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Telangana Liberation – A Peoples Struggle
Memories and Recollections
Sri. Maroju Srihari, (Retd. D.E.O.) Jangaon, Warangal Dt.
After a great struggle and sacrifice of Indian people, the British parliament passed an act. It was the act of independence 1947. According to this act, two separate countries, Indian union and Pakistan came in to existence on 15th August 1947. British declared Independence to more than 500 princely states along with India and Pakistan. These princely states were out side the British Indian Dominion. British gave to these princely states their own independent decision to chalk out their future course. They were left free to join either of the states i.e., India and Pakistan or to remain as separate independent states. Sardar Vallabhai Patel, the then Deputy Prime Minister of India took a stern actions to integrate all the princely states. With a stroke of pen all the princely states except Kashmir, Hyderabad state and JunaGadh, decided to join Indian Union.
The people of Junagadh rose in revolt. The Government of India was forced to take over the control of the Junagadh. Jammu and Kashmir remained as independent state for some time but Pakistan encouraged people in North West and also invaded Jammu and Kashmir at that moment. The Maharaja of Kashmir appeared to Indian union and signed the instrument of accession. . The Indian troops went into Jammu and Kashmir and fought the invading forces, and thus Jammu and Kashmir became part of India.
The state of Hyderabad was very big in area. There were 8 Districts of Atraf Balda, Medak, Nizamabad, Mahabubnagar, Nalgonda, Warangal, Karimnagar and Adilabad districts in Telangana; 6 districts, Aurangabad, Nanded, Beed, Osmanabad, Bidar and Parbhani, Maratwada. Gulbarga and Raichur, 2 districts in Karnataka area. Altogether there were 16 districts. Mir Osman Ali Khan, the Nizam of Hyderabad was the ruler. He was having his own currency, postage and stamps. He had his own railways Nizam state railway (N.S.Railway), Bus services, airport and air-services. He had his own armed forces. The state was rich with abundance of minerals, coal, iron, and other valuable metal reserves, further more he was regarded as the wealthiest king in the world. Keeping in view of all the resources, wealth and abundance of natural resources, the aristocrats, i.e. the Nawabs and Jagirdhars, who were around him provoked and forced the Nizam of Hyderabad to declare independence.
On 15th August 1947, the Nizam declared independence and the yellow coloured flag the Asafjahi Jhanda was hoisted. Though the ruler was a Muslim, the majority of people in the state were Hindus. Obviously majority of the people wanted to join the Indian Union. Sensing revolt from the people, the Nawabs and Jagirdars began to make plans to crush down the upsurge of the people if any.
Laique Ali was the chief minister and he was the mastermind behind the entire aftermath happenings in the state. A private army called "Razakars" was formed. Most of the Muslim youth were enrolled as Razakars and they were given military training. "Khasim Razvi" an High court advocate was made the state leader of the Razakars, Razakars is a urdu word meaning "volunteer". General public in the state were very much disappointed and protested against the imperialism of the Nizam rule. Some people went under ground and fought against the police and Razakars. But the regular police along with the Razakars let loose the terror among the people. There was arson, loot, murder and rapes through out the state. The unrest and upsurge of the people were called disturbances. With the pretext of maintaining peace the regular police and Razakars committed all kinds of atrocities, some of the rich people went out of the state and took shelter in the neighboring states of Indian union. Particularly the people of Telangana area went to Andhra area. The Telangana people, who expected sympathetic treatment from the Andhra people, were greatly disappointed. Instead of showing sympathy and stretching helping hand, they ill-treated them. At every place they were humiliated and insulted. All the essential commodities and foodstuffs were sold to the telangana people at double rates. The house rents were also increased. Thus the telangana people suffered economically and mentally. Here in the towns and cities, the locks of the vacant houses were broken and they were occupied by the Muslims brought from the villages, where there was threat to their lives from the Communists. Almost all the big towns and cities were full of Muslims. The plight of Hindus in these towns was very miserable. There was constant fear and terror and they were living with a danger to their lives. In those days every Muslim even a boy used to say that Hindus were "Gaddar", "Gaddar" is an Urdu word which means, "traitor".
Among the people who remained in their houses the police took some prominent persons in to custody that they thought could organize and create trouble. They were put in jails. In Jangaon also some prominent person like Peddi Narayana, Dr.Shankar Rao, K.P.S.Menon, Arvapalli Narayana, U.V.S.Shastri and Harakari Srinivasa Rao were taken in to custody and put in Chenchalguda Central Jail in Hyderabad. Like wise all over the state police arrested a number of influential and prominent people and put them in central jails. Due to the short of place in jails, the Ajanta and Ellora caves were also made Jails. Dasharathi Krishnama Chari, the state poet was also arrested and kept in the Ellora and Ajanta caves as prisoner, where he wrote his familiar poetic line, "Naa Telangana, Koti Ratanala Veena", such was the patriotism of Telangana people.
During the period of Nizam, there were a number of Deshmukhs, Jagirdars and Jamindars who were familiarly called as "Doras". With the blessings of Nizam Doras enjoyed full powers to rule the villages at their will and they used to collect the land revenue too. All the villagers, living in small huts were either tenants of their lands or workers working in their fields. These Deshmukhs were very cruel, notorious and unkind to the people. The atrocities of these Deshmukhs were no less than the Razakars. Particularly in Telangana Region there were a great number of Deshmukhs, who let loose the terror and violence among the villagers. Hence the people of this region were forced to join the Communist movement only to check and stop the atrocities of these "Doras".
In old Jangaon taluk there is a village named Visnoor, where Rapaka Ramachandra Reddy was the Deshmukh. There were 60 villages under his control. He built a big bunglow with the free labor of the villagers. Nothing was paid to the workers. It is called "Vetti". The workers and other villagers rose against the Deshmukh. They could not tolerate the atrocities of the Deshmukh and his hench men. There was a fierce battle between his men and villagers. Many villagers were seriously injured and "Doddi Komaraiah" was killed. At that time the Andhra Mahasabha led the people movement. They held a big rally in Jangaon town and arranged seminars and meetings for three days where "Doddi Komaraiah gate" was erected in his memory. Many leaders like Ravinarayana Reddy, Baddam Ella Reddy, Arutla Ramchandra Reddy and his wife Arutla Kamala Devi and Arutla Laxminarasimha Reddy spoke. They described Visnoor Deshmukh as "Kaliyuga Ravanasoor". Slowly the struggle started by the common people of the region against the imperialism, started bending towards communism. Thus communism got its birth in this area mainly because of Visnoor Deshmukh.
During the period of Razakars i.e. after the Nizam of Hyderabad declared independence the entire state of Hyderabad was caught in fear and terror and full of disturbances every where. At that time lakhs of Muslims came to Hyderabad in special trains from Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Orissa. They were all uneducated workers land laborers. Their clothes were shabby and dirty. They were called " Phanagazeen". It is a urdu word meaning "refugees". So the entire responsibility of their rehabilitation fell on the state administration. The Nawabs, Jagirdars and Deshmukhs took some of these refugees to their areas and looked after them. They were given food and shelter. These refugees were also given the army training and they were also supplied guns and made Razakars. These refugees were used to crush the peoples struggle and upsurge.
Babu Dora was the elder son of Visnoor Deshmukh. He was very cruel and notorious. He took hundreds of these refugees to Visnoor and kept them under his control. They not only guarded the Deshmukh building but let loose terror and committed atrocities among the villagers Babu Dora along with the armed gang of these refugees used to go to some villages and harassed the villagers. Every day Babu Dora killed one or more persons wherever he went. In Devaruppula village three persons were burnt alive. He was so notorious that he made some of the women dance naked. Villagers were very much afraid of this Babu Dora. So the Communists of this area fought against these forces. Under this Visnoor Deshmukh there was one village named "Kadavendi". A youth by name "Nalla Narsimhulu" of this village became the leader of Communists of this area.
All the Deshmukhs and police personnel were afraid of Nalla Narsimhulu. They could not get sound sleep to hear his name. Gabbeta Tirmal Reddy and his brother Madhav Reddy were also organizers of Communists and fought against the feudalists and their atrocities. Arutla Ramchandra Reddy and his wife Arutla Kamala Devi, and Arutla Laxminarsimha Reddy organized the Communist Dalams in Alair and Bhongir area. All these leaders had to go under ground and organized armed dalams and fought against the police and Razakars.
To counter the uprising of the people in Jangaon area, a special Deputy Collector was posted at Jangaon. He was given extra-ordinary powers and the armed special police battalions to crush the peoples upsurge and to maintain peace, law and order in this area. In Jangaon, just behind our house there was a private Muslim doctor, by name Azeejullah. He was well versed in Telugu language. He used to tell Harikathas in Telugu. Azeejullah was made leader of Razakars in Jangaon. The deputy collector used to go to one or two villages every day along with special police and Razakars with the pretext of maintaining peace in the area. Doctor Azeezullah, the leader of the Razakars used to give lectures in Telugu supporting to the government and to eliminate the Communists who were regarded as unsocial elements.
Whenever the villagers heard the sounds of approaching trucks and lorries the men and youth used to run away from their houses without even caring for their children and women. They used to run away in to the fields and forests to save their lives. The villagers who ever remained in villages were gathered at central place and enquired as to who gave food and shelter to the Communists, and then police took such people under their custody. Meanwhile the Razakars attacked the houses and took away all the costly and useful articles, most of the villagers were beaten and killed and the women were humiliated, insulted even some were raped. There was arson, loot, murder and rape wherever the Razakars went. The police use to take some of the youth to taluk headquarters i.e. Jangaon and they were beat and tortured for some days and lastly they were taken out side Jangaon town and shot dead at a small hillock called "Pottigutta”. The dead bodies were left in the open place to rot and were eaten away by beasts and vultures. There was evil smell of the dead bodies around the Jangaon town. The regular police and Razakars under the direction of government officers and the deputy collector committed all these atrocities.
On the other side whenever the Communists entered the villages they also used to enquiry as to who gave information to the police. They used to beat them and took them out side the village and sometimes even killed them. The people in the villages were living in the state of terror and fear feeling threat from both sides i.e. the police and Razakars on one side and Communists on the other side. Their plight was very miserable.
In every state there was a representative of Indian government called resident. Sri K.M.Munshi was the resident on Hyderabad state. He stayed at Thirumalagiri near Bollaram. There was some Indian army with him. Indian government received the reports from Sri K.M.Munshi that there was complete break down of law and order in the state and people are agitating against the Nizam government. But the state government sent contradicting reports stating that there were no disturbances at all in the state. There was perfect peace and no reasons for the Indian government to doubt the Hyderabad state authority in maintaining the law and order .
Villagers in the state particularly in Jangaon taluk was very much vexed with the atrocities of the police and Razakars. There is a village named Bahiranpalli in Jangaon taluk. This village had a "Buruj" built of mud and stones and it was in the centre of the village. By standing on the "Buruz" one can see all around the village. So they employed some youth and kept them on this buruz to guard day and night with guns. They kept watch on borders of the village. They used to fire from the top of "Buruz" and prevented the police and Razakars and even Communists. Thus they protected themselves and saved lives of their children and families.
The deputy collector of Jangaon one day went to this village along with his armed special police and Razakars as a routine of his mission to maintain peace among the villagers, when the guards on the "buruz" of village saw the vehicles of the police and Razakars, they started firing. The police also fired at the "buruz" but could not break it. Further the police and the Razakars could not go even a step forward and counter the incessant firing from the guards of the village. The deputy collector felt humiliated and went back to Jangaon. He sent a wireless message to Nalgonda, the district head quarters. In his message he stated that a few villages at Bahiranpally area are acting as the centers of Communist activity. They have built a strong "Morchas" and also strong-armed men to fight against the government forces. He also requested to send some additional forces with strong machine guns and cannons.
The next day additional special reserved police with military trucks, guns and cannons arrived at Jangaon on 27th August 1948. The deputy collector went to village of Bhairanpally along with his special police battalion and Razakars. At first the police surrounded the entire village so that no one can run out of the village. Then they fired the cannons aimed at the buruj. At once the upper part of the buruz collapsed and the guards on it had to run away from there. Then the police and Razakars entered the village and killed all the youth and men leaving only the children, old men and women. The entire village was full of blood and dead bodies. It was a mass killing. It reminded of the massacre of Jallianwalla Bagh in Punjab on 13th April 1919, where more than 1000 men were killed and several thousands got wounded. It was the most uncivilized atrocity. The Govt. of India got the reports of this massacre committed by the regular police. Sardhar Vallabhai Patel sent a warning to the government of Hyderabad state. He stated that the state government failed to maintain the law and order in the state and its people were put to many unseen and unknown troubles and many people were killed. So the government of India was forced to send its own army to the state of Hyderabad to maintain the law land order to save the lives and properties of the common people. If the state government tried to prevent the army from entering in to the state the army will take action and use force. The state government of Hyderabad protested and countered that the Government of India was having a false report. There are no disturbances in the state. There is complete peace and law and order is fully maintained.
But at zero hours on 13th September 1948, the Indian army started moving in to the state on all sides. On the same day two fighter planes came to Mamnoor police camp and bombed the Aerodrome so that no plane from out side can come and land there. When the army from eastern side came to Khammam, the Razakars went in side the fort and closed the doors and fired on the Indian troops from inside the fort. Two bombers fighters came and bombed the fort from above. Thus the Indian troops advanced from all sides and major general J.N.Chowdhary who advanced from Maharashtra side could reach the Hyderabad on 17th September 1948 and made the Nizam of Hyderabad to declare that he is joining the Indian union. Thus the Indian government took over the control of the administration of the state on 17th September 1948. That is the day Telangana has been liberated.
Major General J.N.Chowdary was made the military administrator of the state. The state of Hyderabad was under the military rule for one year. Even after the military took over the administration of the state, the Communist who went under ground did not stop their movement to fight against the imperialism of the Deshmukhs. Nalgonda and Warangal districts were declared disturbed areas and General Nanjappa was appointed special officer for these two districts. He was given extraordinary powers to crush the Communist movement. Many Communist leaders were taken as prisoners and presented before the court for legal proceedings. Nalla Narasimhulu the Communist leader who terrified the Deshmukhs and Nizam was arrested and presented before the court. After the trial for few years in different courts the Supreme Court acquitted him finally. He continued as the leader of the Communist party and lived in Jangaon till his death. Gabbeta Tirumal Reddy who was also arrested but was killed by the army in a fake encounter. Arutla Ramachandra Reddy and his wife Arutla Kamaladevi and Arutla Laxminarsimha Reddy were arrested and after the trials in the court they were acquitted. Charabuddi Jagga Reddy father of Sri Charabuddi Dayakar Reddy, the present Chairman of the C.D.R.Hospital Hyderabad was also an under ground Communist leader. He was also arrested and after the trial in the court he was acquitted. Ravi Narayana Reddy, Baddam Yella Reddy and Govind Rao Sharab were the leading Communist leaders. They contested the general elections and won the elections. Arutla Ramachandra Reddy and his wife also contested and represented the Communist party in the assembly. Sri Ravi Narayana Reddy contested parliament elections and won the Nalgonda parliament seat with highest number of votes in whole of India. Thus the under ground movement of Communist came to an end. Magdoom Mohiuddin a Communist and a well known journalist won MLA seat from Jangaon. The Communists left the armed struggle and started participating in the mainstream political process and contested the assembly and parliament elections. The underground movement of armed struggle came to an end once forever.
Jai Telangana Jai Jai Telangana
Maroju Srihari (Retd. D.E.O),
Jangaon, Warangal Dt.