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Feb 2015

 On the morrow of Independence in 1947 two definitive books were published on the integration of Indian states into the Indian Dominion. First came V.P. Menon's volume, The Story of the integration of the Indian States and later The End of An Era (Hyderabad Memoirs) by K.M. Munshi who had played an important role in the accession of Hyderabad to the Indian Dominion. On 3rd June, 1947, Viceroy Mountbatten made an announcement to the effect that the British would relinquish power on August 15,1947. On 2nd July the Viceroy convened two conferences: one headed by Gandhi and his advisers and the other of Jinnah and his supporters. The aim was to draft Indian Independence Bill so as to convert India and Pakistan into self governing Dominions.  India became a Rebublic on 26th January, 1950.

The draft Independence Bill as already passed by the British Parliament had stated that the British had acquired Paramountcy over the Indian states through historical causes; that is, by war and diplomacy. Now that the freedom was envisaged for India, Indian Princes were delivered from their obligation to the British Crown.  The liege Lord (The British Crown) in honour bound was setting his bondsmen free. Taking advantage of this historical setting, the Nizam wished to make Hyderabad an Independent Islamic State. At that time, Hyderabad State had a population of 160 lakhs; of this 86 percent were Hindus and 12 percent Muslims.

On June 11, 1947, the Nizam by a Firman declared his intention of assuming the status of independent sovereign on August 15,1947. On August 27, the Nizam by his Firman declared that on August 15, 1947 he had assumed the status of an Independent sovereign.

Standstill Agreement 1947: On 29 November, 1947 a one year's Standstill Agreement Interim between India and Hyderabad was reached. Sardar Patel in his statement to the Constituent Assembly expressed the hope that the Standstill Agreement would pave the way for permanent accession of Hyderabad to the Indian Dominion. The Nizam, however, was determined to maintain himself he status of an Independent sovereign.  On 10th January, 1948, Lord Mountbatten, told K.M.Munshi: Kasim Razvi, the President of the Ittehad-ul-Mussulmeen and leader of Nizam's storm trooper corps, was pledged to maintan Muslim supremacy in the Deccan… Once the Nizam leaves Hyderabad and comes, say, to Delhi, he will sign the Instrument of Accession.  Than we can deal with Razvi.

Mir Osman Ali Khan, the seventh Nizam had become the ruler of the state in 1919.  In 1926, he asserted his claim to be independent in the internal affair of the state.  Lord Harding, then Viceroy of India in his famous letter of March 27, 1926 'told the Nizam that in clear terms that the doctrine of Paramountcy was paramount; it was not derived from any treaty but from the right and duties of the Government of India.  

The Nizam was a very ambitious man, and his one aim was to convert Hyderabad into an Islamic State.  Munshi in his Memoirs records:  The rural areas were 95 percent Hindu in population. After two centuries of subjection, the Hindu in the state has generally developed the under-dog mentality. It was found even in the rank of the highly educated Hindus. None of them dared to point a finger at the Nizam or Muslim officers or at the Muslim community. In private, the Hindus were bitter beyond description Hyderabad, according to Munshi, was a battle field of four struggling powers; the Nizam; the Majlis-i-ittehad-ul-Mussalmeen, the Hyderabad State Congress and the Communist Party of India.

Interaction between Sardar Patel and Kasim Razvi : This is what transpired when Razvi met Sardar Patel, accompanied by Joshi, a Minister in Nizam's government.  Joshi made a namaskar and smiled humbly.  Razvi came in, and giving a nodding salam to Sardar, took a chair. 'well' asked the Sardar, ‘what do you want?  Razvi broke the silence by saying, ‘I want a change of heart from you' Sardar remarked, A change of heart is only necessary for one whose heart is full of poison ‘why do not you let Hyderabad independent”? asked Razvi. ‘I have conceded to Hyderabad what I did not concede to any other state’ returned Sardar. ‘But I want you to understand the difficulties of Hyderabad,’ pursued Razvi. I do not see any difficulty unless you have come to an understanding with Pakistan was Sardar's reply. If you do not see our difficulties, we would not yield. cried Razvi. We shall fight and die to the last man for Hyderabad. How can I stop you from committing suicide if you want to? Sardar blandly replied. You do not know the Muslims of Hyderabad, repeated Razvi. We shall sacrifice anything for our independence. Razvi now began a hysterical tirade on the shedding of blood for the Deen and the Millet. Sardar  listened in silence and said “I would advise you to see the sun before it is too late. Do not plunge into darkness while the light is still visible.”

Views of V.P. Menon : 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 theocratic and totalitarian State.  Militarist demonstrations were part of their routine.  April 1948, in his speech Kasim Razvi indulged in a good deal of saber-rattling and urged the Muslims of Hyderabad not to sheath their swords until their objective of Islamic supremacy had been achieved.  He exhorted them to march forward with the Koran in one hand and the sword in the other to hound out the enemy.  But the most sinister part of the speech was his declaration that the 'forty-five million Muslims in the Indian Union would be our fifth columnists in any show-down.

Views of A.G. Noorani :  An eminent Muslim scholar, in his book The Destruction of Hyderabad has written the following about MIM:

The Majlis-e-Ittihad-ul-Muslimeen, established in 1927, outgrew its original confines. This was largely due to the charismatic personality of its new leader, Muhammad Bahadur Khan ennobled as Nawab Bahadur Yar Jung.  The Majlis' transformation under his leadership completed the process of polarization.  Its policy had no room for democratic governance based on majority rule.  His biographer Ghulam Mohammad has spared himself no pains in tracing the course of his career, his politics and its main spring, a deep commitment to Islam.  An industrious, indefatigable organizer, he was beyond a doubt the most gifted orator in Urdu of his times.  There were many orators then:  Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and the Ahrar leader Ataullah Bukhari.  He outshone them…

A three-year-long tour of Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Afghanistan fortified him in his firm conviction that tabligh is obligatory on every Muslim (to preach his faith and convert unbelievers to Islam… Bahadur Yar Jung responded by mobilizing Muslims around the Nizam, but not for his sake. He advocated an Islamic State with the Nizam as a Sultan, bound to govern according to the sharia…  

On 31 May 1941 Bahadur Yar Jung went further:  The reason why I am willing to sacrifice myself for the throne and crown of the Asafias and for their royal power is that I look upon this power as a symbol of the power of the Islamic community…

So confident had he become that at the turn of the year 1940-41, Bahadur Yar Jung began to have a short statement of faith (kalima) recited at all the meetings of the Ittehad: “We are the king of the Dekkan. H.E.H.'s throne and crown are the symbols of our political and cultural domination. H.E.H is the soul of kingship, and we are the body of his kingship. If we were no more, we would cease to exist, and if we were no more, he would cease to be.'  This credo was called ‘An-al-Malik’ by its initial words.  In November 1941 Mir Osman once again declared his support for the Ittehad, recognized the loyalty of Bahadur Yar Jung by a firman and in an audience presented him and the secretary of the party 'in token of their services' with a set of gem studded buttons.

Mohammad Hyder of the Hyderabad Civil Service writes: My impression of Qasim Razvi was far from edifying…a man who, according to reports that were current about him, had amassed a fortune in shady dealings.  I once spoke to Nawab Bahadur Yar Jung about this when he visited Nanded in 1943. The Nawab had assured me that Qasim Razvi had changed after joining the Majlis.  I noted that he said Qasim Razvi had changed; he did not deny his past.  .

Noorani quotes a cable sent by Jawaharlal Nehru to Krishna Menon on the havoc created by Razakars in the state. In Nehru’s words:situation inside state is getting intolerable. Razakars stopped train the other day and attacked and looted passengers. Large parting of villagers moving in bullock carts from interior of state to seek shelter in our territory was attached; men folk were beaten up and women abducted… they reveal mounting brutality by Razakars and consequent anarchy.

Muslim demand for special treatment
As for the hue and cry about the backwardness of Muslims that Muslim intellectuals make day in and day out it is they themselves who are solely responsible for their present condition. They have absolutely no case for any special treatment vis-à-vis the Hindus of India.  Professor Cantwell Smith, a reputed American scholar of Islam has written… by voting for Pakistan's establishment, over against all other offers, the present Indo-Muslim as it were explicitly rejected all  claims to special status in the new India, and almost could be seen as rejecting all claims to any status at all. (p.267 Islam In Modern History by Wilfred Cantwell Smith OUP, 1957)


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