Political Integration Of Hyderabad

Political Integration of Hyderabad

Despite the apparent failure of the Rajkot Satyagraha, it exercised a powerful politicizing influence on the people of the States, especially in Western India. It also demonstrated to the Princes that they survived only because the British were there to prop them up, and thus, the struggle of Rajkot, along with others of its time, facilitated the process of the integration of the States at the time of independence. 
•    Many a Prince who had seen for himself that the people were capable of resisting would hesitate in 1947 to resist the pressure for integration when it came. 
•    In the absence of these struggles, the whole process of integration would inevitably have been arduous and protracted. It is hardly a matter of surprise that the man who was responsible more than any other for effecting the integration in 1947-48 was the same Sardar who was a veteran of many struggles against the Princes. 


•    However, one state — Hyderabad — refused to see the writing on the wall. In terms of both size and population, Hyderabad was India's largest princely state. 
•    The Nizam's domain included three distinct linguistic areas: Marathi-speaking (28%) Kannada-speaking (22%), and Telugu-speaking (22%). (fifty per cent). 
•    Osman Ali Khan, who became Nizam in 1911 and ruled the country until 1948, ruled as a personal autocrat. The Nizam's own estate, the sarf khas, which covered 10% of the total area of the State, was used to pay for royal expenses. Another third of the state's land was held as jagirs by various groups of the rural population, who were heavily burdened by a variety of illegal levies and exactions, as well as forced labour or vethi. 
•    The Nizam's cultural and religious suppression was particularly infuriating to the State's overwhelmingly Hindu population. Urdu was made the official language of the court, and all efforts were made to promote it, including the establishment of Osmania University. Other state languages, such as Telugu, Marathi, and Kannada, were ignored, and even private efforts to promote language education were thwarted. 
•    Muslims were given a disproportionately large share of government jobs, particularly in the upper echelons. The Arya Samaj Movement, which grew rapidly in the 1920s, was actively suppressed, and permission to establish a havan kund for Arya Samaj religious observances had to be sought from the government. 
•    After 1927, the Ittehad ul Muslimin, an organisation based on the notion of the Nizam as the "Royal Embodiment of Muslim Sovereignty in the Deccan," accelerated the Nizam's administration's efforts to project Hyderabad as a Muslim state. The rise of political consciousness and the trajectory of the State People's Movement in Hyderabad must be understood in the context of political, economic, cultural, and religious oppression.
•    The Non-Cooperation and Khilafat Movement of 1920-22, as in other parts of India, was responsible for the first stirrings of political activity. There were reports of charkhas being popularised, national schools being established, anti-drink and anti-untouchability propaganda, and badges containing pictures of Gandhiji and the All Brothers being sold from various parts of the state. 
•    Except in connection with the Khilafat Movement, which could take on a more open form because the Nizam was hesitant to come out openly against it, there were few public meetings. In the' years, public demonstrations of Hindu-Muslim unity were very popular.
•    In the years since, this new awakening has manifested itself in a series of Hyderabad political conferences held at various locations outside of the state. The main topic of discussion at these conferences was the need for a system of responsible government and for basic civil liberties that the State lacked. 
•    People's religious and cultural suppression were also condemned, as were oppressive practises such as vethi or veth begar and exorbitant taxation. Simultaneously, a process of regional cultural awakening began, with the Telengana region leading the way. 
•    The founding of the Andhra Jana Sangham, which later grew into the Andhra Mahasabha, provided a sense of unity to this effort. Initially, the focus was on promoting Telugu language and literature through the establishment of library associations, schools, journals, and newspapers, as well as the promotion of a research society. 
•    Even these activities were targeted by the state, with schools, libraries, and newspapers being closed on a regular basis. Until the 1940s, the Mahasabha avoided any direct political activity or stance.
•    The Civil Disobedience Movement of 1930-32, in which many people from the state took part by travelling to British-controlled areas, accelerated the politicisation process. Many of the younger nationalists in Hyderabad spent time in jail with nationalists from British India, and became involved in the political trends that were sweeping the rest of the country. Their politics took on a new impatience, and the pressure for more aggressive politics grew stronger.
•    In 1937, the Maharashtra Parishad and the Kannada Parishad, the state's other two regions, formed their own organisations. In 1938, activists from all three regions banded together to form the Hyderabad State Congress, a state-wide body representing the people of Hyderabad. 
Political Integration of Hyderabad



A Marathi-speaking nationalist who had given up his studies during the Non-Cooperation Movement, attended a national school and college, worked as a trade unionist in Bombay and Sholapur, and eventually moved to Mominabad in Hyderabad State, where he ran a nationalist-oriented school, was the leader of this Satyagraha. 
•    Swamiji emerged in 1938 as the movement's leader, a Gandhian in lifestyle and a Nehruite in ideology, because the movements older and more established leaders were unwilling or unable to venture into this new type of politics of confrontation with the State.
•    The Satyagraha began in October 1938, with the goal of a group of five Satyagrahis led by a popular leader and comprised of representatives from all regions defying the ban by declaring themselves members of the State Congress. For two months, this was repeated three times a week, and all of the Satyagrahis were imprisoned. 
•    Huge crowds would gather to watch the Satyagraha and show their support for the movement. Hyderabad and Aurangabad, both in the Marathwada region, were the two epicentres of the Satyagraha. 
•    Gandhiji took a personal interest in the developments and wrote to Prime Minister Sir Akbar Hydari on a regular basis, pleading for better treatment of the Satyagrahis and a shift in the government's attitude. And it was at his request that the Satyagraha was called off after two months, in December 1938.


They launched a Satyagraha at the same time as the State Congress Satyagraha, which was largely responsible for this decision. 
•    The Arya Samaj Satyagraha, which drew Satyagrahis from all over the country, began as a protest against the Arya Samaj's religious persecution, and it had clearly religious goals. It also had a tendency to take on communal connotations. 
•    The State Congress and Gandhiji became increasingly concerned that their clearly secular Satyagraha with distinct political objectives was being confused with the Arya Samaj's religious-communal Satyagraha, and that it was therefore best to distance them from it by withdrawing their own Satyagraha. In any case, the authorities were conflating the two and attempting to portray the State Congress as a Hindu communal organisation.


College students in Hyderabad have gone on strike to protest the authorities' refusal to allow them to sing Vande Mataram in their hostel prayer rooms. 
•    Many of the students who were expelled from the Hyderabad colleges left the state and continued their studies at Nagpur University in the Congress-ruled Central Provinces, where they were given shelter by a hospitable Vice-Chancellor. This movement was significant because it produced a young and militant cadre that later provided the activists as well as the movement's leadership.


Ravi Narayan Reddy, who had emerged as a major leader of the radicals in the Andhra Mahasabha and had participated in the State Congress Satyagraha with B. Yella Reddy, was drawn to the Communist Party around the year 1940. 
•    As a result, several of the younger cadres were influenced by the Left and Communists, and these radical elements grew in strength over time, pushing the Andhra Mahasabha toward more radical politics. 
•    The Mahasabha began to take a more active interest in peasant issues. The government used the outbreak of the war as an excuse to avoid making any political or constitutional reforms. 


Swami Ramanand Tirtha and six others personally selected by Gandhiji organised a symbolic protest against the continuing ban. 
•    They were apprehended in September 1940 and held in solitary confinement until December 1941.
•    Gandhiji ruled out resuming the struggle because an All-India struggle was in the works, and all struggles would now be included. 
•    In August 1942, the Quit India Movement was launched, and it was made clear that there was no longer any distinction to be made between the people of British India and the people of the States: everyone in India was expected to participate. 
•    The AISPC met in Bombay in conjunction with the AICC session, which announced the start of the struggle. Both Gandhiji and Jawaharlal Nehru spoke to the AISPC Standing Committee, with Gandhiji explaining the implications of the Quit India Movement and telling the Committee that there would be only one movement from now on. 
•    The movement in the States was now to be about more than just responsible government; it was also about India's independence and the States' integration with British India.


•    Hyderabad, particularly the youth, reacted strongly to the Quit India Movement. Despite the fact that the arrests of the main leaders, including Swamiji, prevented an organised movement from forming, many people across the state offered Satyagraha, and many more were arrested.
•    Sarojini Naidu had been arrested earlier in the day when a group of women offered Satyagraha in Hyderabad city on October 2, 1942. 
•    Gandhi Ka Charkha Chalana Padega, Goron ko London Jana Padega (Gandhiji's wheel must be spun, while the Whites must return to London) became popular slogans. The new atmosphere was hardly short of revolutionary in a state where, until a few years ago, even well-established leaders had to send their speeches to the Collector in advance and accept his deletions. 


•    However, the Quit India Movement also mended the schism that had developed between Communist and non-Communist radical nationalists following the Communist Party's adoption of the People's War slogan in December 1941. 
•    The Quit India Movement was opposed by communists because it contradicted their belief that Britain must be supported in its anti-Fascist war. The young nationalists in Telengana coalesced around Jamalpuram Keshavrao, but a sizable portion defected to the Communists with Ravi Narayan Reddy. 
•    The Communists were also helped by the Nizam's lifting of the CPI's ban, which followed the Government of India's policy of lifting the ban because of the CPI's pro-war stance. 
•    As a result, while the majority of nationalists were imprisoned for supporting the Quit India Movement, the Communists were free to expand and consolidate their support among the people. This process came to a head in 1944, when a split occurred in the Andhra Mahasabha session at Bhongir, and pro-nationalist and liberal elements both walked out and formed their own organisation. 
•    The Communists now controlled the entire Andhra Mahasabha, and they quickly began a programme of peasant mobilisation and organisation. With the end of the war in 1945, the Peoples' War line shifted, and the restrictions on organising struggles were lifted.


•    In various pockets in Nalgonda district, and to a lesser extent in Warangal and Khammam, a powerful peasant struggle grew in the years 1945-46, particularly in the latter half of 1946. 
•    The forced grain levy, the practise of veth begar, illegal exactions, and illegal land seizures were the main targets of attack. Initially, clashes occurred between the landlords' goondas and peasants led by the Sangham (as the Andhra Mahasabha was known), and later, between the State police's armed forces and peasants armed with sticks and stones. 
•    The resistance was fierce, but so was the repression, and by the end of 1946, the severity of the repression had effectively silenced the movement. Thousands of people were arrested and beaten, many died, and the leaders were imprisoned. 
•    Nonetheless, the movement had succeeded in instilling new confidence in the oppressed and downtrodden peasants of Telengana's ability to resist.


•    At a press conference on 4 June 1947, Viceroy Mountbatten announced that the British would leave India for good on 15 August. On June 12, the Nizam announced that he would become a sovereign monarch when British paramountcy expired. 
•    He made it clear that he would not join the Indian Union. From the 16th to the 18th of June, the Hyderabad State Congress held its first open session, demanding accession to the Indian Union and the establishment of responsible government. 
•    The State Congress had also thwarted an attempt by the Nizam to impose an undemocratic constitution on the people a few months earlier, with the full support of the Indian National Congress. They were able to mobilise a large number of people to support their election boycott. They began to take a bold stand against the Nizam's moves, bolstered by their newfound confidence. 
•    The State Congress leaders made the decision to launch the final struggle after consulting with national leaders in Delhi. ‘That (the) final phase of the freedom struggle in Hyderabad would have to be a clash of arms with the Indian Union, was what we were more than ever convinced of,' Swami Ramanand Tirtha wrote in his Memoirs of Hyderabad Freedom Struggle. It would have to be preceded by a large-scale Satyagraha movement.'
•    The outpouring of support was overwhelming, and rallies to defy the bans were held in towns and villages across the state. Workers and students, including 12,000 Hyderabadi workers in Bombay, went on strike. Arrests and beatings were common. 
•    The Nizam outlawed the ceremonial hoisting of the national flag on August 13th. ‘This order is a challenge to the people of Hyderabad, and I hope they will accept it,' Swamiji said. Swamiji and his associates were apprehended in the early hours of August 15, 1947, just days after India gained independence. 
•    Despite the tight security, 100 students rushed out of the Hyderabad Students' Union office and raised the flag in Sultan Bazaar on time. The hoisting of the Indian national flag became the main form of defiance in the following days, and ingenious methods were devised. 
•    Trains carrying national flags would enter Hyderabad territory from India's neighbouring states. Students continued to play a prominent role in the movement, and women, including Brij Rani and Yashoda Ben, soon joined in large numbers. 
•    As the movement grew in strength and momentum, the Nizam and his administration retaliated. The most concerning development was the State's encouragement of the Ittihad ul Muslimin's storm troopers, the Razakars, to act as a paramilitary force to attack the people's struggle. 
•    Razakars were given weapons and sent out into the streets to attack protestors; they set up camps near rebellious villages and carried out armed raids.
•    The Nizam signed a Standstill Agreement with the Indian government on November 29, 1947, but repression continued unabated, and the Razakar threat became even more acute. 
•    Thousands of people who could afford to flee the state were housed in camps on the outskirts of Indian Territory. People resorted to self-defence and defended themselves with whatever they could get their hands on. 
•    The Communists played a crucial role in organising the defence against the Razakars and attacks on Razakar camps, particularly in the Razakar strongholds of Nalgonda, Warangal, and Khammam. Peasants were organised into dalams, given arms training, and mobilised to fight the Nizam. 
•    Many cruel landlords were attacked, some even killed, and illegally occupied land was returned to its original owners in these areas, as part of the movement's anti-landlord stance. 
•    Almost all of the large landowners had fled, and their land was distributed to and farmed by those with small holdings or no land at all. Armed resistance was also organised by the State Congress from camps along the state's borders. Customs outposts, police stations, and Razaicar camps were all raided. 
•    The State Congress was the main vehicle for organising popular resistance outside of the Communist strongholds in Telengana. Over 20,000 Satyagrahis were imprisoned, with many more joining the movement outside. 
•    By September 1948, it was clear that all attempts to bring the Nizam into the Union had failed. The Indian Army arrived on September 13th, 1948, and the Nizam surrendered on September 18th. The Indian Union's integration process had finally come to an end. The people welcomed the Indian Army as a liberation army, one that would put an end to the Nizam's and Razakars' oppression. 
•    There were jubilant scenes all over, and the national flag was raised. The celebrations were marred, however, by the Communists' refusal to lay down their arms and continue the fight against the Indian Union, but that is a long storey that is beyond the scope of our current concerns.
Political Integration of Hyderabad


•    Hyderabad and Rajkot are good examples of how nonviolent mass civil disobedience or Satyagraha, which evolved to suit the conditions in British India, did not have the same viability or effectiveness in the India States. 
•    Even when compared to the conditions prevailing under the semi-hegemonic and semi-repressive colonial state in British India, the political space for hegemonic politics was very small due to the lack of civil liberties and representative institutions. 
•    As in Rajkot, the ultimate protection provided by the British enabled the rulers of the States to withstand popular pressure to a significant degree. As a result, there was a much greater tendency in these States for movements to use violent agitation methods — this occurred not only in Hyderabad, but also in Travancore, Patiala, and Orissa, among other places. 
•    Even the State Congress in Hyderabad, for example, resorted to violent methods of attack in the end, and the Nizam could only be brought to heel by the Indian Army. This also meant that left-wing groups like the Communists and other left-wing organisations, who were less hesitant than the Congress to resort to violent forms of struggle, were placed in a better position in these states and were able to grow as a political force. The states of Hyderabad, Travancore, Patiala, and Orissa all stood out in this regard.
•    The disparities between the political conditions in the United States and British India also contribute to the Congress's reluctance to combine the movements in the United States and those in British India. 
•    In British India, the movement used struggle tactics and a strategy that were tailored to the political situation. Also, political sagacity dictated that the Princes should not be pushed into taking hard stances against Indian nationalism unnecessarily, at least until the political weight of the state's people could counterbalance this.

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