Telangana Liberation Day: BJP Hits Out At TRS For Not Celebrating It
The BJP, which has been demanding Telangana government to officially celebrate 17 September as ‘Telangana Liberation Day’, will be holding a public meeting in Warangal on Saturday to be addressed by party president Amit Shah.
The ruling TRS called the demand to declare official celebration on 17 September as “divisive" and accused the BJP of disturbing communal harmony in the new state.
Here are things to know about ‘Telangana Liberation Day’ and why the TRS is wary of declaring it officially, a promise made by its CM KCR, during the statehood movement for Telangana.
Significance of 17 September
On 17 September 1948, Indian armed forces took control of the princely state of Hyderabad in a “police action", ending the 200-year-old Nizam rule and merging the vast Hyderabad Deccan region that comprised present-day Telangana, parts of Maharashtra and Karnataka into India.
The day is communally sensitive
The Nizam who was a Muslim ruler conferring powers to feudal landlords, who in turn exploited the masses, urdu was encouraged over native Telugu as a medium of instruction and in administration, making education and jobs inaccessible to locals.
The freedom movement too had an impact on the Hyderabad state as the Congress and the Communists became politically active opposing Nizam’s rule.
The Communists led a popular resistance called Telangana peasants’ armed struggle starting from 1946 against the feudal landlords and the Nizam’s rule.
India gained independence on 15 August 1947, and the Nizam, already weakened by the peasant revolt was under intense pressure by India to accede Hyderabad.
Qasim Razvi became increasingly influential during the last years of Nizam’s rule organized private militia called Razzakars, who feared the end of Muslim rule in Hyderabad and terrified people by looting, killing, and rape for speaking-up against the Nizam’s rule.
The “police action" was followed by unprecedented communal violence in Hyderabad targeted against Muslims. Large sections of the Muslim elite and middle class migrated to Pakistan and other countries, leaving behind their properties and many lost jobs. The events after the action have left deep scars on Hyderabad Muslims.
In 1956, the Telugu-speaking districts of Hyderabad state were merged with AP, while Marathi and Kannada-speaking districts were clubbed with Maharashtra and Karnataka, respectively.
Previous governments were silent Telangana liberation day
The liberation day is celebrated officially in Karnataka and Maharashtra, but the governments of combined AP remained silent as they feared antagonizing Muslim minorities in Telangana.
Most people of the state consider this day as a historic day, but each had a different understanding as per their ideology.
BJP taking up the demand in a big way
The demand for declaring 17 September as ‘Telangana Liberation Day’ or Telangana Vimochana Dinotsavam was nothing new, the BJP and the Sangh Parivar affiliates have been raising the demand even in the combined state of AP.
Districts in Maharashtra and Karnataka celebrate the ‘Liberation Day’ and the BJP wants the KCR government to do the same.
KCR also promised to celebrate ‘Telangana Liberation Day’ officially. The BJP calls KCR’s backtracking of his promise as political expediency and minority appeasement.
What is TRS’s stand?
The TRS remained silent declaring an official celebration on 17 September, continuing the policy of erstwhile AP.
“We say it’s a merger day, not a liberation day," said Kalvakuntla Kavitha, TRS MP from Nizamabad and daughter of Telangana CM KCR.
“It’s not a day to bring any differences between Hindu and Muslim communities in Telangana society," Kavitha added.