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Freedom Struggle in Telangana ఆగస్ట్ 15, 2008

Posted by Telangana Utsav in Culture, Hyderabad, politics, Telangana.
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Freedom struggle in Hyderabad

Staff Reporter , The Hindu

 

HYDERABAD: The idea of freedom for old generation Hyderabadis differs vastly from the broad one prevailing all across the nation. Having seen or participated in the Telangana Armed Struggle, they can not readily associate the word ‘freedom’ with August 15 as they do it with September 17, the day the Princely State of Hyderabad was united with the Indian Union through police action.

 

Though the Telangana Armed Struggle has the highest recall value in Hyderabad, it could not have really taken off had there been no moorings in the nation-wide struggle for self rule. However, with the movement lacking support from the ruling Nizam, the situation here was entirely different from the general scenario in other princely states. Lack of momentum was also due to the large scale illiteracy and poverty in Telangana region where 80 per cent of the rural population was landless. The land was concentrated in the hands of Nawabs, Jagirdars, Deshmukhs, and Landlords and the general public was under constant repression.

 

Nevertheless, the nationalist movement had branched off to Hyderabad State as well. A State Congress did exist, but stayed out of harm’s way by considering the national movement only against the British and not against the princely States. It did not win the support of the Nawabs who wanted the status quo to continue. The State Congress, then populated by Arya Samajis, was given very limited social activity.

 

Setting up of Andhra Maha Sabha in 1920s allowed the literate people, Telugu speaking middle class, intellectuals and small businessmen to have a common platform where they could exchange views about literature and social issues. Madapati Hanumantha Rao, the eminent educationist was the first President of the Andhra Mahila Sabha. However, they could not go any further or announce their political agenda as the activities of the organisation were under constant watch by the Nizam’s police. The organisation received a booster in terms of Independence aspirations with Ravi Narayana Reddy becoming its member and later President.

 

Ravi Narayana Reddy’s first presidential speech at Andhra Maha Sabha was about international politics and demand for democratisation. It attracted young and radical elements to rally around the communists. Even prior to Ravi Narayana Reddy assuming the leadership of Andhra Maha Sabha, there was a student rebellion in the backdrop of ‘Vandemataram’ movement of 1938.

 

Contrary to the wishes of the students of Osmania University, orders were issued by the authorities proscribing the singing of the national song inside the university or hostel campus.

 

The students, upon being forced to vacate the hostels, rose up against the order. P.V.Narasimha Rao, who was to become the Prime Minister of India later was one among the expelled students. Others included Tiruvarangam Hayagrivachari, and Arutla Ramachandra Reddy. The students were praised for their patriotism by the likes of Jawaharlal Nehru, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, and V.D. Savarkar.

 

The leadership of the Hyderabad State Congress till then dominated by Hindu religious forces from Aryasamaj and Hindu Maha Sabha, turned more nationalistic after the arrival of Swami Ramanand Tirtha. Designated as the President of the State Congress in 1946, he attracted many young men who would later play prominent roles in independent India. PV Narasimha Rao, SB Chavan, Veerendra Patil, and Marri Channa Reddy were notable among them.

 

When it became clear that the British would leave the country, a resolution was passed at a social session of the Hyderabad State Congress in May 1947, towards accession of the princely state to the Indian Union. The session saw the initiation of ‘Join India Movement’ led by the likes of Swamy Ramananda Thirtha, Burgula Ramakrishna Rao and others who sat on Satyagraha and got arrested.

 

People who wished to be part of Independent India observed the Join India Day on August 7, 1947.

 

Their desire to hoist the National Flag on August 15 was not indulged by the Nizam who, not very keen on losing his stranglehold over the region, declared independence from the British two days before on August 13. Notwithstanding the restriction, the Tricolour fluttered across different streets in Hyderabad on the Independence Day. Swamy Ramananda Thirtha hoisted the flag at Sultan Bazar.

 

The struggle was later taken over by the Telangana guerrilla movement in full throttle, which ended with the Indian Army led by Gen.J.N.Choudhari entering the state and overseeing the surrender of Nizam’s army. By 1950-51 the guerilla action had considerably degenerated.

 

(With inputs taken from www.aicc.org.in, ‘Telangana People’s Struggle and Its Lessons’ by Puchchalapalli Sundarayya, and www.suravaram.com)

 

 

source: The Hindu, 15 August 2008

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