A Flashback: Here Is How Hyderabad Got Integrated Into India!


Hyderabad, our beloved city, was once a princely state under the Nizams. Bud did you know how it got integrated into the Indian Union? It is a chapter in Indian history not many talk about.


1) The State of Hyderabad was the largest and most prosperous of all princely states in India. It covered 214,190 sq. km of fairly homogenous territory and comprised a population of roughly 16.34 million people of which a majority (85%) was Hindu. It had its own army, airline, telecommunication system, railway network, postal system, currency and radio broadcasting service.


Image source: Indian Defence Review


2) The conflict began when, after the Indian Independance, Nizam Osman Ali Khan, Asif Jah VII decided not to join the princely State of Hyderabad to either India or Pakistan. The Nizam’s defiance was backed by Qasim Razvi’s armed militias, known as Razakars and had the moral support of Pakistan.

last nizam

Image source: Life


3) After a stalemate in negotiations between the Nizam and India, and wary of a hostile independent state in the centre of India, Deputy Prime Minister Sardar Patel decided to annex the state of Hyderabad. 


Image source: Life


4) The operation was called “Operation Polo” because at that time, Hyderabad state had some 17 polo grounds, the largest number in India. Pictured below are the Razakars.



5) In Telangana, large groups of peasants, aided by the Communist Party of India and Andhra Mahasabha, revolted against local Hindu and Muslim landlords, and also came into direct confrontation with the Razakars, in what became known as the Telangana Rebellion. Meanwhile, parties like the Hyderabad State Congress were involved in non-violent protests against the Nizam’s rule.

telangana rebellion

Image source: News Diary


6) On receiving directions from the government to seize and annex Hyderabad, the Indian army came up with the Goddard Plan (laid out by Lt. Gen. E. N. Goddard, the Commander-in-Chief of the Southern Command). The plan envisaged two main thrusts – from Vijayawada in the East and Solapur in the West – while smaller units pinned down the Hyderabadi army along the border. Hyderabad State Forces can be seen below. 

hyd state forces

Image source: Life


7) Over a span of five days, the Indian army defeated the Hyderabad Police Forces and the unorganized Razakar army. Left with no option, the Nizam surrendered on September 17 at 5 pm. In this picture, we can see the Major General Syed Ahmed El Edroos (right) offering his surrender of the Hyderabad State Forces to Major General Joyanto Nath Chaudhuri at Secunderabad.

surrender - Chai Bisket

Image source: Life


8) What followed is very gruesome. Though a lot of people were happy with the integration, there were some who were not. This lead to many communal riots; according to very conservative estimates, around  27,000 to 40,000 died “during and after the police action”. 

indian army crowd

Image source: Life


Here is a video showing the surrender of Hyderabad State.

Source: British Pathe


Note: Yes, we know the history is bloody. It is up to us to be sensible and make sure that such episodes do not happen again. Peace is in the hands of us Hyderabadis. Irrespective of religion, we should join hands to make Hyderabad a truly world-class city!

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