Centre- Year-long commemoration of 75 yrs of ‘Hyderabad State Liberation’, inaugural event Sep 17

Hyderabad Liberation Day: The government recently announced a year-long event from September 17, 2022 to September 17, 2023 to mark 75 years of the liberation of Hyderabad state - the former princely state's merger with the rest of India.

Key Facts:

  • The erstwhile princely state of Hyderabad – which covered the modern-day Marathwada region in Maharashtra, the Hyderabad-Karnataka region in Karnataka, and all districts in current-day Telangana – became part of the Union of India on September 17, 1948.
  • The event will be inaugurated on September 17 in the presence of home minister Amit Shah - the chief guest for the day.
  • The main objective of the yearlong observance is to make the current generation aware of the story of “resistance, valour and sacrifice.
  • The move is also aimed at highlighting the Bhairanapally massacre of August 27, 1948, when Razakars – a private army of the Nizams of Hyderabad – killed 96 villagers in an effort to quell their uprising for demanding the merger of the Nizam’s dominion into the Indian Union soon after August 15, 1947.
  • The Telangana Government has decided to observe September 17 as Telangana National Unity Day.
  • The states of Maharashtra and Karnataka already commemorate this day as Marathwada Liberation Day and Hyderabad-Karnataka Liberation Day, respectively.

History and Significance:

  • When India gained Independence in 1947, even though 562 princely states announced the merger with the Indian Union, there was some resistance from the erstwhile state of Hyderabad.
  • The former state of Hyderabad, which included the entirety of Telangana and certain districts in Maharashtra and Karnataka, was liberated from the Nizam's authority by a military operation on September 17, 1948, more than a year after India gained its independence.
  • This was possible due to the swift and timely action of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel under Operation Polo.
  • The struggles of the people of erstwhile Hyderabad state against colonialism, feudalism and tyranny are a symbol of national integration.

The Telangana rebellion:

  • The Telangana rebellion was started by a group of peasants in late 1945.
  • They rebelled against the prevalent jagirdari system where power to collect revenue and govern certain landholdings was installed in certain officers.
  • They were represented by the Comrades Association, who were affiliated with the Communist Party of India.
  • The rebellion turned violent and clashed with the Razakars, a militia headed by Kasim Rizvi.
  • In 1945 Nizam of Hyderabad put forward multiple conditions to join India — all of which were unacceptable to the Indian state.
  • In the meantime, Kasim Rizvi and his Razakars became increasingly dominating, difficult to ignore presence in Hyderabad.
  • He influenced all major decisions the Nizam undertook and installed his chosen men in the government.
  • In order to prevent the already deteriorating law and order situation in Hyderabad from getting worse, India signed the Standstill Agreement with Hyderabad, stating that all administrative agreements that were in place between the Nizam and the British Crown would continue between the Nizam and India.

Operation Polo

  • The signing of the Standstill Agreement, however, ensured peace for only about a year.
  • Almost instantly, Hyderabad started violating the conditions, simultaneously the violent activities of the Razakars increased, creating an atmosphere of anarchy in the state.
  • As a last resort, India launched ‘Operation Polo’ in September 1948 and defeated the rebel forces within five days to make Hyderabad an integral part of India.