Published: Published Date – 12:30 AM, Sat – 24 September 22
By JR Janumpalli
It is a well-known fact that Hyderabad was the last princely State to join the Indian Union. While the whole of India got independence on 15th August 1947, Hyderabad State got its freedom from Nizam on 17 September 1948. There was some eventful history running up to the integration of Hyderabad State into the Indian union on that day.
In that history, the Communists, the Razakars and other freedom fighters, the Nizam, the Indian government and the Indian army played their different roles. The interpretation of their roles and the modus operandi of the celebration of the ‘D’ day became so controversial that it resulted in the non-celebration of the eventful day. Now taking advantage of the chronic ambiguity in the matter, the BJP and the Centre raked up a new political contention in Telangana.
September 17 was in disputation for its celebration, its name of it and the credit for the integration of the State into the union by different political groups since 1948. There was no consensus on the nomenclature and the mode of celebration. Some said it is liberation, some annexation, some termed it integration and some even said it was treason.
The extremist Communists and Muslims supporting Razakars called it treason, for their own reasons. The others among them called it liberation. The majority of democrats called it integration. Because of the many debatable views, religious and political overtones and the bias of the ruling governments from time to time, the event was not celebrated officially since 1948 and that became a serious bone of contention amongst all political groups.
The BJP or its progenitors were not in any way involved in the freedom struggle of Hyderabad State, as they were not in the national independence struggle too. Nor was the party taking much interest in the celebration of the integration day all these years. All of a sudden this year, as part of its political slugfest with the ruling TRS party and as part of its grand plan of annexing Telangana in south India, the BJP national party evinced a great deal of interest in the event and wanted to celebrate it as liberation day, for creating a Hindu-Muslim divide in Hyderabad and Telangana as it is doing elsewhere as part of its Hindutva majority nationalism concept.
As a run-up to it, the BJP held its national executive meeting in Hyderabad. Almost the entire political pantheon of BJP descended on Hyderabad – 18 CMs, all MPs and the party ‘hastis’ were there. Their national leaders were nominated for each of the 119 constituencies for political brainwashing for the next Assembly elections in the State. In continuation, there were regular military-like political raids on Telangana by the BJP Cabinet Ministers, particularly by Home Minister Amit Shah, trying to ruffle the feathers of the TRS government, creating some incongruous political incidents. And Shah planned a mega event to celebrate 17th September as Liberation Day on behalf of the Centre in Hyderabad, without the consent of the State government. As is their wont to usurp local history to corner the opposition State governments.
To counter this predatory politics of the BJP, the TS government launched a three-day ‘National integration Day’ diamond jubilee celebration from September 16, to commemorate the 75-year-old integration of Hyderabad State with the Indian union. In Telangana as part of the united State of AP for 58 years and 8 years in its own State, the people have forgotten this controversy and are living amicably in a secular frame of mind.
The BJP which has nothing to do with Hyderabad state joining the union in 1948, trying to reignite the passions of 1948, is deplorable. The Telangana government has promoted the all-important Hindu-Muslim amity and forged ahead with a stable, progressive and peaceful State, and has made it a model to other States in the country. In that context, Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao’s idea of celebrating 17 September as National Integration Day instead of Liberation Day was commensurate with the democratic thinking and the Hindu-Muslim unity in the State for the last 75 years.
It was reported that the state-sponsored Telangana National Integration Day celebrations were held on a grand scale across the State. Ministers, MLAs, Collectors, SPs, Police Commissioners and other officials, students, youth and women took part in great numbers. The participation was beyond expectation. It included padayatras, dances to the drum beats and bike rallies. People from different walks of life joined it holding national flags. The rallies saw the participation of about 15,000 people in every constituency, totalling about 20 lakh people throughout the State. The slogans of ‘Jai Telangana and Jai Bharat’ echoed across the State. The CM hoisted the national flag in the Public Gardens and addressed a huge meeting at Fateh Maidan stadium.
The AIMIM held a bike rally in the Old City on the 16th of September. The rally was led by AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi and attended by thousands of locals and party workers. Owaisi hoisted the national flag and addressed the meeting. He said his party is not run by the descendants of Qasim Rizvi, the leader of Razakars. Targeting the BJP for celebrating Liberation Day, he said the party should understand the multifaceted nature of the region’s history and promote harmony instead of using it as an opportunity to create a feud.
In comparison to the celebrations by the State government, the meeting of the BJP and its rallies were reported to be a damp squib. It looked like much ado about nothing. It exposed the superfluousness and untenable political intentions of the BJP. It also exposed its double standards as it left out Junagadh in Gujarat, the princely state that was integrated into the Indian union in a similar fashion. While the people of Telangana have forgotten the animosities of 1948 and have imbibed a secular way of life, the BJP wants to revive the old animus, to polarise the communities.
But the bold and positive proposal by the CM of Telangana and the magnificent rallying of Telangana people for the national sentiment defeated the ulterior motives of the BJP roundly. And made 17th September 2022, the maiden National Integration Day for Telangana, an unqualified success.
(The author is a freelance journalist)