How Hyderabad Nizam’s army unleashed a reign of terror on Hindus

In the Hindu majority Hyderabad, the Nizam had ensured that Hindus didn’t enjoy even the basic fundamental rights. He tried to convert Hyderabad into a sovereign Islamic state. Nizam was a `trusted friend’ even during Lord Reading’s time, and because of the confidence he enjoyed with the British, he started singing `Independent Hyderabad’ tune. But the British government had cleverly placed its officers in critical positions and scuttled the Nizam’s plans.

The people of Hyderabad under foreign-rule in an independent India started agitating for freedom. The Nizam tightened the state machinery and furthered his oppressive dictatorial regime. He roped in the support of radical Islamic organization `Ittehaadul Musalmeen’. This organization started publicizing that `Muslims were rulers and Hindus were the ruled; and Nizam represented the power of Muslims’. This religious organization gave shape to an army of radicalised `Razakars’. The Nizam had brought in Muslims from elsewhere to increase their number.

The Nizam started acquiring weapons clandestinely by airplanes with the help of foreigners like Sydney Cotton. All the factories in Hyderabad state were converted into arms-manufacturing units. The Nizam then entered into a double-game, while at one hand he was building his army, he also started peace negotiations with the government of India. He also started attacking Hindus by spreading hatred against them in the name of religious `Jihad’. Razakars spread terror and fear everywhere by looting people and raping women.

The razakars attacked many villages in Telangana region, looting people, raping women and conducting massacres, and spread the reign of terror. In this atmosphere of fear, people in some places started gathering courage and defied the rulers. As an act of subterfuge, Nizam government then started ‘peace committees’ to mislead Hindus. This was a ploy to fool Hindus, and they showed that Hindu members are also on these committees. For example, in Janagama, Industries department supervisor MN Reddy and Agriculture department supervisor Satthagopacharyulu were part of the peace committee. But if the Hindu members complained against Razakars, their lives were in grave peril.  And the sham became quite apparent, as in the `peace committee’ meeting once, Sri Satthagopacharyulu condemned the extreme atrocities of razakars, the very next day he was dragged to the Janagama road and shot dead.  When MN Reddy complained against Razakars more mildly, he was threatened that he would be killed.

In the town of Thipparthi, Muslim officers used to conduct arms exercises with people, without civil-military differentiation.  They would train Hindus in shooting weaponry, and get them to kill other fellow Hindus. At the same time, the Nizam used to publicize that they would protect people with the setting up of `peace committees’. This founding of `peace’ was so terrifyingly evident, as was illustrated by MN Reddy; he was traveling on the kodakandla-Rangapur road, this area is 6 kms away from Inanoor police station, and he saw five corpses hung on a tamarind tree. He immediately asked the villagers nearby, the bodies are of five Brahmins. A group of seven Brahmins were returning on that road after attending a death ceremony the previous day, they were accosted by a peace-keeping Razakar gang. The Razakars caught hold of all seven Brahmins, two of them fled the scene. They came to the conclusion on their own, that these five persons were government agents. They hung them to the branches of tamarind tree, put a fire beneath them so as not to burn the ropes, and killed them by burning all the five Brahmins alive. The Razakars then left the corpses hanging on the tree to send a strong message to the other Hindus in the area.  The silver waist-ornaments on three of them were twisted and turned black, the silver-coins they obtained from the death ceremony were found in the ashes. The dhotis they wore, and their bodies were charred black, the villagers were terrified and completely shaken at seeing this inhuman ghostly visage.

The evils perpetrated by the brutal Nizam state and Razakars exceeded those of British army officer Neil during 1857 First war of Independence. Neil used to hang Indians to death, he used cannons to fire at them. There were no instances of even Neil burning people alive. The credit for burning people alive goes to Razakars only, even the demons wouldn’t have done such barbaric acts. Razakars and govt staff together used to raid villages and loot them during nights without any qualms. They used to pull and snatch ear-rings and nose rings of women, and used to leave them bleeding. They used to collect the bloodied ornaments and hide them under the tables in MN Reddy’s office, and distributed the loot among themselves in the mornings. There was no use of complaining against such dastardly acts. Hindu officers like MN Reddy were immensely distressed, but were helpless. Even when Hindus condemned such acts, the Nizam government not only justified these acts in the name of emerging agitation and establishing peace, and oppressed the Hindus even more.

Mohammad Ali Jinnah came to Hyderabad in 1947 and made many provocative statements addressing a big public meeting. He said, “We will break the Hindus like chicken necks. We will cut them like radish” which put the Razakars on an even more aggressive mode.