In 1947, the Indian subcontinent was partitioned into 2 countries- India and Pakistan, with India meant for Hindus and Pakistan for the Muslims. The British gave the remaining princely states a choice to merge with either unions or stay independent. One of the largest princely states within the Indian union was Hyderabad, a Hindu-majority region ruled by a Muslim Nizam.
The Nizam of Hyderabad, Mir Osman Ali Khan, was in a dilemma on whether he should join the Indian union or stay independent. On the other hand, the Majlis-e-Itihadul Muslimeen (precursor of present-day AIMIM) was adamant on the Nizam merging with Pakistan instead of being Independent. Being no more than a puppet to the MIM, the Nizam agreed to keep Hyderabad independent of either unions.
Though the Nizam tried to legitimise the Princely state of Hyderabad by appointing trade officials in European countries and sending delegations to the UNSC, there were civil movements within his territory led by Arya Samaj, Hindu Mahasabha and Hyderabad State Congress to fight for Hindu rights in Hyderabad and merge the state with the Indian Union.
Fearing an uprising by the majority-Hindu community of the Hyderabad State, the Nizam sanctioned the creation of Razakars led by Kasim Razvi, which was to be a paramilitary wing of the MIM. The Nizam gave Razakars the power to suppress Hindu uprisings and movements by whatever means possible, in a bid to save his own skin.
The Razakars, after getting the green signal from the Nizam, started an ethnic genocide of Hindus in Rural Telangana (which is predominantly Hindu). The Razakars were committed to mass conversions of Hindus to Islam in an attempt to make Hyderabad a Muslim majority province. The Razakars went village-to-village and mass-murdered, raped and kidnapped several Hindu villagers.
One such incident is that of Veera Bairanpalli, a village in Telangana which was at the receiving end of the Razakars. The Jihadi forces had tried to enter the village to mass convert Hindu residents thrice, but were unsuccessful when the residents chased the invaders with slings and other crude weapons.
However, the Razakars led by Kasim Razvi managed to infiltrate the village with the help of the Nizam on their fourth attempt during the festival of Bathukamma. At the borders of the village lied a mud fort which the villagers used to guard themselves from the Jihadis, the Razakars shot all the guards at point blank range and proceeded to massacre the unarmed villagers.
On entering the village premises, the Razakars stripped Hindu girls off their clothes and paraded them naked, followed by making them dance to their tunes as a sign of submission and surrender to Islamic superiority. Hindu women were raped mercilessly with the men shot dead. Several villagers jumped into open wells present in agricultural fields to escape the terror. Many temples were also plundered by the Razakars.
Recently, The Hindu interviewed an 80 year old Charan Chandra Reddy who is one of the sole survivors of the massacre. At the time of Jihadi invasion, Reddy was a guard posted at the mud fort bordering the village and had narrowly escaped getting killed. “The Razakars killed 96 people in Bhairanpally that day. They raped women, paraded them naked and snatched away gold ornaments from them. As the brutes chased, the villagers ran helter skelter and some even died jumping into the open wells in agricultural fields,” Reddy told The Hindu in 2017.
Some of the Razakar forces were shot dead by the villagers, which enraged Kasim Razvi and escalated the massacre. The Razakars rounded up the villagers and shot them dead after lining them up, in an attempt to save bullets. A survivor of this incident, N. Mallaiah, told The Hindu in 2016, “They plundered everything. The armed men molested women, killed sheep and killed able-bodied men just for pleasure. They looted every village en route.”
“To save bullets, they lined us up and shot. The bullet missed me and went through my left hand. Thinking that I am dead, they threw me on the heap of dead bodies”, he further said. A resident named Dasari Pulliah added to Mallaiah’s statement, “Many of us climbed onto the mud fort which has been there since times immemorial. We took shelter and fired at the Razakars. We killed some of them and that enraged Kazim Rizvi who was controlling the Razakars”.
A similar incident happened at Perumandla Sankeesa, a village in the Warangal district of Telangana. Between 1947-1948, the Razakars invaded the village three times with ecalating wrath each time they attacked the village. On 1st September 1948, the village saw the most bloodthirsty form of the Razakars, who came looking for the guerrilla forces that attacked the Nizam’s officials regularly and hid in the forests surrounding the village. The Jihadi army tortured villagers while interrogating them about the whereabouts of the guerrilla leaders and raped Hindu women under broad daylight.
One of the villagers who survived the attack was Chitti Komalu, a 99 year old resident of the village who gave an interview to The Hindu on the Razakar attacks. He was quoted saying, “The Razakars raided our village three times in six months in 1947 and 1948. I was caught alive and hanged upside down. They tortured me seeking the whereabouts of Thumma Seshaih, the commander of armed squad in this area. I was sent to jail for one and half years at Warangal, Gulbarge and Jalna. I was released after six months of police action that led to Telangana liberation and merger with Indian Union”.
“Women ran away on seeing the Razakars and hid in maize fields. But they were chased and hunted down by the Razakars and raped openly in broad daylight,” he further said.
The Razakars continued their barbaric campaign till the Indian army routed their forces with Operation Polo in 1948, leading to the liberation of Hyderabad from Nizam’s control and accession to the Indian Union. These incidents highlight the sacrifices made by Telangana villagers to ensure the survival of Hinduism in present day Telangana. Remembering their sacrifices will honour those who lost their lives in these barbaric attempts to erase Hinduism from the face of Deccan India.