'British royally cheated Nizams'

HYDERABAD: The accession of Hyderabad State to the Indian Union and the Kashimir issue were trajectories of the partition and the huge violence of Operation Polo could have been avoided, said eminent constitutional expert and historian AG Noorani on Friday.

Addressing a gathering of mediapersons at the release of his book 'The Destruction of Hyderabad' at Jubilee Hall, Noorani said that the seventh Nizam of Hyderabad Mir Osman Ali Khan was given advice prejudicial to the interests of Hyderabad State by Mohammed Ali Jinnah. "Hyderabad State had less autonomy than other states. The British government cheated the Nizam throughout. They would offer him protection after taking land. They took away Berar and the Circar districts. The Nizam was not allowed to appoint a prime minister without the consent of the Viceroy," said Noorani.

Informing that his book carries the entire text of Pundit Sundar Lal Committee report which has remained out of public view for a long time, he said, "Operation Polo which was wrongly named as Police Action led to the large scale massacre of Muslims in Hyderabad State."

He pointed out that the Mohammad Ali Jinnah had given to the Nizam advice which was not in the interest of Hyderabad but of Pakistan. In November 1947, when Lord Mountbatten suggested that a plebiscite in Hyderabad, Kashmir and Junagarh be conducted to resolve the issue of accession, Jinnah wanted Hyderabad to be kept out of it.

Bringing out the ideological differences between Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Noorani noted that while Nehru was a secular nationalist, Patel was a 'quintessential Hindu nationalist' who perceived Hyderabad as a Muslim state and Kashmir a Hindu state. This, Noorani claimed, led Patel to soften his stand on the latter.

"Patel attacked Maulana Azad in a speech in 1948 and invited the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the Hindu Mahasabha to join the Congress," he said. Nehru admired Hyderabadi culture and the graces of the Urdu while Patel hated them as 'alien', Noorani claimed.

"In my book, there is no hero. The only heroes are the people of the rich composite culture and the people of the erstwhile state of Hyderabad," Noorani said.

Noorani pointed out that the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) did not keep the Razakar movement alive. It died with the departure of Qasim Razvi to Pakistan where he 'became a tout, leading the life of a miserable man'.