Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hyderabad Liberation Day

Today, Hyderabad celebrates its Liberation Day. While the rest of India got independence on 15th August 1947, Hyderabad had to be liberated from the Nizam Rule on 16th September 1948 - a full 13 Months after Indian Independence.

Sincerely, many Hyderabadis have no idea of this fact as no one is interested with History !!

I actually thought of writing down the history of Hyderabad and then did some googling. I found heck of them already there and so, no point writing them again. The best possible thing to save time is COPY their content here giving the original link so that I wont be going against the copy right laws !! So clever Iam na ??

Link One - Link At Wikipedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The city of Hyderabad is a historic city noted for its many monuments, temples, churches, mosques, and bazaars. A multitude of influences has shaped the character of the city in the last 400 years.

The city is changing its role and outlook as part of the booming service industry revolution, and is trying to preserve and popularize its history.

Before the city was founded

Ancient history

The area around Hyderabad was ruled by the Mauryan Empire in the third century B.C during the reign of Ashoka.

Medieval history

Various Buddhist and Hindu kingdoms ruled the area during the subsequent centuries. The area was ruled by the Kalyani branch of the Chalukya kings. When the Chalukya kingdom became weaker, Kakatiyas, who were feudal chieftains of Chalukya, declared independence and setup their kingdom around Warangal. The fall of Warangal to Muhammad bin Tughluq's forces from the Delhi Sultanate in 1321 AD brought anarchy to the region. For the next few decades, the Bahmani Sultanate of the Deccan fought the Musunuri Nayakas on the north and the Vijayanagara Rayas on the south for control of the region. By the middle of the 15th century, the region was under the firm control of the Bahmani Sultanate which controlled the Deccan north of the Krishna River from coast to coast.

The Qutb Shahis

The Golconda Sultanate

In 1463, Sultan Mohammad Shah Bahmani dispatched Sultan Quli Qutb-ul-Mulk to the Telangana region to quell disturbances. Sultan Quli quelled the disturbance and was rewarded as the administrator of the region. He established a base at Kakatiya hill fortress of Golconda which he strengthened and expanded considerably. By the end of the century, Quli ruled from Golconda as the Subedar of Telangana. Quli enjoyed virtual independence from Bidar, where the Bahmani sultanate was then based. In 1518, he declared independence from the Bahmani Sultanate and established the Golconda Sultanate under the title Sultan Quli Qutub Shah. This was the start of the Qutb Shahi Dynasty. The Bahmani Sultanate disintegrated into five different kingdoms, with the others based in Ahmednagar, Berar, Bidar and Bijapur.

The Founding of a New City

Mohammed Quli Qutb Shah of Qutb Shahi dynasty, built the city of Hyderabad {formerly known as Bhagyanagar} on the Musi River,five miles (8 km) east of Golconda in 1589 and dedicated it to his beloved Hindu wife Bhagyamathi (popularly known as Bhagmathi) He also ordered the construction of the Char Minar, the iconic monument of the city, in 1591, reportedly in gratitude to the almighty for arresting a plague epidemic before it did irreversible damage to his new city. The Purana Pul ("old bridge") spanning the Musi was built a few years earlier, enabling quick travel between Golconda and Hyderabad.

Legend has it that the bridge was built by Mohammad Quli's father Ibrahim Quli Qutb Shah so his son's life would not be endangered when he went to visit his future wife during the monsoon months.

The New City Flourishes

The early history of Hyderabad is inextricably intertwined with the history of the Qutb Shahi dynasty. As Qutb Shahi power and fortune rose during the 16th and early 17th centuries, Hyderabad became a center of a vibrant diamond trade. All seven Qutb Shahi sultans were patrons of learning and were great builders. They contributed to the growth and development of Indo-Persian and Indo-Islamic literature and culture in Hyderabad. Some of the sultans were known as patrons of local Telugu culture as well. During the Qutb Shahi reign Golconda became one of the leading markets in the world for diamonds, pearls, steel, arms, and also printed fabric. In the 16th century the city grew to accommodate the surplus population of Golconda and eventually became the capital of the Qutb Shahi rulers. Hyderabad became known for its gardens (called baghs) and its comfortable climate. Visitors from other lands compared the city most to the beautiful city of Isfahan in Iran.

Mughal conquest and rule

The Beginning of the End of the Mughal Empire

By the mid-17th century, politics in the Deccan were ready for yet another tectonic shift. Mughal prince Aurangzeb spent most of his time in the Deccan fighting local Hindu and Muslim kingdoms to establish and enforce Mughal Sovereignty. The rise of Maratha power under Shivaji kept the Mughals constantly challenged. After the death of Shah Jahan in 1666, Aurangzeb consolidated his power in Delhi as Emperor and returned to the south. He spent most of his imperial reign in military camps in the Deccan, in an almost desperate campaign to expand the empire beyond the greatest extent it had reached under Akbar. The biggest prize in his eyes was the rich city of Hyderabad, protected by the reportedly impregnable fort of Golconda.

Hyderabad Falls to the Mughals

Aurangzeb laid siege to Golconda in 1686. Golconda held fast under months of siege, and Aurangzeb had to retreat in frustration. Aurangzeb returned in 1687 and laid siege for 9 months camping in the Fateh Maidan ("victory field," now the Lal Bahadur Stadium). Local legend has it that the fortress held on, but the gates were opened at night by a saboteur who was bribed by Aurangzeb. Sultan Abul Hassan Tana Shah, the seventh king of the dynasty, was taken prisoner. Hyderabad's independence was eclipsed. Aurangzeb's efforts would turn out largely in vain, with Hyderabad remaining in Mughal hands for less than four decades.

For a few decades, Hyderabad declined, and its vibrant diamond trade was all but destroyed. Aurangzeb's attention moved away quickly to other parts of the Deccan, with the Marathas slowly but steadily gaining ground against the Mughals.

The Asaf Jahis

Viceroys Become Kings

With the emaciation of the Mughal Empire after Aurangzeb's death in 1707, the Mughal-appointed governors of Hyderabad gained more autonomy from Delhi. In 1724, Asaf Jah I, who was granted the title Nizam-ul-Mulk ("governor of the country") by the Mughal emperor, defeated a rival official to establish control over Hyderabad. Thus began the Asaf Jahi dynasty that would rule Hyderabad until a year after India's independence from Britain.

Hyderabad Starts Growing Again

Asaf Jah's successors ruled as Nizams of Hyderabad. The rule of the seven Nizams saw the growth of Hyderabad both culturally and economically. Hyderabad became the formal capital of the kingdom and Golconda, the former capital, was all but abandoned. Huge reservoirs, like the Nizam Sagar, Tungabhadra, Osman Sagar, Himayat Sagar, and others were built. Survey work on Nagarjuna Sagar had also begun during this time.

A Delicate Balancing Game

When the British and the French spread their hold over the country, successive Nizams won their friendship without bequeathing their power. The Nizams allied themselves with each side at different times, playing a significant role in the wars involving Tipu Sultan of Mysore, the British and the French. During the reign of the third Nizam, Sikandar Jah, the city of Secunderabad was founded to station French troops and subsequently, British troops. The British stationed a Resident at Hyderabad and their own troops at Secunderabad, but the state continued to be ruled by the Nizam. Hyderabad, under the Nizams, was the largest princely state in India, with an area larger than England, Scotland and Wales combined. It was considered the "senior-most" princely-state, and within the elaborate protocols of the Raj, its ruler the Nizam was accorded a 21-gun salute. The State had its own currency, mint, railways, and postal system. There was no income tax.

Surrounded, Isolated but well Governed

Although The Hyderabad State was surrounded by The British India, the state was politically isolated from the rest of India. The Nizams were reputed to be autocratic but benevolent rulers. They pledged allegiance to the King of England in order to retain control over their vast dominions. By the 20th century, they had the titles "Faithful Ally of the British Empire," and "His Exalted Highness." A title bestowed on no one else. It was the only Princely state of that size. He was given this title for exemplary administration and the prosperity the State ushered in.

The Last Nizam,Osman Ali Khan

From a bankrupt state The seventh Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan, made it into the wealthiest state in the sub-continent. He was considered the world's richest man (Time cover story Feb. 22, 1937), and he was famous for patronage to learning and institutions. Some eccentricities included the use the 400 carat (80 g) Jacob Diamond as a paperweight.

Mir Osman Ali Khan founded number of institutions the world over including the eponymous Osmania General Hospital and Osmania University -- the first modern university to teach in an Indian language (Urdu and many others). Above all there was total harmony. There was never a riot. People lived in total peace and harmony in the upwardly mobile composite Hindu Muslim fraternal society. The law prevailed. No one including the ruler was above the law and the state and judiciary was separate.

Integration into Indian Union

When India gained independence in 1947, the Nizam declared his intention to remain independent, either as a sovereign ruler or by acquiring Dominion status within the British Empire. In order to keep essential trade and supplies flowing, he signed a Standstill Agreement with the Indian Union which surrounded him on all sides. The law and order situation soon deteriorated, with escalating violence between the private Razakar army fighting for continuation of the Nizam's rule and the people with the support of the Congress leaders like Swami Ramanand Tirtha and the communists of Telangana, were fighting for joining in the Indian Union. As the violence spiraled out of control with refugees flowing into the coastal Andhra region of the Madras state of India, the Indian Government under Home Minister Sardar Patel initiated a police action titled Operation Polo.

On September 16, 1948, Indian Army moved in to Hyderabad State from five fronts. Four days later, the Hyderabad forces surrendered. The number of dead was a little over 800. The Police Action achieved success within a matter of days.

The Nizam finally surrendered and signed the Instrument of Accession to the Indian Union and Hyderabad was integrated into the Indian Union as a state.

Hyderabad State

The state got its first democractic government and the representatives of its 18 million people were admitted to the Constituent Assembly drafting a constitution for free India. For the next eight years, Hyderabad continued as a separate state within the union.

Reorganization of States and Formation of Andhra Pradesh

On November 1, 1956, the states of India were reorganized on linguistic grounds. Consequently, the terrorities of the State of Hyderabad were divided between newly created Andhra Pradesh, Bombay state (later Maharashtra), and Karnataka. Hyderabad and the surrounding areas were annexed into India, and later to Andhra Pradesh based on Telugu linguistic majority, and Hyderabad became the capital of the new state of Andhra Pradesh.

An Article by Mohammad Shafeeq - Painful Memories for Erstwhile Hyderabad State

It's a bloody chapter in Indian history that still rankles those who lived through it. Real freedom for the erstwhile Hyderabad state came 13 months after the country's independence Aug 15, 1947, and that too through a military operation.

Unlike hundreds of other princely states, which immediately merged with the Indian Union after independence, the Nizam or ruler of Hyderabad sought to keep the state independent.

Despite 85 percent of its 17 million population wanting to merge with India, the Nizam was carried away by the rhetoric of a few and decided to take on the might of the Indian Army without realising the consequences for his people.

The climax came to be known in popular parlance as "police action", also called "operation polo". And it is still fresh in the minds of many in the erstwhile Hyderabad state - comprising the Telangana region of the present Andhra Pradesh as well as the Kannada and Marathi-speaking regions of the present states of Karnataka and Maharashtra.

"Hundreds of people were killed in police action. Many districts witnessed the worst communal riots. Wells and fields were filled with bodies. More people were killed in police action than at the hands of (pro-Nizam) 'razakars'," said Jamalunnisa, a freedom fighter belonging to the Communist Party of India (CPI).

An official report said that at least 27,000 people were killed during and after the 'police action'.

With an area of 223,000 sq km, Hyderabad was the largest and perhaps the most developed of all princely states in pre-independence India. Its ruler, Mir Osman Ali Khan, was said to be the richest man in the world.

Osman Ali, who began his reign in 1911, was the seventh and last Nizam of the Asafjahi dynasty (1724 to 1948). Following India's independence and partition, he sought freedom for his state after his proposals for recognition of Hyderabad as an independent constitutional monarchy within the British Commonwealth or merger with Pakistan were rejected.

Almost the entire population of the state's 2.5 million Muslims were for merging with Pakistan while the 15 million non-Muslims, barring a few who enjoyed high positions in the government, were for integration with India.

At that time, Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), a Muslim party, had become a dominant force. Its paramilitary wing, made up of the 'razakars', was blamed for repression on Hindus, especially in remote districts.

"The razakars were also involved in converting Hindus to Islam through allurement," said Narayan Rao Pawar, an Arya Samaj activist who is now 82.

The Nizam had banned political parties but organisations like the Andhra Mahasabha, Arya Samaj, the Hyderabad State Congress and the CPI were carrying on covert activities for the state's merger with the Indian Union.

The peasants of the state had also revolted against the Nizam, who tried to suppress their armed struggle against landlords.

"The razakars used to attack and loot houses and rape women," said Konda Lakshman Bapuji, who was part of the Andhra Mahasabha.

MIM leader Qasim Razvi had become more powerful than the Nizam and his fiery speeches against the Indian Union and its leaders added fuel to fire. Thousands of Muslims who were victims of communal violence took refuge in Hyderabad.

"They were not ready to listen to the voice of nationalist Muslims like Shoiabullah Khan, editor of the Urdu daily Imroz. He was stabbed to death by razakars," said Bapuji, who was then a lawyer in his early 20s.

The repression by the Nizam's Army and razakars forced Arya Samaj activists like Pawar to hatch a plan to kill the Nizam.

"It was around 5 p.m. Dec 4, 1947. His convoy had emerged from his palace King Koti and I hurled a bomb which hit the rear side of the car but exploded only after the car had zipped past the place," he said.

Pawar was tried and after four to five months, the sessions court awarded him the death sentence. He recalled that the Nizam was gearing up for a battle with the Indian Army.

"It was not mere rhetoric by Qasim Razvi. The Nizam was procuring sophisticated weapons. Sydney Cotton (a pilot and arms trader from Australia) used to airdrop weapons in Hyderabad and Warangal. The Nizam was also getting arms from Goa which was under the rule of Portugal," he said.

On the intervening night of Sep 12 and 13, 1948, the Indian Army finally attacked Hyderabad state from five sides. The Indian Army made rapid progress from all sides and on Sep 17, the Hyderabad Army surrendered.

After these events, the Nizam was appointed 'rajpramukh' (constitutional figurehead) of the state by the government of India. He continued in office until 1956, when the state was dismembered pursuant to the linguistic reorganisation of states.

Jamalunnisa, 90, one of the few Muslim women political activists in those days, recalling the 'police action', said: "It was gloom for hundreds of families. Many felt betrayed by the razakars. Several youths recruited for fighting lost their lives.

"The economy was destroyed and hundreds of people fled their villages to save themselves. Many migrated to Pakistan.

"The large-scale communal riots in the north also created a gulf between the two communities which were living in harmony."

Sums up Bapuji, who became a minister after the formation of Andhra Pradesh in 1956: "The Nizam was not a bigot but wanted to protect his rule at any cost. He always sided with the British and when the British left he wanted the state to remain independent."

Another good link:

Hyderabad History

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