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Majlis-i-Ittehad-ul-Mussulmeen : Hyderabad.
Oct 2012

Asaduddin Owaisi, M.P. recently made a statement in the Lok Sabha that if the Muslim grievances in Assam are not addressed, it will lead to radicalization of Muslims. Shortly, thereafter, there were violent demonstrations in Mumbai and exodus of persons belonging to North East from Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore. Shri Owaisi now leads the Majlis-i-Ittehad -ul-Mussulmeen, Hyderabad.

The write up on the movement that follows is largely based on the writings of K.M. Munshi and V.P. Menon. Both had played an active role in the transfer of power from the British to the Indian hands. K.M. Munshi, the well-known lawyer-Politician was appointed in 1947 as the Agent General of the Government of India to negotiate the implementation of the Standstill Agreement signed between the Government of India and the Nizam of Hyderabad. Sardar Patel was doubtful of the bonafides of the Hyderabad Government. V.P. Menon in his book Integration of the Indian States writes that almost before the ink was dry on the Standstill Agreement, the Nizam's Government issued two ordinances in quick succession. The first imposed restrictions on the export of all precious metals from Hyderabad to India. The second declared Indian currency to be not legal tender in the State. On top of this, Hyderabad had advanced a loan of Rs. 20 crores to Pakistan. 

Munshi in Chapter III, Towards A Muslim State, of his book The End of An Era (Hyderabad Memoirs) writes that when he arrived in Hyderabad, he found that Hyderabad was a battle field for four struggling powers: The Nizam, the Majilis-i-Ittehad-ul-Mussulmeen, the Hyderabad State Congress and the Communist Party of India.

Majlis-i-Ittehad-ul-Mussulmeen : It was founded in 1926 by Mahmud Nawaz Khan. Its objects were to unite the Muslims in the State in support of the Nizam and to reduce the Hindu majority by large scale conversion to Islam. These moves had the blessings of the Nizam. A little later, the Nizam spotted one Bahadur Khan and elevated him to the dignified name of Bahadur Yar Jung and called upon him to lead the Ittehad. To check misrule, in the State the British rulers stepped in. British officials were appointed heads of important departments. The Muslims resented these moves of the British. This led to the birth of the Mulki Movement. The movement inter-alia tried to arrive at a formula that would satisfy Hindu -Muslim interests as well as that of the Nizam and the British. The Ittehad under the leadership of Bahadur Yar Jung became a powerful communal organization. Its main objective was to thwart the political aspirations of the Hindus. He embarked upon an activity for converting the Hindus in certain districts of Hyderabad to Islam. In 1929, the Nizam ordered to ban all political meetings in the States. This ban in practice applied only to Hindus; the Ittehad, as the king's party, was free to do what it liked. Under official pressure Hindus were also prevented from building or repairing temples in any locality where Muslims resided. Hindu temples were often desecrated but the culprits were rarely traced, and if traced, never punished. Hindu religious teachers were prohibited from delivering religious discourses, while the Muslim divines, the members of the Ittehad carried on vigorous campaigns of proselytizing the Hindus.

In 1937 Sir Akbar Hydari was appointed as the Prime Minister of Hyderabad. Though he publically swore by Hindu-Muslim unity, the Government over which he presided strengthened the Ittehad, banned the State Congress and interfered with the religious freedom of the Hindus as never before. Besides pursuing this policy, Sir Akbar lavishly financed the Osmania University. Its primary objects was to attract fanatic Muslim scholars and bring up a race of young educated Muslims indoctrinated with the Muslim Conquistador's spirit.

Gobar-Parast Hindus : A characteristic incident happened at the University in 1939. The Hindu students were prohibited from wearing dhotis and kurtas. They had to wear the dress accepted by the Muslim students. When on Janamashtami day, some students sang Vande Mataram in the Hindu prayer hall, it was locked up and the students were served with an order prohibiting them from singing the song within the University precincts. Those who had sung it were given the alternative to tender an apology or to suffer rustication. As a result about 1200 students were expelled. On the other hand, on the festival of Milad-al-Nabi, the presiding Professor said: I am pained to see the inertness amongst the Muslims, when there still exist 22 crores of gobar-parast (dung worshippers).

Rise of Qasim Razavi : After the death of Bahadur Yar Jung in 1944, Qasim Razvi became the President of the Ittehad in 1946. He was born in Latur, now in Maharashtra. He studied at Aligarh Muslim University. He was the head of the local Ittehad and the legal adviser to a gang of goodas of the town. V.P. Menon writes: The Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen was a Muslim communal organization. Its leader was one Kasim Razvi who combined fanaticism with charlatanry. He had organized a shock brigade called the Razakars. The organization aimed at creating a theoratic and totalitarian State. Militarist demonstrations were a part of their routine. Razvi, of firy eyes and passionate oratory was a fanatic with a single track mind. He believed that his mission was to liberate the Muslims of the Deccan from the Indian Union. The next object was to be the annexation of the Circars, the east coast districts of the Province of Madras to Hyderabad. His Muslims crusaders were then to march to Delhi to replant the Asafia flag on the Red Fort and never were they to rest till �the waves of the Bay of Bengal washed the feet of our Soverign�. He insisted on the right of the Muslim to enslave the Hindu who was no one but a Kafir, and a worshipper of stone and monkey who drinks cow urine and eats cow dung in the name of religion; who is a barbarian in every sense of the word. Within less than a year Razvi had succeeded in becoming an irresistible driving force in Hyderabad leading Nizam to the belief that his cherished aim of becoming independent was almost with in his grasp. Another belief was that once the standard of Muslim domination was used in Deccan, the Muslims of North India would flock to it. Eventually, Hindus would submit to political slavery by agreeing to 50:50, Muslim non-Muslim ratio in the legislature and to the divine right of the Nizam to be The lord and master of all in the State of Hyderabad..

The Razakars : the followers of Razvi enveloped themselves in the cloak of the holy crusaders. �In the name of Allah,� the pledge ran, �I do hereby promise to fight to the last to maintain the supremacy of the Muslim power in the Deccan�. 

Menon writes that around this time, Razvi visited Delhi and had an interview with Sardar Patel, �The moment he started talking I could see that his was a fanaticism bordering on frenzy. He declared that Hyderabad would never surrender its independence. As mentioned above, Razvi had thrown all restraints to the wind and was indulging in most objectable speeches calculated to inflame communal passions both inside and outside Hyderabad. In one of his
speeches he alleged that the Government of India were supplying arms and machines illicitly to the Hindus of Hyderabad; in another speech he declared that the Razakaars were the liberators of the Muslims of India. 

Munshi held a series of meeting with Laik Ali, the Prime Minister, with a view to curbing the activities of the Razakaars but to no avail. Border raids by Razakaars had not stopped. The Government of India suggested that in the interest of peace inside the state and outside its borders, the Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen should be banned and its organizations wound up Menon writes that in a speech on 31st March, 1948, Razvi exhorted the Muslims to march forward with the Koran in one hand and the sword in the other to hound out the enemy. The forty five million Muslims in the Indian Union would be the fifth columnists in any show down. 

In his concluding analysis of the Hyderabad situation, Menon writes : The position that confronted the Government of India was indeed serious. Could they tolerate the growing influence of the Razakars and the Communists? Could they watch with equanimity the incursions into Indian territory and the attacks on Indian trains? Could they continue to be helpless spectators of the expulsion of Hindus from the State, or, in the case of those unlucky enough to remain inside, of their subjection to atrocious treatment? 

It is under these circumstances that Hyderabad was integrated with India in Sept.1948.


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