It is time to pay homage to the millions of Hindus who have suffered atrocities and gone unnoticed in history
On September 17, 1948, Hyderabad was liberated from the tyrannical Islamic rule and integrated with Bharat. It was a day of liberation for both non-Muslims and progressive Muslims in the state. Therefore it must be celebrated as “Hyderabad Liberation Day”.
On the way to a Muslim state
Hyderabad was ruled by the Asaf Jah dynasty founded by Nizam-ul-Mulk Asaf Jah in 1724. The last ruler of this dynasty was Nizam Osman Ali Khan, whose reign lasted from 1911 to the day of Hyderabad’s liberation.
During the reign of Osman Ali Khan, Hyderabad’s population was 86 percent Hindu and 14 percent Muslim. But the condition of the Hindus was pitiful. They were systematically ousted from all important and influential government posts, and the state was transformed into a theocracy in which a handful of radical Muslims brutalized non-Muslims.
“Under official pressure, private harassment, and threats of violence, Hindus…were prevented from building or repairing a temple in places where Muslims lived. Hindu temples were often desecrated, but the culprits were seldom traced and never punished. Hindu religious teachers were forbidden from lecturing, while the Muslim clerics, members of Ittehad (Majlis-i-Ittehad-ul-Mussulmeen, a municipal organization established in 1926 under the auspices of Nizam of Hyderabad) and the Deendars (Preacher of another radical Islamic movement in Hyderabad) carried out a vigorous proselytizing campaign to the Hindus,” revealed KM Munshi, the Agent General of India in Hyderabad from January 1948 to September 1948, in an autobiographical account Hyderabad Memoirs: The End of an Era.
Hyderabad had three language belts that included the Telugu, Kannada and Marathi language districts. There was a tiny population that used Urdu.
Munshi reported in his memoirs, first published in 1957: “Educational policies … have been geared toward replacing local languages with Urdu since Nizam came to the United States gaddi (Seat of Power). State-supported education could only be given in Urdu or English. In 1915, even the English option in state schools was replaced by Urdu. In 1930, the ratio of Hindu to Muslim students in elementary schools was 2:1 to the population, which had a ratio of 8:1.”
In addition to pursuing the policy, Finance Minister Sir Akbar Hydari, who also held the post of President of Nizam’s Executive Council, lavishly funded Osmania University. “Their main aim was to attract fanatical Muslim scholars and raise a race of young educated Muslims who were indoctrinated by the spirit of the Muslim conquerors. It has spent large sums of money to make Urdu a language of power,” Munshi added.
“A characteristic incident that illustrates the purpose and policy of Osmania University occurred in 1939. Hindu students were forbidden to wear it dhotis and kurtas; They had to wear clothing accepted by the Muslim students. If you on Janmashtami On the day that is very sacred among Hindus, some students sang the song Vande Mataram, which for over thirty years had been widely accepted in the Hindu prayer hall as the prayer to the motherland, it was locked and an order served on students forbidding them to sing the song within campus. Those who sang it were given the choice of apologizing or suffering rustication. The Ministry of Education, through a communiqué, also banned the singing of the song in schools. As a result, about 1,200 students were expelled from colleges and schools.
On the other hand, at the festival of Milad-ul-Nabi celebrated by the Muslim students, the presiding professor said, “It pains me to see the indolence among the Muslims when there are still 22 million Gobar-Parast (dung worshipers ) are.” ; a term of vulgar abuse applied to Hindus.”
Role of MIM and Razakaars
Majlis-i-Ittehad-ul-Mussulmeen and his terrorist arm, the Razkaars, played a key role in targeting non-Muslims in Hyderabad State from 1926 to 1948. One of the pivotal moments related to officially making Hyderabad an Islamic theocratic state was in 1938 when MIM revised its constitution. The amendment stated that the sovereignty of the state and throne of Hyderabad would be given to Muslims and Islam and not vice versa. In other words, Hyderabad was part of ‘ummah‘. Meanwhile, MIM had deployed an armed militia in the form of “Rzakaars” who had begun targeting Hindus in the state. In 1944 the leadership of Razakaars was taken over by Kasim Rizvi, who now de facto ruled the state, of course supported by Nizam. Rizvi, a notorious operator, ran 52 Razakaars’ command centers. They were armed, supported by the Nizam institution, and their numbers had grown to almost a lakh by 1947-48.
After Bharat gained independence on August 15, 1947, the Hyderabad Nizam unleashed a reign of terror over the state’s Hindus, who wanted the state to join India. Massacres, rapes, looting, arson, and forced conversions were carried out by Razakaars in every part of the state. There have been countless such incidents, and many of them have not even come to light. Mentioning some of them here would reveal the extent of the brutalities suffered by Hindus in Hyderabad. These incidents have been carefully documented in ‘ based on first-hand accounts.Nizam’s reign exposed‘ and ‘Hyderabad Liberation Struggle… some unknown sides‘ (both published by Samvit Prakashan).
Naked Bathukamma Dance (1947)
The unique flower festival where the mother goddess Durga is worshiped as Bathukamma during the nine days Vijaydashami, in which women celebrate songs and dances outdoors, the Nizam wanted to eliminate. Attacks began on the Bathukamma festival and during the Vijayadashami in 1947 when women were celebrating Btahukamma and boarding the train at Wadi railway station, they were cruelly pulled out at Gandalpur and forcibly herded into trucks and taken to the nearby police station. The escorted men were stopped by breaking their limbs. At the police station, women were stripped, repeatedly beaten and forced to dance the bathukamma.
Gorta Massacre (1948)
On May 9th and 10th, 1948, about 2,000 Razakaars came to this Hindu village, where families were fasting on the occasion of a solar eclipse and offering their prayers to their gods Chaitra Amavsya. The Razakaars dragged Hindus out of their homes and began slaughtering them. Bhimrao, the village godfather, begged them to stop this violence by offering them 40 Tolas of gold. The head of Razakkars took the gold and killed Bhimrao’s eldest son before his eyes. Then they cut off Bhimrao’s head with a sword. When the younger son ran away to save his life, they grabbed and beheaded him. Then they gathered the cow dung cakes, lit a fire, and put all the severed heads there.
The bloodbath didn’t stop there. After finishing off Patel’s family, the Razakaars dragged out village chiefs Ramarao Patwari and Naraynrao Muktedar. They were beheaded in the middle of the village in front of the temple of the goddess Kali. The Razakaars then desecrated the temple and the deity by smearing blood on it. After that, they went to Narayanrao’s house where his pregnant wife was hiding. They first seized her younger brother and killed him when she begged to spare him. When she fell crying on her brother’s dead body, they dragged her and kicked her with their boots. She gave birth to the baby there herself and died with blood oozing from her body.
Razakaar’s, Nizam’s troops and the district administration led by deputy collector Iqbal Hashim attacked the village of Bhairavunipalli in August 1948. The Hindu population of the village put up a fierce resistance but lost due to the attackers’ superior firepower and weapons. After Nizam government officials, troops and Razakaars entered this village, they ransacked houses, tied up all youths, raped all women, ransacked all houses and then burned down the whole village.
A total of 92 young people were brought from the village. The officials decided to test their shooting skills on these hapless Hindus. The contest was about how many men can be killed with one bullet from a 303 rifle. The youths were bound in ropes like sacrificial animals and had to stand in four rows one behind the other. An army officer fired first, and his bullet pierced four young men, who died instantly. Next was a police officer who killed three young men with a single bullet. Next came civilian officers to show off their shooting skills! District collector Hashim himself killed eight Hindu youths. All of the youths were eventually killed. Their bodies were thrown into an unused well. The number of people killed in this village is not part of this body count. The bloodthirsty officials and razakaars massacred another 25 Hindus in the village of Kutigal on their way back.
These are just glimpses of the atrocities endured by Hindus in the state of Hyderabad. Thousands of such incidents had occurred in the state of Hyderabad. It is time to pay homage to the millions of Hindus who have suffered these atrocities and have gone down in history unnoticed. It is also clear from the above that it was the integration of Hyderabad into Bharat that turned out to be the day of liberation for the Hindus of Hyderabad. Therefore, it is appropriate to celebrate September 17 as “Hyderabad Liberation Day”.
The novelist, author and columnist has written several books. He tweets @ArunanandLive. The views expressed are personal
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