Final month, a day earlier than India celebrated its seventy fifth Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi introduced that August 14 would henceforth be noticed as Partition Horrors Remembrance Day. Whereas making the announcement, the Prime Minister said that the pains of Partition may by no means be forgotten and the day ought to remind us of the necessity to take away the poison of social divisions and disharmony and strengthen the spirit of oneness, social concord and human empowerment.
The Prime Minister’s determination to commemorate the horrors of Partition has a bigger message — that the inconvenient truths of historical past can’t be brushed beneath the carpet due to the perceived discomfort of a selected neighborhood. In actual fact, if the injuries of the previous have to heal, one wants to interact in an open and sincere dialog. In such instances, daylight is the very best disinfectant for full reconciliation.
Given this background, one must look once more at an occasion of historical past that occurred on September 17, 1948, however which hardly finds point out in our books. Whereas India obtained her independence from British rule on August 15, 1947, and huge swathes of the nation joyously celebrated because the nationwide flag was unfurled, not everybody was so lucky. The erstwhile state of Hyderabad, which was beneath the autocratic rule of Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan, needed to wait an extra 13 months earlier than it may obtain freedom. The liberation of Hyderabad required the political nous of India’s first dwelling minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and the tactical brilliance of JN Chaudhuri. It was the resultant “police motion” by way of Operation Polo that secured the liberation of Hyderabad state.
Why is it, then, that when components of Maharashtra and Karnataka have fun today as Marathwada Mukti Sangram Diwas and Hyderabad-Karnataka Liberation Day, respectively, all we get is an eerie silence from the Telangana authorities? Within the case of Maharashtra, solely the Marathwada area was beneath the Nizam and in Karnataka the north-eastern districts of Bidar, Kalaburagi and Raichur have been a part of the erstwhile Hyderabad state. Then again, all of present-day Telangana got here beneath the Nizam. Whereas leaders comparable to Swami Ramanand Tirtha, PH Patwardhan, Govindbhai Shroff, and Vijayendra Kabra are celebrated by different states, Telangana refuses to acknowledge the heroics and sacrifices of leaders comparable to Komaram Bheem, Shoebullah Khan, “Vande Mataram” Ramachandra Rao, Narayan Rao Pawar and Chakali Ilamma.
This downright refusal to acknowledge the previous is steeped within the inexplicable logic of communal appeasement. The state authorities is defending its ally, the Majlis-e- Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), and its inglorious previous. The MIM’s chief on the time of India’s independence, Qasim Rizvi, believed in establishing Hyderabad Deccan as an unbiased nation and supported the Nizam by offering about 1,50,000 MIM volunteers to reinforce the Nizam’s common military of 24,000. These grew to become the Razakars who would later unleash carnage within the princely state. The Razakars have been instrumental in executing the Nizam’s orders to determine an exploitative regime and to suppress the folks of Telangana. They plundered and raided villages and killed those that protested towards the tyrannical rule of the Nizam.
The MIM fears that the commemoration of Telangana Liberation Day would carry to all people’s discover their ideological roots and their ghastly actions. In an try to cover this treacherous previous, the MIM is equating the September 17 celebrations with insulting the Nizam and, by extension, angering the Muslim neighborhood. This appeasement streak is so robust that the state authorities forgets the contributions of journalists, comparable to Shoebullah Khan. After working in an editorial capability on the Urdu weekly Taj and the day by day Rayyat, Khan based a day by day, Imroze, that wholeheartedly supported the merger of Hyderabad with the Indian Union. On August 22, 1948, he was killed by Razakars on his method dwelling from Chappal Bazaar. Atypical Indians have been on the forefront of the agitation and have been killed for advocating a merger with India. By not celebrating this historic day, we’d be turning a blind eye to the sacrifices made by the courageous women and men who fought in order that they may see their land be built-in with the Indian Union.
Burying our historical past, particularly inconvenient truths such because the wrestle for the liberation of Hyderabad, is nothing however a perverted type of appeasement that can neither serve a goal nor profit anybody. Within the seventy fifth 12 months of India’s independence, numerous abnormal residents are taking part in numerous programmes being organised beneath the 75-week lengthy Azadi Ka Amrit Mahostav. The Mahotsav can also be figuring out unsung heroes of actions such because the liberation of Hyderabad to provide them the popularity they really deserve. Just like the governments of Karnataka and Maharashtra, the Telangana authorities should additionally acknowledge the sacrifices made and observe September 17 as Telangana Liberation Day by organising a memorial honouring the courageous who fought for the area’s liberation. This may be sure that the current and future generations know the contributions and sacrifices that our forefathers made for our as we speak.
This column first appeared within the print version on September 18, 2021 beneath the title ‘An inconvenient reality’. The author is the Union Minister for Tradition, Tourism and Growth of Northeastern Area and represents the Secunderabad parliamentary constituency.