Muslim Razakars pose with captured Hindu civilians before killing them in cold blood (Telangana, 1948)
(Picture Source: Wagner, Heather Lehr. People at odds. U.S.A: Chelsea House Publishers, 2002.)
Approximately seven centuries of slavery under the Muslim autocracy and 50 years of democracy have influenced the culture of the Hyderabad City and the State. In the North India, the Muslim rule started with the defeat of the last Hindu and Buddhist empires in Afghanistan in early 7th century, while Vijayanagar (1336-1678) was the last Hindu empire to fall in the South. It took approximately 7 centuries for Islamic marauders to reach the south from the north-west.
Telangana, the core of Hyderabad State, came under Muslim rule briefly when Alauddin Khilji from Delhi defeated the emperor Prataparudra of Kakatiya Dynasty that ruled from Warangal as Capitol, on March 19, 1310. The huge booty carried to Delhi by one thousand camels included the famous Kohinoor Diamaond. (Yes, this is the same Allauddin who plundered Chittorgarh for material and carnal booty, including queen Padmini. After a heroic resistance against his brutal Muslim onslaught for about eight months, valiant Rajputs were defeated and on the 26th of August 1303, under the leadership of Rani Padmini, the Rajput women plunged themselves into the fire to escape rape and slavery .)
Warangal was taken back from Delhi sultanate in 1336 by Vijayanagar dynasty, which fell to Muslims later in 1678 and became part of Golconda state under Mughals. Nizam gifted away coastal Andhra to French in 1752. East India Company acquired Andhra from the French in 1766, which became part of Madras province of the British Empire. However, Hyderabad (Golconda) remained part of various Muslim dynasties for 7 centuries uninterrupted: Delhi sultanate (1310-1336), independent Bahmani sultanate - a major Muslim dynasty that ruled central and south India (1345-1512), Turkman Qutub Shahi dynasty of Golconda kingdom (1512-1687), Mughal Dynasty of Delhi (1687- 1724) and Nizam dynasty of Hyderabad (1724-1948).
There was an increase in political and cultural awareness among peoples of Hindu religions of Hyderabad State at the end of 19 th century. As part of Nizam's grand design to counter the growing cultural and political awareness among Hindus (~90% of the total population at the time) in the state, the Telugu names of districts, for example, Elagandala, Palamuru, Induru, and Metuku were changed to Karim Nagar, Mahaboob Nagar, Nizamabad, and Medak respectively, and towns like Manukota and Bhuvanagir were renamed as Mahaboobnagar and Bhongir respectively in 1905. Village names ending in padu were changed to pahad. At the same time a proclamation was issued making Hyderabad State an Islamic state.
In 1911, Mir Osman Ali Khan succeeded to the dynasty. During his rule Islamization of Hyderabad State was intensified. With the encouragement of the Nizam government a blatant communal organization Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen was formed. This organization along with "Anjuman Tabli Gulistan" inaugurated Tablig movement to convert Hindus to Islam. In August 1919, Osmania University was founded to impart higher education in Urdu medium to Muslims and Urdu speaking Hindus in Telangana. This was the first ever University in the last millennium in the Telugu land! The second university established was Andhra University in Andhra region of Madras province under the British raj in 1925.
Of course, the Nizam dynasty’s intentions were to annihilate the Hindu languages and cultures. Hindu students had to face many hardships and restrictions at the University. The Hindu cultures and religions were openly ridiculed, e.g., during Milad-un-Nabi celebrations of 1937, Prof. Maulvi Nazarul Hassan Gilani openly admonished the Muslims for their failure to convert Hindus to Islam by saying, " I am pained to see the inertness amongst Muslims, when there exist still 22 million of ‘Dung Worshippers’ in this country (Hyderabad State)."
Similarly, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, father of Islamic State of Pakistan (Islamic Pure State), addressed the students of Osmania University as "my Muslim students," ignoring Hindus among the students.
Kasim Razvi, the president of Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen in erstwhile Hyderabad State, believed that he was destined to plant Asafia flag on the Red Fort in Delhi and make the waves of the Bay of Bengal wash the feet of Nizam. He was successful in intoxicating thousands of Muslims of Hyderabad State to enroll as razakars and take pledge to maintain the Muslim supremacy in Deccan and Hyderabad State. When the British left the Indian Continent in 1947, the Nizam wished to remain independent, while Hindus wanted to join the democratic Indian Union. A series of riots and mayhem, known as Razakar movement were instigated by the Nizam and Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen party against popular demand "Join India" to join the Indian Union and overthrow the Muslim autocracy.
Finally, the Hyderabad State joined the Indian Union with the help of the Union army in 1948, in an action popularly known as the police action. However, communal riots between Muslims and Hindus continued due to communal ‘divide and rule policy’ and minority-vote-bank politics of Congress party until saffron clad Nandamuri Taraka Ramarao (NTR) became Chief Minister.
Towards Freedom: Final days of the Nizam Raj
- Panduranga Rao Kulkarni
On 15 August, 1947, well ahead by ten months British left India after partitioning it into India and Pakistan . The numerous princely states were given option to either accede to India or to Pakistan . Poor Hindus of Deccan ! They dreamt that Independence meant freedom to them also. But it was not to be on 15th August, 1947 as rest of India was shouting 'Bharat Mata ki Jai', in the Nizam's state of Hyderabad , slogans of ''Azad Hyderabad Paindabad' rent the air. The Hyderabadi Hindu was doomed! There was a large scale of migration of Hindus across the border of Hyderabad into the neighbouring Indian provinces.
The terror unleashed by the Razakars was coupled with the migration [exodus] of Hindus. There was also immigration of thousands of Muslim families from other parts of the country. They were eagerly welcomed by the Volunteers of Ittehadul - Musalmin, and also the state's machinery. Within two months of declaring Azad Hyderabad, the state's Muslim population rose by one lakh. Immediate attempts were made to absorb these immigrants into jobs in various departments like irrigation, railway, electricity, public works etc. The state's Child Welfare Association under Nizam's princess daughter-in-law, released funds for immediately providing blankets to these immigrants as the winter was fast approaching. The new Government of India was very much concerned with this development. Yet it acted with forbearance because the Nizam's plea to give an extension of two months to sign the instrument of accession was granted.
In the meanwhile the 'Razakar' force of Ittehadul Musalmin swelled to three lakhs members and there were clashes between them and the Swayamsevaks of 'Janata Fouz' formed in the rural side by the Hindus mostly in the border areas. Even after the lapse of two months, the Nizam dodged signing the accession instrument on one pretext or the other. In the meanwhile he sent his men all over the world seeking military and moral assistance for the independent Hyderabad State .
There were rumours that Nizam would accede to Pakistan and Pakistan would readily accept it. To pre-empt such an eventuality, the Indian Government offered a standstill agreement to Hyderabad without accession, which seemingly was its climbdown. To Nizam and Ittahed the offer looked as an indicator of growing weakness of Indian Government, which was staggering with shock of post-position riots and bloodshed. For several weeks there was bargaining in New Delhi over the contents of the standstill agreement, after which ultimately it was signed. According to the agreement, K.M. Munshi would be stationed in Hyderabad as agent-general of India , and Zain Yarzung would be in New Delhi as the agent general of Hyderabad .
This period was used by the hooligans of Ittehedul Musalmin to systematically terrorise the Hindus by arson and looting of their shops, houses, and standing crops, robbing the gold and silver from their women-folk and also their abduction and rape.
In an incident in Errapalem village of Warangal district, under the lead of sub-Inspector Chand Khan, thirty five policemen with eighty Razakars of Ittehadul Musalmin looted each and every household including the huts. They dragged the women folk along the streets to the centre place of the village. They had forcible copulation first with twelve of them and there after shot them dead, despite the pleadings of their kith and kin. The other group of women had the same fate. Total number of women thus killed on that day in the village was seventy. In fact, it had become the order of the day for the lecherous Nizam’s police and the barbaric vagabonds of Ittehedul - Musalmin known as Razakars.
The predominantly Hindu population of the state was not to be allowed to pause and recap incessant terrorizing. At that time Mir Layak Ali was appointed as the new Prime Minister of Hyderabad at the insistence of Itthehead. He was a Civil Engineer turned Businessman and Industrialist and totally new to political office. His inexperience and the overbearing influence of Ittehadul Musalmin upon him, quickened the pace of events. Nizam was totally besieged by the Ittehad, and power and initiative shifted from Kingkoti completely. Qasim Razvi was the sole performer now. For the battle hardened leaders like Patel, Nehru, Rajaji and Munshi sitting with novices of street urchin mentality and to talk about the affairs of a state larger than many of the European countries was a new but exasperating experience. Yet in the interest of the innocent public of Hyderabad State they underwent this harrowing experience for months together
The nation was recovering from the trauma of Gandhiji's death. News on the other hand of Hyderabad steadily building up the potential of its Army and other ancillary forces was regularly reaching Delhi . A British Arms dealer named Sydney Cotton was transporting arms from abroad. Stocks of petrol and sulphur were built up. And several factories owned by the Muslims were said to have started producing rifles and Bren guns. Power alcohol was being produced at the rate of 3,500 gallons per day. The provincial governments around Hyderabad were getting nervous and sending frantic requests to Patel to take action against Hyderabad 's bellicosity.
On 23rd March, 1948 the Home Secretary V.P. Menon sent a formal letter pointing out various violations by Hyderabad of the stand still Agreement and asked Prime Minister Layaq Ali to take steps to rectify the situation or be prepared for consequences. This ultimatum is said to have rattled him making him to blurt, ''What was led to this sudden change?'”.In fact Layaq Ali was facing embarrassments everywhere due to irresponsible and arbitrary acts and utterings of Qasim Razvi and Razakars of Itthedul Muslamin.
Few weeks earlier to that on 1st February 1948, one hundred armed personnel raided the branch of State Bank of Hyderabad in a small town Umri, killed at least seven persons and decamped with more than 22 lakhs rupees in hard cash. Later enquiry revealed that the raiders were Razakars of Ittehadul Musalmin who were supposed to protect the Bank from the imaginary attack of the Indian Armed Forces. This itself proves the extent of lawlessness created by the Razakars of Ittehadul Muslamin during that time.
Prior to that, the government and armed forces of India , took steps to block all the supply routes to Hyderabad . Its effects started to be felt. There was shortage of petrol, diesel, kerosene, sugar, cigarettes, food-grains, medicines and innumerable other things. The Hyderabad government now manned entirely by the Ittehad people was not inspiring much confidence among the business community resulting in hoarding and block marketing.
Indian government asked its army to be prepared to march to Hyderabad at a shortest notice if necessary.
Accordingly Major-Gen. Hiralal Atal, G.O.C. 1, Armoured Division submitted his plan to the southern Command on 16th April, 1948. In it he envisaged an advance of 30 miles per day and assessed to cover the distance from Sholapur to Hyderabad within a fortnight, in an East-West assaultEnd of July, 1948, I Armoured Division of Indian Army had built up enough rations for sixty days for an army 22,000 strong. Meanwhile Maj. Gen. J.N. Choudary had succeeded Maj. Gen. Hiralal Atal, as G.O.C. 1 Armoured Division. And Mountbatten the last link of Nizam with Government of India had gone back to his England
On 7th September, Home Secretary V.P. Menon formally wrote to the Prime Minister of Hyderabad requesting him to allow Indian troops to be restationed in Secunderabad in such strength as might be necessary for the prompt and effective restoration of Law and Order. Layaq Ali did not reply. Six days later, by the first of 13th September 1948, columns of Indian army entered Hyderabad state from various directions, on their journey to Secunderabad as per the forewarning of Home Secretary. Operation Polo, had begun. TIME Magazine's John Lubar described it as a 'Happy war'.
As the Indian troops marched on in the territory of Hyderabad , except at Naldurg, Tuljapu, Bidar, Zahirabad in the Western sector and at Kodad in the Eastern sector, there was no residence offered by the much publicised Hyderabad army. The Razakars of Ittehabul-Musalmin were driven mostly by their religious fanaticism. Then religious zeal is no substitute for the regular military training, which a soldier receives in his military camps. On 15th September, Qasim Razvi's home town Latur along with Osmanabad, Aurangabad and Jalna fell to Indian troops. In the after noon of fifth day, 17 September, Hyderabad 's resistance ended, when the Nizam ordered his troops to ceasefire. On 18th September, 1948, the news of Nizam's decision to surrender caused jubilation all over India and also among the people of Hyderabad
Qasim Razvi, and many other leaders of Ittehadul Musalmin were caught and tried. But by the time their trial concluded, the Congress Party came to power in Hyderabad . Sardar Patel was no more. In consonance with the Muslim appeasement policy of the Congress, these traitors were allowed the escape with lesser punishments. Later they went to Pakistan with great zeal and hope. What happened to them there is not known to many.
The remnants of the Ittehadul Musalmin changed the name of the Islamic Communal outfit to Majlis-e-Ittehad and later converted it into a political party called Majlis-e-Ittehadul -Musalmin which still garners enough votes from the Muslim ghettoes of the old city of Hyderabad to send a couple of members of the State Assembly and lone member to the nation's Parliament. But the irony is that the Ittehad's posterity is neither repentant nor abashed of the monstrosity of their predecessors. And the Hindu residents of the Old City are not yet sure whether the Police will be permitted to act swiftly to rescue them from Muslim attacks, as was done fifty years ago. Then that is being defined as secularism.
Sufferings of Hindus in erstwhile Nizam State - as narrated by one Grandson
Sufferings of Hindus in erstwhile Nizam State - as narrated by one Grandson
My grandfather, Ravinder Singi Reddy was born on January 25, 1933 in the village, Mandadi, which is located in the district, Mahaboobnagar, in the [present-day] state of Andhra Pradesh. Thatha, which means grandfather in Telugu, was only fourteen when India got its independence on August 15, 1947. Since his family was farmers in a rural village in South India, they were not directly impacted by the events leading up to the independence. However, they were impacted more by the Razakar Movement.
The [present-day] state of Andhra Pradesh [was once known] as the state of Hyderabad which was ruled by the Nizam, which means Muslim prince, Asaf Jah. The next seven Nizams, descendents from the Asaf Jah Dynasty, were the predominant rulers of Hyderabad from 1724 until 1948. In 1911, Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan began his reign and his goal was to have Hyderabad as an independent state, separate from India and the Indian Union just as Pakistan had separated from India. The Razakar Movement began in 1946, when the Nizam countered the cultural and political awareness that was rising among the Hindus around that time . The Hindus who started the “Join Indian” movement wanted the state of Hyderabad to join the rest of India in the Union. Since the Hindu population of the state was about 90%, the Nizam felt more threatened and began to intensify the Islamization that he had begun. This Islamization entailed Hindus being forced to convert or leave the state. The Nizam wanted to completely remove Hindu culture and language from his state. He built universities where students, mostly Muslims were taught the Muslims ways and Urdu, a language spoken predominantly by Muslims .
To further his cause, the Nizam employed storm troopers, the Razakars, and his own army to eliminate the Hindus. My grandfather was a teenager at that time and remembered the terror that the movement created in the minds and hearts of the Hindu people.
Violence erupted between the two peoples as Muslims began regular offense against the Hindus daily (Moslem attacks). Many peoples’ property was taken away, many were removed from their positions is various jobs, and many were beaten or killed. Thatha says he can remember his brother-in-law, a doctor, who was killed on his way to making a making a house call to see a patient.
My great grandfather passed away when my grandfather was only 11 years old. My grandfather’s eldest brother, Devanayak Reddy, became head of the family of 14 brothers and sisters. To escape the horrible conditions Devanayak decided to relocate the family to state of Karnool. (Karnool, a neighboring state under the Indian Union, did not experience the conditions that those in the Hyderabad state were going through.)
My grandfather’s family was the head of the village in Mandadi because they owned most of the land. They were well respected and liked. This land brought enough profits that despite the size of their family, they lived in comfort and luxury in comparison to the rest of the village. Thatha recalls the hardships he and his family faced after reaching Karnool. They had to leave all their belongings and most of their money back home because there were checks at different places where people were searched. Thatha [Grandfather] said that they put money in their shoes, and wherever else they thought they could conceal it. Whatever money he and his family did bring was somehow smuggled in their clothing.
After reaching Karnool, his family was very low on money and food because they didn’t have the income from farming from Mandadi. Therefore, they lived on little food which was quite a change from their former lifestyle. They adjusted, though, because they had to spend about two years there.
On September 10, 1948, the Indian government sent their army to take away the state from Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan and join it with the Indian Union, finally ending the Nizam rule. Thatha’s older brothers returned to the farm but the younger children and he remained in Karnool because Karnool had much better education. The schools in Mandadi were only sufficient for servants and a much lower level education. After finishing high school, the rest of the family slowly drifted back home where things were prosperous once again.
During the two-year-period of the Razakar movement, many families suffered injustice in the hands of Muslims who wanted their own state and desperately used any means to rid of Hindus. But many families, like my grandfather’s, were able to regain what they had lost.
For scholarly references, see: http://nhs.needham.k12.ma.us/cur/wwII/05/baker05/baker-nsp-p5-05/India_Independence.html
“Moslem Attacks Charged”. New York Times (1857-Current file); Aug 20, 1948. pg. 4. ProQuest Historical Newspapers. MetroWest Regional Library. January 18, 2005.
This NYT article talked about an incident when a group of Muslims surrounded a Hindu Market place and massacred 200 Hindu civilians. This is only more evidence that goes to show how far Muslims took they desire for their own country in Hyderabad.
Telangana was part of the then Hyderabad state, a princely state refusing to join the India Union. The Nizam had given free rein to a group called the Razakars. Their leader Kasim Razvi vowed that "if India invaded nothing but the bones and ashes of 10.5 million Hindus would be found". Hindus were openly killed in Marathwada (also part of the princely Hyderabad).
This was the gentleman with whom the Communists allied. It was said in Warangal and Nalgonda that "the Razakars rule by day and the Communists at night."
The bad part is communists ( the so-called poor man's supporters ) aligned with Razakars. After that people and even the establishment hated the communists so much that no body dared to talk about communists. Belive it or not communists were killed by women folks of Telangana. Razakars of those days emerged into Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) of today.
The anti-Nizam movement in the Kannada- and Marathi-speaking parts of Hyderabad state is less well documented. It was the Arya Samaj under Swami Ramanand Tirth which came into the leadership of the anti-Nizam movement - most of the followers of the Arya Samaj joined the Congress by 1946-47. The leadership of the Arya Samaj gave a communal colouring to the struggle. In his doctoral thesis, titled "Integration of Hyderabad Karnataka (1946-56)", on the anti-Nizam and pro-merger movement in the Hyderabad Karnatak region, B.C.
Mahabaleswarappa, a reader in Gulbarga University, has traced the growth of the Arya Samaj in this region. "The message of the Arya Samaj - India for Indians. Except Hindus, all are foreigners on the soil of Hindustan - gave needed courage to the Hindus to oust the alien rule of Nizam and face the atrocities of the Razakars." (page 60)
The autocracy of the Nizam undoubtedly had a pro-Muslim, anti-Hindu aspect to it. The Nizam's administration was largely Muslim, Urdu was imposed on his subjects, and the Razakars' actions were targeted against Hindus. The Arya Samaj, which took up cudgels for the 'Hindu masses' against 'Muslim oppressors', took over the leadership of the anti-Nizam movement partly owing to the late arrival of the Congress; until 1940 the Indian National Congress did not take up the people's struggle in the princely state.
Majlis plan to glorify the anti-national Razakar movement in Telangana
HYDERABAD - An attempt seems to be afoot to glorify and extend support to the notorious anti-national Razakar movement that left a trail of blood in Telangana in the early years of independence.
The Majlis Bachao Tehreek, under the leadership of legislator Mohammad Amanullah Khan, is organising a massive public meeting here to pay homage to the friend of Deccan, Qasim Razvi.
The party is observing Friday as "Yaum-e-Siddiq-e-Deccan' (the day of Siddiq-e-Deccan), as Razvi is known among the old city Muslims. Mr Khan will preside over the meeting.
The anti-national Razvi was given a number of honorifics in advertisements issued by the organising committee in various Urdu newspapers on thursday.
This is the first time an outlawed person like Razvi is being honoured like this. The Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), of which the Tehreek is an offshoot, had never organized public meetings in honour of Qasim.
Razvi had led the infamous Razakar movement in 1947-48 against the Indian Army and let loose a reign of terror in Telengana, killing innocent men and women. The movement aimed at merger of the then Hyderabad State with Pakistan.
The Razakar movement he started in 1944 became a strong paramilitary force which crushed anyone who raised a voice in favour of the then Hyderabad state merging with Indian Union.
Though the MIM discarded the leadership of Qasim Razvi, who since led it, ever since the party was revived in 1957, the newly formed Tehreek holds him in high esteem and his portraits adorn the walls of its office at Mogalpura in the city.
According to Tehreek sources, the public meeting has been planned to revive the old glory and honour of the community under the leadership of Qasim Razvi.
The newspaper advertisements carrying photographs of Mr Khan and Razvi appealed to the people to participate in large numbers and pay homage to the warrior of Islam (Mujahid-e-millat). One advertisement featured Mr Khan with Mr Bahadur Yar Jung, the MIM founder and Jihadi zealo
Late Qaaid-e-Millat Nawab Bahadur Yar Jung
It is a fact that all ex-serviceman from the Nizam's state forces were treated on par with ex-servicemen from the Indian army. They are all allowed to draw ration and avail of medical facilities in the Indian army like other ex-servicemen. It is really sad that these [killers] have been allowed stay in Indian soil. I know of one MIM activist in Houston who got a Green card in Houston (USA) pleading political asylum from Indian persecution in Hyderabad, India. For this state of affairs I hold each and every Indian responsible who voted for the Congress in the last fifty years.