Tracing Razakar legacy: When Razvi’s granddaughter visited Hyderabad

Someday in 2016, a Pakistani customer in Hyderabad was informed to enter stealth mode. The warning thrown at her stored her away from a property which was on prime of her want listing. Atiya Khan wished to take a tour of ‘Darussalam’- the headquarters of All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM) political get together situated within the older a part of Hyderabad.

“I wished to go to Darussalam and see what the Owaisi brothers are doing. I wasn’t inspired to undertake the journey as it will have led to a giant blow-up,” she says.

Atiya Khan is the one one amongst her first cousins to set foot in Telangana’s capital. She will recollect just one from the earlier technology of her household – her uncle – one among the many 10 siblings, to have made it to Hyderabad, that too many years in the past. In spite of everything, the household believed that they may not enter India for a very good a part of final century.

But, her bodily presence raised eyebrows and sparked off intense discussions at social dos. “Please don’t announce who you’re associated to. It might incite folks,” Atiya was informed by an individual holding an essential place within the state authorities at the moment.

Atiya is the granddaughter of Qasim Razvi, who stays one of the crucial controversial figures within the annals of Deccan historical past. A lawyer by occupation, Razvi headed a non-public militia, Razakars, aligned to the seventh Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan. Between 1946 and 1948, Razvi managed a pressure numbering anyplace between 50,000 to 2 lakh males. The Razakars reportedly dedicated atrocities on Congress supporters, Communists and different individuals who wished an finish to Nizam’s rule or favoured a merger with India. In keeping with some historic narratives, he tried to prevail upon the Nizam to accede the state to Pakistan. In September 1948, because the Indian military made its manner into the princely state of Hyderabad, Qazim wished the Razakars to withstand the takeover. A weak defence led to the Indian military rolling into Hyderabad effortlessly.

Seven many years later, the phrases “Razakar” and “Razvi” are nonetheless stigmatic and evoke a powerful unfavorable emotion. There are homes in rural elements of Telangana that are labelled as these of Razakars, with an air of hostility. Razvi and his militia’s acts proceed to reverberate yearly on September 17, the day the Hyderabad state was annexed to India. Whereas native political events sparred on whether or not to have a good time the day as “liberation day” or “merger day” this yr, for Razvi’s descendants in Pakistan, it’s nonetheless an unsettled case.

Razvi was imprisoned by the Indian authorities for 9 years and later, upon launch in 1958, left for Pakistan. Amongst his 10 kids are a professor, physician, designer, counsellor who grew up in Pakistan and later went on to settle in several international locations.

Atiya shuttles between Karachi and Islamabad, and is the daughter of politician Fouzia Ejaz, one of many daughters of Razvi. A former mannequin, filmmaker and now a Sufi promoter, Atiya’s go to to Hyderabad occurred by accident 5 years in the past whereas she was in south India on the invitation of Sri Sri Ravishankar to analysis on Vedanta Yogis and its non secular significance. A number of the folks she met on the tour took care of her keep in Hyderabad after figuring out about her reference to town. Speaking about her week-long journey, she stated she turned nostalgic whereas transferring round in Hyderabad. “Part of me may be very linked to the place. I went to what was my grandmother’s home. It’s not there because it has develop into an enormous housing society. The Golkonda fort and the museum have been very grand and exquisite. After which I understood that it is usually now the IT capital, and there’s a actually trendy facet of it as nicely, which was very good to see.”

She says when she met folks in Hyderabad and spoke about her ancestor, there was a right away response which she was ready for. In a single occasion, an individual in Hyderabad who she met socially spoke at size about how his grandfather had fought in opposition to her grandfather. “They have been sharing their tales with me. After which I used to be sharing my perspective with them,” she says. 

Atiya was specific about visiting Darussalam as she feels it was synonymous along with her grandfather. In 1946, Razvi turned the president of Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), a cultural and non secular platform. Darussalam served because the centre of MIM’s actions until 1948 when Hyderabad state was annexed to India. In 1958, It was rebranded as AIMIM, a political outfit by Abdul Wahid Owaisi, grandfather of present Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi.

In 2019, Atiya made a nine-minute documentary through which she hailed her grandfather as a freedom fighter. She is proud to have his {photograph} on her writing desk. For Atiya, Razvi was a non secular, passionate and an idealistic man.

What does she should say concerning the notion among the many plenty that Razvi was communal, extremist and concerned in acts of crime?

“There may be plenty of unfavorable portrayal about my grandfather. He argued his case in a army tribunal constituted by the Indian authorities and so they couldn’t show a single allegation in opposition to him. The proceedings of the court docket case can be found on-line and anybody can see it,” says Atiya. She believes that some components masquerading as Razakars indulged in sure legal actions which defamed Razakars.

She feels that for the reason that Sunderlal report was not made public for a very long time, a one-sided narrative has been set. In keeping with the declassified government-commissioned Sunderlal report, throughout and within the aftermath of ‘operation polo’, code title given to the police motion of Hyderabad, 27,000 to 40,000 folks died, principally because of communal rioting. “A possibility must be given to carry out the opposite facet of the story so that there’s a extra balanced view of historical past,” she says.  

Did she try to fulfill the Nizam’s household with whom her grandfather labored carefully until the merger? She says she doesn’t want to have any ties with the Nizam’s household.   

“He (Seventh Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan) put all of the blame on my grandfather and pretended as if he was the harmless one.”

In Atiya’s family, Deccan identification continues to be alive within the type of pictures, artefacts and meals. “Typically, I get on-line messages from Hyderabad too,” she says. 

In future, Atiya needs to revisit Hyderabad and open a dialogue about its previous.

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