement proposals and remained steadfast in his commitment to ‘Nation First’. He masterminded the Hyderabad Police action, executed it without bloodshed and compelled the ‘Nizam’s Razakar army’ to surrender,” he added.
“Following independence from the British, the state was liberated from the Nizam’s control. In just 399 days, the Nizam’s reign came to an end. These 399 days were agonising for the people of Telangana. Sardar Patel liberated the people from this ordeal on the 400th day,” Shah emphasised.
He added that his deepest homage went to those who made the ultimate sacrifice during the liberation struggle. “I also pay my respects to the indomitable Sardar Patel, who integrated this expansive territory of Hyderabad, Kalyan-Karnataka, and Marathwada into the Indian Union,” Shah added.
He also recognised the contributions of Arya Samaj, Hindu Mahasabha, the Vande Mataram movement at Osmania University, and the efforts of Bidar farmers, all of which culminated in the integration of Hyderabad.
“Numerous organisations played pivotal roles in this movement, whether it was Arya Samaj, Hindu Mahasabha, the Vande Mataram movement at Osmania University, or the songs and movements of the farmers’ struggle in Bidar. However, it was Sardar Patel who gave definitive shape to the collective struggle,” he stated.
Tributes to Khan, Gond
Shah expressed his gratitude to the prime minister for instituting a new tradition of celebrating Hyderabad Liberation Day on 17 September under the Union Ministry of Culture.
He highlighted that the commemoration serves to enlighten the younger generation about the sacrifices made by the heroes of the significant movement.
He further noted India’s achievements under the leadership of Modi. “Today is PM Modi’s birthday. The India envisioned by our freedom fighters has been taking shape under his leadership over the past nine years. India has become the world’s fifth-largest economy, and we are the first country to reach the South Pole of the moon. Through the G20 Summit, Modi has also promoted India’s culture, food, and art on the global stage,” he said.
He explained the reason behind the celebration of Hyderabad Liberation Day: “To ensure that the younger generation remembers the great struggle, pay homage to the martyrs who worked for the liberation of Hyderabad, and inspire individuals to carry forward the dreams of those martyrs.”
Paramilitary forces and groups of artistes exhibited Hyderabad’s culture and the traditions of other Indian states at the event.
Shah also paid tribute to Shoebullah Khan and Ramji Gond with postal tickets issued in their names. Shoebullah Khan, a journalist, was murdered 75 years ago for his writings against the Nizam and the Razakars.
Ramji Gond, from the current Adilabad district, is known for leading the only tribal rebellion against the British during the First War of Independence in 1857.
Before the meeting, In a message posted on X (formerly Twitter), Shah said: “This day is a testament to the unwavering patriotism and the unceasing struggle of the people of the Hyderabad state for freedom from the evil rule and oppression of the Nizam. My heartfelt tributes to all who were martyred in the liberation struggle of Hyderabad.”
నాటి హైదరాబాద్ సంస్థాన ప్రజలందరికీ హైదరాబాద్ విమోచన దినోత్సవ శుభాకాంక్షలు.
నిజాం దుష్ట పాలన, అణచివేత నుండి విముక్తి కోసం హైదరాబాద్ సంస్థాన ప్రజలు సాగించిన అలుపెరగని పోరాటానికి, ఇక్కడి ప్రజల అచంచల దేశభక్తికి ఈ రోజు నిదర్శనం.
హైదరాబాద్ విముక్తి పోరాటంలో అమరులైన వీరులందరికీ నా…
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) September 17, 2023
Blaming the Congress
Union Culture Minister and Telangana BJP chief G Kishan Reddy stated on Sunday that the BJP was the first political party to support the Telangana Liberation Day.
Addressing the gathering after hoisting the national flag at the party’s state headquarters, Reddy extended wishes on behalf of the saffron outfit and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. For the past 25 years, the Tricolour has been raised on Liberation Day under the auspices of the BJP.
Reddy criticised the Congress for “attempting to obscure” the historic significance of the struggle waged by countless individuals against the Nizam. Many valiant warriors stood up and fought for the freedom and sovereignty of the region.
The Congress made a “grave error” by failing to commemorate the Liberation Day on 17 September, thus disregarding the sacrifices made by these brave individuals,” he said. The BJP leader further contended that the BRS, which followed the Congress, also adopted the same path.
Reddy accused both parties of being influenced by the AIMIM, which manipulates the political landscape regardless of which party is in power.
He maintained that the BJP has been striving to bring the history of Telangana to the forefront since 1998. BJP activists have engaged in numerous battles, even facing police bullets while demanding the recognition of Liberation Day. As a result of these efforts, the Narendra Modi government now officially celebrates the Telangana Liberation event, he added.