The Central Government has decided to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Hyderabad State Liberation Day on September 17 in a big manner this year. The Union Ministry of Culture will host the inaugural event, which will be presided over by the Union Home Minister, in Hyderabad.
- At the time of India’s partition in 1947, the princely states of India, which in theory enjoyed self-government inside their own borders, were subject to subsidiary alliances with the British, granting Britishers power over their external relations.
- With the Indian Independence Act 1947, the British abandoned all such alliances, leaving the princely states with the option of attaining full independence.
- However, by 1948 almost all had acceded to either India or Pakistan. One major exception was that of the wealthiest and most powerful Hyderabad.
- On September 17, 1948, more than a year after India’s independence, the former state of Hyderabad, which included the whole state of Telangana as well as several districts in Maharashtra and Karnataka, was freed from Nizam rule.
- This was made possible by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s swift and decisive action during Operation Polo.
- This effectively ended the people’s struggle against colonialism, feudalism and autocracy in Hyderabad, making it a symbol of national integration rather than an example of liberation of a piece of land.
- As a result, the central government has declared the 75th anniversary of the event to be a year-long celebration, with various events planned across the country.
- Meanwhile, the Telangana Government recently decided to observe September 17 as Telangana National Unity Day.
- While Maharashtra and Karnataka currently observe this day as Marathwada Liberation Day and Hyderabad-Karnataka Liberation Day, respectively, the Centre intends to celebrate it across the three states directly under its wing.
- The purpose of this year’s large-scale celebrations is that, as part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, the government will highlight events and individuals who have not received the recognition they deserve over the years.
- According to sources, the move is also intended to draw attention to the Bhairanapally massacre of August 27, 1948, in which Razakars killed 96 villagers in order to crush their revolt for the merging of Nizam dominion into the Indian Union.
Liberation of Hyderabad –
- Hyderabad, ruled by the Nizam (Mir Osman Ali Khan, Asaf Jah VII) – a Muslim ruler who presided over a predominantly Hindu population – chose independence and sought to retain it with an irregular army.
- The Nizam was also troubled by the Telangana rebellion (1946-51), which he was unable to subjugate.
- Hyderabad signed a standstill agreement with the Dominion of India in November 1947, maintaining all prior arrangements except for the stationing of Indian soldiers in the state.
- Fearing the establishment of a Communist state in Hyderabad by the rebels and the rise of Muslim nationalist Razakars – a private army of the Hyderabad Nizams, India invaded the state in September 1948 after a crippling economic blockade.
- The code name for the military operation in which the Indian Armed Forces invaded the Nizam-ruled princely state and annexed it to the Indian Union (on September 17, 1948) was Operation Polo.
- Following that, the Nizam signed an instrument of accession, thus joining India.
- Since then, the day has been observed as regional Independence Day. Telangana’s government observes September 17 as Telangana National Integration Day.