July 10, 2012

Liberation of Hyderbad - How Nizam to tried to be Third Dominion - APPSC G1 Mains - Paper 3

The desire of the last Nizam to force India to accept a second partition, after the birth of Pakistan, make Hyderabad the third dominion of the sub-continent, and the dream of building an Islamic nation alongside Pakistan, remained only a dream, and his revolt against the mighty Indian Government ended in a whimper.

The Nizam was a man of dreams. At one stage, he even negotiated with Portugal to take Goa to open a naval front, and sent the Commander-in-Chief of his Army, El-Edroos, to purchase arms from Czechoslovakia to fight the invincible Indian Army. But all his plans did not materialise, and his feeble resistance ended within five days after a column of the Indian Army marched into the Nizam-held areas in September 1948.

The Nizam also tried to seek Pakistan's support, but they came to an end after Mohammed Ali Jinnah declared that he would not "endanger Pakistan for a handful of effete nobility". Despite this, the Nizam and his cohorts were under an illusion that Pakistan would be forced to come to their aid if the Indian Government declared war against Hyderabad.

Incidentally, India timed the "Police Action" against the Nizam a day after Jinnah died on September 12, 1948. The timing of the Indian strike took not only the Nizam but also his supporters in Pakistan, and the British by surprise.

The end of the Asaf Jahi Dynasty also signalled the end of the resistance by the princely states against the merger with the Indian Union. When the Mountbatten Plan was announced on June 3, 1947, the Nizam made known his plans through a "firman" (order) issued on June 11, 1947, that Hyderabad was entitled to assume the status of an independent sovereign state on August 15 and when an Indian Independence Bill was introduced in British Parliament on July 9, the Nizam took serious exception to it, and sent a protest note to Lord Mountbatten accusing the British of "forsaking" an old ally.

As the day of Independence neared, the voice of the Nizam grew shrill and, at one stage, he decided to associate himself directly with Britain rather than be forced to join either India or Pakistan. He also made a futile attempt to send a delegation to U.K. and the U.S. to clinch a defence treaty with them.

At the farewell banquet given to British residents on August 14, 1947, the Nizam declared: "It is still my desire, and the desire of Hyderabad, to remain within the family of nations known as the British Commonwealth."

He further said: "When the British go from India, I shall become an independent sovereign."

The violence and attacks on pro-India forces in Hyderabad on August 15, 1947 in which people celebrating the country's freedom were baton charged and fired upon forced the Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, to express his indignation in the Constituent Assembly on August 29.

Although the Nizam denied any disrespect having been caused to the national flag in the violent incidents on August 15, he said through another "firman" issued on August 27 that on August 15 he had assumed the status of an independent sovereign.

Perturbed over the moves of the Nizam to seek the intervention of the UNO in declaring himself independent of the Indian Union, the increasing attacks by the Razakars, the private army of the Nizam, and the intention of the Nizam to revolt against the Indian Union, the Home Minister, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, ordered the "Police Action" on September 13, 1948.

Exactly after four days and 13 hours, the Nizam announced a ceasefire, even before the Indian Army led by Major-General J.N.Choudhury entered the capital, Hyderabad.

Though the official celebration of the liberation of Hyderabad from Nizam's rule on September 17 in Gulbarga, Bidar, Raichur, and Koppal districts has kicked off a row, the fact that the region was liberated and merged with the Indian Union is a momentous event for those who had to suffer untold misery during the oppressive Nizam's rule.


No comments: