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Issue No.: 570 | December 2014
 

When the Princely State of Hyderabad was integrated into the Indian Union

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"On April 30, 1948, the Indian Army withdrew fully from Hyderabad. After that, Rizvi and the Razakars began to behave licentiously all over the state. Mountbatten had left and Rajaji was the Governor General. Nehru, Rajaji and Patel were all aware of the dangerous situation prevailing in Hyderabad. Patel believed that the army should be sent to put an end to the Nizam’s wantonness. At about that time, the Nizam had sent an emissary to Pakistan and transferred a large sum of money from his Government account in London to Pakistan. At a cabinet meeting, Patel had described these things and demanded that army be sent to end the terror-regime in Hyderabad. Nehru, who usually spoke calmly, peacefully and with international etiquette, losing his composure said, ‘You are a total communalist. I will never accept your recommendation.”

"Patel remained unperturbed but left the room with his papers.

"The situation in Hyderabad worsened day by day. Rajaji wanted to find a solution to the basic issue and also conciliate between Nehru and Patel. He called V. P. Menon and talked to him. Menon let Rajaji know that the army was being kept battle-ready and could be asked to attack at any time. Rajaji invited Nehru and Patel to come to Rashtrapati Bhavan (then the Governor General’s House) next day. Menon was also asked to be present. As Menon was on his way to Rashtrapati Bhavan for the meeting, an ICS officer named Butch (from the State Home Ministry who had conducted discussions for integration of Travancore and Kochi) stopped him and handed over a letter. It was from the British High Commissioner protesting the rape of seventy year old nuns of a convent two days earlier by Razakars. Menon handed over the letter to Rajaji when he arrived for the meeting.

The meeting at Rashtrapati Bhavan began after Nehru and Patel arrived. Rajaji in his typical style described the situation in Hyderabad. He felt that, to safeguard India’s reputation, a decision should not be delayed any longer. Nehru was concerned about international repercussions. Rajaji then played his trump card – the letter from the British High Commissioner. Nehru read it. His face turned red and veins bulged on his bald head. Anger choked his words. He shot out of his chair, slammed his fist on the table and cried out, ‘Let’s not waste a moment. We’ll teach them a lesson.’

Rajaji immediately told Menon, ‘VP, inform the Commander-in-Chief to proceed according to plan’

Menon conveyed the order to General Bucher. Nehru sat with his head in his hands. He drank tea and remained silent. Rajaji smiled and said: ‘If it is cancer, it has to be removed, even if it is painful.’

From M. K. K. Nair's book titled "The Story of an Era Told without Ill Will”
Contributed by Srinivasan Varadarajan. 
alamelousvr@gmail.com
 
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Obituary

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