Hyderabad 1948: India's hidden massacre

Discussion in 'Religion & Culture' started by pmaitra, Sep 24, 2013.

  1. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Hyderabad 1948: India's hidden massacre

    By Mike Thomson | Presenter, Document, Radio 4 | BBC

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    When India was partitioned in 1947 about 500,000 people died in communal rioting, mainly along the borders with Pakistan. But a year later another massacre occurred in central India, which until now has remained clouded in secrecy.

    In September and October 1948, soon after independence from the British Empire, tens of thousands of people were brutally slaughtered in central India.

    Some were lined up and shot by Indian Army soldiers. Yet a government-commissioned report into what happened was never published and few in India know about the massacre. Critics have accused successive Indian governments of an ongoing cover-up.

    The massacres took place a year after the violence of partition in what was then Hyderabad state, in the heart of India. It was one of 500 princely states that had enjoyed autonomy under British colonial rule.

    When independence came in 1947 nearly all of these states agreed to become part of India.

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    But Hyderabad's Muslim Nizam, or prince, insisted on remaining independent. This outraged the new country's mainly Hindu leaders in New Delhi.

    After an acrimonious stand-off between Delhi and Hyderabad, the government finally lost patience.

    In addition to their desire to prevent an independent Muslim-led state taking root in the heart of predominantly Hindu India was another worry.

    Members of the powerful Razakar militia, the armed wing of Hyderabad's most powerful Muslim political party, were terrorising many Hindu villagers.

    This gave the Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, the pretext he needed. In September 1948 the Indian Army invaded Hyderabad.

    In what was rather misleadingly known as a "police action" the Nizam's forces were defeated after just a few days without any significant loss of civilian lives. But word then reached Delhi that arson, looting, and the mass murder and rape of Muslims had followed the invasion.

    Determined to get to the bottom of what was happening, an alarmed Nehru commissioned a small mixed-faith team to go to Hyderabad to investigate.

    It was led by a Hindu congressman, Pandit Sunderlal. But the resulting report that bore his name was never published.

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    Pandit Sunderlal's team concluded that between 27,000 and 40,000 died

    At each one they carefully chronicled the accounts of Muslims who had survived the appalling violence: "We had absolutely unimpeachable evidence to the effect that there were instances in which men belonging to the Indian Army and also to the local police took part in looting and even other crimes.

    "During our tour we gathered, at not a few places, that soldiers encouraged, persuaded and in a few cases even compelled the Hindu mob to loot Muslim shops and houses."

    The team reported that while Muslims villagers were disarmed by the Indian Army, Hindus were often left with their weapons.

    In some cases, it said, Indian soldiers themselves took an active hand in the butchery: "At a number of places members of the armed forces brought out Muslim adult males from villages and towns and massacred them in cold blood."

    The investigation team also reported, however, that in many other instances the Indian Army had behaved well and protected Muslims.

    The Sunderlal team visited dozens of villages throughout the state.

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    The Nizam of Hyderabad was a powerful prince. In this picture taken in 1899, the Nizam, Mahbub Ali Khan, and his party pose with tiger skins.

    The backlash was said to have been in response to many years of intimidation and violence against Hindus by the Razakars.

    In confidential notes attached to the Sunderlal report, its authors detailed the gruesome nature of the Hindu revenge: "In many places we were shown wells still full of corpses that were rotting. In one such we counted 11 bodies which included that of a woman with a small child sticking to her breast.

    And it went on: "We saw remnants of corpses lying in ditches. At several places the bodies had been burnt and we would see the charred bones and skulls still lying there."

    The Sunderlal report estimated that between 27,000 to 40,000 people lost their lives.

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    A Shiite shrine built by the seventh Nizam to perpetuate his mother's memory

    No official explanation was given for Nehru's decision not to publish the contents of the Sunderlal report. Though it is likely that, in the powder-keg years that followed independence, news of what happened might have sparked more Muslim reprisals against Hindus.

    It is also unclear why, all these decades later, there is still no reference to what happened in the nation's school books. Even today few Indians have any idea what happened.

    The Sunderlal report remains elusive, although, unknown to many, it is now open for viewing at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library in New Delhi.

    There has been a call recently in the Indian press for it to be made more widely available, so the entire nation can learn what happened.

    It could be argued this might risk igniting ongoing tensions between Muslims and Hindus.

    "Living as we are in this country with all our conflicts and problems, I wouldn't make a big fuss over it," says Burgula Narasingh Rao, a Hindu who lived through those times in Hyderabad and is now in his 80s.

    "What happens, reaction and counter-reaction and various things will go on and on, but at the academic level, at the research level, at your broadcasting level, let these things come out. I have no problem with that."

    Source: BBC News - Hyderabad 1948: India's hidden massacre
     
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  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Is this a case of the Empire striking back?

    It requires no second guess as to whose policies caused the communal divide, the Partition, the carnage that followed and the hatred between communities, some of it still oozing in the society!

    Let the British not take the moral high ground.

    Remember Malaya?
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2013
  4. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The years of pre Partition, Partition and immediate post Partition were years when Gods and Men went crazy.

    There was a macabre Method to the Madness.

    Remember Noakhali or the Great Calcutta Killings?
     
  5. maomao

    maomao Veteran Hunter of Maleecha Senior Member

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    VK Singh went against Con-gress and con-gress till date could not do anything to the Gen. Hence, to teach budding officers a lesson ( and make them fall in line for the con masters) malign the whole army by activating con's proxies in various media houses, BBC is no different.

    In the end, Nehru's dream of disbanding Indian armed forces will shape a reality under the able leadership of Mr Raul gandhi vincci!

    P.S: Since medevial times, muslims have massacred Hindus in millions that too without any provocation in the form of Jihad and punishing the kaffir for no reason....so what?
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2013
  6. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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    The sequence of events was:
    • The Muslim elites terrorized and marginalized Hindus, who were heavily taxed, including Jizya (it's how Hyderabad could gain a significant Muslim population, by converting scores of downtrodden Hindus)
    • During the parlays that led to the partition, Nizam had failed to covert enough Hindus to Muslims, to warrant portraying Hyderabad (the state) as similar to East Bengal
    • In the chaos of partition, the Nizam expressed an affinity for Pakistan, and wanted to join Paki dominion
    • As India began encircling Hyderabad, imposing an economic blockade, and geared up for its first incursions, Nizam ordered his unofficial/informal private army, the Razakars, to go on an open-season against Hindus. Scores lost their homes, wives, daughters, to barbarism rivaled only by the "Rape of Bangladesh."
    • After Nizam's government fell, there was a justifyable backlash against Razakars, sympathizers and collaborators of Nizam's government (which by the way, included Hindu doras)
    Hindus of Hyderabad (today's North-West Karnataka, Marathwada, and Telangana) pride ourselves with the great success of our insurgent movement. Today's sickularists have no perspective or moral right to judge what our ancestors did, and what made them do what they did. India achieved its independence through non-violence, Hyderabad through violence. We're a battle-hardened people, and agitation against injustice is in our DNA.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2013
  7. Tolaha

    Tolaha Senior Member Senior Member

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    BBC wonders why our history books don't talk about this! Indian history books barely covers the atrocities committed by anyone, even the foreigners. As for the British, they do start showing their sensitive side after they wash-off their hands from any country.

    That would be North-East Karnataka.
     
  8. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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    My bad, yes. I meant Bidar, Gulbarga, Yadgir, and Raichur.
     
  9. dhananjay1

    dhananjay1 Regular Member

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    BBC just can't help spewing hatred of Hindus in anything they write. It's amazing how Brits have managed to completely forget their role in encouraging Hindu-Muslim violence. It's as if they had no role whatsoever in the partition and creation of Pakistan. These people had carted away as much wealth from India as possible and then they had the nerve to tell Indians that they didn't have enough manpower to manage the migration of people during 'partition'. They were happy to dump thousands of Brits in India during the one and a half century of British Raj, but couldn't wait for few more days to clear off. They had no problem in providing British soldiers in middle east and Africa at the time, but no 'manpower' to deal with the refugees in India. Now their descendants write hateful articles about 'savageness of communal Indians' and there would be thousands of brain dead coolie Indians who would happily agree with them.
     
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  10. dealwithit

    dealwithit Regular Member

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    I hear stories told by my grandmother That our grandfather used to stay outside the village during night for the fear of Rajakars

    During Kasim Rajvi period.. at no countable account of Hindu Murders or Executions occurred..

    His only ambition is that Hyderabad state should be totally Islamised.. who ever opposed is punished to death..

    Targets where High class families..... who refused to convert.. people suffered so badly in the rule of Nijam..

    some say nizam is not cruel ...but he allowed cruel people to rule his State..


    Whatever .. The thing done by Indian army is shameful..
    no one knows what they have seen on those days,, while entering into state of Hyderabad,,,
     
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  11. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Will BBC do a documentary on the atrocities by the British in India?

    It is time the Indian Govt funds one!

    But will those western lackeys as MMS and Khurshed allow it?

    I am sure Mickey Manish and Silky Kapil; will conjure some good reasons why it should not be done.

    And that Chidmanbaram, the fudge master, will not release funds claiming onion prices have gone uyp and so no tear jerkers!
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2013
  12. desicanuk

    desicanuk Regular Member

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    As you sow so shall you reap.Indian Muslim rulers hands are far more stained with blood than Hindus.Wonder if there are plans at the Bush House to produce a documentary about the disappearing Hindus of Pakistan.In pre-partition days the region now called Pakistan had a Hindu population of between 15 - 20% of the total.To-day its less than 3%.More than half the population of Karachi was Hindu.To-day almost zilch.In terms of actual numbers of misssing Pakistani Hindus a conservative estimate would be 25 million people - massacred ,driven out,forcibly converted etc etc.The muslim population of India on the other hand is thriving at an official estimate of around 14%.This figure is probably understated for years by Congress led governments.Time to get real .One common law for all.No pampered minorities.And please stop blaming the Brits for all our ills.
    Its our stupidity,corruption,lack of pragmatism etc that has led to the mess we are in.Contrary to accepted British view it was not Robert Clive who laid the foundation of British Empire in India - rather it was was Mir Jaffer.We are the author of our misfortune.
     
  13. civfanatic

    civfanatic Retired Moderator

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    The rebellion against Nizam by the peasants of Telangana started even before 1947, and its origins have little to do with the Pakistani movement. It was initially a rebellion against the oppressive feudal deshmukhs/zamindars/doras of the region which then became a larger struggle against the Nizam's regime. It was because of this feudal structure that a small Muslim elite could dominate the region in the first place.

    Telangana was one of the few regions in Indian history which saw a successful peasant rebellion against an Islamic regime. Such rebellions did not happen in the North Indian Indo-Gangetic Plain, which was ruled continuously by Muslims from the 13th to the 18th century. I am planning on opening a separate thread on the Telangana Sayudha Poratam, which is truly one of the most remarkable and underrated episodes in Indian history.
     
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  14. civfanatic

    civfanatic Retired Moderator

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    తెలంగాణ
    The man who laid the foundation for the British Empire in India was Aurangzeb. The same man who won the Anglo-Mughal War of 1686-1690 enabled the British to take over the subcontinent after his death. His policies led to the disintegration of a centralized pan-Indian state, and the creation of a power vacuum which was filled by the British corporate mafia (aka East India Company).
     
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  15. pankaj nema

    pankaj nema Senior Member Senior Member

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    Revenge is the Purest Emotion : Mahabharat
     
  16. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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    I know that. Our insurgency dates back centuries. I'm talking about the exact event that led to the backlash against Muslims after Nizam's government fell (the Razakar open-season against Hindus, when Nizam saw that an Indian invasion was imminent).

    Looking forward to contributing to that.
     
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  17. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    My maternal grandfather said once that before Independence day under Nizam rule, when they saw a razakar (nizam police) on a horse, they used to run and hide in the farms. That's how scared the people were of these razakars due to continued oppression under Nizam rule. Remember, there was no british rule in Hyderabad only a cantonment in Secunderabad to collect its 'hafta' from nizam.
     
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  18. drkrn

    drkrn Senior Member Senior Member

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    can you add more on bold part
     
  19. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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  20. parijataka

    parijataka Senior Member Senior Member

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    @tarunraju, part of the reason N Karnataka is backward compared to rest of the state is it was ruled by Nizam. While the Mysore Maharaja was building colleges , dams , irrigation canals and power plants in his area, Nizam ruled area was stagnating.

    I am assuming similar reasons for Telangana being backward compared to rest of Andhra which was under Madras state.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
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  21. dhananjay1

    dhananjay1 Regular Member

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    Interestingly the general backwardness in the Karnataka and Andhra could be clearly seen in the region north of the old Vijayanagara border.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
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