FREEEDOM STRUGGLE IN TELANGANA
The role of the Telangana in the Freedom Struggle was significant and they had always been in the forefront along with the rest of the country. The first rebellion for Independence in 1857 did not affect the state of affairs in the south, though ripples were felt in the State of Hyderabad. But British suppressed the rebellions led by Rohilla and Arab soldiers and the Gonds in the Adilabad district under the leadership of Ramji Gond in 1860. There were occasional rebellions of the peasants here and there, brought out by their dissatisfaction to the forefront. Agriculture became the mainstay of the people, as the cottage industries dwindled due to the deliberate policy of the Government to encourage British industries at the expense of the indigenous ones. The construction of dams across the Godavari and the Krishna in 1852 and 1855 respectively resulted in increasing agricultural production. The emergence of the strong, educated, and confident but dissatisfied middle class seeking equality with the white ruler was seen in the beginning of the twentieth century.
In 1920, when Mahatma Gandhi started non-co-operation movement, it had an immediate response in Telangana. Many lawyers gave up their lucrative practice and many students gave up their studies. In November 1921, the Congress gave permission to the Provincial Committee to start Civil Disobedience, if the conditions laid down by Mahatma Gandhi were fulfilled.
The next episode was the Forest Satyagraha of the ryots. The peasants had to pay heavy tax for permission to graze their cattle in forests. When the crops failed, they decided to send their cattle into the forests. They took the cattle forcibly, confined them in cattle-pounds and refused to free them unless the fee was paid. There was a clash between the cattle owners and the armed police. Gandhiji called off the Non Co-operation Movement due to some untoward incidents.
In 1930, Mahatma Gandhi started his salt-campaign. Telangana region became the venue of memorable deeds of many a young man and woman. The thirties saw the emergence of leftist organizations, which gave a fillip to the progressive trends. The arrest of the leaders in 1942 provoked the masses. The message of the National Congress inspired the people, and they brought the functioning of the Government to a stand still for a few days. Many young students and workers faced the bullets cheerfully.
The Nizam was very anxious to become independent and it had been Nizam's ambition to secure Dominion Status for his State. He tried to achieve this ambitious desire with the help of Khasim Razvi of the Ittehadul Muslimeen and its storm troopers, the Razakars.
The Hindus of the Hyderabad State accounted for 93 per cent of its population. They launched the "Join India" movement with the cooperation of a few patriotic Muslims for the integration of the State with the rest of the country. The State Congress leaders, led by Swami Ramanand Tirtha, whole-heartedly supported the movement. The Nizam banned the State Congress. Its leaders are forced to conduct their activities from places like Vijayawada and Bombay. The Communists on their part organized village defense squads to protect people from the attacks of the Nizam Police and Razakars.
The negotiations between the Nizam's Dominions and the Indian Union proved abortive. The Nizam Government did not agree to the accession to the Indian Union. The activities of the Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen and the Razakars within the Dominions were posing a serious threat to peace and harmony. The growing violence by the Razakars seriously jeopardized law and order.
The Government of India tried to persuade the Nizam to sign the Instrument of accession with India. After tortuous negotiations, the Nizam finally entered into a "Stand Still Agreement" on November 29, 1947, with India for one year to maintain status quo.
This agreement provided the Nizam to gain time to procure military hardware from different parts of the world and smuggle them into Hyderabad. In the meanwhile the Nizam sent a delegation to the United Nations organization to refer the Hyderabad case to the Security Council.
With the growing violence by the Razakars and the Nizam's attempts to get himself independent, the Government of India decided to curb these tendencies by launching a `Police Action' against the Nizam. The Indian Army, led by Major-General J.N.Chaudhuri entered the State from five directions and the military action was a brilliant success. On 18th September 1948, Nizam's forces surrendered to the Indian army and Mir Laik Ali, the Prime Minister of the Nizam, and Khasim Razvi were arrested. On September 23, the Nizam withdrew his complaint in the Security Council. The merger of Hyderabad Dominions into the Indian Union was announced. Major-General J.N.Chaudhuri took over as Military Governor of Hyderabad and stayed in that position till the end of 1949. In January 1950, M.K.Vellodi, a Senior Civil Servant was made the Chief Minister of the State and the Nizam was designated "Raj Pramukh". After the 1952 General Elections, the first popular ministry headed by B.Rama Krishna Rao took charge of the State.