Year-long commemoration of 75 yrs of 'Hyderabad State Liberation' inaugural event Sep 17

(Eds: Adds Culture Ministry statement)
    New Delhi, Sep 3 (PTI) The Centre has planned year-long celebrations to mark 75 years of 'Hyderabad State Liberation' with Home Minister Amit Shah as chief guest at the September 17 inaugural event, Union Culture Minister G Kishan Reddy said Saturday.
    Reddy has written to the chief ministers of Telangana, Karnataka and Maharashtra, inviting them to the inaugural programme at the Hyderabad Parade Grounds.
    "I am happy to inform you that the Government of India, after careful consideration of the various aspects, decided to celebrate 75 years of Hyderabad State Liberation. The Government of India has approved the year-long commemoration of 'Hyderabad State Liberation' from Sep 17, 2022, to Sep 17, 2023," Reddy wrote in the letters dated September 3.
    He has also requested the three chief ministers – K Chandrashekar Rao of Telangana, Basavaraj Bommai of Karnataka and Eknath Shinde of Maharashtra – to observe the inaugural day of commemoration with suitable events in their states.
    "I would also request you to identify events and commemorations throughout the year and share these plans with the Government of India so that a holistic approach can be taken in planning the year-long commemorations," Reddy wrote.
    The State of Hyderabad which was under Nizam's rule was annexed into the Union of India after a police action codenamed 'Operation Polo' that culminated on September 17, 1948.
    Reddy, an MP from Secunderabad, tweeted that the inaugural programme will be held "under the aegis of the Ministry of Culture" and "will showcase the lives and sacrifices of people who fought against the atrocities of Nizam and the Razakars".
    "The celebrations will be a fitting tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and all others who sacrificed and contributed during the liberation struggle," he also tweeted and shared an archival image of the last Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan with Patel.
    In his letter to the three chief ministers, Reddy wrote, "As you are aware, when India became Independent in 1947, although 562 princely states announced the merger into the Indian Union, there was resistance from the erstwhile state of Hyderabad."
    "On September 17, 1948, more than one year after India secured Independence from the British, the erstwhile state of Hyderabad, comprising the entire state of Telangana and some districts in Maharashtra and Karnataka, got Independence from the brutality and tyranny of the Nizam's rule".
    This was possible due to the swift and timely action of Sardar Patel under 'Operation Polo', he said.
    "While the states of Maharashtra and Karnataka already commemorate this day as Marathwada Liberation Day and Hyderabad-Karnataka Liberation Day respectively, the 75th year celebrations give us a unique opportunity to celebrate it across the three states in a manner befitting the sacrifices made by the previous generations.
    "The objective is to make the current generation, both from the region under consideration and the rest of India, aware of the story of resistance, valour, and sacrifice," the Union minister said.
    The BJP has been demanding that September 17 be officially celebrated as Liberation Day. Assembly polls in Telangana are due next year.
    Addressing a public meeting – 'Vijay Sankalp Sabha' – at the Parade Grounds in Hyderabad in July, Amit Shah had said the BJP after coming to power in the state will celebrate Telangana Liberation day officially which the Rao-led government “failed” to do.
    Shah had alleged that KCR, as Rao is popularly known, never celebrated Telangana Liberation Day because he is afraid of AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi.
    Owaisi on Saturday said he has written to Shah asking him to use the phrase 'National Integration Day' rather than mere "liberation".
    Recalling Hyderabad's revolutionary fighters Turrebaz Khan and Maulvi Alauddin's sacrifices against British rulers, Owaisi said Hindus and Muslims of the erstwhile Hyderabad state were advocates of a united India under a democratic secular and republican government.
    "It must be noted that the accession and merger of various princely states were not only about liberating the territories from autocratic rulers. More importantly, the nationalist movement rightly saw the people of these territories as an integral part of Independent India. Therefore, the phrase 'National Integration Day' may be more apposite, rather than mere liberation," he said in the letter.
    Telangana, with its capital at Hyderabad, was carved out of Andhra Pradesh in 2014. BJP leaders have been hoisting the national flag on September 17 to mark what they call Telangana Liberation day.
    "On September 17, 1948, more than a year after India secured Independence from the British, the state of Hyderabad got its independence from Nizam's rule," the Culture Ministry said in a statement later.
    "History is replete with illustrations of struggles in the entire freedom movement including the struggle of Ramji Gond against the British; the fight of Komaram Bheem; the valour of Turrebaz Khan in 1857 who wanted to hoist the Indian national flag on the residence of the British Resident Commissioner at Koti in Hyderabad city," it said.
    The struggle became "vociferous" after India's Independence. With the spontaneous participation of people chanting Vande Matram and with the demand for the merger of the Samsthan into the Indian union, the struggle transformed itself into a massive people's movement, the ministry said.
    "The State of Hyderabad under the Nizam included the whole of current day Telangana, the Marathwada region in Maharashtra that included the districts of Aurangabad, Beed, Hingoli, Jalna, Latur, Nanded, Osmanabad, Parbhani and districts of Kalaburagi, Bellary Raichur, Yadgir, Koppal, Vijayanagara and Bidar in current day Karnataka," the statement said. PTI KND NSD

(This story has not been edited by THE WEEK and is auto-generated from PTI)