Union Home Minister Amit Shah unveiled a martyrs’ column and a 20-feet statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, and also hoisted the national flag on the 103-feet-tall flag post at Gorta (B) village in Bidar district of Karnataka on March 26.
The martyrs’ column was built by the BJP Yuva Morcha in memory of the people killed by Razakars, a private armed militia formed and led by Kasim Razvi in support of the Nizam of Hyderabad, on May 9, 1948, at the village. Though there is no clear picture of the number of people killed, it is estimated to be around 200 by K.M. Munshi, the Agent-General of the Government of India in Hyderabad, in his book, The End of an Era – Hyderabad Memoirs.
“It is an important day in my life. Hundreds of people were killed by the cruel army of Nizam just for unfurling a 2.5-foot national flag in Gorta village. Today, I am proud that we have done the job of unfurling the tricolour on a 103-foot-high flag post in the same place in a way that it can’t be hidden. Our first Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel played a crucial role in dislodging Hyderabad Nizam and integrating this area into the Indian Union. It is because of him that Bidar is now part of India,” Mr. Shah said in a public meeting after hoisting the tricolor.
He recalled how he had offered Bhumi Puja and assigned the task of construction of an unforgettable memorial in the village eight years ago, so that the country could pay homage to the martyrs’ of Gorta.
“I am happy that the inauguration of the memorial column is also done by my hands. Once you elect the BJP government in the State with a full majority, we will develop the memorial place at a cost of ₹50 crores so that people from not just Karnataka but also tourists can learn the heroic struggle of Gorta martyrs,” Mr. Shah said.
Liberation Day at Gorta
Attacking the Telangana government for what he termed “hesitation” to celebrate the Hyderabad Liberation Day to mark the integration of Hyderabad into the Indian Union, Mr. Shah said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and he had decided to make it a grand government celebration.
“Last year, the Hyderabad Liberation Day was celebrated in Telangana. This year also, we will celebrate it in the same place. However, once Gorta is developed as a big memorial place, we will celebrate next year’s Hyderabad Liberation Day here,” Mr. Shah said.
‘Reservation to minorities unconstitutional’
Taking the opportunity to project Congress as a party of vote-bank politics, Mr. Shah said the Congress never remembered the martyrs of Gorta just because of its appeasement politics.
Claiming that the BJP never believed in appeasement politics, Mr. Shah strongly upheld the State government’s decision to cancel the 4% reservation allocated to Muslims under the 2B category of Other Backward Classes (OBC) and distribute it equally between Lingayats and Vokkaligas
“Congress had given 4% reservations to Muslims just to appease them. We have cancelled it and distributed 2% each to Vokkaligas and Veerashaiva-Lingayat The reservation given to minorities was unconstitutional. There is no provision in the Constitution to give reservation on the basis of religion. Yet, Congress had given it to appease the minorities,” he said.
Former Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, BJP State unit president Nalin Kumar Kateel, Union Minister Bhagwanth Khuba and other senior party leaders were present.