The politics of the present day must be focused strongly on the future. Today’s leaders must think of ways to make our present, and our future, the tomorrow that will be more glorious and better. Political parties fighting over policies, programmes, schemes and activities that will make our people happier, more secure, freer, prosperous and developed, with everyone enjoying higher standards of life, access to all basic needs would be welcome.
But the last fortnight, Telangana fought over the past. Over 74 years ago, a fascinating chapter of India’s independence and unification into a modern nation was scripted, when the Iron Man of India, and its unifier on the historical scale of a Garibaldi or Bismarck — Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel — brought Hyderabad state into the Union.
It is ridiculous to try to whitewash history. Or change the states motivations, character, politics and proven actions of its dramatis personae to suit current-day narratives.
Sardar Patel had no option left but to use military might to bring the truant Nizam of Hyderabad to his knees. The action, known as Operation Polo, was aimed at completing the nation, with the Sardar having united over 850 princely states into the Union.
Its purpose was national integration but the action before Hyderabad could be integrated into India was of liberation. The Nizam and his tyrannical Razakar force had unleashed an array of unforgivable crimes of oppression and heinous attacks on the common people.
As the Indian Army entered the state, and finally the capital city, the fighting people of Hyderabad queued to wave at their liberators, and celebrate their freedom. Hyderabad became free, unlike the rest of India, a year, a month and two days later.
The BJP has been for long seeking and demanding the celebration of September 17 as a liberation day. The TRS has promised to do so once Telangana was formed but went back on its promise, creating a political fault line to be president exploited.
The BJP, which had earlier promised to start the celebrations after it came to power in the state, decided to use the Central government to go ahead with it this year, ahead of a crucial and potentially tight election to state Assembly next year.
The TRS refused to be part of the BJP event, and created its own parallel one; but with an entirely different nomenclature and narrative.
The stand of the MIM chief and Hyderabad parliamentarian Asaduddin Owaisi was the bravest — he not only publicly acknowledged the Hyderabadi public desire in 1948 to join India but also condemned the Nizam and the Razakars.
It was a brave acknowledgement wherein lies the scope for future reconciliation.
Let us stop distorting history for our petty political needs.