Remembering The Heroes Of The Hyderabad Liberation Struggle

Remembering The Heroes Of The Hyderabad Liberation Struggle

by G Kishan Reddy - Saturday, September 17, 2022 01:32 PM IST
Remembering The Heroes Of The Hyderabad Liberation Struggle Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. (Wikimedia Commons)
  • The year-long celebration of the Hyderabad Liberation Day provides an opportunity for every Indian to recollect the struggle against the oppressive rule of the Nizam.

“Freedom is not given - it is taken” – Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, the first premier of Akhand Bharat, had famously said.

Hyderabad Liberation Day, which falls on September 17, is a poignant reminder of this reality. This day, the will and the strength of common people of the erstwhile Hyderabad state – which covers modern day Telangana and parts of Maharashtra and Karnataka – prevailed over the personal ego and religious fanaticism of the Nizam who tried to draw unholy, divisive lines on a sacred geography that’s an integral part of Bharatvarsha.

It is an episode of history that needs to be recalled and celebrated year after year. For it is these episodes that demonstrate how hard-fought and precious India’s modern-day freedom is.

Days like the Hyderabad Liberation Day commemorate double joy – the joy of defeating India’s internal enemies after having won freedom from the external colonisers.

From Swami Ramanand Teertha to Komaram Bheem and Shoaibullah Khan, many heroic warriors contributed immensely in the social uprising against the Nizam.

India became free on August 15, 1947, but those living in the Hyderabad Samstan had to face the brutality of the Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan.

The people oppressed by the Nizam had to take inspiration from these heroes to wage a second war of Independence. An additional 399-days after the Tiranga flew atop the Lal Qila, the cruel rule of Nizam was crushed.

It is this history that should be a source of inspiration for the younger generation. The country’s history need not be a burden on the social fabric. Instead, it should serve as an instrument of enlightenment, for those who do not learn from history may be condemned to repeat the same mistakes in the future.

Glossing over the excesses of the past does not create lasting bonds of the future. It is unfortunate that the modern-day politicians of Telangana believe that tearing out the pages of history can create a cohesive society of the future.

From the rule of Nizam in 1940s to the rule of Telangana Rashtra Samiti backed by the political outfit inspired by Razakars’ ideology - in Telangana, petty appeasement and the tendency to sweep the truth under the carpet has remained constant.

The Telangana Rashtra Samiti totally capitulated in front of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen led by the Owaisi family, the modern-day Razakars and the ignominious inheritors of the tyranny unleashed on the common people of Telangana in the 1940s. Under duress from AIMIM and the Owaisi family, the state government has abjectly failed to give adequate respect to the freedom fighters of Telangana, on whose sweat, blood and selfless sacrifices, the state stands today.

It is this bane of our politics that the government led by Honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has sought to overturn. The central government is determined to celebrate the Hyderabad Liberation Day as an integral part of India’s freedom struggle.

With India attaining 75 years of independence in 2022, a year-long celebration from 2022 to 2023 will mark the erstwhile Hyderabad state joining the Indian union.

This celebration is the perfect tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, India’s first home minister. It was under his strong-willed leadership that Operation Polo was launched by the Indian government to liberate Hyderabad state.

The picture of the Nizam receiving India’s Iron Man at the Hyderabad airport, is an iconic reminder that the Indian state does not bow down to those who seek to harm it from inside.

Sardar Patel’s steely resolve was critical in ensuring that the brave Indian police forces annihilated the rag-tag Razakar army. It needs to be remembered that the Nizam was seeking foreign assistance, including that from Pakistan, in the form of arms and ammunition, to take on the Indian government.

At one point, the Nizam dreamt of creating a free passage linking his territory with Pakistan through the Indian lands. It was this evil design, which was smothered by the leadership of Sardar Patel.

The lessons of Operation Polo are relevant even today. There is no doubt that any enemy of the Indian state will be defeated as comprehensively as they were by the forces of Sardar Patel. Indian sovereignty and unity will never be compromised. The country has gone from strength to strength under the Modi government to be well equipped to defeat any misadventures attempted by anyone casting a malicious eye on India.

The year-long celebration of the Hyderabad Liberation Day provides an opportunity for every Indian to recollect the struggle against the oppressive rule of the Nizam.

It is also an opportunity to revitalise the self-belief that this country does not bow down to egomaniacal fanatics seeking to drive wedges in the country. The people of Telangana ought to be commemorated for their fortitude, optimism and indelible belief in a strong, united India, that is “Ek Bharat, Sresht Bharat”.

(G Kishan Reddy is the Minister for Culture, Tourism & DONER in the Government of India).
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