Accession of Hyderabad and Muslim communalism

The erstwhile princely state of Hyderabad was founded by Mir Qamruudin Chin Qilich Khan, the son of Aurangzeb’s General Ghaziuddin Khan Feroz Jang who claimed his ancestry to first Khalifa, Abu Bakr

Hyderabad was the last remnant of Mughal empire which had a pivotal geopolitical position as it was surrounded by central provinces in north, Bomaby (now Mumbai) in west and Madras (now Chennai) in east and south.

It was a premier state with approximately 16 million people, Rs 26 crore annual revenue and 82000 square miles area and having its own currency. The British administration never treated Hyderabad differently in comparison to other states despite its premier position which the Nizam always aspired for.

The 85% of population of the state were Hindus but they were denied the civil, police and army positions, these were close preserves of the Muslims. Even in 132-member legislative assembly set up by Nizam, Muslims were in a majority.

After the announcement of British Government’s 3rd June plan of formation of two states India and Pakistan, the Nizam of Hyderabad Osman Ali Khan, Asaf Jah VII issued a firmaan, not to send any representative to constituent assemblies of India and Pakistan and become Independent sovereign state.

He sent a delegation headed by the Nawab of Chhatari to meet Lord Mountbatten to discuss the demand of retrocession of Berar to Nizam and grant of Dominion status to Hyderabad.

The Nizam’s both demands were technically declined as Mountbatten opined that Berar was practically integrated with central provinces, therefore any changes in status quo can be changed with the consent of the people of the area. Similarly, Dominion status for Hyderabad was also rejected as Mountbatten said firmly stated that His Majesty’s Government will only accept through either of the two new dominions. These proposals were unacceptable and delegation returned to Hyderabad.

Lord Mountbatten was hopeful for Hyderabad’s accession with India and he pleaded that some extra time should be given to Nizam to educate the 15% minority which was holding the most of top position. On August 8, 1947, Nizam again wrote to Mountbatten to not accede with India but enter to an agreement with India with conditions of almost autonomy as independent sovereign state, specially the demand of privilege of not to align with India in case of any war with Pakistan.

After several round of negotiations, in November 1947, Hyderabad signed a standstill agreement with the dominion of India, continuing all previous arrangements except for the stationing of Indian troops in the state.However, with the rise of militant razakars with whose support, Nizam wanted to establish independent Islamic state, the life of majority Hindus became hell. In order to curve the menace of militant Razakars and Nizam, it became necessary for India to take punitive action against state of Hyderabad in September 1948 leading to surrender of Nizam and sign the final accession with India.

(To be continued)

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