17 September 1948
The Nizam of Hyderabad surrendered his sovereignty of the Hyderabad State to the Indian Union
On 17 September 1948, the Nizam of Hyderabad Asaf Jah VII announced a ceasefire of all military operations against the Indian Army which had entered Hyderabad with the intention of annexing it to the Indian union.
- Hyderabad was the first Indian kingdom to enter into subsidiary alliance with the British government when the Nizam of Hyderabad accepted the subsidiary alliance in 1798.
- Hyderabad was ruled by Nizams who were originally governors/viceroys of the Mughal Empire in Delhi. It became independent in 1724 when the then Nizam Mir Qamar-ud-Din Siddiqi declared himself independent and founded the Asaf Jah dynasty. His descendants were ruling Hyderabad state in 1947 when India became independent.
- When the British decided to leave India, it relinquished all such treaties made with the princely states and gave them the freedom to either join India or Pakistan or to remain independent.
- The Nizam of Hyderabad nurtured hopes of remaining sovereign, or even have some kind of a relation with Pakistan. His kingdom, however, had an overwhelmingly Hindu population of about 85%.
- The newly independent India did not want Hyderabad to remain free as it feared it would lead to balkanization of the country.
- The newly formed Nehru-led government of India wanted to negotiate terms with the Nizam and offered the Hyderabad government a Standstill Agreement. As per this agreement, the Indian government promised not to resort to military action for a whole year and also withdraw troops stationed in Secunderabad. India would take care of Hyderabad’s foreign affairs in the meantime.
- This agreement was violated by Hyderabad who even negotiated with Pakistan.
- In 1948, the then Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel showed his intention to annex Hyderabad and was willing to use force if necessary.
- Although Britain asked India to resolve the matter without the use of force, it refused the Nizam’s pleas of help.
- The Nizam also took the matter to the UN but in vain.
- The Telangana Rebellion, which had started in 1945, also took up the cause of freeing Hyderabad from the Nizam’s autocratic rule. The rebellion which was largely led by communists who were fighting for peasant-rights, was initially against the landlords, but later on targeted the Nizam’s rule as well.
- The Indian army named the operation to annex Hyderabad ‘Operation Polo’. The plan followed was called the Goddard Plan after its architect Lt. Gen. E. N. Goddard. The operation was swift and over within five days. It started on 13 September and ended on 17 September when the Hyderabad army announced a ceasefire.
- Hyderabad had a weak army as only about 6000 of its 24000 men were properly trained and equipped. They were also supported by the Razakars, who were a private militia organised by Qasim Razvi of the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen party.
- On the fifth day (17 September) Major General Syed Ahmed El Edroos who commanded the Hyderabad forces surrendered to the Indian army led by Major General Joyanto Nath Chaudhuri.
- After this, Hyderabad State was merged into the Indian union. It was merged with Andhra State in 1956 and renamed Andhra Pradesh.
Also on this day
1879: Birth of Periyar E. V. Ramasamy, social activist, politician and the founder of the Dravidar Kazhagam. 1915: Birth of famous Indian artist M F Hussain. 1949: The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) was founded. 1950: Birth of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 1965: The Battle of Chawinda fought between India and Pakistan. 1976: The first Space Shuttle Enterprise was unveiled by NASA.
See previous ‘This Day in History’ here.
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