Hyderabad: Eminent lawyer and political commentator A. G. Noorani said India’s first home minister Sardar Patel was a “quintessential Hindu nationalist” who treated erstwhile Hyderabad State as a Muslim state and hated its culture.
Noorani, whose book “The destruction of Hyderabad” was released here Friday, said Patel ordered ‘police action’ when the economic blockade was beginning to tell and Nizam would have agreed to accede to India due to pressure from many people.
Giving a detailed account of the events that led to the ‘police action’ in 1948, he said there was a massacre of Muslims in Hyderabad. Noorani has also given in the book full text of the report of Sunderlal Committee on the massacre.
The legal expert said while Jawaharlal Nehru was a “quintessential secular Indian nationalist”, Patel was a “quintessential Hindu nationalist”. “While Nehru like Sarojini Naidu admired Hyderabadi culture, particularly Urdu language, Patel considered it alien and hated it.”
Noorani claimed that Patel was very soft on C. P. Ramaswamy Iyer though he had asked for independence of Travancore and was also soft on Maharaja of Kashmir.
He pointed out how he nominated K.M. Munshi, “who was a RSS mole in Congress party”, as India’s Agent General in Hyderabad.
“Look at Patel. In one and same speech in January 1948 he attacked Maulana Azad’s patriotism and invited RSS and (Hindu) Mahasabha to join Congress. What treatment Nizam would have expected from him?”
Noorani said Patel by deciding policy on Hyderabad State took revenge on Nehru for deciding the Kashmir policy.
“You don’t have a police action with one lieutenant general, three major generals, one armoured division and the air force. Only a dishonest man like Krishna Menon would have given such title and unfortunately it was adopted,” he said.
Noorani, author of other books like “Jinnah and Tilak” and “Kashmir Dispute”, claimed after the police action, Patel uprooted bureaucracy in Hyderabad State by suddenly demoting Urdu and the bureaucrats from Madras, Mumbai and other places were brought.
The legal expert also threw light on the role played by Mohammed Ali Jinnah in Hyderabad dispute. He said Nizam wrote letter to Jinnah after partition seeking his advice and “Jinnah seized on this”.
“Jinnah’s advice was a piece of criminal irresponsibility. He said even if you don’t have ammunition, fight. He wanted Hyderabad to fight with India so that he get few points in India Pakistan cold war,” he said
Noorani said when Lord Mountbatten gave written proposal for plebiscite in Kashmir, Junagadh and Hyderabad, Jinnah insisted that Hyderabad be kept out. According to him, Jinnah had made an investment of Rs.2 lakh in Hyderabad.
Noorani said the only hero in his book are people of Hyderabad who kept the composite secular culture alive with tolerant Telugu people of Andhra Pradesh.
Media baron Ramoji Rao, who released the book, said at 83, Noorani remained a towering personality in India’s legal fraternity with extraordinary abilities to research and document.
Describing him as one of the most objective authors and analysts of our times, Ramoji Rao said he was known for his candidness in expressing his views