Hyderabad: September 17 is observed variously in Hyderabad. For a lot of people it is the day when the ‘rule of the Nizam’ ended and Hyderabad State formally became part of Indian Union. For a whole lot of others a new era of peace and democracy dawned this day 73 years ago. There are also those who mournfully say in the wake of the so called Police Action tens of thousands of Muslims were massacred and their women dishonoured, particularly in the Marathwada and Karnataka regions of the Nizam’s Hyderabad State.
There are at least two historians in Hyderabad who say that it was the end of tyranny unleashed by the Razakars (Volunteers or Swayam Sevaks) and the Communists on the general public.
Dr. Inukonda Thirumali and Prof Bhangya Bhukya are unanimous in saying that soon after the ending of the Operation Polo (Police Action), General J N Choudhury called on the Nizam at his King Kothi Palace and declared that his rule has been cleared off all the troublesome elements.
That in other words would mean that the Indian army entered Hyderabad with a well thought out plan in place to clear on the way “undesirable elements” such as the Razakar Chief Qasim Razvi and Prime Minister Laeq Ali who they allege was working hands in glove with the Razvi.
In the recent times the narrative about the Police Action has begun to change, especially after Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao began talking positively about the rule of the Nizam and narrating his positive contributions to the development of Telangana.
Dr Thirumali quotes Gen J N Choudhary as saying to Mir Osman Ali Khan, after the end of Operation Polo, “HEH, You continue to be the Nizam of Hyderabad.”
The Nizam was then recommended to issue firmans (royal decrees). The first firman was that the Hyderabad State will go to elections soon and the second one was that Hyderabad State has become part of Indian Union, Thirumali quotes from his research work.
He is of the view that Nehru wanted the Nizam to continue until the process of integration of his State with Indian Union was completed. On November 24, 1949 it was declared that now Hyderabad State was part of the Indian Union. M K Vellodi, a senior civil servant, was made the Chief Minister of Hyderabad State on January 26, 1950, the post in which he continued till March 6, 1952.
Lord Mountbatten was curt when the Nizam through Prime Minister Laiq Ali reminded him that he was the king of Hyderabad under the paramountcy of the British Crown. To this Mountbatten said that India has only one king, all others are princes, no more. He also told him that Hyderabad State cannot remain independent.
Thirumali who has written at least four books on various dimensions of Hyderabad State and later Telangana narrated the story of Mohammad Ali Jinnah visiting Hyderabad to meet the Nizam. Jinnah was made to stay in the Royal Hotel at Nampally somewhere in August (before the declaration of independence of India). After keeping him in the wait for a couple of days at the hotel the Nizam agreed to meet him at the intervention of some nobles.
Though, there was no provision for any visitor to sit on a chair before the Nizam, but Jinnah was given an exception. He was offered a chair to sit down facing him. After talking for a while the Nizam made it clear that he was the king of both Hindus and Muslims, not any one community.
Meanwhile, Jinnah took out a cigar and wanted to light it. The other act of Jinnah that offended the royal sensibilities was that instead of sitting straight on the chair Jinnah tried to make himself comfortable by crossing one leg over the other.
The Nizam did not like the attitude of Jinnah and ended the meeting abruptly.
That was the end of any further speculation about Hyderabad State joining Pakistan.
According to some other sources when the details of this meeting were reported to Sardar Patel, he jumped with joy and said that it was time for India to bring the Nizam under its influence.
According to Thirumali, Nehru wanted to rope the Nizam into Indian governance by making various offers that included making him the vice president of the newly independent country. But somehow nothing worked.
In spite of the bloody Police Action the Indian government treated the Nizam with respect and agreed to many of his demands. None of his close aides or relatives was arrested; he was allowed to keep his assets and peace was maintained in Hyderabad City. A document known as Blue Book was prepared in which it was clearly said whatever property or assets mentioned in that document will belong to the Nizam. The contents of the book were approved by the Indian parliament.
Finally, after about a year or so the Nizam started to work in the new avatar of the Raj Pramukh (Governor) of the Hyderabad State. He continued to work in that position until he himself decided to quit on November 1, 1956 when a new State of Andhra Pradesh came into being.
Mir Ayoob Ali Khan is a seasoned journalist who has worked with the Times of India, Deccan Chronicle and Saudi Gazette for about four decades.