Hyderabad Liberation Day

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    Syllabus: GS1/Post India Independence

    Context:

    • September 17, 2023 marks the 75th anniversary of the accession of Hyderabad (a princely state) into the Indian Union.

    Background:

    • Hyderabad, in 1947, the largest of the Princely States, comprising present-day Telangana and parts of Karnataka and Maharashtra.
    • The seventh Nizam Mir Usman Ali, ruler of Hyderabad, was then the richest man on the planet.

    In August 1947:

    • As the British prepared to leave India, the provinces were given the option of joining either India or Pakistan, or remaining independent.
      • While most provinces on the Indian side of the border acceded, some harboured dreams of independence.
      • Most significant among these were Jammu and Kashmir in the North, and Hyderabad in the south.
    • In 1947, Home Minister Sardar Patel asked to join India, but it was refused by the Nizam. Instead, he declared Hyderabad as an independent nation.
    • The Nizam wanted an independent status for Hyderabad and signed the Standstill Agreement with India in November 1947 for a year while negotiations with the Indian government were going on.
    Standstill Agreement:

    – It can effectively stall or stop the process of a hostile takeover if the parties cannot negotiate a friendly deal. 
    – The Nizam nominated a three-member team to negotiate a Standstill Agreement, which was signed on November 29, 1947 by Governor General Lord Mountbatten and Nizam Osman Ali Khan, had following features:
    1. It is valid for one year;
    2. Foreign Affairs, Defence and Communications were under India’s control;
    3. Domestic affairs were under Nizam’s control.

    Revolt and Razakars:

    • As early as on August 7, 1947, the Hyderabad State Congress had launched a satyagraha for democracy in the province.
      • In the rural areas, a Communist-led peasant movement, against large landholdings, forced labour and excessive tax collection, was gaining strength.
    • The Nizam responded by unleashing a para-military force, the Razakars, on the people.
      • The atrocities and communal nature of the Razakars against non-Muslims and opponents of the Nizam had no bounds.
    • In response, the Union government had to order the army to tackle the situation on September 13, 1948, under Operation Polo.
    Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel (1875-1950):

    – Leader of the freedom movement, and a Congress leader;
    – Follower of Mahatma Gandhi;
    – Deputy Prime Minister and first Home Minister of independent India;
    – Played an important role in the integration of Princely States with India;
    – Member of important committees of the Constituent Assembly on Fundamental Rights, Minorities, Provincial Constitution, etc.

    Source: IE